Whether you're after a minimal, everyday look or aiming to create fierce smokey eyes, a nude eyeshadow palette is a must-have item for your makeup collection. Nude palettes focus on softer shades in neutral colors, so they often become that versatile palette that you reach for again and again.
However, it can be tough to select a palette with high-quality eyeshadows that will also compliment your skin tone. Our number one pick is Urban Decay's Naked3 Palette; it has flattering soft pinks and browns, great color payoff, and a double-sided eyeshadow brush. Read on for the rest of our top 10 nude palettes, and check out our buying guide for detailed information to help you make a confident choice!
We've found the best and most highly-rated nude eyeshadow palettes that cater to a wide variety of skin tones. Here are some excellent options to get you started on your search, whether you want a minimal, blush-toned look or dramatic bronze eye.
|Number of colors||12|
|Color focus||Rosy pinks and browns|
|Highlights||No parabens or phthalates; cruelty-free|
|Extras included||Mirror and double-sided brush|
|Number of colors||12|
|Color focus||Warm whites, tans, and browns|
|Highlights||No parabens or phthalates; dermatologist-tested|
|Number of colors||30|
|Color focus||Tans, pinks, purples, and browns|
|Number of colors||16|
|Color focus||Cool and neutral creams, tans, and browns|
|Extras included||Mirror and eye primer|
|Number of colors||35|
|Color focus||Warm tans and browns|
|Number of colors||8|
|Color focus||Tans and browns|
|Number of colors||10|
|Color focus||Pinks, tans, and browns|
|Number of colors||6|
|Color focus||Cool tans and browns|
|Number of colors||9|
|Color focus||Warm tans and browns|
|Number of colors||16|
|Color focus||Neutral creams, mauves, and browns|
wet n wild
Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette
35OM Nature Glow Matte Eyeshadow Palette
The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette
Color Icon Nude Awakening Eyeshadow Palette
Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette Mini
Topaz Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette
Nudes of New York Eyeshadow Palette
Rosy-Toned Nudes That Suit Every Skin Tone
Create Natural Looks With These Essential Colors
30 Romantic Colors for Both Day and Evening Makeup
An Equal Number of Rich Mattes and Dazzling Shimmers
A Complete Collection of Warm Matte Nudes
Collection of Pigmented Tans and Browns
A Nude Palette Perfect for Beginners
A Simple Palette Ideal for Taking On the Go
Rich Tans and Browns With a Fun Pop of Orange
A Variety of Finishes and Four Extra-Large Pans
|Number of colors||12||12||30||16||35||8||10||6||9||16|
|Color focus||Rosy pinks and browns||Warm whites, tans, and browns||Tans, pinks, purples, and browns||Cool and neutral creams, tans, and browns||Warm tans and browns||Tans and browns||Pinks, tans, and browns||Cool tans and browns||Warm tans and browns||Neutral creams, mauves, and browns|
|Highlights||No parabens or phthalates; cruelty-free||No parabens or phthalates; dermatologist-tested||Cruelty-free||Cruelty-free||None||None||Cruelty-free||None||No parabens||None|
|Extras included||Mirror and double-sided brush||Mirror||None||Mirror and eye primer||None||None||None||None||None||None|
Ready to find that perfect nude palette? There’s a lot to consider! We recommend thinking about the colors, pigmentation, and size to get started.
The word “nude” doesn’t automatically mean that the colors will suit your skin. After all, there are tons of different skin colors, so a universal nude eyeshadow doesn't exist! Think about your skin tone, the makeup looks you create, and the pigmentation you prefer to help you decide on a product.
Even though nude eyeshadow palettes use softer, more neutral colors, these colors still can vary widely! Each eyeshadow will have an undertone, and these undertones often determine if the shade will suit your complexion.
Eyeshadow colors have warm, cool, or neutral undertones, just like our skin. To figure out your undertones, look at the veins in your arm. If they look purple or blue, you have cool undertones. If they appear greenish, then you have warm undertones. If they seem in the middle or to be true-blue, then you have neutral undertones!
Brands will usually state if a pallet focuses on a particular undertone, but it's always wise to double-check the reviewers' comments for confirmation. It's difficult to determine the eyeshadows' actual color based on online photos, so reviews are an excellent way to get additional information.
If you're unsure of your undertones or just like to play around with different colors, go for a palette that includes a variety of eyeshadows with all three undertones. Using a mix of shades can also make your eyeshadow look more dynamic!
Plus, since nude eyeshadow palettes include softer, muted colors, you can often pair them with any lipstick, eyeliner, or blush. For a cohesive look, try to match the undertones of these products with your skin, as well.
Another vital aspect to consider is the finish and pigmentation of the eyeshadows. Typically, eyeshadows come in matte, shimmer, duo-chrome, metallic, satin, and glitter finishes.
Matte, shimmer, and satin eyeshadows are excellent basics; these are often necessary to create both minimal and dramatic looks. On the other hand, a fun duo-chrome or metallic can add a touch of glam and dimension! Glitter is also a fun touch. Just because it's a nude palette doesn't mean that the colors will be dull or flat.
Most palettes include a variety of shadows with different finishes, which make them more versatile. However, you can find products that only have one type of finish, like an entirely matte palette.
Pigmentation refers to the intensity of the color, and can range from light to vivid. Generally, pigmented eyeshadows are preferred since it can be challenging to build up a sheer shadow, and rich pigmentation often indicates a higher quality product.
Sheer shades can be easier to work with if you’re applying makeup quickly because little mistakes or uneven application will be less noticeable. But, since nude palettes focus on light tones, sheer shades might not show up at all or the colors might wash you out. This is especially true if you have a darker skin tone.
When looking at the photos, make sure that there are a few colors that look similar to your natural skin color. Otherwise, it won’t truly be a “nude” palette for you!
So, check out the reviewers’ comments to see if other people with a similar skin tone like the shades. Look for photos of swatches on multiple skin tones, either from the brand or reviewers, to help you find a good match.
Whether you go for a pigmented or sheer palette, an eyeshadow primer is always recommended! This will keep your eyeshadow looking nice all day and prevent creasing, fading, and smudging.
If you can't find a palette that meets your needs, why not design your own? Some companies, like Urban Decay and Colourpop, allow you to select the shades you want to create your own palette via their online store.
Nude palettes can be frustrating to shop for if your skin tone is underrepresented, so curating your own selection of shades can sidestep this issue! For example, not everyone uses darker browns and blacks, while others never touch super light tones.
Plus, you can tailor the palette to your exact preferences. For example, do you love mattes? Fill up a palette with these chic shadows! Adding a pop of color to compliment your eyes can be fun, too.
When you do your makeup, do you often reach for the same four shades or do you prefer to have options?
As tempting as a 20-shade nude palette may be, if you're just looking for a palette to quickly apply makeup in the morning before work, some shades might sit unused. If this is you, a palette with about six to ten shades will do.
If you want something you can easily slip into a bag, choose a product with a few nude shades that you can see yourself using often. We recommend making sure there’s a shade close to your skin tone, a lighter color for blending and highlighting, and a darker color for adding depth.
Darker colors can also double as an eyeliner or eyebrow tint! If this appeals to you, look for a matte shade that matches your natural hair color. Matte black looks great as an eyeliner on everyone, so this is another versatile shade to have.
If the size isn’t a concern, then spring for a palette with dozens of options. Having plenty of choices allows you to make a range of day and night looks and prevents you from having to jump around between several products.
If you find yourself reaching for the same shades for blending or highlighting, you might run out of those colors before you’ve even made a dent in the other eyeshadows.
While most palettes use the same size eyeshadow pan for every color, it’s becoming more popular to include larger pans of staple shades. So, take a look at the size of the eyeshadows and see what colors, if any, come in larger pans.
Occasionally a palette might use fun pan shapes like hearts, but these can be more difficult to use since they have nooks and crannies. If you apply eyeshadow with your fingers, large circular or rectangular pans are best. If you use brushes, make sure that your favorite eyeshadow brushes aren’t too large for the eyeshadow pans!
There are also a few additional features that can make nude pallets more functional or fun. Some palettes include pops of color that make a nude palette more versatile! For example, adding a splash of purple in the outer corners of your eye can transition your daytime makeup into an evening look.
Some products come with tools that can make application easier. People often appreciate having a built-in mirror, especially if you’re taking the palette on-the-go. You can also find palettes that include makeup brushes or application tips, like a chart that indicates where each shade should be placed on your eyelid.
It’s also worth looking at the packaging to see if it has functional details, like a magnetic or snap closure. After all, you don’t want a pallet popping open inside a suitcase or drawer!
Glitter is always a fun option, but some eyeshadows contain glitter that's actually not safe to be used on your eyelids! The large plastic glitter could end up scratching your eyes, so it's a good idea to check the product information if you spot any shadows with chunky glitter.
Some eyeshadows also use pigments that can be irritating. These are usually red-toned shades, so you probably won't encounter this issue in a nude palette. But it's a good idea to check the product description if you have very sensitive skin.
Additionally, it's wise to read through the ingredient list to see if there are any potential irritants. For example, some brands add fragrance to eyeshadows! Check if the product contains "parfum" if your skin is fragrance sensitive.
If you’re vegan or concerned about animal testing, check the product information and ingredients. Unfortunately, some companies aren’t cruelty-free, and eyeshadows can contain animal-based shimmers or pigments. For example, carmine is a pigment made from beetles, and guanine is a shimmer made from fish scales.
Looking for a few more staple items for your makeup bag? Check out these highly-rated cosmetics to find some new favorites!
Having a nude eyeshadow palette is essential for creating a wide variety of looks. Make sure to select one that works with your undertones and includes colors that you'll reach for again and again. If you will be using your palette on the go, a mirror or a brush are helpful extras.
Whether you're going to experiment with a new look or want a reliable selection of colors to work with, we hope you found a nude palette that you love!
Author: Sara Chittenden
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