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Good things come with growing older: wisdom, confidence and compassion chief among them. Inevitably, so does gray hair. When silver strands start popping up in the mirror, you might choose to start coloring your coif — or you might embrace your evolving look. It’s a personal decision tied to self-confidence, so there’s no right or wrong route. But an increasing number of women — including stunning stars like Andie MacDowell, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jamie Lee Curtis — are proudly rocking their natural gray hair and helping to redefine glamour, especially on the red carpet.

Best Eyeshadows for Gray Hair, at a Glance

Best Brown: Milani Gilded Mini Eyeshadow Palette, $9
Best Taupe: Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow by Chanel, $36
Best Navy: PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple by Jane Iredale, $36
Best Plum: Retro Eyeshadow Palette by Natasha Denona, $69

Once gray hair becomes your new look, it’s smart to optimize it by giving your makeup bag a makeover, too. The most impactful place to start is with your eye shadow. Lighter shades won’t do you as much justice, so go ahead and toss those. Then swap in a few new colors that compliment your strands. To learn what shades are actually best for gray locks, we tapped an expert to help.

“The best eye shadow shades for gray hair are taupe, navy, brown, and plums,” says celebrity makeup artist, Nydia Figueroa. Overall, opt for shadows that are rich in color help make your eyes stand out against gray hair, and avoid tones that are light and neutral. And if you’re looking to add brightness, choose one with “a bone matte color or even a color that is a little brighter than your skin tone to pull the look together,” Figueroa explains.

And while shopping, remember that eye shadows (like foundations) have undertones that you should also consider. “I would stick to cooler tones for eye shadow colors,” Figueroa says. “Anything too warm or green will clash and not compliment gray hair.”

It’s not just hues; finish matters too. The experts say when it comes to applying makeup on mature skin, stick to matte shades that bring out the eyes. “I love using a shimmer in the inner corner of the eyes, keeping the lids matte, and using light shades to bring out the brow bone and center of the eye,” Figueroa notes.

Ahead, see our expert-informed list of the best eye shadow colors for gray hair.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Target is a SheKnows sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale. 


Milani Gilded Mini Eyeshadow Palette



10% off

This Milani palette combines five rich, deeply pigmented brown shades in both matte and shimmery finishes. The tones run the gamut from warm to cool, light to dark so you’ll definitely find a shade that suits your skin tone. Plus they’re totally buildable. “This color pallet is perfect tor day tome snd night time. Very saturated!” wrote a fan.

COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers 4-Kit Eyeshadow Palette

There’s no shortage of good brown eyeshadow palettes out there, but it’s still hard to come across one that’s just $5. Thanks to this COVERGIRL palette, you can get four, silky-smooth, eye-enhancing shades of brown in one palette for just over $5. A must-have when you’re on a budget.

e.l.f. Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette Nude Mood

This palette by e.l.f. features 10 matte eyeshadows in shades that are perfect for everyday use. Play around with the darker brown shades to create a look that really makes your eyes pop (and doesn’t clash with your hair!).

Merit Solo Shadow Cream-to-Powder Soft Matte Eyeshadow

A high-impact brown is a secret weapon in your makeup mag: one swipe along the crease of your lid gives definition and makes your eyes pop. This cream-to-powder formulation by Merit in Midcentury — a warm brown — is the statement shade you’re looking for. It’s made for all-day wear and even has skincare ingredients like peptides to resist fine lines and chamomile to soothe puffiness. Customers love applying it with their fingertips.


Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Compact in Tease

Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are high pigmented, blendable, and long-lasting. We’re talking long-lasting to the point they seriously last all day. The cool taupe Tease is a great shade for gray hair, and offers an opaque, matte finish.

Lancome Drama Hypnose 5-Color Eyeshadow Palette

This Lancome palette in Taupe Craze offers a range of deeply pigmented taupes in a variety of matte and shimmery finishes, so you can go for a sheer look, build and add sparkly touches all with one handpicked color assortment. “Best colors, don’t hesitate,” one reviewer wrote of the taupe lineup. “Stays put all day and keeps its color,” attested another.

Chanel Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

If you’re going to have one taupe in your arsenal, make it Chanel’s longwear Ombre Premiere powder eyeshadow in Talpa, a medium-shade taupe. It’s the perfect base coat and beautifully buildable. “Here is a gorgeous taupe with a delicious satin finish. If you’re a taupe lover you don’t want to miss this one,” wrote one reviewer. “Additionally, this formula is compatible with mature eyelids. Easily lasts 8 hours on primed lids.”


Revlon ColorStay Day to Night Eyeshadow Quad in Gorgeous



22% off

Want a nice dark color that’ll really make your eyes pop? Consider the beautiful dark navy eyeshadow in Revlon’s Gorgeous eyeshadow quad. The palette has four shades in a mix of matte and pretty, shimmery finishes that you can totally play around with.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple

Navy is another suggested shade to add to your lineup if you have gray hair. There’s something about the contrast of your gray-toned hair paired with a deep blue hue that is a flawless match. This trio of blues creates an effortless smokey eye. We recommend blending all three, but we can’t take our eyes off the middle navy blue shadow.

Hourglass Curator Eye Shadow Singles in Navy

Shoppers love this navy hue because it’s “truly luxurious and customizable.” Even though this one is a refill to a larger palette, the color payoff is worth it. “This Hourglass eye shadow is beautiful and highly pigmented and stays longer, and applies very smoothly I like how you can just buy which color you want.”

Merit Solo Shadow in Midnight

Merit’s Solo Shadow in Midnight (classic navy) was designed to make a statement. It’s described as having a buildable, cream-to-shadow formula that you easily apply with a brush or fingers for a soft-matte finish. Per one shopper who bought (and loved!) the Midnight shade, “[It’s] one of the best cream eyeshadow that I tried. It is easy to us, and I prefer applying with the finger than with a brush blend. The eyeshadow is very pigment and does not crack during the day. The color lasts at least 6 to 7 hours tmost time I wear it.”


NARS Duo Eye Shadow



46% off

This eyeshadow duo from NARS will quickly become a favorite in your rotation. It has two silky shades: Iridescent seashell pink and iridescent violet smoke. The violet has plum undertones that make eyes stand out against your silver strands. These shades are more subtle plums.

Revlon ColorStay Day to Night Eyeshadow Quad in Exquisite



33% off

Revlon’s Day to Night eyeshadow quad is the brand’s number-one selling powder palette and features shadows that stay on for up to 24 hours. The Exquisite quad offers four plum-red shades for just $6, making it a great value. According to shoppers, these not only last, they look gorgeous on and are super smooth.

Natasha Denona Retro Eyeshadow Palette

If you’re looking for powerful plums that pack a punch, this palette by Natasha Denona is for you. It has 18 colors in total, and the plums range from pale Mod to deep Groove and mix mattes with shimmers. “The color scheme is sheer perfection,” wrote a happy customer.