Whether you’re on the hunt for a metallic shimmer, do-it-all palette, or bright and bold quad, there’s a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best eyeshadow for dark skin tones. You want a color that won’t disappoint in the pigment department and pops against the skin, says Danessa Myricks, makeup artist and founder of Danessa Myricks Beauty. “The pigmentation of the product is a really big deal,” she says. “For deeper skin tones, it's about making sure that the colors are true. When the colors aren't true, that's when they can appear chalky and muddy on the skin."
While dramatic, bright colors are easy to find thanks to brands like Pat McGrath, Juvia's Place, Huda Beauty, and more, nailing down the nude hue that works best for dark skin tones might seem a little trickier. "A lot of people think that there are certain neutral shades that they can't wear based on their skin tone, but the contrast is great. If somebody wants to keep it soft and doesn't want too much of a wow [factor], just think less contrast," Myricks says. "For example, if you have warm brown tones in your skin, a lighter, cool-toned brown shadow would create more contrast rather than mimicking the tone that exists in the skin already."
Keep scrolling for Myricks' (and our) picks.
The Best Overall Palette
With a mix of jewel tones, shimmer accents, and solid shades, this 10-pan palette has everything you need for a subtle smoky eye. "Contrast creates more of a dramatic effect. A bright pink, lavender, or rich purple can be really, really beautiful without going too dark," explains Myricks.
The Best Everyday Option
Your signature look doesn't have to stay neutral, Myricks explains. "For daytime, I would play with browns and cinnamons. Warm browns, warm orange tones, and even plum shades always look really soft and pretty."
The Best Single Pigment
"Don't shy away from real vivid color," suggests Myricks, citing Make Up For Ever as a brand with amazing, intense shadows. "Go for a rich, royal blue or a really bright blue. That will look beautiful."
The Best for Neutrals
In need of a neutral palette? Look no further than this option from Juvia's place. The exclusively-nude lineup has a shade for every undertone. Myricks suggests looking for cool browns if your skin runs warmer (think: golden or yellow) and a warmer brown if your skin runs cooler (think: blue or pink).
The Best Sparkle
Up the ante on any eyeshadow look by popping this super glittery eyeshadow onto the center of your eyelid. The cream-to-powder formula doesn't mess around with color payoff and the bouncy, dense formula won't crease with wear.
The Best Bold Palette
These shades may look bright, but they can work for both brunch and a night out when applied with a gentle hand. "To warm up eyes for the day, I would say peaches, plums, and oranges all look really nice. You could just do a light wash and it will be simple, but still offer a little pop of color," says Myricks.
The Best for Beginners
Perfect as a base for other shadows or as a one-and-done option for your five-minute makeup routine, this creamy crayon is a staple. The best part? It’s not just for the eyes. Create an entire monochromatic look by using the multi-use pigment on your lips and cheeks, too.
The Best Plum
According to Myricks, plum can make for an attention-grabbing eye look—day or night. Use the other five shades in this palette in the inner and outer corners of the eye to add shimmer and dimension.
The Easiest Option
"Choosing something that has a slight pearl effect gives you a little bit more flexibility. It creates more contrast to the skin without being overly dramatic," suggests Myricks. This warm brown liquid eyeshadow has the most stunning sheen and is easy as can be to apply. Just swipe it onto your lid, let it set for 10 seconds, and diffuse the pigment with your fingertip.
The Best Metallic Eyeshadow
This palette delivers the ultimate metallic moment—and you don't have to be a professional to execute the look. The lightest shade is your primer, the softer brown enhances, the darker brown gives a smokey effect to the outer corner of the eye, and the metallic gold serves as a pop on the lid.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Mariska Hargitay Named Her Cat "Karma" as a Nod to Taylor Swift's Pet Olivia Benson
By Iris Goldsztajn
Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Movie Premiere in London: The Best Outfits From the Red Carpet
The dress code was "upscale opulence."
By Iris Goldsztajn
Old Hollywood Glamour Is Back in the Form of Kate Upton in Valentino
The model was in New York City to present Sam and Libby Edelman with a prestigious award.
By Rachel Burchfield