Best Eyeshadow: The 2023 Glam Beauty Awards

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Every time a new beauty brand arises on the scene, it feels like the first item it tackles is an eyeshadow palette, and it's clear to see why. No one can ever have too many eyeshadows to play with; after all, they're not the same as foundation or concealer — items you don't typically play as much with because they're your evergreen staples. Plus, eyeshadows have matte, shimmer, and other varieties that create endless playtime.


Still, not all eyeshadows are created equally, so Glam set out to get to the bottom of the pan — okay, market — to find the best options for your hard-earned dollars, especially at a time when Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are heading monumental tours. We all need to be on our eye A-game.

To accomplish this, some criteria immediately arose: We needed the shadows to be correct for their price point, provide the pigments they promise, excel at their consistency/type (matte, shimmer, etc.), and, lastly, apply well — simple criteria, but a hunt nonetheless. Now, let's explain the shadow that reigned supreme, as well as four other options that stunned us in our trials. 

Read more about the 2023 Glam Beauty Awards methodology and all the top picks here.


Best Overall: Kaja Eye Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio

If there were ever an eyeshadow product perfect for makeup beginners, it's the Kaja Eye Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio. The only aspect that this product could get knocked for is its price, as $26 for a fairly small compact might seem steep; however, it's three levels tall, and each offers a different consistency and matte/shimmer level, meaning countless possibilities are concealed in this single vessel. It's also perfectly travel-friendly, able to be thrown in a purse, backpack, or even pocket for on-the-go glam.


What really sold this eyeshadow was the way each shadow stood out on its own but was elevated even higher when used with its counterparts; we could instantly tell that this was formulated and conceptualized with the idea to be used solo and collectively. We loved using the bottom, matte shade as a base on the eyelid, smoking the look out with the middle shade, and then highlighting the inner corner of the eye and the outside of the look with the top, gold shade. Its quality stole our hearts, and it will captivate yours, too. Plus, if you're worried about the price tag, do note that it will last forever because it's highly pigmented.

Purchase the Kaja Eye Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio on Amazon for $26.


Best shimmery shadow: Stila Pressed Eyeshadow Compact

If you don't need a full-picture item like the Kaja item but still want some glitz, look no further. Stila's Pressed Eyeshadow Compact in the shade Kitten is a perfect shimmery shadow. For a subtle look, this shadow could stand on its own — perfect for the workplace or a quaint date, even — but it could also very easily be used in conjunction with any other shadow, whether to highlight or blend a little extra pop of fun and light into the look.


Speaking of highlighting, we adore that this product can be used as a highlighter in a pinch; you'll just want to be careful not to use too much. With your finger or a small brush, tap onto the compact and place the shadow on the tip of your nose, around your eyebrows, on your chin, or any other area you want to highlight subtly. You'll look sun-kissed in no time, and like the Kaja shadow trio, this will last forever, so the $20 is an investment, really.

Purchase the Stila Pressed Eyeshadow Compact (Kitten) at Target for $20.

Best liquid eyeshadow: e.l.f. Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadows are on the rise, and after testing this Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in the shade Comet from e.l.f., we see why. In fact, if you particularly want an eyeshadow color to make hazel eyes shine, this one is for you, as its bronzey tone brings out the brown naturally present in this eye color. Still, it's stunning on all eye colors, and it couldn't be easier to apply. Simply swipe the applicator — which, might we add, was the perfect size — wherever you want it to go, and you'll see impeccable results thanks to the product's formula, which strikes the perfect balance between runny and thick.


This shadow dries fairly quickly but not without providing you time to take a brush in for cleanup. Plus, for just $6, it's perhaps the best liquid eyeshadow to try if you're new to this shadow type, but even experienced users will likely find that it outclasses many of the more expensive products in their repertoires. 

Purchase the e.l.f. Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow (Comet) on Amazon for $6.

Best multipurpose eyeshadow: Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow

This 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow shade from Urban Decay is gravity-defying and perfect for nearly any purpose. In fact, we've worn it while working from home, with not a single person seeing us in it — it's a good-time gal, and there's no denying it. That its multipurpose abilities know no bounds is also enticing, and who doesn't love a product that's so adored that it will likely be around for years to come?


This eyeshadow makes you feel like its namesake — like you can yeehaw your way through life with ease. This was close competition for our favorite, but its price point (for just $2 more, we can have a beautiful trio from Kaja, as opposed to one shade) holds it back. Still, if you're a dedicated makeup fan, this needs to be in your arsenal.

Purchase the Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow on Amazon for $24.

Best full package for its price point: Juvia's Place Rebel Quad Eyeshadow Palette

The secret to pulling off gray eyeshadow looks is using the right product — application be damned — because gray will only look as good as the formula allows it to. There's a reason black is such a hard cosmetic color to master for beauty companies, with many blacks actually proving to look quite gray once applied to the skin. However, Juvia's Place's Rebel Quad Eyeshadow Palette has richly pigmented shades that allow for countless looks to be made from a single, small range of shades. However, we did find that the darkest shade wasn't as dark as it could have been on the skin, but overall, the quality of this quad is top-notch.


What holds this palette back is that its quality and versatility don't reach quite as far as the Kaja Eye Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio, but for just $11, this is a palette perfect for everyday use that can also be perfectly travelable. But is Juvia's Place really known for anything less? We didn't think so.

Purchase the Juvia's Place Rebel Quad Eyeshadow Palette (Greys) at Target for $11.