You know how some kids come home after school to watch cartoons? I watched Kathleen Lights. I was in the ninth grade and would throw down my backpack and rip open my laptop to watch the beauty guru work her magic on YouTube. I remember her raving about one palette in particular — the Too Faced Chocolate Bar, which apparently smelled just as good as it looked. I saved many weeks' worth of babysitting money to have it in my possession and haven't looked back since. Cult-classic eyeshadow palettes don't necessarily have to cost a lot (one of my favorites, ahead, is no more than $12), but they should make you feel like a million bucks.
Today, many of these palettes still a hold a valuable spot in my makeup drawer, and I have them categorized by the type of eye look I'm planning to achieve. For instance, some palettes are dedicated for my everyday, subtle looks, while others I reserve for a loud, bold eye. Even though there are new launches dropping every day, my tried-and-trues never let me down... and provide a since of nostalgia, to when life was much simpler.
Ahead, see the shadow palettes that I've used and loved over the years. You'll quickly understand the hype behind them.
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Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Too Faced's Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette
Released back in 2013, Too Faced's Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette will always hold a special place in my heart. The palette features the perfect balance of matte and shimmery shades, with a formula as smooth as butter. I've hit pan the fastest on the shades Marzipan, Creme Brulee, and Milk Chocolate. I blend those three in my crease, and finish off with a tiny bit of Triple Fudge on the corners of my eyes.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Urban Decay's Naked3 Palette
I've owned all three of Urban Decay's Naked palettes, but 2013's Naked3 is my favorite. Filled with a lovely assortment of rose shades, this palette always helps me achieve the dreamiest, sweetest looks.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Tarte's Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette
Tarte's 2015 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette consists of a combination of 12 matte and shimmer shades. It's formulated with the brand's buttery Amazonian clay, making the shadows a breeze to blend together.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Maybelline's The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
I picked this palette up on a whim during a Target run with my friends years ago, but it quickly became my staple for the perfect neutral eye. The rose gold pigments provide an intense color payoff.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Natasha Denona's Star Eyeshadow Palette
I can create the most unique looks with this range of metallics, mattes, crystal, and duo-chrome shades. When I'm feeling extra adventurous, I opt for shades Orion or Electra for a bold eye. But for an everyday look, I lean toward Cosmo and Atria.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Kylie Cosmetics The Bronze Palette Kyshadow
I still remember when Kylie Cosmetics released its initial palette drop in 2016, which included this gem. It took me awhile to finally get my hands on it as it was quickly selling out — but once it was in my possession, I understood. The formula is so creamy and blends like no other. To really make the shadows pop, I'll spray my Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Skin Mist on my brush before swiping the pigment on.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Smashbox's Cover Shot: Eye Palette in Punked
Ideal to throw in your purse on the go, these tiny palettes pack major color — and there are endless possibilities. If I'm eager for a grungy, dark purple eye, the Punked palette is my go-to.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette
I was influenced to buy the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette, since the beauty YouTuber was often the topic of discussion my group chat circa 2017. My most colorful looks always come from this product. And according to Bustle, 1 million palettes were sold in 2017.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: NARS' NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette
Another great going-out palette. On weekends, I mix Delirium and Shooting Star, swipe it on my brush, and finish off by spraying on setting spray to the same tool. It's glitzy, rosy greatness.
Cult-Classic Eyeshadow Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills' Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
This one isn't as old as some of the palettes highlighted above (it launched in 2018), but I think it's safe to say Anastasia Beverly Hills' Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette is in cult-classic territory. For a dramatic peachy-pink eye, I always reach for this baby. I typically mix together Glistening and Rose Pink for my base, then for the crease I blend in Sultry.