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The quickest way to actually make your peepers pop? A luxe eye shadow, of course! But how do you know if you're buying a quality product? Hint: It isn't the price point. There's no reason to break the bank for this daily staple.
TODAY Style reached out to 14 beauty mavens (with enviable celeb client lists) to find out their personal favorite eye shadows available at the local drugstore.
1. Maybelline Eyestudio Color Tattoo 24-HR Cream
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"Bad to the Bronze," $5.39, Target
“I feel like a cream eye shadow applied with a soft blending brush looks so natural and more flattering than a powder shadow," says Amber Dreadon, whose clients include Lorde, Haim and Jaime King. "My go-to shadow is a creamy beige called 'Bad to the Bronze.' You can wear this shade alone with mascara or as a base for other eye shadows to add major staying power!”
2. Maybelline Eye shadow Palette
"Rock Nudes," $9.99, Ulta
"(This palette) is super versatile and works really well for day-to-day smokey, yet natural looks,” says Michael Anthony, whose clients include Allison Williams, Tinashe and Rita Ora.
3. Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Eye Shadow and Built-In Primer
"Classic Nude," $9.99, CVS
“This kit is a great way to frame and build the base for subtle eye makeup no matter which look you are going for,” says Matin, whose clients include Claire Danes, Uma Thurman and Cynthia Nixon.
4. e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow
"Cool Steel," $4, elfcosmetics.com
“This company has really pretty metallic shades that go on with full pigment and won’t crease,” says Melissa Murdick, who works with Selena Gomez. “They work great on their own or layered under powder shadows. My favorite shade is 'Cool Steel,' which is a beautiful, silvery purple. It’s a really fun shade to pair with a deep plum lip or to wear to holiday parties.”
5. Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow
"Constant Copper," $9.99, Ulta
"This season, coppers and golds were all over the runways. Plus, it's so easy to apply — this color gives a nice lift to the eye with a subtle shimmer," says Jeannia Robinette, whose clients include Victoria Beckham, Shiri Appleby and Debra Messing. "This eye shadow is a fun way to brighten and change up your look for the day, while also being soft and natural for a day-to-night look."
6. Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadow
"Bella Caffe," $4.19, Walgreens
“I love Milani Eyeshadow — especially the shades 'Bella Caffe' and 'Espresso,'” says Rebecca Restrepo, whose clients include Ruth Negga of the movie "Loving," Emily Blunt and Lucy Liu. "It does exactly what it says: When dry, it goes on light and when damp, you get deeper, more vibrant coverage.”
8. Revlon Illuminance Crème Shadow
"Skin Lights," $7.99, Ulta
“(This set has) a lovely range of neutral shades that can be worn alone or layered for different effects,” says Suzy Gerstein, whose clients include Christy Turlington Burns, Millie Bobby Brown and Julie Klausner. “It’s also really pretty on the tops of cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, on the cupid's bow or mixed into your moisturizer as a subtle highlighter.”
9. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips
"Nude," $11.67, Walmart
“One of the greatest eye shadows is Physician Formula Shimmer Strips Nudes,” says Azra Red, who works with Rachel Zoe, Rosario Dawson and Nicole Scherzinger. “It's great to use for daytime looks when dry and to bring out the pigments when you wet your brush. I love this particular shade as it works on all skin tones and lasts all day without flaking.”
10. NYX Full Throttle Shadow Stick
"Night Walker," $6.50, nyxcosmetics.com
"I really like these cream eye shadows in a fat pencil format. They are easy to use and require relatively no maintenance (there is no pencil sharpener or brush required)," says Min Min Ma, whose clients include Meghan Markle, Laura Benanti, and Zosia Mamet. "To use, simply glide the pencil onto your eyelids, blend with fingertip or a cotton swab and finish off with mascara. 'Night Walker' and 'Double Trouble' are my two favorite shades."
11. Wet n Wild Idol Eyes Cream Shadow Pencil
"Graphite," $1.89, Walgreens
“These are intense when used as an eyeliner, but they also look great when smudged out all over the lid. Blend with your finger for a more subtle, shadow effect or use as a highlighter in the inner corner of your eye and. My favorite shades are 'Pixie' for day and 'Graphite' for night," says Aidan Keogh, whose clients include Kendall Jenner and Victoria's Secret model Josephine Skriver.
12. Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadow
"Bella Copper," $4.19, Walgreens
“This formula is finely milled and wears like a second skin," says Lucky Smyler, whose clients include Viola Davis, Tia Mowry and Sunny Anderson. "It almost mimics the caliber of a Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier texture. The color is universal for every skin tone for that J.Lo or Beyonce glow. Applying it dry gives a wash of color, while using a damp brush gives a powerful (and versatile) color statement.”
13. L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow
"Continuous Coco," $6.99, Target
“When the look calls for a smokey, smouldering eye, this is my go-to,” says Oslyn Holder, whose clients include Regina King, Bette Midler and Vanessa Williams. “The color payoff can not be denied! High impact without breaking the bank.”
14. Maybelline New York Expert Wear Eye Shadow Singles
"Golden Halo," $9.29, Walmart
“I love this warm shade of metallic gold,” says Carola Gonzalez, whose clients include Kerry Washington, Leona Lewis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Uzo Aduba and Oprah Winfrey. "It's highly pigmented, goes on smoothly for easy application and is a great color for the holiday season. Plus, it complements most skin tones.”
15. L'ORÉAL Colour Riche Pocket Palette
"Boudoir Charme," $7.99, CVS
“This has easy color combos for even the most novice of eye shadow blenders,” says Tasha Reiko Brown, whose clients include Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi. “The colors complement each other and — even if used alone — provide a nice, shimmery backdrop to make lashes pop. Not too sparkly or glittery, they just have a lovely sheen that blends beautifully and packs a pigmented punch.”