9 Eyeshadow Palettes You'll Want To Swipe On All Summer Long

Get your makeup brushes ready.

by Hilary Shepherd
Here are nine expert-recommended eyeshadow palettes to try this summer.
Plume Creative/Photodisc/Getty Images

You likely have face masks to thank for last summer’s bold, colorful eye looks. And fortunately for those who are ready to keep having fun with their makeup, this season’s eyeshadow trends are slated to be equally optimistic, if a bit more sultry when it comes to color. “Warm neutrals and nude eyeshadows are really having a moment,” Makeup by Mario’s Mario Dedivanovic tells Bustle. “The blend creates a beautiful, soft look that nicely complements sun-kissed summer skin.” Look specifically for “pops of coral, pink, bronze, and anything with golden tones” when choosing your summer 2021 eyeshadow palettes, suggests Lori Taylor Davis, global pro lead artist at Smashbox.

And let’s be real: Absolutely no one has time for a midday makeup meltdown. That’s why you should opt for formulas that are both multifunctional — and heat-proof. “Summer makeup should be effortless, and the products should be multitasking,” adds Taylor Davis. “Long-lasting and waterproof are always a go-to.” As the weather heats up, you might feel inclined to gravitate toward cream-based eyeshadows or even eye glosses, but experts pointed to palettes that include a range of hues, textures, and finishes for buildable coverage. If you’re just starting to experiment again, you’ll likely want to dabble in a little bit of everything. Below, Dedivanovic, Taylor Davis, and more makeup experts reveal their top picks and predictions for the upcoming summer.

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The Cream-To-Powder Option

Kate Synnott, makeup artist to models like Cara Delevingne and Ashley Graham, calls out Róen’s new Mood4Ever palette as a must-have due to its unique formula — a cream and powder hybrid — and illuminating finish. It features “peach, pink, taupe, and maroon shades that blend beautifully together,” she says.


The Vibrant Option

“Peaches and pinks and more vibrant-colored eyeshadow will be the vibe for this summer,” says Synnott. Uoma Beauty’s palette from its Coming 2 America Collection offers a range of pretty pinks — plus neon yellow, sparkly aqua, and matte lime should you dare to venture out — that are long-lasting and water-resistant.


The Bronzy Option

“Colors and tones that occur naturally in the skin when exposed to the sun are not only flattering, but show off a sun-kissed glow,” says Taylor Davis. She recommends Smashbox’s Cali Contour Palette for its mix of mattes and shimmers that work beautifully for both the eyes and face.


The Smoky Eye Option

“Nothing conveys summertime more than coppers and bronzes,” celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh tells Bustle. She points to Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Eye Quattro Eyeshadow in Festival, which includes “all the basics for the perfect summer smoky eye.”


The Under $10 Option

With nine different shades, this compact has a great mix of shimmery and matte hues. If you’re still not convinced, just know that this pocket-sized palette is also Lizzo-approved.


The Versatile Option

Quynh leans toward orange-y copper in the summertime. “It’s the perfect shade for any skin tone,” she tells Bustle. With that in mind, consider a palette that includes variations of the shade — plus a few wildcards (like royal blue, silver, and turquoise) to contrast and complement.


The Earth-Toned Option

Don’t be surprised to see shades of greens, pinks, blues, and purples pop up this summer, says Stila global beauty director Charlie Riddle. He suggests reaching for the brand’s new camouflage palette, which features eight pretty hues that can be easily blended together or worn alone.


The All-Matte Option

“The summer is all about having luminous skin, and I love pairing a natural, dewy complexion with a soft, warm eye look,” Dedivanovic tells Bustle. The makeup maestro recommends his 12-pan matte palette to “create a light, natural look — or even build to a warmer, smokey eye.”


The Neutral Option

Georgie Eisdell, makeup artist to Anya Taylor-Joy and Carey Mulligan, recommends keeping the eyes “lighter and more glowy” this summer, pointing specifically to Tom Ford’s quad full of shimmery nudes. To zhoosh things up a bit, the pro suggests adding color to your lashes. “A colored mascara is always fun if you don’t feel like wearing colored shadow.”