Found: The Most Flattering Eyeshadow Palette for Darker Skin Tones

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eyeshadow palette for darker skin

I’ll admit, my relationship with eyeshadow- particularly the powdered versions- is a bit finicky. I know I know you’re probably thinking, “but there are so many options!” and while that may be true unless you have darker skin like me, chances are, most colors complement your tone.

Much of the time, what looks good in the palette, does not translate to the eyes. Colors can wash out my appearance, make my eyes look ashy, or the undertone is just off.  It just makes finding an eyeshadow palette for darker skin all the more tedious and time-consuming.

When I found out Pat McGrath was creating a makeup line, I shrieked with excitement. Not only is she a legendary makeup artist, but above all, she’s a woman of color – someone who truly understands how to create flattering shades for all her melanin fans. I’ve watched as Pat McGrath Labs – her iconic brand- has grown to become an absolute mammoth in the makeup world, catapulting its way to the top of every beauty lovers list. You can’t think of makeup without PMG – it just doesn’t make sense.

This is the absolute best eyeshadow palette for darker skin, a must-have in my opinion.

Pat McGrath Labs MTHRSHP Sublime Bronze Ambition Eyeshadow Palette

I picked up the Bronze Ambition palette with the hope that it would change my perspective on powdered eyeshadows; encourage me to start wearing shades I’ve longed to swipe over my lids. I trust Pat’s artistic direction in that the colors chosen for this palette would be inclusive, flattering on my skin tone (she is the “Mother” of makeup after all).

So, did it deliver? You bet it did.

The collection consists of 6 gorgeous colors:

Gilt trip – a lustrous, champagne hue

Illicit – a rich charcoal brown

Copperized – a bright, fiery copper

Throwing Shade – an earthy terra cotta

Bronze Struck – a warm bronzy metallic

Gold Rush – a decadent gold shine

Swatches from top to bottom: Gilt Trip, Bronze Struck, Copperized, Illicit, Throwing Shade, Gold Rush

How Do You Apply Bronze Ambition?

To be completely honest, it took me a while to get used to the application process. With previous eyeshadows, I’d tend to go in with a heavy hand so that the pigment would show up on my lids. So, as you can imagine, when I unboxed Bronze Ambition, I followed the same technique – this was mistake #1.

The color was too intense for my liking, and I experienced fallout in the process. It was nothing a Q-tip couldn’t handle, but regardless, I quickly learned a gentle approach, and a small amount of product is all you need to get started.

An eyeshadow brush clearly works best for this palette. If I’m looking to glam up the look, I’ll complete my routine and then swipe my finger directly into a shade, like Gold Rush, using it as a topper, and press it on to the center of my lid – it takes any look to a whole other level.   

Photo: PRÉIM

Is It High-Performing? 

The colors are opulent, no doubt. But what really stands out is the finish. Each Shade smoothly glides onto the lid with one stroke. That’s right. One stroke delivers massive color payoff – a quality that really should be a requirement in every eyeshadow. As for the texture, it’s unlike anything I’ve felt. Sweeping the product onto my finger reveals a buttery-soft texture, almost creamy-like, which is pretty surprising considering this is a powder palette.

It seems that performance is everything for PMG because most, if not all, her products I’ve tested out deliver outstanding long wear. I’ve worn this particular palette for summer weddings, at work – the color stays put and looks just as good at the end of the day as it did initially.

Photo: PRÉIM

What Looks Can I Create with the Bronze Ambition Palette?

This palette enables you to get creative and design various looks, but here are 3 of my favorites you can easily recreate for yourself:

For Everyday Wear: 

For the daytime, I like to keep things simple and stick to Throwing Shade. The color is not intense for everyday wear but still adds this subtle wash of color that pairs beautifully with my skin tone– I’m really into this.

For a Night Out: 

1. Start with Throwing Shade and apply it to your eye’s outer corner, moving in an upward motion and toward your crease (think of a V-shape).

2. Continue with Throwing Shade and blend it into your crease and lower lash line.

3. Next, take Bronze Struck and apply it to your lid. Leave a bit of room in the inner and outer corner of your eye.

4. Take Illicit and smoke out the outer corner of the eye and lower lash line, again think of the V-shape from Step 1. Use a clean eye blender brush to buff out the edges.  

5. Apply Gilt Trip to the inner corner of the eye.

For Brunch With the Girls: 

1. Start with Throwing Shade and apply it to your eye’s outer corner, moving up and toward your crease (think V-shape).

2. Continue with Throwing Shade and blend it into your crease.

3. Using the same brush as used for Throwing Shade, take Copperized, and apply it to your lid. Leave a bit of room in the inner corner of your eye.

4. Blend for a seamless transition.  

5. Apply Gilt Trip to the inner corner of your eye.