In a world where flawless Instagram eye shadow looks reign supreme, it can feel like it's tough to keep up with the Joneses (or, as the case may be, the Kardashians). (Sorry.) Still, thanks to drugstore brands and other budget-friendly beauty ventures, it's actually quite possible to take all the new eye makeup trends out for a spin — from rose gold metallic neutrals, to smoky mattes, to shimmery jewel tones.
With that in mind, we've put together a list of our top 13 budget eye shadow palettes — and they're all less than $20. You'd be surprised by just how many different colors you can get for how little money — and, don't worry, you won't have to compromise on quality, either.
Maybelline New York's City Mini Palettes are some kind of platonic ideal — with six shades and a conveniently small compact, you've got the best of both worlds: It's just enough colors to create a few distinct looks on the go. There are lots to choose from, but Downtown Sunrise might just be our favorite — it's comprised mostly of neutrals, with a couple pops of color: a shimmery pale pink, and a bold warm peach with gold shimmer. So flattering.
Looking for ultra-smooth, flattering neutral metallics? You've found it with Catrice's The Bronze Collection Eyeshadow Palette. The shades are all beautifully wearable, with a gorgeous shimmery texture that applies like butter. In fact, we'd even go so far as to compare it to Urban Decay's iconic Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette...
Here's a palette for the adventurous: The Morphe 12Z Zodiac Smokey Eye Palette is filled to the brim with a mélange of moody jewel tones, from silvery teal, to royal purple, to sparkly gold. Standouts include a duo-chrome brown and a high-shine silver, though all of the shades are quite lovely. You've got a lot to play with with this vibrant palette, which works especially well for creating looks for a night on the town.
Mattes are in, and smoky eyes are always in, so you pretty much can't go wrong with the E.L.F. Mad for Matte Holy Smokes Palette. A silky finish and a whole lotta color payoff seal the deal: You get a lot of bang for your buck with this budget eye shadow palette. The shade selection is great as well, with a good mix of lighter bases, nude neutrals for blending and dramatic pops of color.