3 Colorful Eyeshadow Palettes That Will Break You Out of Your Neutral Rut

I’m pretty limited in the bright eye-makeup department, but I really want to change that this summer.

Go through my eyeshadows at home and you’ll be met with an abundance of browns, taupes and creams, but if you’re seeking anything more exciting than navy or gold, you’ll have difficulty finding any. Sorry. Neutral shadows are my fave because they’re just so darn practical. I can use them for daytime or nighttime looks, and they go with EVERYTHING.

Because I love them so much, I’m pretty limited in the colorful eye-makeup department, but I really want to change that this summer. If you’re looking to break out of a neutral rut like me, here are three colorful palettes you could be dipping your brushes into.

For sugary-sweet looks: Too Faced Sugar Pop Eye Palette

The first thing that drew me to this palette was the really cute macaron print on the packaging, since the sugary treat is my favorite dessert on the planet. But as I got to swatching and blending, I realized the shadows were quite good as well.

This palette features nine candy-inspired shadows in a variety of finishes, including matte, satin and frost. Since it contains bright and fun colors in addition to neutrals, it’s perfect for someone looking to ease into more colorful eye shadow looks.

Quality-wise, the shades ranged from highly pigmented to decently pigmented. Although some of them felt dry in the pan (particularly Malted Milk Ball), I still had a good experience using this palette, and with primer, the shadows lasted all day.

For fun, bright looks: Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette

I was intimidated to try this palette, but I am so glad I did because the shadows were so buttery-soft, blendable and highly pigmented. Seriously. There’s not one dud in this group of mostly neon shadows, which range in finish from metallic to matte.

I normally don’t wear very bright shades on my eyes, but since these shadows are so easy to work with, I am feeling particularly inspired. I especially love Fringe (metallic turquoise) and Freak (neon green)—two colors I never would’ve thought to wear until now, yet here I am, sporting a bright cat eye for all of you.

Because this product contains shadows that are very high-impact and bold, I recommend this if you want to dive straight into the world of colorful palettes or if you don’t have a single bright shadow in your collection. You won’t be disappointed.

For a not-so-basic smoky eye: Anastasia Beverly Hills Artist Palette

While this palette isn’t as bright-heavy as the Electric Palette, it contains a nice mix of everything—neutrals and brights with shimmer, matte, velvet and satin finishes. What particularly attracted me to this product, however, is the matte yellow shade, Phresh. It’s gorgeous, and not a shade I often see in palettes.

The shadows in the Artist Palette all felt very soft—even the mattes. Pigmentation ranged from very good to decent, and the only shades that required extra layering for intensity were Blue Velvet and Aubergine. Overall, I'm very impressed with this palette, and since it has a nice variety of shades, I’d probably carry this palette while traveling to fill both my neutral and colorful eye makeup needs.

Go for this palette if you want something that’ll let you achieve a range of looks, including some stunning smoky eyes.

  • How do you get yourself out of a beauty rut?
  • What’s your go-to palette for creating bright, fun looks?
  • Any recommendations for a lower-priced, colorful eyeshadow palette (since I couldn’t find one I liked)?