The Moondust Palette by Urban Decay is one of the most popular metallic eyeshadow palettes out there. Other sparkly shadow palettes by Natasha Denona and Tarte have become contenders in the metallic eyeshadow recently with their own out-of-budget contributions, as well. While these palettes are loaded with great reviews, they’re also loaded with gigantic price tags. These 11 shimmering, sparkling, metallic eyeshadow palette dupes will keep us shining like the cheapskates we are, but for a small fraction of the price.
One of my favorite parts of the mid-2010s is the growing acceptance of daytime sparkle. Shimmer, duochrome, glitter, metallic foil… People care less about what’s “appropriate” now, and let me tell you, it feels freeing AF to wear a burlesque-ready look to your morning coffee spot.
Thanks to the fact that everyone on Instagram is now a working makeup artist, sparkly, shimmer shadows have been translated into all kinds of hyper-wearable (and hyper-not-so-wearable) looks. Brands from high to low have been releasing all-glitter and high-sparkle palettes left and right, the high end of which tops out at $169. (Damn you, Natasha!!!)
Here are the top metallic-shadow-only palettes, they’re the ones we’re basing our glittery eyeshadow palette dupes off of.
- Urban Decay Moondust, $49 (this is our main inspo because, hi, it’s perfect! Eight shades and one duochrome)
- Urban Decay Afterdark, $49
- Natasha Denona Star Palette, $169
- Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette, $40
There are other metallic eyeshadow palettes, of course, but these are the OG metallic palettes that fuel my need for shine. Cinema Secrets just released a beautiful ($40…) Chroma Pro Palette that would totally be an OG palette if it had a wider shade range, but it does a good job representing the payoff that high end metallic eyeshadow palettes offer.
The Moondust Palette by Urban Decay is what inspired this mega-post of shining, sparkling eyeshadow palettes. The combination of extreme metallic shimmer and duochrome shadows kind of personifies my idea of a perfect glimmer palette. The way my brain works, having all of my glitter and sparkle shadows in one place and mattes in another (and shimmers in another, etc.) is ideal, so the Moondust Palette – more accurately, the Moondust palette dupes really, really appeal to me. In fact, I already own two!
As far as dupe criteria goes, the attributes I’m looking for in quality dupes are “rainbow” of colors, a high metallic shine finish, multi-dimensional shifts, pigmented pops of metallic color.
This is asking a lot, especially when you consider how reliable Urban Decay’s metallic shadows are. The shade range isn’t as important to some people as it is to others, and the metallic payoff is definitely a major factor when shopping, as well.
Duochrome eyeshadows are still a rare beast when it comes to drugstore makeup, though a few brands are branching out and giving it a shot. There are only two duochrome shades in the Moondust palette, but they’re a major selling point.
Not all of the palettes are perfect matches, but there’s at least a few features of the high end palettes in each dupe. Some people are in into the Moondust palette for the sparkle, others are in it for the pigment, and so on. Some people think the Natasha Denona Star Palette is worth every penny, others have been unconscious since reading the price tag.
Every palette has its strengths and weaknesses, so just like the post with dupes for the ABH Modern Renaissance palette, we will let you know up front what the palette is good at so you don’t need to waste your time looking at dupes that don’t fit your needs.
Dupes for the Moondust Palette & Other Metallic Eyeshadow Palettes
Morphe 12Z Zodiac Smokey Eye Palette
$14.99 at Amazon (+ Prime!)
If you love the color variety and the duochromes in the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. It’s kind of astounding how many similarities the 12Z shares with the Moondust palette. It has the vibrant pink-red, it has the stunning blue, and it even has the duochromatic brown with a teal shift. This palette includes 12 shadows, two of which are matte (the green and the black).
It’s missing the peachy-pink metallic and the green metallic from the high end palettes, but it represents in other areas of the color spectrum where the Moondust palette doesn’t show up. The shade range is more along the lines of the Urban Decay Afterdark palette or the Tarte Make Believe in Yourself palette. Adding that vibrant yellow gold in the center of the lid or just washing your entire face with that duochrome shade would definitely work.
See swatches at Chocolate & Lipstick.
Makeup Revolution Mermaids Forever Palette
$15 at Ulta
If you love the duochromes and colorful shades in the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. The Mermaids Forever palette is deceptive. When you first look at it, it doesn’t look like it’s going to perform that well, if I’m being honest. The colors look a little chalky, the metallics and shimmers aren’t screaming at you… But after a few swatches, your tune is going to change. Not only do these shadows perform oddly well – especially for the price – but there are a few hidden duochrome shades in there, too!
It doesn’t have the star power that the OG palettes have, but these metallic eyeshadows easily be built up to create some incredibly beautiful, pigmented looks. There is maybe one or two matte shades in the entire palette, and the rest are reflective, shimmery, metallic goodness. Some shadows perform better than others, but I highly suggest the greens, and the upper left corner is a cream duochrome with a red shift that is stunning as a highlight!
If you want a review on this palette, let me know!
See swatches at The Style Guide Blog.
BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Palette
$15.99 at BH Cosmetics
If you like the bright shine of the metallics of the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. Obviously, these are the photographs from my BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Palette review, and the sole reason I bought this palette was to try to find a UD Moondust dupe. Ironically, the shade range more closely matches the Natasha Denona Star palette without the matte finishes.
I’m not sure any of these qualify as “duochrome,” despite the fact that many of the shades are comprised of a few swirled colors. The best part about this palette, though, is how they can be used wet or dry. Packing on these shadows when they’re wet produced an incredibly pigmented, reflective, metallic shade.
See swatches at B&B’s review of the Galaxy Chic palette.
If you love the color selection of the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. Despite having a couple of mattes and shimmers in there, this palette fulfills a lot of the criteria we mentioned earlier. There are even some really similar color options! The metallic green is present as well as two cranberry red choices, and that beautiful peach from the Moondust palette is also in here!
The orange-y shades are the most metallic, but there is major reflective payoff in the shimmers they included. It’s always nice to have a white and black shadow to help round out your palettes and create cohesive eye looks. This is definitely a palette that would be great for traveling!
See swatches at Makeup & Beauty.
BH Cosmetics Supernova Palette
$15.99 at BH Cosmetics
If you love the wide variety of metallic colors in the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. This is the companion palette to Galaxy Chic, and features another 18 shimmery, metallic eyeshadow shades. The only difference other than the actual colors themselves is the fact that they do not have any swirled or multi-color shadows.
These, like the Galaxy Chic shadows, can be used wet or dry which emphasizes the metallic and the color payoff. There are more dark grey and green shades in the Supernova palette, but it shares some similar pink and gold shades with the Galaxy Chic palette. I think it’s most similar to the Tarte Make Believe in Yourself palette due to the shade range and the less sparkly, more shimmery approach to metallics.
See swatches at Beauty Loon.
NYX Cosmic Metals Eyeshadow Palette
$9.99 at Ulta
If you like the warm pink, purple, and gold shades from the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. It doesn’t have the varietal rainbow that the Moondust, as well as several of the Moondust dupes have, but the metallic punch it packs makes it worth of adding to the list.
Obviously, there are no blue- or green-toned shadows in here, whatsoever. This is like the Cliff’s Notes version of the OG palettes, and I’m kind of okay with it. Seeing swatches of this little palette make me feel like the metallic payoff is a fair trade for an abbreviated color selection.
See swatches at Crystal Candy Makeup Blog.
Morphe 35E It’s Bling Eyeshadow Palette
$22.99 at Morphe Brushes
If you like the rainbow of shades in the OG palettes, this is the palette for you. Morphe is good at lists. They make lists of colors and finishes, basically, and turn them into palettes. This one, the 35E palette, contains the most mega-shimmery, metallic colors from across their line of eyeshadows. “It’s Bling” indicates the reflective properties of the palette, and the array of colors is going to give you tons of options when crafting show-stopping eye looks.
The fourth and fifth rows down, in my opinion, are the most interesting. They have the more dark, neutral shades and when combined with a strong metallic, it produces a beautiful and Earth-y, metallic look. The green in the center of the bottom row is calling to me!
See swatches at Diary of a Makeup Geek.
Models Own Colour Chrome Eyeshadow Palette
$19.99 at Ulta
If you love the pigmented, metallic payoff but wish it was cream eyeshadow, this is the palette for you. So I might have snuck a cream shadow palette into the mix. I couldn’t resist after seeing how beautifully these pigmented, opaque shadows swatched on the back of a hand. There are some seriously beautiful colors in there, and the rose gold packaging is also giving me heart palpitations. Models Own recently became available at Ulta (after being a UK-only brand) and this is a bold offering.
Being unsure how these shadows blend out make it a little bit risky. We’re also missing that nice red and the duochrome shades. Can you even make duochrome cream shades? I guess that’s what Colourpop does… Either way, this is a very intriguing palette full of shiny, metallic, cream shadows. If you’re into that, pick it up!
See swatches at Molkan.
Makeup Revolution No Photos Please Slogan Palette
$8 at Ulta
If you love the blue and green shades from the OG metallic palettes, this is the palette for you. Not only does this palette come with ten super-metallic eyeshadows, but it also comes with a shimmery eye primer. Metallic and shimmer shadows are notorious for fallout, so a sticky base is going to intensify and hold the shadow in place.
There are literally no warm tones in this palette. None. Zero. Just blues, purples, greens, browns, creams, and a black. That being said, reviews claim that these purple shadows are actually… pretty good. If you’ve used lots of purple eyeshadows, you know that they tend to be extremely patchy and wholly underwhelming. These shimmery shades have promise! But they are definitely more shimmery than metallic.
See swatches at Starless Beauty.
BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette
$8.99 at BH Cosmetics
If you love the OG palettes, but wish there were more colors, this is the palette for you. Not only does this include several of the shades in the OG palette, it’s also widely compared to Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows which are insanely popular (and $10 per shadow). This is 28 straight up metallic shadows. There are no duochrome finishes present, but there are some easily foil-able metallics that are said to resist creasing.
If this palette had some matching-color micro-glitter added to each shade, it would be more valuable than any of the OG palettes. This one comes really close in terms of offering the same benefits that the high end eyeshadow palettes do, but and you could easily amp it up with some extra glitter or foiling.
See swatches at Portrait of Mai. (I love this blog!)
City Color Intense Shine Metallic Eyeshadow Palette
$8.19 at Amazon
If you love the shades in the OG palettes and don’t really care about duochromes, this is the palette for you. Considering the price of this palette, I was pretty blown away when I saw swatches. These 12 shadows swatch exceptionally well, though there is one clearly underperforming blue shade that doesn’t put out like the rest. Luckily, there are two blue shades and one of them is beautiful!
I don’t know what these would look like when foiled with some setting spray or mixing medium, but I’m dying to find out. As we know, this has no duochrome shadows in it which is quite possibly its only downfall. If you have this palette, please let us know if it was the best $8 you spent or not!
Swatches at Tampil Cantik.
This year is all about sparkling and shining when it comes to beauty, but it would be really nice if you didn’t have to spend at least $40 to get there! These 11 dupes for the Moondust palette will hopefully fill the space in your makeup collection where the metallic shine explosion should live. Some of these palettes cost less than 25% of the cheapest OG palette… You could double up and get twice as many shades for less than half the price!