Purple eyeshadow is probably the hardest to get right, but when you make it work it is gorgeous. The royal color can make you look creative and daring or it can make you look ill, so it must be approached thoughtfully. By choosing the right shade of purple, and applying it with a few tips and tricks in mind, you can create something truly stunning.
To help you achieve gorgeous purple eye makeup looks, we’ve selected the 17 best purple eyeshadow singles and palettes in a variety of shades, finishes, and undertones. We’ll help you figure out which purple, lavender, or lilac eyeshadow will be most flattering to you based on your skin and eye colors. To finish things off, we added some general purple eyeshadow application tips and tricks, along with a list of inspiring ideas.
Purple Eyeshadow Guide: Contents
17 Best Purple Eyeshadow Singles & Palettes to Go for
Finding high-quality purple, lilac, or lavender eyeshadow can be difficult because natural purple pigments are so hard to obtain. This is why we did the work for you, by scouring the stores for the perfectly buttery, pigmented and blendable purple eyeshadow palettes and singles for you to add to your collection.
1. Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst
There is a near endless amount of purple eyeshadow looks you can create with this gorgeous palette. It features a lovely blend of mattes and shimmers for a variety of intense beauty looks. This palette contains 9 buttery, pigmented shadows in shades of lilac and purple that are either cool or neutral. Buy it from Sephora!
2. MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Stars ‘N’ Rockets
You cannot go wrong with a MAC eyeshadow, but this deep lavender is especially fetching. It is a neutral purple tone that will look beautiful combined with many other colors. It is a frosted shade with an iridescent shift that is perfect for the lid. It is well pigmented and long-wearing. Find it at MAC Cosmetics or Nordstrom!
3. NARS Single Eyeshadow in Sultan
Are you wanting to feel electric? Sultan is the purple eyeshadow to pick up. It is a matte, electric purple shadow with a warm tint that can be combined into a many different colorful looks, or worn alone as a wash over the lid. It has a buildable pigmentation so you can layer it or blend it to achieve different effects. Order it through Net-a-Porter!
4. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister
Despite the intense shimmer, this purple eyeshadow is buttery smooth. Its intense shimmer is great for layering over other shadows, and it can totally transform any look. The shimmer itself is a cool lavender tone, but the base is a warm plump that’ll wear well over browns. You can get it at Sephora.
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Single in Gemstone
Gemstone is one of the most beautiful shimmery purple eyeshadows you will find. It has a bit of a plummy tint that will look marvelous against deeper skin tones, with a reflective sheen that really does make it look like melted metal. It is well pigmented, with some cool-toned flecks that will help it work with both warm and cool eye makeup looks. Pick it up from Ulta!
6. Kosas 10-Second Liquid Eyeshadow in 333
This metallic lavender eyeshadow also functions as a skincare product, giving the eyes some oomph while also nourishing them with jojoba oil and orange flower extract. It’s a liquid eyeshadow that you apply with a doe-foot application, kind of like a gloss. It dries down very quickly, and you end up with a beautiful cool lavender tone that is ideal as a lid shade. It is available at Revolve.
7. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow in Plum
It’s hard to resist a deep metallic plum. With this non-creasing cream stick eyeshadow, you can achieve a perfect purple smokey eye in seconds. Just swipe it on, blend out with your brush or finger, layer a bit of mascara, and you’ll be good to go. This shade is also great in the outer corner or as an eyeliner. Purchase it from Sephora!
8. Lancôme Ombre Hypnôse Stylo Eyeshadow in Amethyste
If you have oily eyelids, then this is the best purple eyeshadow to try. The color is a vibrant neutral purple that can work as a transition shade, lid shade, base, or as an all-over color for a fashion look. It comes in the form of a roll-up pencil that is a tad thicker than an eyeliner, making it a good fit for eyeshadow. The formula sets quickly and doesn’t budge, so it is fabulous on its own, as an eyeliner, or as a primer for other purple shadows. Since it’s quick-setting you will have to work quickly with it. Grab it at Nordstrom!
9. Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Sea Siren
Stila’s liquid formulas are some of the most long-lasting on the market, so this shimmery lavender eyeshadow definitely delivers. It is a duo-chrome metallic with a pearly blue shift, so it is quite cool-toned. Because this shade is so reflective, it could work beautifully as an inner corner highlight for those with skin tones that are tan or darker. It has a doe-foot applicator, for a precise application, and it sets quickly. It is sold at Sephora.
10. Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Longwear Eyeshadow Palette in Provocouture 710
This is a wonderful purple eyeshadow palette, with soft and cool lavender eyeshadows as well as deeper plums and eggplants. There is a deep brown, a mauve, a soft pink, and a lilac thrown in for good measure. Most of the colors are matte, but we do get a few shimmers for variety. Because the palette combines cools and warms you can really get creative with it. Find it on Net-a-Porter!
11. Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow in M-924
True purple eye makeup is easy to achieve with this deep yet vibrant eyeshadow. It is a neutral-cool purple with a matte finish that will look great in the outer corner or as a transition shade. As with all MUFE shadows, it is richly pigmented, soft and blendable. You can get it as a single, or combine it with a few other shades to make your own palette through Sephora.
12. Chanel Ombre Première Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in 30 Vibrant Violet
We love this deep purple eyeshadow, even if we think Chanel is way off with how they named it. It’s a darker, plummy shade with a warmer undertone and a silver-blue shimmer flecked through it. It is dark enough to be a crease color on most, but the sheen means it will also work nicely on the lid or as a smokey eye. You can buy it from Nordstrom.
13. NYX Professional Makeup Prismatic Eyeshadow in Volatile
Volatile is a gorgeous lilac eyeshadow with a vibrant sheen. It may look cool in the pan, but it actually has a warm undertone that’ll pair well with bronzes, mauves and plums. The shimmer in it is silvery-blue, so it’ll still work with cooler tones. It goes on beautifully, though reviewers like Temptalia mention that it works best with a damp brush. It is available at Ulta.
14. Pat McGrath Labs MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose Eyeshadow Palette
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better purple eyeshadow palette. Since launching her line, Pat McGrath has set a new standard for eyeshadow quality, with saturated and vibrant tones. This palette has one deep cool purple tone with a metallic finish, one matte deep eggplant tone, and one metallic medium plum, and then a complementary fuchsia, gold, and peachy-pink. There is so much room for play with this palette, since all color combinations look amazing. Get it from Pat McGrath!
15. Buxom Customizable Eyeshadow Bar Single Refill in La-La Lavish
It may look like a bit of a silver in the photo, but this is actually the most delicate and lovely lavender eyeshadow imaginable. It has a gorgeous silver-blue shift, and it can work wonderfully as a lid or even a highlight shade. The formula is super soft and goes on very opaque in a single swipe. You can pop it into an existing palette, or buy a compact separately. Find it at Nordstrom!
16. Illamasqua Iconic Chromes in Audacious
Turn your purple eye makeup into something truly intoxicating with this jewel-toned cream eyeshadow. The shade is comprised of a variety of different glittering pigments, so it changes in the light to look more or less vibrant, warmer or cooler. It is a darker tone ideal for liner, crease, or a smokey lid. It is extremely long-wearing and flattering on all skin tones. It is sold online via Net-a-Porter.
17. Natasha Denona Lila Eyeshadow Palette
You can buy all of the purple and lilac eyeshadows on this list, or you can pick up just this one purple eyeshadow palette from Natasha Denona. It’s a palette that will allow you to create as many purple eye makeup looks as your heart desires, since it holds 15 shadows in a mixture of warm and cool tones with both mattes and shimmers. Though purples are the stars here, there are also mauves, plums, bronzes, and roses, which will help you create more complex looks. Purchase it from Sephora!
What’s the Perfect Purple Eyeshadow for Your Skin Tone and Eye Color?
Before jumping straight into recommendations, allow me a few moments to reflect on the color theory behind purple eyeshadow. If you remember your elementary school art lessons, then you know that purple is a secondary color comprised of a mixture of blue and red. The amount of red or blue in a purple eyeshadow can differ.
Blue is considered cool, while red is warm, so a purple shadow that has more blue tones in it is considered a cool purple, while a purple shadow heavy on the reds is warm. If it has a truly equal amount of each shade, it can be considered a neutral. Shades like fuchsia and magenta are considered very warm purples.
Then we have to consider how dark or light a purple eyeshadow is, as well as what base is…