Best Single Eyeshadows – 2021 Editor’s Most Recommended



If you’ve ever felt like single eyeshadows don’t get enough love, our guide to the Best Single Eyeshadows, the 2021 Edition is made for you.  This guide features permanently available single ranges that have released consistently high-quality shades. There aren’t too many full-fledged single eyeshadow ranges by mainstream brands these days, so this list is filled with several indie offerings!

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!

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’s an incredibly pigmented formula in most instances, where a little dab is more than enough to cover the mobile lid. I always find squeezing out product onto the back of my hand or onto a metal palette is the best way to get going with these. Read more…


Sydney Grace

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…


Sydney Grace

The formula is supposed to be “blendable” and “pigmented” with “a bit of kick up” when used due to being “pressed by hand.” Some shades come with “additional information” such as being sheerer on the brand’s website (for that particular shade) or to use a “glitter primer” due to the finish. Read more…

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…

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…

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…

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…



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…

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…



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

Top Rated Single Eyeshadows from 2021

Check out the current top 10 highest-rated single eyeshadows (individual shades) reviewed by the editor in 2021–this list will update automatically! The list below features individual shades that may be limited edition or permanent but were actually reviewed in 2021, whereas the above list featured only permanent formulas.

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