The 25 Best Eyeshadow Palettes Under $20

We easily cough up our paychecks for the latest skin-care innovations or the newest K-beauty must-haves, but when it comes to eyeshadow, we’re wise to the game. We know that the drugstore market is just as good (or at times, better) than the luxury products available. The biggest challenge is figuring out which palettes are worth plucking off the shelves — especially when you can't swatch them on your hand like you would in a department store.
Luckily, we did the work for you. We've rounded up 25 drugstore palettes that are all under $20, whether you're looking for some smoky-eye inspiration or a jewel-toned kit worthy of your next night out, you'll find it all ahead.
1 of 25
Best For: Neutral Smoky Eyes

Using nude shadows for a smoky eye may sound counterintuitive, but this array of neutrals is perfect for creating everything from a simple daytime look to a sultry night style.
2 of 25
Or Try...

This universally-flattering palette of coopers and mauves has all the colors you need to create a look that's both impactful and neutral.
3 of 25
Or Try...

This eyeshadow trio has all the shades you need to create the perfect neutral smoky eye. The mineral formula glides on, blends where you want it to, and then sets for a crease-free finish that'll last all day. The best part? Each shade is infused with ingredients like vitamin E, bamboo, and honey, so you can live that au naturel life in every sense of the word.
4 of 25
Or Try...

For less than the price of a green juice, you can get your hands on eight highly pigmented, blendable eyeshadows. The shade selection is earthy, neutral perfection, but best of all, the guiding markers make application foolproof.
5 of 25
Best For: Classic Smoky Eyes

These four shadows are all you need for a dimensional smoky eye.
6 of 25
Or Try...

Nobody wants raccoon eyes at the end of a night out, so this long-wear option has built-in primer to keep your smoky eye intact.
7 of 25
Best For: Shadow Pros

Do you know your way around a crease cut? Have you spent tortuous minutes blending your shadow until it’s just right? Do you hit the pan on your favorite shades monthly? We feel you, girl, and it’s time to upgrade. E.L.F.'s mini version of its pro palette offers endless color selection in a small-but-mighty case ideal for travel. (Makeup artists, take note.)
8 of 25
Or Try...

This 32-pan eyeshadow palettes was made for your inner makeup pro. We love this option because it packs an array of neutral matte and shimmer colors that blend smoothly, so you can create everything from an everyday wash of nude to a classic smoky.
9 of 25
Or Try...

Don't ever let anyone temper your love for brown shadow, because you don't need that kind of negativity in your life. This 28-shade palette is for any earthy goddess looking for a fresh take on the smoky brown eye.
10 of 25
Best For: Shadow Newbies

But if you're just dipping your toes in the shadow waters, this well-edited palette is the perfect start. The shimmery neutrals are foolproof, and there are even cheat sheets included on the back of the packaging so you can try a variety of looks.
11 of 25
Or Try...

This palette from Soap & Glory is a great pick if you're into variety. Not only does it feature a mix of shimmery, illuminating, and semi-matte finishes, it also has a rage of purples for those days when you want a hit of color.
12 of 25
Or Try...

Fans rejoiced when beauty vlogger Jaclyn Hill announced she was teaming up with Morphe to create palettes — and they weren't disappointed. The range of shades allows for a variety of looks, from subtle to dramatic.
13 of 25
Best For: Bold Looks

This compact palettes is full of vibrant colors, allowing you to express yourself with whatever plum, emerald, bronze, or yellow eye look you're feeling at the moment. Each kit is also packed with several neutrals to help balance the bold shades (but don't feel like you need to).
14 of 25
Or Try...

You don’t have to binge Cosmos on Netflix (although you should) to totally geek out over this gorgeous palette, which contains 18 shades of smooth, intensely pigmented shadows inspired by the Milky Way.
15 of 25
Best For: Brush-Free Blending

Don't feel like investing in a six-piece brush kit? Try cream shadows. This palette comes with an array of lavender hues, including an on-trend rust shade to kick things up a notch. Use your hands to blend to your heart's content — the extra warmth from your fingers only adds to the sexy, smudgy effect.
16 of 25
Best For: Party Looks

This fun palette may just make you the life of the party. With vibrant jewel tones and reflective glitter, it’s the ultimate accessory to any outfit. Layer the hues on your entire lid, or keep things a bit tamer by concentrating them close to the lashline.
17 of 25
Or Try...

If you want to dip your toes into mono makeup — but aren't ready for shimmery pinks and purples — try this palette. The soft, pink-based neutrals blend easily to create subtle looks that easily match everyday cheek and lip color.
18 of 25
Best For: A Mono-Makeup Look

This rosy option is really easy to apply and super-flattering. It's also the perfect product to help pull off one of spring's most popular trends: mono makeup. Pair it with blush and lip color in the same pinky family for a polished look perfect for the season.
19 of 25
Or Try...

If you're all about the basics, this was made just for you. We especially adore the plum shade, which will turn any look from so-so to smoky.
20 of 25
Best For: Blue Eyes

While we firmly believe that you should wear whatever color you want on your eyes, some shades play up your features better than others. Blue-eyed ladies, for example, can look to bronze or brown to really make their eyes pop.
21 of 25
Best For: Green Eyes

Those with green eyes, on the other hand, can count on bold, purple shades to bring all the attention to their eyes. Be daring and try this quad from Milani to really make them stand out. The foil-like texture goes on like a dream.
22 of 25
Best For: Hazel Eyes

If you're lucky enough to have hazel eyes, there are a ton of undertones you can play up. Try emerald to bring out the green and gold for the tiger-eye effect. The soft shadows and sleek packaging make this feel like a luxury palette.
23 of 25
Or Try...

If you're not into adding more green into your routine, try this golden palette, which makes hazel eyes glow.
24 of 25
Best For: Brown Eyes

And if you're blessed with brown eyes, the shadow world is your oyster. Have fun experimenting with blues, purples, grays, greens — you name it. We especially love this shimmery palette of taupe, navy, silver, and white from Pixi.
25 of 25
Or Try...

Looking to be on-trend with rusty, red shadows, but don't want to shell out $40? Try Lottie London's The Rusts palette, which delivers the goods — for less than $15. The best part: The warmer colors bring out the golden hues in brown eyes.

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series