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Best Eyeshadow for Sensitive Eyes

Having sensitive eyes can make your makeup game a bit more challenging, but with so many brands, organic-friendly formulas, and advancements in makeup, you aren’t necessarily doomed. You can still have a smokey eye, experiment with jewel tones, and go heavy or light depending on your aesthetic. The most important thing you can do to ensure your eyes don’t get irritated, break out or result in some other atrocity is to read the ingredients.

A lot of companies will claim they are manufactured specifically for sensitive eyes, only to purchase a shadow, try it out, and realize it is far from the truth. There are also different types of sensitive eyes depending on if you are a contact lens wearer, have a genetic inheritance, or just don’t wear a lot of eyeshadow so even the smallest amount can feel intrusive.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Don’t let the words hypo-allergenic, safe or gentle give you the “eye-dea” that you can’t still have a stellar makeup look. Some of these types can have the best pigments or textures you can choose from, producing an amazing result. There are a lot of great quality brands that have become leaders in the eyeshadow category and even those who don’t have sensitive eyes prefer these. Whether you’re looking for a palette, duo, trio, or single, we have reviewed some of the best options to help you achieve a beautiful look without the discomfort.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Eyeshadow

This 100 percent natural mineral formula has been touted as one of the best for its rich pigments and easy to blend texture. It won’t smear, fade, smudge or crease (all of which can lead to getting the shadow in your actual eye) and it will stay on all day for a long-lasting wear. This trio continues to get excellent ratings and you can pick it up at your local drugstore or order it online. Ingredients include bamboo, honey, and vitamins so it is delicate for the eye area.

Physicians Formula Extreme Shimmer Shadow

Physicians Formula is one of the best doctor-recommended brands because, as the name suggests, it was formulated by physicians. It is a favorite of allergists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons because it’s safe for sensitive skin and steers clear of more than 150 chemicals that are sometimes included in eyeshadow products that can severely irritate. The different shades of shimmery options can be both light or dramatic, which makes putting on eyeshadow a lot of fun! You can apply wet or dry, depending on the intensity of your look and it will last up to 24 hours.

Youngblood Enchanted Eyeshadow Palette

While a somewhat new company, Youngblood was founded by a medical esthetician who wanted gentle makeup for her clients after they had a procedure done. These eyeshadow powders are made without common irritants like talc, petroleum, mineral oils, and synthetic colors and fragrances, and they’re infused with antioxidant-rich plant extracts like honeysuckle and jojoba. This well-versed palette includes creamy metallics, shimmers, and matte shades in a range of colors so there are lots of blending options. It does come at a luxury price tag, but the quality is worth the splurge.

Honest Beauty Eyeshadow

Made famous by creator Jessica Alba, Honest Beauty is a hypo-allergenic, clean beauty line that is also cruelty-free. This palette comes with 10 colors that are richly pigmented and has different finishes that are velvety and can be applied wet or dry. With incredible staying power, because of the color scheme, the application can get a little messy, so you may have to do a little cleanup around the eyes. You likely won’t mind when you see the beautiful results these colors can achieve. This dermatologist-tested brand gets high ratings and comes in a convenient size to take on the go.


There are many eyeshadows on the market for sensitive eyes that come in a variety of shades and finishes. You can easily narrow it down by price point and the end result you are hoping for. If you are concerned about a specific “sensitive eyeshadow” product, you can always run the ingredients by your dermatologist who can be especially helpful in selecting something that is right for you. Let the experimenting begin!

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