The 15 Best Drugstore Eyeshadows of 2024

Gorgeous eye makeup that won't cost you more than $20.

A model wears purple eyeshadow and red lipstick on February 29, 2020 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

As a big fan of eyeshadow and someone who is constantly researching the latest and greatest beauty products, you can take it from me that there are a ton of options out there. My head actually starts to spin just thinking about the sheer number of eyeshadows you can buy. That being said, you may be tricked into thinking that the best eyeshadows come from higher-end (and typically, more expensive) brands. I’m here to tell you that that’s simply not the case. While luxury names boast great eyeshadow palettes and powders, drugstore brands like NYX, e.l.f., and Maybelline offer options that work just as well. 

If you don’t believe me, take it from the pros. Pro makeup artist Disco tells Marie Claire that higher-end eyeshadows “absolutely” compare to drugstore versions. “I think the makeup industry is very similar to the fashion industry in that eventually, those high-end formulas will have a drugstore version,” she explains. “The higher-end brands might have that new formula first, but if you can wait it out, a counterpart will make its way to the drugstore soon enough.” 

So there you have it—quality eyeshadow doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. As further proof, we’ve rounded up the only eyeshadows worth your attention at the drugstore. Whether you love glittery shadows, cling to neutral shades, or prefer your eyeshadows creamy, this list has an under-$20 option for everyone. We even threw in a few makeup artist favorites, too. The next time you pick up your prescriptions, you’re going to want to swing by the makeup aisle for these pigmented, long-lasting eyeshadows. 

What to Look For in Drugstore Eyeshadow

Like I mentioned before, there are about a million and one products out there when it comes to eyeshadows. To whittle down your options, you need to first decide on your personal needs as the drugstore makeup department has plenty of distractions, notes Disco. For example, you may only need one or two shades or maybe you’re looking for an entire palette. Disco says, “This will cut down your options significantly and then you can hone in on texture and shade. Is it a cream or powder? Is it a neutral or a vibrant color?” Lucky for you, we have options for any preference ready to go, below. 

Additionally, celebrity makeup artist Zara Kaplan advises that pigmentation is major when it comes to eyeshadow at the drugstore. “Pigment is one of the biggest things to look at when searching for an eyeshadow palette,” she says. “If the colors look rich and punchy, that should be a good indication that the color payoff will be good!” 

The Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Palettes and Pressed Powders

The Best Drugstore Cream and Liquid Eyeshadows

Meet the Experts

Headshot of Disco, pro makeup artist

Disco is a leading expert in the beauty industry, with over 12 years of experience as a makeup artist. She has worked with international clients and celebrities, and has participated in NYFW for 14 seasons. In addition to her work as a freelance makeup artist, Disco is also the co-founder of Kitpak, a professional makeup organization company.

Zara kaplan headshot, celebrity makeup artist
Zara Kaplan

Zara Kaplan is a British celebrity Makeup Artist currently living in Los Angeles. Having started her career in 2012, Kaplan has since gone on to work with globally renowned brands such as Chanel, La Mer, Louis Vuitton, Kosas Cosmetics, and many more.

Zara’s work has caught the eye of celebrity clients such as Alessia Cara, Stephanie Sheperd, Iskra Lawrence, Peyton List, Taylour Paige, Tylynn Nguyen, Raveena Aurora, and Ally Brooke to name a few, and her work has been recognized in leading publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ID Magazine, Dazed Magazine, InStyle Magazine and Vanity Fair Italia.

Known for her ‘less is more’ approach when it comes to complexion makeup, she truly believes in enhancing ones beauty rather than masking it and is known for creating beautiful, breathable makeup looks, taking any opportunity to add fun pops of color or accents to any makeup look she creates.

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.