Color Riche La Palette Nude, $19.99 at Ulta
International makeup artist Jami Svay, whose clientele includes Julianne Moore, Karlie Kloss and Freida Pinto, says that L'Oreal's Color Riche La Palette Nude 1 is her top choice for friends on a budget.
"This palette makes a great nude smoky eye," she says. "The colors are classic — perfect for travel — and work well with every eye color. The $20 price point is good if you're on a budget but still want a quality product."
Color Icon Eyeshadow Quad in Walking On Eggshells, $2.99 at Wet n Wild
It's basically impossible to beat the $2.99 price tag on this Wet n Wild palette. Editorial makeup artist Dana Rae Ashburn says she picked it up on a whim and ended up loving it.
"The colors are nice and neutral and remind me of my favorite Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage Palette. However, they have a nice subtle shimmer to them so I thought they'd be a great addition to my kit." she says. "With this palette, you want to use your fingers to apply the formula so that you get more pigment and then you can blend with a brush. I especially love the brown-bronze color labeled 'crease.'"
Fame Pressed Powder Shadow Palette, $22 at Ulta
ColourPop is almost exclusively sold online, but its approachable price points make it a favorite for budget shoppers seeking excellent quality. Mary Irwin, celebrity and editorial makeup artist, tells us its Fame Pressed Powder Shadow Palette, priced at $22, is one of her favorites.
"It's rare to find a cool tone palette in this price point. The texture is incredible and the formula is just as good as brands that are four times the price," she says. "The cool tone options are really stunning since tons of palettes on the market now are all warm, and the finishes are matte, metallic and satin."
Bold Obsession Eyeshadow Palette, $14.97 at Walmart
Everything about the Milani Bold Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, priced at $20, reads high-end. Celebrity makeup artist, Nydia Figueroa, says it's her current drugstore fave.
"This palette has a beautiful color layout along with incredible pigmentation," she says. "The packaging is super sturdy and it comes with a mirror which is a plus. The packaging is also luxurious, which doesn't make it stand out from my higher end palettes. I find myself using it constantly on set and on my clients and I recommend it to everyone."
Ultimate Shadow Palette, $17.99 at Ulta
If your own beauty kit is craving some color infusion, NYX's $18 Ultimate Shadow Palette might just sate you.
"The bright jewel tones are my go-to. Just because winter is dreary doesn't mean your makeup has to be. A pop of color on your eyes is a great way to 'wake up your makeup,'" Svay says. "The staying power with this product is amazing; you can go from day to night with minimal touch-ups. You can also use the palette as eyeliner. Just wet an angled brush and apply close to the lash line for instant runway glam."
Gilded Desires Face & Eye Palette, $19.99 at Ulta
Milani is clearly doing something right, as it has managed to make our roundup twice with recommendations from two different pros.
"I'd heard a story about a major makeup artist whose kit didn't arrive on a travel job, so they ran to the drug store to grab anything they could find before they had to be on set. Milani turned out to be her lifesaver that day. After hearing that, I had to buy it," says Irwin. "The color choices, the pigment levels and the blendability are all identical to brands that are priced much higher. I'm so impressed."
The Eye Con Kit, $15 at Iman Cosmetics
Iman's The Eye Con Kit comes stocked with everything you need, which is one of the reasons why celebrity and editorial makeup artist Laura Mitchell is a fan.
"I am obsessed. It's everything," she says. "For $15, you get an eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and 12 eyeshadows. This kit is my go-to suggestion for the at-home artist or to the makeup artist starting out. The 12 shadows are beautiful by themselves but can be combined into so many different looks."
High-end makeup brands like Urban Decay, Tom Ford and Anastasia Beverly Hills seem to have a stronghold on the eyeshadow palette market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find impressive options at a lower price point. Sure, lots of drugstore palettes are, admittedly, ideal for entry-level users. However, there is a handful out there that even makeup artists keep in their kits. Prioritizing quality above all else, we asked several pros to share which budget eyeshadow palettes were their favorites.