11 Best Eyeshadows for Sensitive Eyes in 2023

11 Best Eyeshadows for Sensitive Eyes in 2023

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a young woman wearing white robe is applying warm eyeshadow using small brush with a mirror

Getting ready for your blind date, you don a sultry eye look.

But when you get into your car, your eyes start to itch and feel watery.

You take a look at yourself in the rearview mirror and see that your makeup is ruined and your tears won’t stop flowing!

Of course, you can’t face your date looking that way, so you cancel the date and book an appointment with an eye doctor instead. 

It turns out that your makeup irritated your eyes.

You wouldn’t want to get through that nightmare, would you? 

There are actually many skin-loving makeup brands today, and each of them formulates eyeshadows for sensitive eyes.

So if you have teary eyes, don’t lose hope! You can still have fun and get creative with shimmers, mattes, and metallics on your lids.

Honest Beauty Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette
Best Overall
  • Has 10 versatile shades
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Dermatologically tested
Revlon Illuminance Crème Eyeshadow Palette
Budget Pick
  • Cream-based formula
  • 4 pans in 1 palette
  • Tested by ophthalmologists
Ilia Beauty The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette
Premium Pick
  • 6 matte, satin, and metallic shades
  • 99% naturally derived
  • Vegan formulated

Do You Have Sensitive Eyes?

The skin around your eyes is naturally delicate because it’s extremely thin and loose.

However, there are other people with a higher level of skin sensitivity, which means their eyes get easily irritated.

This happens when something gets into the eye or even on the eyelid.

As a result, the skin around the eyes becomes itchy and puffy. The eyes become red and excessively teary as well.

Other times, there can be a burning sensation, and worse, rashes.

When you experience these signs often, especially when you wear eye makeup, that means you have sensitive or dry eyes.

Why Does Makeup Irritate the Eyes?

Makeup can enhance your beauty. But if you have sensitive eyes, this product can actually do the opposite.

Most of the cosmetics that we use contain chemicals that can penetrate the skin.

And when your eyes come into contact with those chemicals, your skin cells may react.

This can be an allergic reaction or irritation.

Eye makeup like eyeliner and mascara are the common culprits in eye irritation because they are applied very near the eyes.

And eyeshadow isn’t exempt. Eyeshadows also irritate eyes because of certain ingredients.

Examples of those ingredients are the following:

  • Oils
  • Wax
  • Dyes
  • Perfumes
  • Preservatives

These contents are considered allergens. So when you use a product that contains any of these ingredients, your eyes may have a reaction if you have sensitive eyes.

11 Best Eyeshadows for Sensitive Eyes

When it comes to applying color to the eyelids, there are several options.

Some are traditional powder shadows while others come in creams and sticks.

The most recommended eyeshadow for sensitive eyelids is the cream formula because it’s gentler to apply.

Plus, compared to powder, there’s less risk of the product getting into the eye.

However, plenty of powder eyeshadows are now formulated with no harsh chemicals too, so you can still use some of them without getting irritated.

Best Eyeshadow Palette for Sensitive Eyes

1
Honest Beauty Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow comes with neutral, pigment-rich shades that aren’t intimidating to use.

Primary benefits: Lasts all day, works great with any skin complexion

Features: 

  • 10 shades in 1 palette
  • Proven safe from toxins
  • Made from plant-derived ingredients
  • Dermatologically tested safe for sensitive skin

The Honest Beauty Get It Together eyeshadow palette is sure to not harm your skin.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Talc
  • Paraffins
  • Silicones
  • Parabens
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum

And many more!

For 10 versatile shades, you get more than what you pay for. The matte, dark hues can even be used as eyeliner!

Now, since we’re talking about Honest Beauty, we’ll be honest with you.

We’ve heard other users complain of this shadow having a kickback. That’s the dusty excess when you tap your brush into the eyeshadow.

However, kickback is not a bad thing. It can be good because it means the product doesn’t have filler ingredients.

The only problem the kickback can give is the mess. Luckily, this palette has enough space between the pots so there’s no worry of messing up the other colors.

As for getting some dust into your eyes, just give your brush a tap before applying it to your eyelid. That will lessen the fallout.

All in all, the Get It Together palette is perfect for creating looks for any occasion without putting your eyes at risk.

2
Burt's Bees 100% Natural Eye Shadow Trio

This eyeshadow is not only made with safe minerals but it also has additional ingredients that your skin will love.

Primary benefits: Blends easily, resists creasing, gives just the right amount of pigment

Features: 

  • 3 shades in 1 palette
  • 91% allergen free
  • Ophthalmologically tested
  • Contains vitamin E, honey, and bamboo extracts

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Eye Shadow has a natural mineral formula that’s gentle on your delicate eyelids.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Talc
  • SLS
  • Silicones
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Petrolatum
  • Synthetic fragrances

This eyeshadow palette has 3 shades that are lightly pigmented with subtle shimmer. It doesn’t offer many variations in creating looks, but there are other color combinations you can try.

Palette color options:

  • Rose Garden
  • Dusky Woods
  • Blooming Desert
  • Evergreen Forest
  • Shimmering Nudes
  • Countryside Lavender

The product claims to be crease-, fade-, and smudge-resistant. But to ensure that it lasts all day, it’s best that you use an eyeshadow primer first.

3
Pacifica Beauty Pink Nudes Mineral Eyeshadow Palette

The shades in this palette are expertly coordinated to give you natural, sweet-looking eyes.

Primary benefits: Long-lasting; perfect for everyday use; deeply pigmented with a velvety finish

Features: 

  • 10 shades in 1 palette
  • Coconut oil-infused
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free

If you’re looking for a clean, quality eyeshadow palette that won’t break the bank, the Pacifica Beauty Pink Nudes Mineral Eyeshadow is for you.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Mineral oil
  • Phthalates
  • Petrolatum
  • Synthetic fragrances

This palette has 10 matte shadows in pinks, nudes, and browns. It’s perfect for creating wearable everyday looks.

You can go from a nude look that subtly enhances your eyes, or build up the product for a more dramatic look.

The only downside with the Pink Nudes palette is its somewhat cheap-looking packaging, but it’s an issue you can easily forget about.

4
Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips - Extreme Shimmer Shadow

Glittery eyeshadows are not recommended for sensitive eyes, but with Physicians Formula’s ingredients, you don’t have to worry about nonstop tears! 

Primary benefits: Wet and dry application; highly pigmented; illuminates your eyes

Features: 

  • 6 shades in 1 palette
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologically approved

Physicians Formula is a trusted brand of makeup for sensitive skin, so their Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Extreme Shimmer palette is great for sensitive eyes.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Gluten
  • Paraben
  • Petrolatum
  • Synthetic fragrances

This shadow is true to its claim of giving your eyelids extreme shimmer, so this is your best alternative for bright, glamorous eyes despite your sensitivity!

It has 6 shimmering blendable shades with liquid powder formula.

You can use it with a dry brush for a soft look or apply it with a wet brush for more pigmented, bold eyes.

Palette color options:

  • Nude Eyes
  • Glam Nude
  • Smoky Eyes

Because the shades are all shimmery and light, it’s not ideal for an everyday look. Rather, it’s perfect for giving you maximum glam.

One more thing to take note of is that the shadows have little fallout, so you might want to do your eye makeup before putting on foundation.

5
Mineral Fusion Eye Shadow Trio

The shadows in this palette are coordinated so well you can use all the colors together!

Primary benefits: Blends like silk; deeply pigmented; crease-resistant

Features: 

  • 3 shades in 1 palette
  • Has white tea leaf, pomegranate, grapeseed, and aloe vera extracts
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free

Mineral Fusion Eyeshadow Trio is made with rich mineral pigments so it’s safe to use for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Made without these ingredients:

  • SLS
  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Fragrance
  • Phthalates
  • Artificial colors

There are matte and shimmering shades with so many palettes that you can match your mood with.

Palette color options:

  • Riviera
  • Diversity
  • Density
  • Fragile
  • Stormy
  • Sultry
  • Jaded
  • Stunning
  • Espresso
  • Rose gold

The darker shades can even replace your brow or eyeliner! You just need to use a wet brush.

This eyeshadow goes on smoothly and gives a gorgeous color payoff.

What we didn’t like about it is its price, considering there are only 3 shadows in the palette.

But if you don’t mind paying a little bit more for mesmerizing eyes, then you can try the Mineral Fusion Eyeshadow Trio.

6
Almay Intense i-Color Shadow Palette

This palette is best for beginners! Each shadow is numbered so you’re guided on which one to use first.

Primary benefits: Gentle, long-wear formula; blends well; enhances each eye color

Features: 

  • 5 shades in 1 palette
  • Enriched with vitamin E
  • Hypoallergenic and ophthalmologically tested

Almay Intense i-Color Shadow Palette is made by a brand that commits to being harmless on the skin and eyes.

Made without these ingredients:

  • SLS
  • Triclosan
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Mineral oils
  • Formaldehydes
  • Synthetic fragrances

As mentioned, this palette has a step-by-step guide to make putting on eyeshadows feel like you’re just painting by numbers.

First, use shade 1 as a primer base all over your lid. Next, apply shade 2 on the lower part of the lid. Then, blend shade 3 onto your crease.

You can also use shade 4 as a liner, and shade 5 as a highlighter.

In addition, each palette variation is expertly curated to complement every eye color.

Palette color options:

  • Blue Eyes
  • Brown Eyes
  • Hazel Eyes
  • Green Eyes

Aside from being gentle to your eyes, it’s also gentle to the environment: it uses sustainable paperboard packaging and was formulated cruelty-free!

While the shadows are lightly pigmented, it’s not a big issue because they are buildable.

7
Youngblood Natural Pressed Mineral Quad Eyeshadow

Whether you have cool, warm, or neutral skin undertones, there’s a palette expertly made for you.

Primary benefits: Lasts for hours; rich, velvety shades that easily glide on; great for day and night looks

Features: 

  • 4 shades in 1 palette
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Youngblood Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow is loaded with skin-loving, non-toxic ingredients — perfect for sensitive eyes and skin!

Made without these ingredients:

  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Mineral oil

This eyeshadow has natural ingredients that can safely add rich colors to your lids and benefit your skin at the same time.

It’s enriched with jojoba seed oil that conditions and hydrates skin, and vitamin E that moisturizes and soothes dry, irritated skin.

This palette has 4 matte, shimmery, and pearl shades that fit each skin tone.

Palette color options:

  • Vintage (cool)
  • Sweet Talk (warm)
  • Gemstones (neutral)

The product does crease over time, so we suggest you pair it with Youngblood Stay Put Eye Prime or your favorite eyeshadow primer.

True to its tagline — “Luxury you want; ingredients you deserve” — you’ll get a high-performing eyeshadow with non-irritating ingredients.

Best Cream-Based Eyeshadow for Sensitive Eyes

8
Revlon Illuminance Crème Eyeshadow Palette

This is a cream eyeshadow, so there’s absolutely no fallout that can irritate the eyes.

Primary benefits: Sheer, light-reflecting shadows; dries well; perfect for everyday wear

Features: 

  • 4 shades in 1 palette
  • Travel-friendly case (with mirror)
  • Ophthalmologically tested

When you use the Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow, you’ll get beautiful luminous eyes that look good on any skin tone.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Gluten
  • Synthetic fragrances

This eyeshadow is easy to use. You can use it with a brush or just your fingertip. Moreover, you can blend it or build it up for more intensity.

And despite how intense you want your eyeshadow to look, the creamy formula looks natural and feels great on the skin.

Palette color options:

  • Black Magic
  • Moonlit Jewels
  • Not Just Nudes
  • Precious Metals
  • Skin Lights
  • Wild Orchids

Unlike the other brands listed above, Revlon isn’t clean and cruelty-free. However, it is still safe for the skin, especially your eyes.

9
Julep Eyeshadow 101 Crème to Powder Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick Duo

This stick is designed for convenience. It has a built-in smudger so there’s no need to use a brush for blending.

Primary benefits: Delivers buildable, crease-proof color; waterproof powder finish 

Features: 

  • 1 color stick (available in 29 colors)
  • Contains vitamin E and vitamin C
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

With its natural effective ingredients, you’ll enjoy long-wearing eye makeup without irritation!

Made without:

  • SLS
  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehydes

This brand offers 29 shades in 3 finishes: matte, shimmer, and metallic. With many colors, you can create any look!

Even better, Its highly pigmented waterproof formula sets and dries in 30 seconds. 

Even if you have oily eyelids, you won’t need to worry about using this cream formula. It won’t crease and budge.

You can even swim, work out, or walk around on a humid day and still have your eyeshadow going strong.

Best Organic Eyeshadow for Sensitive Eyes

10
Ilia Beauty The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette

The colors in this palette are close to nature, which makes it great for making your eyes pop without being too bold.

Primary benefits: Deeply pigmented buttery texture; crease-proof and long-lasting; blends easily

Features: 

  • 6 shades in 1 palette
  • Cleanly formulated
  • 99% naturally derived ingredients

Ilia Beauty is the cleanest and best eyeshadow for sensitive skin. Have beautiful eyes without compromise!

Made without these ingredients:

  • Soy
  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Synthetic dye
  • Synthetic fragrances

The palette contains matte, satin, and metallic finishes, so you can create a daytime or evening look. It also offers a choice for warm or cool-toned skin.

Palette color options:

  • Warm Nude
  • Cool Nude

Ilia Beauty’s vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, its jojoba seed oil helps nourish the skin, and its honeysuckle flower extract soothes the skin.

So It’s not only safe but also helps revive the skin.

11
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked II Palette

Complete with a blush and a highlighter, this palette is not just for the eyes; it’s for a complete face color.

Primary benefits: Ideal for everyday use; natural, organic ingredients

Features: 

  • 3 shadows, 1 blush, 1 highlighter
  • The pigment comes from vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Enhance your beauty without looking like you’ve put on too much makeup with the 100% Pure Palette.

Made without these ingredients:

  • Gluten
  • Synthetic dye
  • Heavy metals
  • Synthetic fragrances

Because this palette is made from natural ingredients, you get to protect and nourish your skin while wearing these shades.

Its ingredients include the following:

  • Red wine resveratrol for anti-aging
  • Black tea is an antioxidant
  • Acai heals the skin
  • Rose petal that soothes
  • Goji berry for skin elasticity

If you’re in the mood for a no-makeup makeup look today, this palette works the best. Its neutral tones feature a soft shimmer, making the color payoff subtle.

The palette is a bit expensive though, but you get exactly what you pay for.

a happy woman with hair wrapped in towel is applying eyeshadow using a small brush

Frequently Asked Questions

What eyeshadow ingredients are bad for sensitive skin?

Eyeshadow and other cosmetic products may contain allergens like wax, dyes, and perfumes. Others may also have harsh chemicals.

Some of these ingredients are:

  • Talc
  • Lead
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Heavy metals
  • Carnauba wax
  • Formaldehyde
  • Aluminum powder
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Take note of these ingredients when you read your eyeshadow’s label.

How can I avoid eye irritation from makeup?

You can still use makeup even if you have sensitive eyes, as long as you’re careful.

Here are tips to avoid eye irritation from makeup:

  • Don’t sleep with eye makeup on.
  • Use lubricating eye drops before applying makeup.
  • Use a gentle eye cream.
  • Wash your hands before touching your face.
  • Avoid sharing makeup with others.
  • Don’t apply mascara near the roots.
  • Give your brush a few taps before applying it to your eyelid.
  • Clean your brushes regularly.

What should I do if my eyes get irritated?

If your eyes get irritated by your eyeshadow, there are several ways you can soothe the irritation.

First, remove the makeup by wiping or washing your eyelids. Then, use a warm compress to reduce the inflammation.

If the symptoms continue to worsen after a few minutes, it’s best to see an eye specialist.

Be Mindful of Your Eye Makeup

Now that you know about eyeshadow for sensitive eyes, you can put on your makeup without worries.

Today, several cosmetic brands avoid harmful ingredients because people are becoming more mindful when it comes to makeup.

It’s not just about looking beautiful anymore. It’s also about feeling comfortable.

Here are other makeup articles you can check out:

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