Eyeshadow // Tag

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24 Sep

Hocus Pocus

MAC Hocus Pocus Eyeshadow x 8 Palette ($35.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a new, limited edition eight-pan palette that features four matte eyeshadows, one more satin-pearl shade, and three more sparkly shades (Pressed Pigments). The Pressed Pigment formula is an unusual addition to a pre-made MAC palette, but it is a formula that’s been released individually in the past and is supposed to have “sheer-to-moderate buildable coverage” that can be used wet or dry. The coverage ranged from sheer to medium and greater, depending on the shade, but they all had more translucent bases packed with larger flecks of glitter and sparkle.

The matte eyeshadows felt more velvety and seemed to have a bit of glide and slip to them, though they weren’t as consistent in application as I expected, and they weren’t as blendable as they should have been, which was also a surprising result based on the texture and the type of tones they are (if we were talking about a matte purple eyeshadow, I wouldn’t have been caught off-guard!).

After five attempts using this palette, I had the best luck dusting translucent powder onto my lid, letting that sit for a few minutes, and then using a thin layer of eyeshadow primer, but I would stay away from using it over bare skin or over a tacky/creamy base, as both seemed more likely to produce patchier results.

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MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow
MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow
MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow
MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow
MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow
MAC Lo and Behold Eyeshadow

Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold is a medium-dark, reddish brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was opaque in a single layer, while the texture was smooth, velvety, and blendable without being too firmly nor too loosely-pressed into the pan. It was the best-performing matte shade in the palette, yet it was one of the more vivid/deeper shades, so that was unexpected–normally darker mattes can be harder to blend out. This shade stayed on well for seven and a half hours before fading noticeably.

La-di-da

La-di-da is a light, peachy gold with sparkle that shifted from gold to pink. It had sheer to semi-sheer, buildable coverage applied dry and mostly opaque coverage when applied wet. The consistency was dense, firm without being too stiff (though I’d use a synthetic brush and push gently at the surface to dislodge pigment), and adhered well to bare skin with brushes as well as fingertips. There was slight fallout after eight hours of wear.

Blanche Cloud Nine

Blanche Cloud Nine is a muted, medium rosy mauve with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation in a single layer paired with a soft, velvety texture that was lightly powdery in the pan, but I didn’t have issues with fallout during application.

The first time I tried this shade, it did not apply evenly and left bald patches in places as I attempted to spread and blend out the product. The second time I used it, it was more forgiving and while it wasn’t effortless, it blended out without too much work. It seemed to perform similarly over MAC’s eyeshadow primer–better but not perfect–and the fourth time I used it on bare skin, it appeared slightly patchy as the matte powder darkened a bit in places. On me, it showed signs of fading after seven hours of wear.

Brownie Points

Brownie Points is a light-medium, pink-coral with warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic sheen. It had sheer coverage applied dry and mostly opaque coverage applied wet, and it had buildable pigmentation overall. The texture felt smooth, lightly emollient to the touch, and had good adherence to bare skin without fallout, though the pan itself seemed a little stiff. This shade didn’t have as many larger particles in it, so it also had better overall wear as it lasted for eight hours and I didn’t notice fallout over time.

Touch Wood

Touch Wood is a light-medium, taupe-brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color coverage in a single layer, which was buildable to full coverage with a second layer. The eyeshadow had a smooth, slightly firmer texture, and it didn’t feel as velvety (but it wasn’t prone to sheering out) as the other mattes in the palette. It applied fairly evenly and blended out decently, but it took more effort than ideal. It lasted well for seven and a half hours on me before I noticed some fading.

Lie Low

Lie Low is a light brown with moderate, warm undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had opaque pigmentation with a soft, lightly powdery texture that sheered out a bit when initially applied, even over an eyeshadow primer. The eyeshadow blended out well along the edges and was easy to use. It stayed on nicely for seven hours before fading noticeably.

All in All

All in All is a light, golden peach with warm, orange undertones and flecks of pale peach and gold sparkle and glitter. It had medium coverage applied dry and semi-sheer coverage applied wet, which was unusual, but I felt like using it with a dampened brush resulted in the product sliding around enough that it created sheerness instead.

The texture was smooth to the touch, lightly creamy with moderate slip. The eyeshadow applied evenly and was buildable from semi-sheer to semi-opaque coverage (two to three layers). It wore well for eight hours with some fallout over time.

Carbon-Copy

Carbon-Copy is a light pink with warmer undertones and a golden shimmer throughout. The texture was incredibly soft, smooth, and blendable to the touch, though slightly dusty to work with. The pigmentation was semi-opaque and buildable. It stayed on well for seven and a half hours before fading noticeably.

Credit: Source link

23 Sep

Learning how to apply shimmery eyeshadow is easier than you think!  Shimmery eyeshadows tend to have softer, more forgiving formulas that blend more readily. I’ve rounded up my go-to tips for working with shimmer and metallic eyeshadows from figuring out what method to start with, what brushes work better, and how to modify your technique to achieve the effect you desire.

Step 1: Choose Your Tool

Consider how you prefer to apply your shimmery eyeshadows before buying a particular formula.  These days, there are more formulations and shades releasing that are best with fingertips, which some have no problem using and others loathe to do so.  I know that for me, while patting a shimmer onto the center of the lid isn’t a hassle, while trying to maneuver color into my inner lid or outer lid with any semblance of precision is nearly impossible with my fingertips!

Other times, an eyeshadow might look its best when applied with a dampened brush (whether water or an adhesive spray, like MAC Fix+), and this is not always a step someone wants to bother with.  You’ll want to look for key phrases like “wet/dry” or “use fingertips for best pigmentation.”

How to Apply Shimmery & Metallic EyeshadowHow to Apply Shimmery & Metallic Eyeshadow
Marc Jacobs Beauty See-quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadows

Step 2: Choose the Effect

For greater pigmentation, you’ll want to use denser brushes for creamier formulas and press and gently push and pat the color into place.  The denser brush will do a better job picking up product and then give you greater precision and help with the pressure needed to pat, pack, and press the eyeshadow into place.  I gently pull and sweep in very small back-and-forth motions (like 1-2mm in range) as needed to disperse and spread the eyeshadow over the lid.

Intensify the sheen and shine using a dampened brush or applicator.  With most shimmery shades (true frosts and metallics; satins can depend), it doesn’t usually matter whether a dampened brush is used directly in the pan or not but it’s never a bad idea to pick up product first and then spritz the brush after.

By dampening the brush, it helps bind the eyesahdow better and yields a smoother, more metallic/reflective finish and can sometimes deepen the actual hue of the shade.  Your best bet would be to use an adhesive spray, like MAC Fix+, which dampens but also improves the hold, too.

For a sheerer effect, use a fluffy brush to blow out and diffuse the shimmer.  I know, I know, why did you buy a metallic eyeshadow if you didn’t want a metallic one?  It’s about getting the most out of your eyeshadow–just because it’s metallic doesn’t mean you can’t tamp it down a bit for a different look.  By using a less dense brush, you’ll get a softer result, including the shimmer, and you can get a wet-looking lid while you’re at it.

Fingertips also work well for applying a shimmery eyeshadow all over the lid, as the fingertip’s warmth helps to spread and really diffuse the edges for a one-and-done look.

Step 3: Fixing Common Problems

If you feel like the eyeshadow you’ve used is too metallic, try patting a matte eyeshadow on top to minimize the metallic or shimmery finish.  This can work with translucent powder, but I tend to prefer using a satin or matte shade in a similar hue lightly patted on, which doesn’t alter the base color too much but can tamp down a metallic eyeshadow that might be emphasizing my lid’s texture.

How to Apply Sparkly EyeshadowsHow to Apply Sparkly EyeshadowsHow to Apply Sparkly Eyeshadows
Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow

Smooth out the shimmer of a drier eyeshadow with a dampened brush or a fingertip.  Oh, that shimmer eyeshadow looked so pretty in the pan but on the lid it looks a little blah or almost dry or gritty on the lid instead of reflective and sparkling? It’s not too late–if you press lightly with a fingertip, it can help “melt” the product onto the lid or a lightly dampened brush (without any additional product) minimizes the dryness and can smooth the eyeshadow significantly.

You can even take a dampened brush (without additional product) and gently press and pat over the shimmery eyeshadow to help smooth it out for a more refined finish — this is especially useful if the shimmer emphasized lid texture!

Avoid fallout by using a tacky base or glitter glue/adhesive with sparkling and glittery eyeshadows.  Glitter formulations are getting better over time, but there are still quite a few variations out there that, while not as bad as before, can still have fallout over time and nobody wants glitter in the eye.

I use something like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy or Too Faced Glitter Glue, which both help quite a bit (the latter is better for a full-on glitter/sparkle product).  I keep glitter glues confined to the area I want glitter, because I find that other, more traditional eyeshadow bases/primers are easier to apply and blend product over than glitter glues.

For more tips and tricks on applying eyeshadow, check out this post!

Credit: Source link

22 Sep

Back to the basics: learn how to apply eyeshadow from someone who’s obsessed with it! Whether you’re an eye makeup beginner or a makeup pro, we’ll help you further your eyeshadow exploration–at least a little bit!

This is an expansion of our step-by-step smokey eye tutorial, which is more focused on where to apply eyeshadow and how to effectively create a look with it, while this post is more focused on how to get the most out of your eyeshadow based on formula as well as finish. You can view my favorite eyeshadow formulas here (along with all of my must-haves, in general).

Eyeshadow Application Prep

Experiment with bases, primers, and tools.  Some formulas work better with certain products but not others.  This doesn’t mean one should go out and buy additional product to make something work that isn’t working, but if you have a creamy primer and a drier primer, you might consider experimenting with what you have in your stash and seeing what performs better and when.  Similarly, a fluffy brush might work great with this shade but a denser brush might do better with another.  Sometimes fingertips really are the tool to use.

Eyeshadow primer usually works for intensifying pigmentation and improving longevity.  I might make the effort to test without, but in a normal existence, I’d always use primer because… all it does is take everything to the next level and give me the 110% confidence that everything will look good 12+ hours later.

In my experience, it’s not a gimmick at all.  A good eyeshadow, however, will still be quite pigmented and blendable without a primer–it will be the longevity that the primer will do the most lifting for.  My favorite primers are MAC’s Prep + Prime 24HR Eye, Smashbox’s 24HR, NARS Smudge Proof, and Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion.

Consider layering primers if you’re having difficulty with longevity or setting lids with powder.  Over the years, I have heard from many readers that laying down two primers is often the miracle solution for better wear, particularly on oily or more hooded lids.  The most common combination I’ve seen is using a creamier base, like a MAC Paint Pot, and a thinner, more silicone-based primer like Urban Decay Primer Potion.  You can also dust translucent powder all over the lid and let that work its magic for a few minutes, or you can pat on translucent powder to set the primer/base prior to eyeshadow application.

Tools of the Trade

Sponge-tip applicators work well for packing product on, and a clean one can be quite effective at softening crease shades, though brushes are often the “standard” you’ll see used in a slew of tutorials.

If you’re new to brushes, I recommend picking up a basic eyeshadow set and keep the price point under $30 and learning the shapes you like (and you may like what you already bought and not feel the need to upgrade or add to it!).  Brands like Real Techniques, Wet ‘n’ Wild, EcoTools, elf, and Sonia Kashuk all offer basic sets and are, generally, well-received by the community.

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Sonia G Pro Eye Brush Set

Here are the basic shapes that I find useful for eyeshadow application:

  1. shader brush (small-to-medium in size, flatter with a dome-shaped edge that’s slightly fluffy overall) for packing eyeshadow onto the lid and intensify pigmentation;
  2. a tapered, crease brush (I like having a smaller, more precise option and a medium-sized one for depositing and diffusing color into the crease and above the crease);
  3. a fluffy, blending brush (medium in size, less dense, fluffy for applying color to the brow bone and softening corners and edges);
  4. and a pencil brush (tapered or pointed, small, good for detail and precision work).

Please refer to my must-have makeup brushes for powder eyeshadows for some idea of shapes and styles.

Applying Your Eyeshadow

Decide what order you want to apply your eyeshadow beforehand, as this will help you select tools, determine placement, and help facilitate with blending.  Here are some common methods I like to use:

  • mattes before shimmers — this ensures that mattes stay closer to matte
  • lightest to darkest — this often ensures that lighter and mid-depth shades are more visible (and don’t get overwhelmed by darker shades)
  • darkest to lightest — if I want a deeper area to be larger or more intense, this can be the way to go
  • crease, then lid, then brow bone — I tend to work in the crease (often mattes), then diffuse upward and outward, and finally apply lid shades (typically shimmers)

Working with Powdery Eyeshadow – Step by Step

Pay attention to the type of formula you’re working with.  For powder eyeshadows, some formulas are so soft and silky but they can be very powdery, others are harder and stiffer but are more buildable.  You’ll want to adjust your technique and the order of your application (to some degree).

Here are some examples of more soft, more powdery formulations that I’ve tried: Anastasia Eyeshadows (particularly mattes, less so with shimmers), LORAC Eyeshadows (particularly the Pro palettes), Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyeshadows, and Too Faced Eyeshadows.

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Anastasia Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette
  1. Apply your eye makeup first, because it’s going to be difficult to completely escape some fallout, especially if you’re working with shades that contrast against your skin tone.  Why waste a bunch of time applying your base just to have to touch-up and redo it later? You might consider priming or prepping the skin but leaving complexion products for post-eye makeup if you need some prepping products to absorb and sink in!
  2. Use a softer touch as the powder is more yielding and plenty of product will get on your applicator (brush, sponge-tip applicator, fingertip, whatever) and a firmer touch will just kick up more excess product, which is messy and will waste the product.
  3. Use softer brushes, be careful with fluffy brushes as scratchier brushes can disturb the powder’s surface even more, which will dislodge more product than you’ll need for application; similarly, fluffy brushes tend to flare out more at the tip, which can pick up an excess amount of product and then apply too much with little precision.
  4. Tap off excess prior to applying to the eye area by lighting tapping the ferrule of the brush against your wrist or forearm; there’s no need to whack it against your wrist or the edge of the table, just a light tap is all you need.  If you’re using sponge-tipped applicators, this can be useful but the sponge tends to hold the excess powder better.
  5. Be careful using dampened tools or fingertips because more powdery eyeshadows often absorb natural oils and moisture and leave behind hardened surfaces, which will turn your ultra-soft eyeshadow into an eyeshadow brick.
  6. Pat and press the eyeshadow on for better color intensity, which will minimize how much product can get swept or diffused before you’re ready to blend.  This will also ensure that there’s a precise lay down of color as more powdery formulas can be harder to control.
  7. Blend with a clean brush or after you’ve already used your brush to apply most of the color, then use the mostly-clean brush to diffuse and blend out edges to minimize fallout, over-blending, and muddying. It also ensures that you don’t over-intensify any particular area, too!
  8. Use a smaller, more precise brush to intensify after blending.  If you’re fairly happy with the result you’re getting but want a lid color richer or the crease to be more defined, use a smaller brush to darken just the area you want to minimize having to go back and do additional blending.

Working with Firmer Eyeshadow – Step by Step

Firmer eyeshadow formulas are pressed more firmly into the pan, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but firmer eyeshadows require some modification of techniques and tools in order to get the most pigmentation and blendability out of them.  One upside is that firmer formulas tend to work best for building u p coverage and often don’t suffer from fallout.

Here are some examples of firmer, denser, and/or stiffer formulations that I’ve tried:  Make Up For Ever Artist Color Shadows, MAC Eyeshadows, and NARS Eyeshadows.  Most metallic shades these days tend to be denser/creamier and/or thicker, so some of this section would apply to shimmery shades from these formulas as well:  MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows, NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow, and Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadow.

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MAC Art Library Palettes
  1. Use a heavier hand because the surface of the pan is stiffer and firmer, so there’s little fear of picking up too much product on a brush, and depending on just how firm or stiff the formula is, it may range from moderate pressure to heavy pressure.
  2. Push and lightly jab at the pan with the edge of a brush when you want to get more pigment.  I prefer a pushing technique over a swirling or sweeping technique when picking up my powder eyeshadows in general (but I’m all about that ~pigment~), where I a flat, shader brush (like a MAC 239) and use the tip of the brush and gently push the pan a few times to dislodge product, and then I pick it up with more of the brush’s surface area so that I can pat it onto the lid.
  3. Use flatter, denser brushes with creamier and more silicone-based powder eyeshadow formulas.  These types of brushes are often synthetic eye brushes that are marketed for cream and liquid usage, but they tend to do well with these denser (but creamier, not too stiff) formulas–like heavily shimmered, more metallic eyeshadows.  I find brushes like MAC’s 242 work well, but I’m also a huge fan of Smith’s 253, which is a natural option.
  4. Build up intensity to avoid having a nightmare of a time blending out a stiffer eyeshadow, because often, the firmer and stiffer the eyeshadow, the more strongly it adheres to the lid and less blendable it is.  What I like to do, particularly with richer or darker hues, is to apply in layers, gradually building color intensity so that it is strongest exactly where I want it and I simply don’t layer on as much on areas that I want it to be more diffused or blended.  It ends up looking more blended without actually blending it out as a result.
  5. Use a scratchier brush for blending out edges.  This is why the softness of a brush isn’t always the most important feature!  Sometimes, you’ll want a slightly scratchier, rougher brush (this is not to say it should be painful or irritating; e.g. squirrel hair is far softer than goat but goat is still soft yet blends more efficiently), which will move the eyeshadow more efficiently.   The longer spent blending, the higher risk one has of muddying everything in the end.
  6. Use similarly-hued, lighter shade to help blend and diffuse edges.  If all else fails, I’ll take another eyeshadow (hopefully one that’s a bit less stiff!) and layering it just above the harsher edge I want to blend and then pull that lighter shade down and use it to diffuse and soften the edge without lightening the original shade too much.  Be careful using more white-based shades as it can cause some deeper shades (especially when working with matte eyeshadows) to turn gray.
  7. Use a firmer touch when blending out the eyeshadow.  You’ll likely want to use more circular motions or more pulling along the edge, which will move the pigment a little more than more gentle, sweeping motions.  Sometimes I find that using my shader brush (like the MAC 239) and that edge is more effective than a softer, tapered crease brush (like Hakuhodo J142) because it does a better job of pulling the pigment up and out.
  8. Apply matte eyeshadows prior to creamier, denser metallic eyeshadows.  I find that some creamier, denser metallic eyeshadows do not blend that well with matte eyeshadows, which are often a little thinner and more powdery, so I will apply the matte eyeshadow first and then gently pull the metallic shade over the edge of the matte.  This seems to help minimize the need to try and make the two textures (which are different in thickness) meet and blend.

More Eyeshadow Application Tips

Start with less pressure and gradually increase pressure as needed to blend out the eyeshadow.  Something that I see (and personally did) when starting out was that I was a lot more vigorous with applying product to my eyes (and face, actually), when I really didn’t need to be tugging or pulling on my lid space as much.  In fact, learning to use less pressure is a skill.  Try holding your applicator further away (hold a brush handle toward the end rather than near the ferrule or brush head) as this will naturally yield a softer pressure on the skin.

Blend less than you think you’ll need.  You can always blend more, but once you’ve over-blended, it can be difficult to get the intensity and contrast back.  This is particularly true if you use a magnifying mirror to apply your eye makeup, because you’re already looking at your eye so close-up and magnified that it’ll often look more and more blended from a “normal viewing distance” (e.g. looking in a normal mirror or when someone stands in front of you).

Also, keep in mind the look and effect your going for — did you want a seamless blend of neutrals where it’s such a subtle gradient that “muddy” is almost a good thing or are you trying to showcase multiple, more contrasting shades?

Always step back and admire your work by looking at your eye makeup in a regular mirror (not a magnifying one) and also from a step back, which is how most people will be seeing your makeup!  This helps to ensure evenness, intensity, shape, and blending.

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simplehuman Sensor Pro Mirror

Experiment with shapes and placement.  Just because such and such style works for one person doesn’t mean you’ll find it works or looks “right” to your eye — sometimes that can be that you’re not used to seeing yourself in that style of makeup and other times it’s that another placement or modified placement will be more “flattering” to your eye.

I recommend taking some time to play around and trying a few typical eyeshadow placements to see what you like best.  Don’t be afraid to do less or more steps.  There’s nothing wrong with using one or two or 20 eyeshadows; it’s makeup, it’s your face, and it should be fun.

Practice blending colors together with shades from related families first.  If you’re struggling with blending colors together, try blending like with like; this doesn’t mean a light beige and dark beige but more like a gold and a copper or a soft brown and a deep brown or pink and plum.

You want enough contrast between the two shades that as you blend the two together, you create a third, more mid-tone shade between the two of them; this will help you gauge if you’re blending efficiently.  If the two shades are too close together, they can get lost easily if you’re just learning.

Credit: Source link

19 Sep

Whatever

Colour Pop Whatever 12-Pan Pressed Powder Shadow Palette ($18.00 for 0.36 oz.) is new release for fall, which features seven matte eyeshadows, one cream eyeshadow, three shimmer eyeshadows, and one glitter (which isn’t intended to be used on the eyes). The mattes performed well; I feel like ColourPop has tweaked their matte formula slightly, as they’ve been feeling a little more velvety and smoother overall in the last palettes I’ve tried from them.

The three traditional shimmer shades were good, though TTYN seemed to have a little too much slip but was quite workable. Tardy, the Super Shock Shadow, should work fine for anyone who likes more of a topper/layering shade, as its big downside was lack of coverage.  Overall, the eyeshadows performed consistently with their formulas; they were pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing.

Whatever Palette Comparisons

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Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow
Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow
Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow
Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow
Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow
Colour Pop Tardy Pressed Powder Shadow

Tardy

Tardy is a light, yellow gold with moderate, warm undertones and a sparkling sheen. It had more medium coverage that was buildable to semi-opaque coverage, but it worked better as a wash of color all over the lid, as a high-shine brow bone highlight, or to brighten the inner tear duct area.

The consistency was creamy, smooth, and thin, so it felt more powder-like–as the formula does–when applied to the skin but initially felt more emollient, and you could press on the pan and see the product move. This shade stayed on well for 10 hours without creasing or having fallout on me.

Pink Slip

Pink Slip is a muted, light brown with warmer, yellower undertones paired with a matte finish. The texture felt soft, velvety, and smooth to the touch, which resulted in even, blendable application. It had opaque color payoff that lasted beautifully for eight hours before fading a bit.

Maybe Later

Maybe Later is a brighter pop of reddish-orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had good pigmentation but needed a half of a layer more on top for full coverage. The texture was soft, a little dusty in the pan, but it applied evenly, built up easily, and blended out without issue. This shade wore well for eight hours on me before starting to fade visibly.

Copy Cat

Copy Cat is a muted, peachy-orange with strong, warm golden undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was nearly opaque in a single layer, which applied evenly and blended out easily along the edges. The texture was soft, velvety, and smooth to the touch with a touch of powderiness in the pan. It stayed on well for eight hours on me before I noticed signs of fading.

Pass It On

Pass It On is a muted, medium-dark orange with warm, brownish undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had nearly full color coverage, which applied evenly and smoothly on my skin, while the pigmentation built up to full coverage with a second layer. The texture was soft, smooth, and velvety without being powdery or prone to fallout. This shade lasted nicely for eight hours on me before there was visible fading.

Bad Guy

Bad Guy is a deep red with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had rich color coverage in a single layer, which applied evenly to bare skin and blended out easily along the edges without the rest of the application losing coverage or intensity.

The consistency felt soft, lightly dusty in the pan, but it wasn’t prone to fallout during application. I’d recommend using a lighter hand initially and adding more pressure as necessary, as the pigmentation stretched out a lot. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading noticeably.

Duh

Duh is a pale gold glitter with a mix of particle sizes and depths; the smaller glitter particles seemed to be closer to white gold with some shift, while the larger hexagon-shaped glitter seemed to be more of a straightforward yellow gold. The glitter was suspended in a translucent base, so it was not fully opaque, which was on par with the formula.

The more emollient texture helped to keep most of the glitter together and ensured better-than-average adhesion to skin, but there can be light fallout depending on application method, blending, and time worn. As a cheek highlighter, there was half a dozen or so particles (per cheek) that traveled within an eight-hour wear time.

Please keep in mind that this product is not for use on the eye area; see this warning for more information. I, along with others, sound like broken records, but it would be great if ColourPop would keep their Pressed Glitters out of the eyeshadow palettes!

Not OK

Not OK is a rich, golden copper with strong, warm undertones and a lightly sparkled, metallic finish. The color coverage was opaque in a single layer, which applied smoothly and evenly on my lid. The consistency was lightly creamy, not too dense nor too loosely-pressed in the pan, so it was easy to work with, blended out easily, and didn’t have issues with fall out. It lasted well for eight hours before creasing slightly on me.

Ditchin’ U

Ditchin’ U is a bright, medium copper with strong, warm orange undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It had a creamier, smooth texture that felt almost like a cream-to-powder formula based on the amount of slip present in the pan.

A single application of the eyeshadow yielded opaque color payoff in one go, which adhered evenly to bare skin and blended out fairly well along the edges. I’ve noticed that the more emollient (but powder!) formulas can show some translucency when they’re spread out along an area, which this one did a bit. I like using flat, synthetic brushes for application and subtle diffusing to minimize unnecessary movement. This shade stayed on nicely for eight and a half hours with slight fallout over time.

In Bold

In Bold is a medium brown with subtle, warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had barley-there multi-colored shimmer over a more matte finish, so it functioned like a matte would in practice as it was hard to see any shimmering effect in person.

The texture was soft, thin without being too dry or difficult to blend out, and sat well on bare skin. It had opaque color coverage in a single layer, which lasted well for eight hours before showing signs of fading.

TTYN

TTYN is a medium-dark copper with warm, rusty red undertones and a metallic sheen. The texture felt more emollient, almost too slippery, and it worked better with flat, synthetic brushes or fingertips to ensure even coverage. Fluffier brushes seemed to push the product out a little too much, which created unevenness. It had opaque pigmentation that stayed on well for eight hours before creasing slightly on me.

Ms. Brightside

Ms. Brightside is a meidum-dark, reddish-burgundy with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color coverage achieved in one layer, and the eyeshadow adhered evenly to bare skin and blended out with little effort along the edges. The texture was soft, a smidgen on the drier side, but it didn’t seem to impact the application or wear. It stayed on well for eight and a half hours on me before I noticed some fading.

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19 Sep

I know how critical it is to know how to apply and blend out your eyeshadow like a pro, and it can be a real challenge to balance blending to get seamless transitions between shades without losing definition (which results in muddied colors). Whether you’re working with eight eyeshadows (like me!) or just one, blending is an important step to practice.  We’re sharing our tried and true tips on how to blend your eyeshadow for seamless looks.

You can also check out our guide on how to apply eyeshadow for more advanced and in-depth help on working with all types of eyeshadow products.

A few key takeaways:  always look at your eye makeup from a “normal” distance, not just up close; practice, practice, practice; and pick tools that fit your eye shape and size.

The Parts of the Eye – A Story Told via Diagram!

Here’s a helpful diagram that labels some of the common areas of the eye when it comes to applying makeup.  Generally, people apply more shimmery eyeshadows on the inner corner to outer lid/corner area with more matte shades in the deep crease/crease area.  Some use more shimmery shades on the brow bone (to highlight) or soften the crease area, but these could also be matte or satin in finish.

A good starting point is going from light-to-dark on inner to outer lid and applying the darkest shade in the crease/deep crease and going lighter up to the brow bone.  Check out our in-depth step-by-step of where to apply eyeshadow post for more information!

If you have a tip, don’t forget to share it in the comments below!

Where to Apply Eyeshadow

How to Blend Your Eyeshadow Like a Pro

Apply your eyeshadow in sheerer layers and build up coverage as desired.  It is always easier to blend out less product than to blend out a giant patch of intense black eyeshadow in the crease!

For eyeshadows that aren’t going to be blended as much (like an all-over lid shade), the layering isn’t as important, but for applying shades into the crease or when working with darker shades, building up coverage ensures a more even application that requires less blending.

This is because you can apply a sheerer layer over a larger area and then go back to build up coverage just where you need it, giving you a more gradual edge to start with.

Step-by-step: How to Blend

Gently pull your brush from one color to the next.  I like to gently pull my brush and then gently pull it the opposite direction to blend two shades together, but I work precisely where the two meet.  I like to gently blend a lighter, shimmery shade over a darker shade as this ensures the lighter shade doesn’t get overwhelmed by something richer.

For matte eyeshadows, I like placing lighter shades first and then gradually increasing intensity or depth exactly where and when I need it.

Use sweeping motions to distribute color evenly in the crease area.  I like to take a tapered crease brush, like the Hakuhodo J142, and place it where I want the most color, and then I gently sweep the brush outward (toward the area I’d want the least intensity) and then back and forth a few times.

How to Prevent Eyeshadow Fallout

Apply your eye makeup before your base.  This is critical when working with more powdery or fallout-prone formulas, and if you’re a beginner at blending, it’s a good way to start so that you can easily clean-up along the edges, start over, or remove fallout without destroying all the base makeup you’ve applied.

Tap off excess product prior to applying it to the eye area.  Sometimes an eyeshadow is more powdery and other times you’ve just picked up too much product on your brush/applicator.  By gently tapping the tool against your wrist or forearm, you can loosen excess product that might have just resulted in fallout during application.

How to Fix Muddy Eyeshadow

Blend to create a seamless gradient but not to the point of muddying everything together.  You’ll want to blend a little less than you think you need, then look at your eye makeup from a normal distance (e.g. not in a magnifying mirror or close-up, how someone would actually see you!), and then go back and blend just in the areas that need it.  It’s easier to blend a little more than it is to undo overblending.

Blend with clean brushes.  A cleaner brush, whether it’s been wiped gently on a microfiber towel or a Color Switch, reduces the chance of your colors getting muddy when blended.

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Sonia G Pro Eye Brush Set

Best Brushes for Blending Eyeshadow

Softer brushes aren’t always better.  You certainly don’t want a brush that feels rough or painful on the eye area, but softer brushes are less efficient at blending out products, particularly stiffer or thinner eyeshadow formulas.  Having a brush that’s soft enough to be comfortable to use but not silky-soft often works better for blending out powder eyeshadows.

A tapered, moderately dense crease brush does well for depositing and blending color into the crease area.  You’ll find tapered crease brushes are popular, and it’s a traditional shape; the key is to find the right size for your eye shape and makeup application style.  There are skinnier, narrower ones; feathery and denser ones; rounded and more tapered.  The smaller the brush or the more densely-packed it is, the more precise and more pigment it may apply in a single area.

The more feathery, less-packed the brush is, or the more rounded or fluffy the edge, the less precise and more diffusing the brush will be.  Here are some recommendations:  Hakuhodo J142, Wayne Brush 19, Wayne Goss Brush 17.

A fluffy, blending brush works well for–you guessed it–blending out eyeshadow.  I like this type of brush for applying product to the brow bone as well as for blending out the edges of the crease/transition area.  These are brushes like Hakuhod J5523, Zoeva 225, or Wayne Goss 18.

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17 Sep

Exes and Oh’s

Colour Pop Exes and Oh’s 12-Pan Pressed Powder Shadow Palette ($16.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new, Ulta-exclusive palette that features muted tones of red- and orange-toned neutrals in both shimmery and matte finish. For anyone who likes to wear these types of tones, it should be an easy palette to work with as the majority of the eyeshadows were pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing. A few of the mattes needed to be built up slightly for full coverage, while shimmers like Know Better just work best as layering shades or washes rather than standalone shades (there was no description from the brand that implied it was supposed to be sheer, though).

Know Better

Know Better is a pale pink with warmer undertones and flecks of silvery pink and gold sparkle. It had more of a transparent base, so it worked better as a layering shade patted on top of another eyeshadow for some shimmer or to add glitz to the inner tearduct. It could also be applied all-over the lid as a wash of sparkle. The texture was smooth, lightly emollient but blendable and had very little fallout when applied to my skin, though there was a bit of diffusion when I blended out the edge. It stayed on nicely for eight and a half hours with light fallout over time.

Stay Golden

Stay Golden is a brighter, muted red with warmer undertones and a matte finish. It had good color coverage that needed half of a layer built on top for full pigmentation. The texture was soft, a little drier and dustier in the pan, but it applied evenly and blended out well, though I had slight fallout during application. It lasted well for eight and a half hours and left a faint stain after removal.

Hooky

Hooky is a medium brown with muted, warm undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had rich pigmentation that adhered evenly to bare skin in a single layer. The texture was soft, blendable, and had enough substance to work well without a primer as it didn’t sheer out too readily but still blended along the edge. It wore well for eight hours before showing signs of fading.

20 Something

20 Something is a bright, peachy gold with warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It was more loosely-pressed in the pan, so there was some fallout during application, but the overall consistency was creamier and more silicone-heavy, which helped most of the sparkles to adhere to my lid. It had opaque pigmentation that stayed on well for eight hours with light fallout over time.

Issues #2

Issues #2 is a light-medium, yellowed peach with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color coverage that was buildable to full coverage with a second layer. The texture was soft with moderate powderiness, so there was some excess product kicked up in the pan and a touch of fallout during application if I wasn’t careful. This shade lasted well for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Reckless

Reckless is a deep plum with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color coverage that needed less than half of a layer built on top for full coverage. The consistency was soft, velvety, and substantial, but it remained blendable along the edge with a touch of fallout during application. It wore nicely for eight and a half hours before I noticed some fading.

Rookie

Rookie is a bright, medium copper with stronger, warm undertones and flecks of multi-colored shimmer and sparkle throughout. It had a cream-like feel–very smooth and emollient–but it applied with excellent pigmentation in a single layer and all of that sparkle adhered well and didn’t give me trouble with fallout during application. This shade stayed on well for nine hours with a smidgen of fallout over time.

Fortunate

Fortunate is a light-medium, reddish-brown with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. There was barely-there shimmer throughout but not enough to meaningfully change the finish from visually matte on the eye. It had opaque pigmentation with a soft, velvety consistency that was blendable and not prone to sheering out on my skin. It lasted nicely for eight hours before fading noticeably.

Realness

Realness is a muted, medium-dark brown with warm, rusty undertones and a matte finish. It had a slightly powdery texture, so there was some excess product that was kicked up in the pan, but I didn’t notice any issues with fallout during application. The eyeshadow had opaque color coverage that applied evenly and blended out easily along the edges. It wore well for eight and a half hours before showing signs of fading.

Easy Go

Easy Go is a medium-dark red with warm undertones and a satin sheen. It was richly pigmented with a smooth, slightly firmer texture, though it wasn’t stiff to work with. The eyeshadow applied well to bare skin and blended out nicely along the edges. It stayed on well for eight hours before fading a bit.

Side Tracked

Side Tracked is a light-medium brown with warmer undertones and flecks of gold micro-sparkle over a matte finish. The texture was soft, somewhat powdery, but it seemed to be confined to the pan as I didn’t have issues with fallout or the product sheering out too readily on my skin. It had opaque pigmentation that lasted nicely for eight hours before starting to fade.

Smitten

Smitten is a medium red with subtle, warmer undertones and cooler pink shimmer that gave it a pearly sheen. It had good color coverage, but it had a more silicone-heavy–but very thin–feel that made it harder to apply without the product moving around, so the overall application was uneven on my skin. It wore decently for seven and a half hours before creasing on me.

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17 Sep

Whether you need your eyeshadow to last all day because you’re working hard or playing hard, these tips and tricks should help extend the wear of your eye makeup.  The key takeaways from this how-to are:  your skin type (on your eyes) is the most impactful and eyeshadow primers aren’t a waste of money.  Frankly, I’m impressed when people forego eyeshadow primer, just because it’s one of the few beauty “extras” that I really feel is well-worth the end results (even for a good eyeshadow, it just makes application more reliable).

Eyeshadow Base vs. Eyeshadow Primer

An eyeshadow base is really just whatever is applied prior to the eyeshadow–a primer really could be a base, but in the beauty community, an eyeshadow base is often something that is not technically marketed as an eyeshadow primer.  It could be a cream eyeshadow or concealer.  If you’re looking for how to make your eyeshadow more vibrant or more pigmented, an eyeshadow base is often the top helper–a white eyeshadow base will make your eyeshadow pop!

Why would you use an eyeshadow base instead of an eyeshadow primer?  A colored cream eyeshadow can often intensify colors wore on the lid, or it can bring out the shifts in more duochrome-finish eyeshadows (particularly over darker bases, like a black cream eyeshadow).  Concealer is also used frequently for cut-crease looks where concealer is applied on top of an area, applied with precision, and then additional eyeshadow is placed on top of the concealer.

An eyeshadow primer typically extends wear, improves blendability and pigmentation, but it doesn’t alter the depth, finish, or actual color of the shades applied on top as they are usually translucent/clear.  Modern offerings, though, have resulted in colored eyeshadow primers, too, often flesh-toned for those who need help minimizing discoloration, unevenness, and pigmentation on the lid.

Eyeshadow primers are good for making your eyeshadow more pigmented and your eyeshadow more vibrant, but more translucent eyeshadow primers may not be enough depending on how sheer or powdery the eyeshadow that you’re working with is.

Use an Eyeshadow Primer to Make Eye Makeup Last Longer

Apply eyeshadow primer to lid and crease area.  I’d also recommend applying it as far up as the brow bone.  You’ll want to apply a thin, even layer–use less rather than more–and fingertips work well for quick, all-over application.

Eye primer can be applied beyond the lid!  You can apply eyeshadow primer underneath the lower lash line (especially useful when using eyeshadow or pencil eyeliner on the lower lash line), on the brow bone, and even just beyond the eye area to minimize the chance of smudging, migration, and the like.

Set creamier/tackier eyeshadow primers with a flesh-toned eyeshadow or translucent powder.  In my experience, this sometimes work well and sometimes doesn’t work well, so I’d recommend experimenting and seeing how this trick performs for the products you own and how you normally apply your eye makeup.

The idea is that setting creamier bases helps to lock in the base while giving a smooth canvas for your eyeshadow to apply to.  Sometimes creamier/tackier primers can make blending more troublesome, especially with thinner formulations in deeper hues, so by dusting a base eyeshadow all-over, it helps ensure blending will be easy.

Layer your eyeshadow primers.  Over the years, I’ve seen readers who have oilier lids recommend layering up–a popular combination is a MAC Paint Pot with Urban Decay Primer Potion–and that will give them extended wear that’s bulletproof.

What Eyeshadow Primer to Pick and When

Silicone-based primers work well for most powder eyeshadows.  These are thin, more velvety eyeshadow primers that tend to feel dry and “set” on the lid as soon as they’re applied.  I find that most formulas work well with these types of primers, but some individuals can experience silicone-based eyeshadow primers drying their lids out.  (If that happens to you, then you’ll want to look for something less silicone-heavy or without silicones and see if that is better for your skin.)

I do not find that these types of primers require setting powder or a base eyeshadow patted all over (in my experience, that tends to result in more muted, washed out color and less grip).

Tacky primers work well for drier, more powdery eyeshadow formulas.  Creamier, wetter formulas–like a MAC Paint Pot–can hold more powdery formulas particularly well as they absorb some of the excess without it getting all over your face.  The creamier bases and primers can work well on drier lids, too, because they won’t emphasize texture as much.

Use a glitter adhesive or extremely tacky eyeshadow primer for glitter/sparkle eyeshadows.  Unless it’s a cream-based glittery eyeshadow, you’re likely going to need a really strong adhesive base/primer to minimize fallout over time and improve adhesion/evenness of your sparkly favorite.

 

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16 Sep

Celestial Storm

Dominique Cosmetics Celestial Storm Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00 for 0.63 oz.) is a new palette for fall that features several pops of color paired with orange, copper, and taupe to ground them. I enjoyed the color story quite a bit personally, and I liked how the left side was “cooler” and the right side was “warmer,” so the color groupings made sense visually, which made it easier to visualize how to use the palette.

The mattes were lovely–dense, substantial, pigmented, and blendable–and with primer underneath, they’d really sing. The shimmers ranged from dismal (hello, Stargaze) to good, but they didn’t reach the heights of past palettes by the brand as they all seemed to be a bit more firmly-pressed in the pan and felt thinner, less cream-like.

Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment
Dominique Cosmetics Electric Amethyst Pressed Pigment

Electric Amethyst

Electric Amethyst is a rich, fuchsia pink with cool, bluish undertones and flecks of violet and pink shimmer and micro-sparkle. It appeared purple in the pan but definitely was a fuchsia shade in practice. It had a firmer, denser consistency, though it seemed to soften slightly after repeated use. The product had opaque color coverage applied dry as well as wet. It wore nicely for eight and a half hours on me before creasing slightly.

Stargaze

Stargaze is a blackened, bluish-teal with cool undertones and a frosted finish. The texture was very firm, stiff, and dry to the touch, which made it a real beast to work with. It was a case of “one of these things isn’t like the others,” and the eyeshadow felt so out of place in the palette because of how stiff it was and how poor it worked/applied. With the black base, it was hard to use it as a topper because so little product transferred from the pan to brush or fingertip (it actually applied the worst with fingertips as all the product stuck to my fingertip and nothing translated onto my lid!).

It did, in fact, have sheer coverage as described (this was the only “topper” shade described as sheer), and if used with a wet brush, it had more medium coverage. The edges just did not blend out, and it had a rough, textured look on my skin. The product stayed on decently for six and a half hours on me.

Eternal Light

Eternal Light is a light, peachy beige with warm, golden undertones paired with a sparkling, metallic finish. It had larger, silver micro-glitter throughout, so there was some fallout during application and later on during wear if it wasn’t applied with an adhesive spray or over a tacky base. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer, and I thought that the wet application would improve it, but it made it harder to apply it evenly. This shade lasted well for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Lucid Dream

Lucid Dream is a rich, deeper berry with strong, cool undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque pigmentation that applied evenly and blended out easily along the edges. The consistency felt velvety, smooth, and finely-milled without being too powdery nor was it too firmly pressed in the pan. The color wore nicely for nine hours and left a faint stain behind after being removed.

Storm Dust

Storm Dust is a deep brown with warm, red-orange undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation was opaque in a single pass, while the texture was smooth, velvety, and just a touch powdery in the pan. It applied well to bare skin with an even lay down of color that blended out easily along the edges but retained its opacity and depth where I wanted it to. The color lasted well for eight and a half hours before I noticed slight fading.

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse is a muted, medium-dark orange with moderate, warm undertones and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had a smooth, velvety texture that was a smidgen powdery in the pan but applied beautifully with even, opaque coverage that didn’t sheer out too readily. It blended out easily along the edges and stayed in place well for eight and a half hours before fading visibly.

Astrid Lust

Astrid Lust is a bright, purple-berry with cooler undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque pigmentation in a single layer, which built up to full coverage with less than half of a layer more. The consistency was soft, velvety, and substantial without being too densely-pressed in the pan nor was it prone to powderiness to sheering out on my skin. The color went on evenly and blended out nicely along the edges. It wore well for nine hours before fading, and it left a stain behind after removal.

Mystic Ice

Mystic Ice is a medium teal with cool undertones and a matte finish. The texture was slightly powdery in the pan, and it sheered out a touch during application but would be better over a primer. Otherwise, the eyeshadow had a smooth, velvety, more substantial feel that wasn’t prone to fallout and blended out without too much effort. I did find this shade was more challenging to work with compared to the other mattes in the palette, though. It stayed on well for eight hours before fading a bit.

Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity is a light-medium, grayish taupe with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation but had a moderately powdery texture, so while it felt silky and soft to the touch, it had some fallout and was prone to sheering out a bit on my skin. It lasted nicely for eight hours on me before showing signs of fading.

Black Matter

Black Matter is blackened purple base with lighter pink and purple shimmer throughout. The texture was denser, smooth to the touch, but it yielded well enough that picking it up with a brush wasn’t a challenge. It had opaque pigmentation applied dry as well as wet, though the wet application yielded a more shimmery finish. This shade wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading visibly.

Solstice

Solstice is a light, peachy copper with warmer, golden undertones and flecks of peach and pink sparkle. It had semi-sheer coverage applied dry and more opaque coverage when applied with a wet brush. There were a few shades in the palette referred to as toppers, but only one of the shades was described as sheer (so on the flip side, the rest should not be sheer)–and it wasn’t this one.

It had a more sparkly texture, though it didn’t feel gritty, and for as sparkly as this shade was, I didn’t have much fallout, though there was some. It applied best with fingertips or a dampened brush, which helped the product to adhere more evenly and minimized fallout. This shade lasted well for eight hours on me but had slight fallout over time.

Fireball

Fireball is a brighter, medium copper with warm, orange undertones and flecks of pink to copper shifting shimmer. It had opaque pigmentation applied dry as well as wet, but in order to get the depth of the shade as viewed in the pan, the eyeshadow needed to be applied with a wet brush. The texture was soft, smooth, and picked up well with a brush. It lasted well for eight hours on me before I noticed signs of wear.

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15 Sep

Metropolis

Natasha Denona Metropolis 28-Pan Midi Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.35 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette with an assortment of shimmers and mattes from pale, shimmering peach to murky olive green to inky blue.  There are enough shades and differences in finishes/depths that the palette is versatile and workable on its own, though I caught myself wanting some cooler-toned shades (even if not strictly cool-toned… but other than orange/brown for transition and crease shades) to avoid doing a similar look.

It contains “midi”-sized shades (0.048 oz. each) so that the palette itself is the same physical size as the full-sized, 15-pan palettes are. I love that the brand has been moving in this direction, as for consumers, the full-size tends to be far more product than an individual can use up in a reasonable length of time. The original 28-pan palettes (with full-sized pans) are $230 a pop, so this is a great departure. It’s still expensive for a palette, but I think this is a better balance of total cost vs. product weight.

The overall quality of the palette is there, and I think that from a quality standpoint, some of these are the best that the brand has released. Most shades were richly pigmented, while any that deviated were still medium to semi-opaque and buildable in coverage.  They were easy to apply, blendable, and long-wearing (eight to 10 hours) with a few shades having minimal to moderate fallout. Just swatching through it, I thought it might be one of the best palettes from the brand, and after working through all of the shades, it is up there.

Let’s Talk Cream-Powders

First and foremost, the majority of the matte eyeshadows in the palette are in the Cream-Powder finish/formula, so they’re more of a hybrid between cream and powder eyeshadows–more emollient with light to moderate creaminess (deeper shades seemed to have more slip), never powdery, have a denser, firmer feel to them, and tend to sit more smoothly on the skin.

The downside to Cream-Powders is that they can take a bit longer to blend or may not build up as easily (without some movement) as true powders. In the past, I’ve been a fan of the Cream-Powder formula, though I know it has not been a favorite for everyone. The ones included in the palette seemed to be more yielding, less firmly pressed, and they were easier to work with on the whole. Aside from the deeper hues, just working with them (not touching the pans), I don’t know that I would have known they were a Cream-Powder hybrid. I also have seen any “hard pan” develop over time (and I have gone and used my fingertips to swatch a few half a dozen times each just to see!).

Aside from a few shades, I actually didn’t find them to work that differently for me in practice; I still used typical eye brushes and didn’t have to opt for flatter shapes or synthetics (like you might for a true cream eyeshadow). I was able to use fluffier, more feathery crease brushes and apply and diffuse shades in my crease just as I would a normal powder eyeshadow. The finish is more forgiving if you have minor dryness or flakiness on the lids compared to powder.

Dupes Within Dupes?

There were a few instances where the overlap between shades felt unnecessary. I reorganized the palette via our Color Stories tool, and it made it more apparent where the overlap existed.

Shades like Fuse, Rust, Blaze, and Penny were grouped together (make sure to view the original swatches at their full-size resolution, which does show the differences better); they differed tonally leaning more golden or more orange/red or they were more metallic or more sparkling, but they felt far too similar to be included in a single palette to me.

This was true with Chrism and Stain, where Chrism was slightly more golden/yellower and lighter compared to Stain but so close that it did not seem necessary to have both in the palette.  It would have made a little more sense if they were different finishes, but they were both Cream-Powders.

Tonally, Enigma (cooler, bluer) and Symbol (warmer, more teal) (see comparison) differed visually on the eye, but I think that Symbol could have been lighter and brighter, between the depth of Jubilee and Enigma, so that it added more versatility to the palette.

Of course, if you have a few of Natasha Denona’s palettes, there are plenty of dupes between this and past releases (see individual dupe lists below).

Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow
Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow
Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow
Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow
Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow
Natasha Denona Rust (249M) Metallic Eye Shadow

Rust (249M)

Rust (249M) is a deep copper with warm, rusty (ha!) undertones and a sparkling finish. It had opaque pigmentation in one layer, which applied evenly and smoothly to bare skin, but there was slight fallout during application. The consistency was smooth to the touch, creamy without being too dense or thick in the pan, and remained blendable on my lid. It wore well nine hours before creasing faintly on my lid.

Troop (250CP)

Troop (250CP) is a medium, olive green with warm undertones and a matte finish. The eyesahdow had rich color coverage that adhered well to bare skin and blended out with ease along the edges without the product losing its intensity. The texture was smooth, more firmly-packed in the pan but not too dense that it became stiff to work with. I had no trouble picking up product and applying with regular brushes/techniques (like I would for powder eyeshadow) despite it having a Cream-Powder finish. This shade lasted well for nine and a half hours before fading visibly on my lid.

Orium (251DC)

Orium (251DC) is a bright, medium gold with strong, warmer copper undertones and cooler, green-gold shimmer and sparkle paired with a very reflective, high-shine metallic finish. The texture felt cream-like, so it was dense enough to hold all of the sparkly bits with the rest of the product for very minimal fallout during application (used dry with a brush!).

It had opaque pigmentation that adhered evenly and blended out with ease, but some of the sparkle did diffuse a little too readily so I’d recommend using smaller brushes to ensure precision. It stayed on nicely for nine hours before I noticed a bit of creasing and a smidgen of fallout over time.

Shield (252M)

Shield (252M) is a soft, olive green with warm, muted undertones and a pearly sheen. It was intensely pigmented with a smooth, creamy texture that felt luxurious but never felt too emollient or looked too thick on my lid. The eyeshadow applied evenly and looked “melted” against my skin, so it was shiny without being overtly shimmery. It wore well for nine hours on me before fading a bit.

Ripe (253CM)

Ripe (253CM) is a rich copper with warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It had excellent color coverage in a single layer, which applied evenly and blended out nicely along the edges on my lid. The consistency was smooth, velvety and more substantial so there was minimal powderiness in the pan. It lasted well for nine hours before showing signs of fading on my lid.

Stain (254CP)

Stain (254CP) is a medium orange with warm undertones (balanced between red and yellow) and a matte finish. The eyeshadow had opaque pigmentation that applied well to bare skin with a smooth, even lay down of product that sat well–it almost looked “melted” after the initial application. It had a smooth consistency that had light slip but never felt too emollient or wet, so while it was a Cream-Powder, it was really easy to work with and pick up with even fluffy brushes. It stayed on nicely for nine and a half hours before I saw light fading.

Mace (255M)

Mace (255M) is a medium, rosy bronze with warm undertones and a metallic finish. The texture was smooth, creamy without being too dense or emollient, and blendable on my skin. It had rich pigmentation that went on evenly and wore well for nine hours before creasing slightly on me.

Rope (256CM)

Rope (256CM) is a light, golden brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff in one pass, which was easily built up to full coverage with less than half of a layer on top. The texture was soft, lightly powdery in the pan, but it was blendable and diffused well on my skin without losing its intensity. It lasted well for eight and a half hours on me before fading a bit.

Fuse (257M)

Fuse (257M) is a rich, molten gold with strong, warm undertones and a metallic finish with faint sparkle on top. I’m not sure why it doesn’t look as smooth swatched on my arm as it did on my eye, but it actually went on very smoothly with a bright, reflective finish but still held its richer overall depth, so it wasn’t quite as similar to other golds by the brand. The eyeshadow felt lightly creamy, soft and yielding but not prone to excess kicked up in the pan. It had opaque color coverage in a single pass, which stayed on nicely for nine hours before creasing slightly.

Lethal (258CP)

Lethal (258CP) is a brighter, yellowy chartreuse with warmer, olive undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff in one pass, though it needed a second layer to build up to full coverage. The eyeshadow felt dense, smooth, and more firmly-pressed in the pan, but it picked up well with a brush and diffused effortlessly along the edge–it was easier to blend than most mattes (even ones that I’d consider to be quite blendable!). It wore well nine and a half hours before fading visibly.

Penny (259M)

Penny (259M) is a medium-dark copper with warm, brown undertones and lighter, brighter gold sparkle throughout its metallic finish. The eyeshadow had rich pigmentation that adhered evenly and smoothly to bare skin with light fallout during application. The texture was dense without being too firmly pressed into the pan, and it had enough creaminess to keep most of the sparkles embedded with the rest of the product. It lasted well for nine hours with slight fallout over time.

Chrism (260CP)

Chrism (260CP) is a light-medium orange with warm, slightly yellower-leaning undertones and a matte finish. It had a smooth, moderately dense texture that had a touch less slip–felt a bit heavier on the Powder than the Cream portion–but still sat exceptionally well on bare skin with a smooth, even lay down of color. The opaque coverage stayed on well for nine hours before fading noticeably on me.

Aqueous (261M)

Aqueous (261M) is a medium-dark blue with subtle, cool undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. This applied best by patting and pressing it onto the lid and then gently pulling it across to spread out the coverage, as it minimized fallout but also gave it the pressure necessary to smooth it out from the get-go. The consistency was creamy with moderate slip–it could have been a Cream-Powder really!–but very rich in pigment and had excellent 10-hour wear before creasing a touch.

Queen (262M)

Queen (262M) is a pale peach with strong, warm golden undertones and flecks of pink and gold micro-sparkle over a metallic finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that applied evenly to bare skin but had a touch of fallout if I wasn’t careful with my initial placement. The eyeshadow built up coverage with a second layer and blended out nicely along the edges. It lasted well for nine hours before I noticed some fading.

Blaze (263K)

Blaze (263K) is a bright, golden copper with warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer, which applied evenly and smoothly to bare skin–it seemed to “melt” slightly after a couple of minutes.

There was light to moderate fallout depending on how much product and how patient I was with application, but even with care, there was a light amount, so I’d recommend doing eyes first or using a dampened brush or fingertip for application to further minimize (beyond taking more care). It stayed on nicely for nine hours before creasing on me but didn’t seem to have ongoing fallout issues.

Noble (264M)

Noble (264M) is a golden taupe with warm, brown undertones and dirty, olive overtones paired with a smooth, pearly sheen. The eyeshadow was intensely pigmented with a creamy, rich consistency that felt like silk but didn’t have so much slip that it became hard to use with brushes. It wore well nine hours on me before there was slight creasing.

Imperia (265M)

Imperia (265M) is a deep gold with moderate, warmer undertones and a metallic finish. It was a “cooler” gold compared to the typical gold, which tends to lean more orange, but this didn’t lean green enough to be “cool” to my eye. It had an incredibly smooth, cream-like texture that held together beautifully, so it applied evenly with opaque coverage but no fallout. It lasted well for 10 hours before creasing slightly on me.

Royal (266CP)

Royal (266CP) is a deep, almost grass-like, green with subtle, warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. The eyeshadow had rich color payoff that adhered well to bare skin and blended out with little effort. It swatched and appeared lighter than it did in the pan, which was as expected based on its finish. The texture was smooth to the touch, emollient but not too slippery, and definitely felt like a hybrid of cream and powder. It stayed on nicely for nine and a half hours before creasing slightly on me.

Crest (267M)

Crest (267M) is a muted, medium-dark copper with warm, orange undertones and flecks of gold micro-sparkle over a more frosted finish. It had good color coverage, but it needed a second layer or to be applied with a dampened brush for full coverage. The texture was soft and blendable, but there was a bit of dryness to it so there was a touch of fallout during application. It wore well eight and a half hours before fading noticeably on my eye.

Enigma (268CP)

Enigma (268CP) is a deep, inky blue with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color payoff that built up to mostly opaque coverage, but I felt like there was always a bit of translucency there. It was such a deep, yet vibrant, shade that I felt like the missing opacity was hard to see in person (especially when paired with other shades). The consistency was creamy, emollient, and thin, and it felt more emollient than most of the other Cream-Powders in the palette.

I was able to apply with typical brushes and didn’t have to modify my tools or technique, but it was a little harder to blend out compared to other shades in the palette. I also felt like it worked best applied without primer, and I’d apply this first and then layer more traditional powders on top of it, though it was certainly workable in reverse. It lasted nicely for 10 hours on me before I noticed creasing.

Pure (269CP)

Pure (269CP) is a light-medium, rosy brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. This shade had excellent color payoff that applied evenly and blended out almost effortlessly. The texture felt smooth to the touch, creamy without being too emollient, and it melted onto my skin for a particularly flattering finish. It stayed on beautifully for 10 hours before fading visibly.

Azoic (270CP)

Azoic (270CP) is a light, golden brown with strong, warm yellow undertones and a matte finish. What I’ve noticed about the Cream-Powder finish is that it seems to add a richness to the shade when swatched, even though the actual color appears lighter than the pan (true of most cream-based products, whether eyeshadow or lipstick). The texture felt smooth, lightly emollient but picked up well with fluffy and dense brushes. It applied evenly and blended out beautifully with little effort. It wore nicely for nine and a half hours on me before creasing slightly.

Jubilee (271M)

Jubilee (271M) is a deep, emerald green with cool undertones and a subtle, metallic sheen. It had more finely-milled shimmer and more of a sheen than a more overtly shimmered or sparkly finish compared to most of the metallic finishes in the palette. The color payoff was opaque in one pass, which applied well to bare skin and remained blendable along the edges without losing depth. The texture was smooth to the touch, creamy without being too slippery, and easy to work with. It lasted beautifully for nine and a half hours on me before creasing noticeably.

Symbol (272CP)

Symbol (272CP) is a deep, bluish-teal with cool undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that was buildable to mostly opaque coverage, but I’ve found that these inkier, Cream-Powder shades retain some translucency–almost like a watercolor effect–when applied and blended out. The texture felt more emollient and leaned into the cream part of the formula a little more than most of the other Cream-Powder shades in the palette (but comparable to Enigma).

I worried it was going to be difficult to apply with regular brushes, but it actually picked up with even more feathery crease brushes and blended out without too much effort. I actually found blending to be easier with a fluffier brush but for the most intensity, a denser-packed brush (like a pencil brush) worked best. It stayed on well for 10 hours before creasing slightly on me.

Rhizome (273CM)

Rhizome (273CM) is a bright, tangerine orange with strong, warm yellow undertones and a matte finish. It was one of the few traditional powder matte shades in the palette, but it felt velvety and smooth without being powdery in the pan. The eyeshadow was nearly opaque in its pigmentation and adhered well to bare skin, while I had no trouble diffusing the edges. It wore well for nine hours before I noticed some fading.

Claret (274M)

Claret (274M) is a rich, medium-dark red with moderate, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. The eyeshadow had fantastic pigmentation in a single layer, which applied well to bare skin with a smooth, even application of color that was easy to blend out. The texture was smooth, lightly creamy, and yielding without being powdery, and I appreciated that it wasn’t so emollient that it became difficult to apply with brushes (without sliding around). It lasted well for nine hours before fading visibly on me.

Helena (275K)

Helena (275K) is a medium-dark coral with strong, warm orange undertones and flecks of pink and gold micro-sparkle. It had opaque color coverage that applied well to bare skin, as the eyeshadow went on evenly and blended out with ease but did not result in fallout or sheerness. The texture was smooth to the touch with moderate slip–it felt more silicone-like to me but was easy to work with. It stayed on well for nine hours before fading a bit.

Antique (276CP)

Antique (276CP) is a rich, medium-dark brown with warmer, reddish undertones and a matte finish. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer, which adhered evenly and smoothly to bare skin. The consistency felt lightly creamy in the pan, but it also had a more silicone-like slip to it, so I felt like it embodied the concept of Cream-Powder quite accurately. I had no trouble picking up product with even fluffier, crease brushes and applying and blending out the color on my skin. It wore well for nine hours before creasing slightly on me.

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12 Sep

Natasha Denona Metropolis Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.35 oz.) includes 28 eyeshadows housed in a “midi” format–so they’re smaller than the brand’s full-sized eyeshadows (0.078 oz.), but they’re by no means small (0.048 oz. each)–they’re nearly the size of a typical full-sized eyeshadow! The palette is limited edition and available exclusively at Sephora. Worth noting, most of the matte shades are the Cream-Powder formula, which feels updated and more comparable to Biba but possibly a bit creamier. Here are swatches of all 28 shades!

Natasha Denona Metropolis Eyeshadow Palette

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