When it comes to highly coveted makeup drops, nothing tugs at the heartstrings of beauty lovers quite like a shiny new eye shadow palette. Aesthetically, they’re a feast for the eyes, visually and literally, but one could even go so far as to call them pragmatic. (Don’t @ me — they’re travel-friendly and take up the least amount of space in your carry-on with a wide variety of shades.) However, perhaps more so than anything, a good eye shadow palette is usually more of an investment purchase than a lipstick or eyeliner. When we take a look back at the record-breaking, best-selling, can’t-keep-them-in-stock palettes, you’ll find that the ones that came out on top are a delightful hodgepodge of highly-pigmented goodness. With Flower Beauty’s Best of Beauty-winning $11 palette, Rihanna’s paprika-but-make-it-beauty Moroccan Spice creation, and Pat McGrath‘s luxury palette to end all luxury palettes, we’ve swatched every inch of the market to come up with our favorites.
If you’ve hit pan and repurchased one (or several) of the eye palettes below, this will be a fun stroll down memory lane for you. In case you’re an eye shadow palette newbie, overwhelmed with the cornucopia of shades in each tome of makeup, take a deep breath and relax — we got you. (We love introducing people to makeup they become obsessed with.) These 15 palettes are our favorites, and here’s why.