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#doyourmakeup: The Best and Worst Drugstore Eye Shadow

Posted Oct 14 2013 10:54pm

What’s up makeup lovers? Since my Great Mascara Compara-thon was such a success, I’ve decided to move on to the other main makeup essentials as well and tell you what’s hot and what’s not at the drugstore. Today’s edition, as you might have guessed from the snappy title of this post: eye shadow!

Best Drugstore Eye Shadow

Just like I did with the mascaras, I’ll rate these drugstore divas on an A-F school scale. Here we go!

Almay intense i-color™ trios


These babies come in three different incarnations: smoky-i, shimmer-i, and bold nudes, and the palettes are grouped by eye color. I’ve tried a couple of different sets (and not just for my eye color, either) and I think they’re great. You can use them as shown (eye shadow for dummies! Yay!) or go crazy and apply the color any place on your eye that you please. I’ve also used some shades from these palettes to mix with other eye shadows to get just the look I want. Bottom line – they are excellent. They are very pigmented, but not so much that it’s easy to over-do it, and they blend really nicely and stay on well. I give these Almay shadows an A!

Almay intense i-color™ shadow stick

Almay intense icolor shadow stick

Like their powdery siblings, these shadow sticks are marketed in different combos for blue, brown, green, and hazel eyes. I only have the one pictured above, for blues, but I loo-oo-ooove it. This is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to fuss a lot with their makeup or needs to get out the door quick. Because it’s a creamy shadow, you don’t need to wear primer with it. You just apply the lighter color all over the lid and the darker color in the crease and you’re done! It’s easy to blend with your finger and it stays put all day.  I haven’t had any creasing problems with this one, either. This is so easy and looks so nice it’s tempting to wear every day. I give it an A+! My only caveat is that I don’t particularly care for the other color combos – they’re not  bad, but they wouldn’t be good for every day wear like the one for blues is.

Revlon PhotoReady Shadow + Primer


I have two of these kits, and I’m kind of on the fence about them. There are pros and cons. The pros: built-in primer which works well and sparkle top coat which is fun to have as an option. It is a lot of product in one little palette. It also blends very well, and also has the “for dummies” setup which tells you how to apply it. The real con of these sets is that they are a little too powdery – a little goes a loooong way, and it’s hard to get just the right amount so that you don’t have excess everywhere. They stay on well, though so with a little practice and figuring out how much you need, you might find these sets to be a keeper. I like mine but I probably won’t go out of my way to buy more. I give this a solid B.

Revlon ColorStay 16-hour eye shadow

revlon colorstay

I have two of these palettes, the one pictured above (which has some shimmer) and another set that is matte. I absolutely LOVE them both *but* the shimmery one is much easier to blend. I’d have to try more mattes and shimmers to see if that’s the case across the board, but even then, it’s not a big enough deal to keep me from recommending these. The color really does STAY, and the shades are really true-to-color, the pigment is just right, and it holds up great after hours of wear. Revlon is always on sale at CVS so if you’re in the market for some new shadows I really recommend these when they’re on sale – you can get a few and be set! I give them an A.

/4/” target=”_blank”>Milani Cosmetics Shadow Eyez 12 hour wear shadow pencil

milani shadow eyez

I have a weird relationship with these eye pencils. I love their highly pigmented, creamy color, but I hate that there’s just ONE color for the money! I guess I’m just cheap like that. Nevertheless, this is a good product. (I don’t like the name though. Eyez? Come on.) The color is really bright and intense and it definitely stays on well and blends well with your finger. I can definitely live without it, though, so I’m going to give it an B+.

CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pencil


When it come to this eye shadow pencil, I take back what I said about being bummed that it’s only one color for the $$. This is a great product! It’s more like a cream-gel combo and it works well as a liner too – it stays put well enough to be used as liner. Plus,  it feels good on. It has a cooling effect or something. I love it. I will definitely be buying more. I give it an A+.

CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast

covergirl smoky shadow blast

I really wanted to love this as much as I loved the Almay shadow stick, but…I don’t. It’s just a little too…goopy. It doesn’t stay put, the darker color bleeds onto the lighter color, etc. I don’t mind wearing the lighter color on its own, (it has a lovely shimmer) but I don’t think I’ll be buying another one of these. I give it a C.

CoverGirl Eye Enhancers

CoverGirl Eye Enhancers

These CoverGirl shadows, though they just have one color, are reasonably priced, which I appreciate. Grab a couple in some neutral colors and you’re set! They aren’t quite as pigmented as I’d like, and they aren’t as smooth, either – but they blend well stay put, and they’re a good value for the money. I give them a solid B.

Loreal Colour RIche Eyeshadow

Ooh la la, I love these L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche eyeshadow quads! The colors are shimmery and go on smooth and blend really well. They stay on great, too. My only beef with L’Oreal is that it is pricier than other brands and although I love this, I don’t love it enough to buy it over the Revlon ColorStay, so what I’m saying is, bust out some more coupons and sales, L’Oreal! But, great job on the eye shadow. It gets an A.

Wet ‘n Wild Coloricon™ Eyeshadow Trio

wetnwild eyeshadow trio

I have two of these and one of the larger sets and they are fantastic. They are not my #1 fave, but for the price, they might as well be! You can get 2-3 of these for the cost of some of the other sets, and the quality is fab. They stay on great, go on smooth, blend well, etc. I have a very neutral set called “Walking on Eggshells” and I could get away with wearing it every day for the rest of my life, and it’s only $2.99. Fer realz! It gets an A!

And finally…

Physicians’ Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye-Enhancing Shadow & Liner Palettes

shimmer strips

This, my friends, is the palette I would take with me to a desert island if I could only take one eye makeup item. I have the Nude Eyes (pictured above) and the Smoky Eyes palettes and they are both faaaaabulous! There are 9 different shades in each one from which you can create tons of looks. And, the shadow really does stay on well if you use it as liner. These shades are shimmery and blend well and stay on well. They really just glow. They are my absolute favorite! They are a little pricey so watch out for a sale! I got mine BOGO free at Rite Aid plus there were $2 coupons attached to them, so I majorly scored. These are wonderful palettes, if you don’t want to own a trunkful of eye shadow like ahem, some people, go buy one of these and you’ll be set for a long time. I can’t even express how much I love these! They get an A+! Belle of the eye shadow ball!

Well, that’s IT – if you can believe it! I’ll make sure and update this post as I try new product. Have you tried any of these before? Which is your favorite? What are some other eye shadows you recommend that I try?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see all my #doyourmakeup looks every single day!

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