Best Single Eyeshadows (2020) | Editor’s Top Picks

If you’ve ever felt like single eyeshadows don’t get enough love, our guide to the Best Single Eyeshadows, the 2020 Edition is made for you.  This guide features permanently available single ranges that have released consistently high-quality shades.  You’ll find powder eyeshadows to start, followed by more loose-pressed-powder formulas, and then two of my favorite cream-based eyeshadows at the end of the list.

Every product recommended below has been tested and reviewed by me, your eyeshadow-lovin’ Editor-in-Chief, and I test thousands of products every year–so they’ve earned their way onto this list. To read more about a specific shade or view swatches, make sure to use the drop downs and buttons below, as we’ve tried to make this guide comprehensive and easy to use!

Sydney Grace Eyeshadow

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The matte eyeshadows tend to be pigmented (typically semi-opaque or opaque, often buildable if they aren’t opaque) with a soft, more velvety texture that has slight slip but isn’t so thick that it gets difficult to use, applies unevenly, or has a lot of fallout. I’ve found that most of the matte eyeshadows apply and blend out without much effort but a few may take a bit more effort to diffuse along the edges. The matte formula tends to wear between eight and eight and a half hours on me. Read more…

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Sydney Grace

MAC Powder Kiss Soft Matte Eyeshadow

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The formula is supposed to have “pillow-soft, matte colour” that is “highly blendable” with “unbelievable slip” that has “stay-true colour” that doesn’t fade, crease, or dry out the lids. The majority of the shades were pigmented, though a few were more semi-opaque and buildable. Read more…

Clionadh Eyeshadow

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There do not appear to be any specific claims made for the brand’s regular eyeshadow range, so being held to typical industry claims (as well as looking at the brand swatches), I’d expect rich pigmentation along with being blendable. The brand has an assortment of finishes, and the price point varies from finish to finish and has some variance within finish as well, but they tend to range from $6.00 CAD to $8.00 CAD, which converts to around $5.00 to $7.00 USD. Read more…

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Clionadh

Lethal Cosmetics Pressed Powder Shadow

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The formula is supposed to have “extreme pigmentation” and “effortless blendability” … “that [will] last all day.” There are two primary finishes: mattes and metallics, and the latter can also be used wet. Read more…

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Lethal Cosmetics

Clionadh Multichrome Eyeshadow

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Clionadh

Colour Pop Pressed Powder Shadow

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The new Pressed Powder Shadow formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented” with an “ultra-velvety and silky” texture that is “long-wearing” and “adheres easily to the eyes.” Most of the shades have semi-opaque to opaque pigmentation that applies well to bare skin, blends out without issue, and lasts for seven to eight hours. Read more…

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UltaColourPop

Viseart Eyeshadow

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The eyeshadow formula is supposed to be “pigment[ed]” with “smooth and even application” that is “long-lasting.” The matte shades are typically semi-opaque to opaque but buildable with soft, velvety textures that can sometimes be a little powdery or slightly firm, depending on the shade. I find that the mattes are often best suited to someone who likes control over pigmentation and may prefer to build up color; they regularly perform better in practice than just swatched on the arm as well. Read more…

Tarte Chrome Paint Shadow Pot

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The formula is supposed to have “rich, vibrant” color that comes in “loose pigment” form and will “melt instantly” and “stay put for hours” on the eyes. They feel like a heavier, creamier loosely-packed eyeshadow, which I think is illustrated well across the six shades I initially purchased (shown in the group shot): some arrived more crumbly and two arrived very smooth, densely and tightly packed. They brand recommends using these with a fingertip, but I was able to use brushes as well as fingertips to achieve very similar results. Read more…

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow

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The formula is supposed to have “buildable” coverage from “a sheer crystal-like shimmer to an opaque prismatic glitter finish.” It is a “hybrid cream formula” that “dries down.” Each pot has a plastic stopper that sits on top of the eyeshadow, which can be used to press the product together if it loosens over time. Read more…

L’Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Eyeshadow

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The formula is supposed to have “24 hour” wear with “intense, maximized color” and a “powder-cream texture.” They are absolutely long-wearing, but testing for 24 hours is more than I’m happy to do more than very, very occasionally, though most showed some sign of wear between 12 and 14 hours of wear, so I used that to help determine an approximate wear time. Read more…

Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow

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ColourPop Super Shock Shadow is a cream-based formula that comes in a multitude of shades and finishes. The more metallic shades have the most slip to them (they have a “wetter” feel), while the more matte ones have a firmer, more clay-like consistency. Almost every shade I’ve tried from ColourPop has been exceptionally long-wearing (10+ hours of wear, usually there until I remove, even 14 hours later). The pigmentation can vary from shade to shade, but the average shade is quite pigmented. Read more…

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UltaColourPop

Sydney Grace Cream Shadow

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The formula is supposed to “dry down to a smudge proof finish” that isn’t waterproof but “will last all day on the lids.” The brand recommends working “one eye at a time” as the formula “dr[ies] fairly quickly.” It is a very pigmented formula where the merest dab of product–like as little as one can physically squeeze out of the tube–is enough for most of the mobile lid. Read more…

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Sydney Grace

Our Methodology

The way I approach my guides is by focusing permanent formulas that have stood the test of time–they are high quality, consistent, and all formulas that have performed well. Every shade is thoroughly tested and reviewed, and these are formulas where I’ve often tested every shade in the line of, so I really grasp each formula’s strengths and weaknesses!

More product guides: Best Blushes, Best Highlighters, Best Lipsticks, Best Lip Glosses, Best Blush Brushes, Best Eyeshadow Brushes, Best Highlighter Brushes, Best Makeup Products of 2019.

Top Rated Single Eyeshadows from 2020

Check out the current top 10 highest-rated single eyeshadows (individual shades) reviewed by the editor in 2020–this list will update automatically! The list below features individual shades that may be limited edition or permanent but were actually reviewed in 2020, whereas the above list featured only permanent formulas.

01.

01.
Kiln
Clionadh

Clionadh

PPermanent. $19.00/0.05 oz.

A+

Clionadh Kiln Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow (~$19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a multichrome finish that shifted from…

Clionadh Kiln Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow (~$19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a multichrome finish that shifted from…

02.

02.
Lunette
Clionadh

Clionadh

PPermanent. $19.00/0.05 oz.

A+

Clionadh Lunette Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow ($19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a multichrome finish that shifted between…

Clionadh Lunette Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow ($19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a multichrome finish that shifted between…

03.

03.
Candela
Clionadh

Clionadh

PPermanent. $7.75/0.05 oz.

A+

Clionadh Candela Iridescent Multichrome Eyeshadow ($7.75 for 0.05 oz.) has a transparent base packed full of fine, intense metallic shimmer with…

Clionadh Candela Iridescent Multichrome Eyeshadow ($7.75 for 0.05 oz.) has a transparent base packed full of fine, intense metallic shimmer with…

04.

04.
Antique Coin
Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace

PPermanent. $6.00/0.06 oz.

A+

Sydney Grace Antique Coin Pressed Pigment Shadow ($6.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a muted, medium brown with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. …

Sydney Grace Antique Coin Pressed Pigment Shadow ($6.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a muted, medium brown with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. …

05.

05.
Forbidden Love
Sydney Grace

Sydney Grace

PPermanent. $6.00/0.06 oz.

A+

Sydney Grace Forbidden Love Pressed Pigment Shadow ($6.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a vivid, medium-dark fuchsia pink with cooler undertones and a…

Sydney Grace Forbidden Love Pressed Pigment Shadow ($6.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a vivid, medium-dark fuchsia pink with cooler undertones and a…

06.

06.
Sunbeam
Clionadh

Clionadh

PPermanent. $7.50/0.05 oz.

A+

Clionadh Sunbeam Glitter Multichrome Eyeshadow ($7.50 for 0.05 oz.) has a more transparent, light pink base with finer sparkles that shifted…

Clionadh Sunbeam Glitter Multichrome Eyeshadow ($7.50 for 0.05 oz.) has a more transparent, light pink base with finer sparkles that shifted…

09.

09.
Opal
JD Glow

JD Glow

PPermanent. $7.50/0.095 oz.

A

JD Glow Opal Galaxy Shadow ($7.50 for 0.095 oz.) is a light pink with warmer undertones and a cooler, bluish-green shift paired with a metallic…

JD Glow Opal Galaxy Shadow ($7.50 for 0.095 oz.) is a light pink with warmer undertones and a cooler, bluish-green shift paired with a metallic…

10.

10.
Patina
Clionadh

Clionadh

PPermanent. $19.00/0.05 oz.

A

Clionadh Patina Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow ($19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a metallic, multichrome finish that shifted…

Clionadh Patina Jewelled Multichrome Eyeshadow ($19.00 for 0.05 oz.) has a blackened base with a metallic, multichrome finish that shifted…