There is no single time in the history of beauty, in which black eyeshadow is living its best life more than right now.
Not only are the pigments available matte, flat, rich, and just, well, black, but the range of products available is as long as Nicole Kidman’s arm.
It’s also such a versatile look that you can up or downplay, whether you’re wearing it day or night.
So take a walk with me down black eyeshadow lane, and skip to my hues (yep, I did that!) of the glory, the drama, and the smokey deliciousness that is black eyeshadow.
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Best Black Eyeshadows
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Blackout
This single pan, rich, ink black is worthy of its name. With a little fallout, this fine powder is probably best applied before the rest of your face. Long-lasting, blendable and buildable. Blackout is one of those eyeshadows that users buy and buy again. It’s also a popular makeup friend come Halloween time. Velvety texture and vegan as they come, this eyeshadow is going to pop on any skin tone.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Single Eyeshadow – Noir
I tend to rely on Anastasia Beverly Hills for their brow products – all of which I LOVE. So this deep, black eye shadow single pan took me a little by surprise. But it packs a cruelty-free punch. Noir is a finely milled eyeshadow power that blends well and will last on your eyes throughout the day or night.
L’Oreal Coloriche Monos Eyeshadow Noir C’Est Noir
This may be a drugstore’s best-kept secret when it comes to a perfect smoky eye. L’Oreal gives us (pretty much, as it retails for just over 5 bucks!) a dense, true black eyeshadow that delivers on staying powder, pigment, and wait for it – little to no fallout. There is something universal about this pigment and it really suits any eye color well.
To L’Oreal’s Monos Eyeshadow in Noir C’Est Noir – I say Oi, sil vous plait!
NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eyeshadow and Eyeliner Pencil – Black Bean
I’m a big fan of any method that might be a time saver with your makeup application (see my favorite freebie if you need help saving time with your own makeup!) And a good old-fashioned crayon is definitely a short-cutting eye makeup gem to have in your makeup kit.
Make sure to get hold of the NYX 2-in-1 Sharpener to keep this baby razor sharp for those clean lines – it can get so fine for you to apply on both you upper and lower lash line..
Covergirl Queen 1-Kit Eyeshadow in Black Tie
Covergirl’s Queen Eyeshadow in Black Tie is a lovely, soft matte black shadow. Perfect for setting liner or adding drama to a black primer or smokey eye.
e.l.f. Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow in Black Magic
Okay, so if you’ve been with me a while, you might start to see a pattern that I like to throw in the odd rule-breaker.
Well, here’s one for today’s pickings. I couldn’t help but include e.l.f’s Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow. And that’s saying something because I for one, am not a fan of glitter.
But this product is more of a crushed gunmetal in a creamy formula than it is glitter anyway. And pop this over a matte black lid and I think you could create some really cool looks.
As always, e.l.f. delivers high-quality products at super-low prices (I’m starting to sound life an infomercial – cringe!) but it’s true. It’s Vegan, and just about everything-free that I’m surprised there’s even anything in the jar!
e.l.f. Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow even won Allure’s Highly Coveted Best of Beauty Award back in 2020. So you’re truly onto a winner with this bad boy.
Bloody Mary Eyeshadow in Black
I love these pigments from Bloody Mary. Another hot-ticket makeup line around Halloween time, but I also love to support a makeup line with a cause.
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Pandora
If you have a particularly keen eye, you may recognize this NARS Duo from my post on best white eyeshadows from a while back.
So that can only mean this eyeshadow duo is twice as worthy of your brushes gracing it’s finely milled grain texture.
I still have a hard time with myself when it comes to NARS which by definition is still not cruelty-free (sigh…) but I’m just delivering the best products to you, so I feel compelled to mention this.
Haus Laboratories Glam Attack Liquid Eyeshadow in Chained Ballerina
Another eyeshadow that’s slightly bending the rules sneaking into this list, but again, sometimes I can’t resist.
I love a good cream eye makeup, and Glam Attack Liquid Eyeshadow from Ms. Gaga, definitely deserves it’s place on this list.
Chained Ballerina is a rich, deep charcoal/black eyeshadow. It is blendable and can go quite sheer, but also has the versatility to be layered, and create real depth on your lids. Vegan and cruelty-free and guaranteed to be fallout-free!
Julep 101 Cream to Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Onyx
I’m a late bloomer when it comes to Julep, but so far am a fan.
As I mentioned earlier, I love a good crayon, and Julep’s Cream to Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Onyx is a perfectly efficient way to get your smokey eye on in no time at all. And without brushes!
You simply glide on the cream eyeshadow stick and blend it out with the double-ended smudger to soften.
Touted as waterproof, long-lasting and ultra matte. Almost 30,000 shoppers cant be wrong, right?
Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow in Dramatic Black
This is about as much drama as you can get in terms of pure, unadulterated black pigment for your eyes. Rich and totally opaque, paint this on and blend it out, or leave it pure black. Long lasting and extra gentle for sensitive eyes. Dramatic Black is about the only name you could give this tub of cream goodness.
L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Eternal Black
If you’re looking for a softer more understated shimmer in your eyeshadow, then look no further than L’Oreal’s Eternal Black Infallible Eyeshadow.
It’s a really pretty charcoal black pigment with a soft shimmer that will enhance a black primer or base eyeshadow nicely, or wear on it’s own for a softer finish.
Maybelline New York Expert in Night Sky
A solid matte, black single eyeshadow from Maybelline that gives you plenty of product for your dollar. Opthalmologist tested and guaranteed for long-lasting results. Maybelline recommend using their eye primer before applying this eyeshadow.
Wet’n’Wild Color Icon Multistick in Nocturnal Behavior
The last contender of a crayon variety, the Wet’n’Wild Multistick in Nocturnal Behavior is black. Plain black. It contains quite a few oils – argan oil, virgin passion fruit seed oil so I suspect it’s definitely not claiming to be long-lasting. Nor might it be your first choice if you experience oily lids.
But if you have sensitive eyes, or a dry skin type, and would compromise 24 hrs of wear for eyes that are happy, then this might be the right product for you. And by the way, aren’t we told day in and day out to remove our makeup before we go to bed? So why are products claiming their 24 hr staying power then? Just a thought…
The multi-stick is also cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and gluten-free.
Mehron Matte Eye Powder in Black Onyx
As a brand Mehron is something of an under-rated stayer in the makeup world. And yet again, I find a fab product that I didn’t know about from them.
This blendable and buildable single can be used wet or dry. Made with Vitamin E and Shea Butter to look after your precious eyes.
Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow AMC 63
Available as a solo eye shadow, Inglot also offers small palettes for you to pop your 3 favorite Inglot eyeshadow pans into. Hence the Freedom System tag.
Despite its lack of romance in naming, this little eyeshadow still provides smooth long-lasting application, and possibly the best price in the group, providing great value for your money.
Colourpop Eyeshadow Palette in Blowin Smoke
So not a true single, but if you’re familiar with Colourpop you’ll know how they present their colors in these collections.
I included their Blowin Smoke palette in this post because it contains not only a rich matte black eyeshadow but also a soft shimmer version of events too.
Plus you get all manner of greys, darker charcoals, and whites to create infinite looks with these pigments. Such fun – for day looks, evening looks, and everything in between.
Applying Black Eyeliner -Things to Remember
Yep, use an eye primer. Your liner application will be so much less traumatic for you – the product will go on more easily, and it will STAY on way better.
The tape trick – to be or not to be
I still have my reservations about using tape on your eyes. I guess it’s the same way I feel about stencils with airbrush makeup. Have them so you need never use them!
I’m definitely a less-is-best fan, and the addition of tape just is adding extraneous stuff that could inadvertently go wrong. You may as well spend those extra 3 minutes cleaning up your liner with some remover on a qtip and a bt of your foundation and achieve an even punchier eyeliner definition. My two cents.
Do eye makeup first
I’m referring to, in the scheme of things. Get your eyes on first, then you can make a mess under your eye to your heart’s content. But your eye makeup will be on point.
THEN you can go back, clean up whatever’s necessary in the fallout department, and whisk on your base and cheeks and lips in no time at all.
Tissue under the eye, be prepared to clean up the under-eye area
If you are holding on to being more traditional with your application, I suggest folding tissue and holding it under your eye? This may help minimize your post-eye makeup clean up situation.
Did Somebody Say Black Eye Shadow Primer?
NYX Professional Black Eyeshadow Base Primer
So I just discovered this beauty and I’m so excited by the thought of doing a pure black on black primer/eyeshadow/liner eye. Such drama, right?
Might have to do this really soon!!!