In the world of makeup, eye shadow is a heavy hitter, adding anything from a subtle shade to intense glamour to your look. Don’t know much about eye shadow? Don’t worry! Market America | SHOP.COM guides you through eye shadow types and finishes and even tells you what shades to use and where. By the time you’re done, you’ll be an eye shadow pro! First things, first. Let’s go through the various types of eyeshadows available.
Pressed powder shadows are the most common type available, made from pigment mixed with binding agents and pressed solid. It’s easy to apply with a brush, sponge or even a finger, making it great for makeup novices. It’s also good for building up layers of color on the eye and blends easily. The dry powder makes it a great option for those with oilier skin types, but keep in mind that the color can tend to rub off.
Cream eye shadows are moist when applied but dry to a powder. They may come in small jars or tubes, or a more solid stick or crayon form. They provide thick, solid coverage and can be used alone or as a base for a powder. A sponge-tip applicator or finger works best for applying this type of shadow, though some come in tubes that can be applied directly to the eye. The creamy formula makes it good for those with dry skin and it boasts better staying power than powders, though creasing can be a danger.
Loose powders don’t include binding agents and aren’t pressed, so they maintain a powdery consistency. Powders provide many color and texture options but they are generally more difficult to work with and can be messier to apply. It’s best to apply an eye base or primer before loose powder, which will help it adhere, and brushes work best for application. Loose powders are very versatile — many can be applied wet for more intense color and they can be mixed into other products such as blushes, highlighters and even lip colors to achieve a desired color.
Liquid eye shadows are less common but can be a good way to deliver intense color, especially in metallic or sparkle finishes. They usually come in small tubes with applicator wands, similar to lip gloss, and are applied wet but dry quickly. Liquids are often touted for their staying power though, like creams, they may crease easily.
Which Shades Go Where?
Eye shadow often comes in duos, trios, quads or palettes. Not sure what the different shades are for? If the shades aren’t marked, here’s a general rule of thumb:
1. Brow: Use the lightest shade on the area between the crease of your eyelid and the bottom of your eyebrow.
2. Lid: Use the next lightest shade on the main part of your eyelid.
3. Crease: Use a darker shade along the crease of your eyelid.
4. Outer corner: Use the darkest shade on the outer corner of your eye, creating a V shape.
Do I Need an Eye Base or Primer?
Eye bases or primers can be applied to the lid and brow before eye shadow application. These products can even out your skin tone, helping the shades you apply look brighter and closer to the way they do in the palette. They also prevent the color from creasing, smudging or rubbing off. A good base or primer is a must, especially when using powder shadows.
What’s the Finish?
Sometimes confused with the eye shadow type, the finish actually refers to an eye shadow’s coverage and the way it reflects light. Terms for different finishes often vary by brand but here are a few of the most common finishes and what they mean.
Matte: Matte eye shadows have high pigment content with no glitter or shine. This means they don’t reflect light and are true to the color they appear in the palette.
Satin: Referring to the sheen and texture of the fabric, a satin finish has only a slight sheen and comes between a matte and a frost on the spectrum.
Frost/Pearl: This finish has an iridescent shine that reflects light, making it good for highlighting. This finish usually has a white or silver sheen to it.
Metallic: A metallic finish has an intense sheen in metal shades like gold, silver, copper and bronze. It is usually best achieved with cream or liquid shadows.
Shimmer: This finish has sheer coverage with a subtle sparkle, making it good for adding some twinkle to your favorite matte shade.
Luster: A luster finish has a similar sheen to a frost but includes fine glitter particles that give it an intense sparkle.
Glitter: Made entirely of glitter particles, a glitter finish provides ultimate sparkle. It usually comes in powder form and requires a tacky base to adhere to.
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