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The Best Eyeshadow Compact

Last updated on October 3, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Eyeshadow Compacts

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

LORAC PRO Matte Cruelty-Free Eyeshadow Compact

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PRO Matte Cruelty-Free Eyeshadow Compact

This set of eight highly-pigmented nude matte eyeshadows is made with soothing botanicals; you can use them dry or wet. They are easy to blend and buff out too, so you can create various looks that you will love.

Overall Take

Little Goes Long WayYou only need a little bit of these nude matte eyeshadows to accent lids and eyebrows.

 We Also Like

Mary Kay Magnetic Refill System Eyeshadow Compact

Mary Kay

Magnetic Refill System Eyeshadow Compact

Mary Kay's refillable compact has a convenient magnetic refill system that holds their eyeshadows, blushes, pressed powders, lip color, brushes and applicators. Keep your makeup well organized and prevent breakage.

Overall Take

Holds All Your EssentialsLoad this compact with your favorite Mary Kay makeup and easily refill it as needed.

Ccolor Cosmetics Paraben-Free Palette Eyeshadow Compact

Ccolor Cosmetics

Paraben-Free Palette Eyeshadow Compact

Overall Take

Buying Guide

Eyeshadows are designed to enhance and bring attention to the shape and color of your eyes. They often come in compacts, which can hold single hues or palettes of colors for creating different effects and adding depth and dimension to makeup looks.

Eyeshadow products are made from base fillers like mica or talc and are bound together with things like magnesium and zinc. Creamier formulas will have oils and wax, like shea butter and beeswax, but most eyeshadows also have preservatives like glycol. Colored mica pigments give the shadow its different tones; as you likely know, the variety is endless.

Eyeshadow compacts can be fun to experiment with, so you may wish to get a bigger palette with a good mix of textures (like matte, shiny, and shimmery) and shades (think light, dark, smoky and neutral). If you find a color that you think will be your go-to, you can always buy a supply of just that one.

Nude eyeshadow compacts should have a range of champagne, beige, taupe, brown and black tones, while smoky palettes need gray, black, other darker tones and a shimmery highlighter. Although one size doesn’t fit all, certain shades will bring out the colors of your eyes. You can deepen eyeshadows by adding a bit of water, and feel free to mix colors and blend to your heart’s content.

If you have sensitive skin, you can get eyeshadows made without potentially irritating ingredients. However, just because an eyeshadow compact says it’s clean or hypoallergenic, that doesn’t make it safe for you. If you have an allergic reaction to a makeup product like eyeshadow, stop using it immediately. 

What to Look For

  • Applying eyeshadow is a learned skill; some people go way over the top when putting it on. Makeup artists will tell you that proper blending is the most crucial part of the application, and you can do it gently with a blending brush or your fingers.
  • Try a bold shade on your lids and then blend it upwards and outwards into a neutral. Another option is to use a light matte shade on the corners of your eyes and brow bones.
  • You can also use eye shadows as eyeliners with the right brush.
  • If a shade seems too intense, mix it with a neutral. Adding white can make it look chalky.
  • Creamy eyeshadows with waxes and oils generally have better staying power.
  • An eye shadow primer can help prevent creasing.
  • As a guideline, golds and coppers look nice with blue eyes; warm grays and browns pair well with brown eyes and purple tones bring out green eyes.
  • It is also essential to know your skin’s undertone since warmer color palettes are good for yellow undertones, and cooler palettes are recommended for pink undertones.
  • Some compacts come with their brushes, but others do not. You can also buy empty, refillable compacts that you can put your products in.
  • Remember to neaten those eyebrows, too, because you wouldn’t want messy ones to detract from your look!

More to Explore

Makeup compacts first became available in the 1920s, during the era of the flappers and bright, dramatic makeup was all the rage. Companies like Van Cleef, Tiffany & Co., and Yves Saint Laurent made 24-carat gold versions with jewels and wealthy women would commission jewelry designers to make them personalized versions with their initials. Other women used brass or silver ones with embellishments and art on their covers.

These compacts weren’t just for face or eye powders. They might fit a mirror, lipstick, powder, cigarettes and a coin purse all in one, or have a chain so they could be carried like a purse. Some had pop-up functions as well, and they were refillable. Today, compacts are still portable and convenient and designed to hold makeup, but most are not nearly so versatile or artistic. And they’re much more disposable. However, you can still buy refillable compacts if you wish to customize them.

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