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The 11 Best Eyeshadow Palettes For Women Over 45

Elise Marquam Jahns Images February 2023

Beauty Thought Leader: Elise Marquam-Jahns

Today we’re going to focus on the best 11 eyeshadow palettes I tried in 2022 and how they do for women over 45.

“These eleven palettes are a mix of NEUTRAL palettes; ALL MATTE palettes”

Which are gorgeous and which I think can work extraordinarily well for those of us who are over 50.

11 Eyeshadow Palettes:

These eleven palettes are a mix of neutral; all matte; palettes with mattes, shimmers and metallics; colorful palettes that are all mattes; and colorful palettes with shimmers and metallics.

And the prices of these palettes range from ridiculously inexpensive drugstore options to mid-level to high end—so there are options for all of us.  And, all of these palettes have two things in common.

First, the formulas are exceptional which means these eyeshadows are easy to apply and easy to blend—which are two very important qualities for our mature eyes. And second, the color stories are wonderful.


Love To Share Information:

And now as a makeup artist who specializes in helping those of us who are fifty plus look our best,  I still love to share information — but now that information is in the form of makeup tips, techniques, and product information for makeup and beauty items that work for us now.

“I tried several of them when they first came out and REALLY liked them”

And we also explore fashion and wellness tips from time to time on this channel as well. So if this focus sounds like a fit for you, I hope you’ll join our wonderful family of subscribers before you leave today.

** I often like to start out with something fun, humorous or positive.

So since we often look back on all the negative things that happened in the past year, I thought we should start off today with three very positive things that happened in 2022.

3 Things To Feel Good About:

First, a spacecraft developed by NASA and other partners deflected the path of an asteroid which proved that we no longer have to fear that asteroids might destroy our planet; second, hair follicles were grown for the first time in a lab so there’s now new hope for treating hair loss; and third, spinal implants helped paralyzed people walk again when nerve stimulation devices were implanted in their spines.

These are three things we can definitely feel good about.

Let’s Talk Makeup:

**Now let’s dive into today’s topic. I’m going to start with the category of eyeshadow palettes that have neutral color stories and I’ll go from least expensive palette to most expensive palette.

1. ELF Cosmetics:

Several years ago ELF Cosmetics launched a brilliant concept they called their bite-size eyeshadow palettes which cost $3.00. I tried several of them when they first came out and really liked them—although the quality did vary a bit from palette to palette.

“But THIS year I tried a NEWER ENTRY into this makeup line”

But this year I tried a newer entry into this makeup line: their four pan all matte “I Love You a Latte” palette which is wonderful.

As you’ll see in the video, this little palette has light to deep neutral tone creams, beiges, and browns which can work for all of us. And the quality is quite exceptional. I often turn to this palette when I’m in a hurry and want a quick, foolproof but polished eye look. And you definitely can’t beat the $3.00 price tag.

Next Up In The Eyeshadow Palette World:

2. Wet And Wild:

Wet and Wild is a twelve pan palette called “Nude Awakening” which sells for $5.99 on their website. You’ll see in the video, it has light to dark neutrals but in this palette there’s a nice variety of cool, warm and neutral tones. It has five mattes, one satin and four shimmers. And both the mattes and the shimmers range from light to dark colors which really makes it a more versatile color story.

Wet and Wild makes seven other ten pan palettes in a variety of color stories as well as four quad palettes which are also excellent.

3. Colourpop’s “Gone Matte” palette:

As you’ll see in the video, t’s an all matte palette with 30 shades and sells for $35.00 on the Colourpop website. Since mattes form the basis of our eyeshadow look, it’s wonderful to have these 30 shades which can be used to start any eyeshadow look.

And this palette does what I think every good palette should do. It contains colors that run the full gamut from very light, to light to mid-tone to deep to very dark. But what I love most about this palette is how beautifully it is organized which makes it a cinch to create a perfectly pulled together eyeshadow look quickly and easily. Each vertical row goes from the lightest shade in that color family to a much deeper shade with three shades in a gradient of tones in between.

Perfect Palette:

It’s really a brilliant layout. If we’re in a hurry or just want to pull together a look without having to give color choices a lot of thought, this is a perfect palette. And, as you can see in the video, the colors range from the warmest tones on the far left to more neutral colors in the middle to kuel tones in the two far right vertical columns.

“These shadows will create a PERFECT BASE for just about ANY eyeshadow look.”

So you find colors like the grey eyeshadows in the far right hand column that you don’t often find in other all matte palettes. These shadows will create a perfect base for just about any eyeshadow look.

4. Natasha Denona:

The last palette in the “neutral” palette category has mostly neutral shades with a few pops of color tossed in. It’s one of the two most recent Natasha Denona fifteen pan midi palettes which is called her “My Dream” palette which costs $69.00.

There are 11 of these midi 15 pan palettes in her makeup line and this palette came out of her desire to create the eyeshadows that would be in her own personal “dream” palette.

One of the things many of us love about Natasha Denona palettes is the variety of structures. And this palette is no exception. There are six mattes, two cream to powder formulas, one multi-chrome, two metallics, two sparkling duochromes, one high shine foiled metallic and one satin shade.

And this palette—along with the small Natasha Denona My Dream Collection companion blush and highlight palatte– were my “To Me” “From Me” holiday and birthday gifts this year.

More Colorful Summer Vibes:

5. Colourpop:

It’s their 12 pan “In the Springs” palette which sells for $18.00. You’ll see it has eight mattes, three metallics and one gold with silver pinpoints and definitely gives off summer vibes.

“These single eyeshadows NORMALLY sell for $5.25 each, but during their SALES I BELIEVE they were 30% off..”

And believe it or not, it is possible to create some very wearable looks with this palette because some of the oranges and blues can be used as soft accent colors. There are four very light to dark blues and five mid tone to deep oranges. And since blue and orange are complementary colors, they really work beautifully together –  and if combined in an eyeshadow look, they can really make the eyes pop.

Just looking at this palette makes me want to dive into it again. And I definitely will this summer.

Single Eyeshadows Count Too:

Now I probably shouldn’t be counting this next entry as a palette, since it’s a group of single eyeshadows. But since I’ve put them together in a palette and they are top notch quality eyeshadows, I’m going to bend my own rules a bit and include it.

6. Sydney Grace:

These are single matte eyeshadows I’ve purchased from Sydney Grace during their two big yearly 2022 sales—one was their Christmas in July sale and the other was their Black Friday sale. I’ve put blues, greens and browns in one magnetic palette and oranges, yellow, white black and grays in a different magnetic palette.

These single eyeshadows normally sell for $5.25 each, but during their sales, I believe they were 30% off, so Sydney Grace sales are a wonderful time to stock up on their really outstanding eyeshadow singles—as well as their palettes. Sydney Grace is a small, independent  makeup brand started by two sisters in California.

7. Maggie Jones:

If you enjoy colorful matte eyeshadows, this next palette might be a “must have” for your eyeshadow palette collection. It’s a palette created by makeup artist Maggie Jones and the quality of these mattes is outstanding.

“This palette really should be a STAPLE in the eyeshadow collection of ANYONE who enjoys colorful eyeshadow.”

8. The “Blends” palette:

This is from the small, independent company Blend Bunny has a price tag of $39.00. At the bottom of the palette it says “30 matte Pigments for the Perfect Blend.” And that’s exactly what these eyeshadows are meant to do –  blend into each other perfectly and also blend into other mattes perfectly.

And just as with the Colourpop “Gone Matte” palette (see #5), these colors are organized beautifully since each horizontal row features light to dark shades.

And there’s both a black and white in this palette so any of these shades can be made lighter or darker by mixing them with the white or the black. In spite of the fact that these colors are very pigmented, this palette is very easy to use because the colors blend out easily and reliably. So the most important thing to know about using this palette is to pick up a very small amount of color on your brush and tap the color off before applying it. This palette really should be a staple in the eyeshadow collection of anyone who enjoys colorful eyeshadow.

9. Glamlite:

The Glamlite Mikayla Part Two collection wins the award for the most beautiful packaging of any of today’s palettes. This is a 30 pan palette which sells for $42.00. Most of the top two rows are shimmers or metallics and there are 14 mattes, including a black. Just as with the Blend Bunny palette I talked about earlier, the colors in this palette are set up in horizontal rows of color stories which go from light to darker  shades. It’s a gorgeous palette which performs exceptionally well.

The High-End Palettes:

10. Pat McGrath:

“I was VERY FORTUNATE to receive this palette as a GIFT..”

Pat is a British makeup artist of Jamaican heritage who was inspired by her mother—who was a dressmaker. It was her mother’s love of both fashion and makeup that motivated Pat.

Her 2022 palette has 18 shades.

And although it originally sold for $82.00, it’s currently on sale at Sephora (as of the date I’m filming this video) for $62 — which is still a very hefty price tag, but certainly a nice discount.

I was very fortunate to receive this palette as a gift and I absolutely adore it because it’s the first Pat McGrath Holiday palette to include some stunning, colorful mattes. Last year’s palette was mostly shimmers with only four neutral mattes out of the 18 shades.

This palette has nine mattes and only two are neutral shades. There’s a stunning deep blue, a gorgeous green and one mid-tone and one deeper purple shade as well. And I also love the fact that there’s a very light shimmery violet in this palette which you don’t often see.

This palette is definitely a very welcome departure from some of her previous holiday palettes.

Absolutely Exceptional:

11. Natasha Denona:

This last palette in the review is Denona’s  28 pan Metropolis Palette which is one of her higher priced $129.00 palettes. This palette was both my Christmas and birthday gift this year. It actually launched in September of 2019 and I fell in love with it, but just couldn’t justify the price. And when I finally decided o purchase it last year, it was no longer on the Natasha Denona website.

I was really disappointed that when I finally wanted to purchase it as my Christmas and Birthday present last year, it was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, it was brought back several months ago and I was bound and determined not to miss out on it again!

This palette was inspired by the post Industrial New York of the 1920s and 1930s, so much of the color story is a nod to paintings and posters from the art deco and Great Gatsby era.

“As I mentioned EARLIER, I’m going to create ONE EYE LOOK TODAY using my LEAST expensive palette..”

Well-Curated Palette:

It’s an incredibly well-curated palette with a balance between cool and warm shades. It pops of color and a wide variety of textures and depths.

And the way the color story is laid out is especially brilliant because no matter whether you look at quads of color in the palette or you look horizontally, vertically or even diagonally, you will definitely find colors that work together. So the lay out has been very carefully designed. There are 10 creamy mattes, three mattes, one duo-chrome, two high shimmers and 12 metallics.

You’ll see in the video that I use this palette for the first time with you all. If you take time to watch the video above, you’ll see I create two eye looks. The first, from the least expensive palette, “I Love You Latte” and the second from my most expensive Natasha Denona Metropolis palette. Which one is your favorite? Leave your comments below!

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About the Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. And, if you’d like to receive more inspiration each week, check out my weekly newsletter. To get your copy, just drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know you’d like to receive it.