Product Series: Eyeshadows

by Sarah

Apparently it’s been a hot minute since my last Product Series post, so we better get back on track with none other than: Eyeshadows!

Eyeshadow is probably the most asked about (and feared) step in the makeup process. Application aside, with so many different brands, colors and textures available, it can get quite daunting to even know where to begin. So, today, we’ll delve into different types of eyeshadows including some of my tried and tested favorites…

Product Series: Eyeshadows


Back in the day, eyeshadows were typically in good old powder form. Mainly containing talc and minerals, it was pretty much the only option available. Of course with technology advancing, there are now so many different finishes and textures to choose from.


The “finish” of a makeup product refers to the affect it leaves on the skin after application. With eyeshadows, there are generally 3 different finishes. Matte (which is flat color with no shimmer, shine or glitter), Satin (which is not flat matte but also not shimmery – an in between sheen) and Shimmer (as the name suggests, contains light reflecting particles or glitter).

I picked 3 similar colors in the 3 different finishes to show you how it affects color and overall look. Excuse my dry hands in the swatch pic below – I’m in the process of bringing them back to life after Hawaiian sun caught me off guard on couple of occasions – my bad.

Eyeshadow Finishes

Different eyeshadow finishes: Matte, Satin, Shimmer

Each finish obviously gives a different affect to the look. While matte shadows are favored for more subdued looks, satin or shimmer shadows add dimension. A good balance of different finishes can make a world of difference to eye makeup so experiment with different finishes to see what works for you.


“Texture” of a product refers to the consistency and the way it feels to the touch, depending on the ingredients it contains. There are typically 3 different eyeshadow textures: Powder, Cream and Powder/Cream Hybrids.

***Click the product pictures below to view color range and/or Purchase***


Powder eyeshadows are probably still the most favored texture as they’re the easiest to blend for a seamless application. Whether you go for a matte, satin or shimmer finish, powder eyeshadows have definitely come a long way in terms of color payoff, longevity and overall quality. Below are some of my all time favorite powder eyeshadow brands (singles) which tick all the boxes:

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MAC Eyeshadow / Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow / Makeup Forever Artist Shadow / Makeup Geek Eyeshadow / Urban Decay Eyeshadow

Favorite Powder Eyeshadow Palettes and Quads

I’m a huge fan of eyeshadow palettes and quads, especially if they feature a good balance of different finishes so I can create countless looks, (particularly when I’m travelling), without having to lug around too many individual products. These are the select few I absolutely adore and they’re worth every cent:

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Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar / Tarte Showstopper / Tom Ford Quad / Charlotte Tilbury Quad / Lorac Pro Original

*Usually I’ll include drugstore alternatives too but in all honesty, in terms of “powder” eyeshadows, I’m yet to fall in love with a drugstore option. Though some BH Cosmetics, NYX and Milani eyeshadows are pretty impressive, consistency varies between colors.


Cream eyeshadows are a convenient one-step-application which not only make great primer/base to intensify powder eyeshadows but also provide amazing color payoff and longevity.

With a smooth and buttery texture, cream eyeshadows glide on beautifully, either used as all over color or even as liners. Cream shadows have also eliminated the age old rule of “mature skin should stay away from shimmery eyeshadows to prevent highlighting fine lines and wrinkles” as they’re not as drying as their powder counterparts and stay put once they set. Cream eyeshadows either come in pots or my personal favorite which is a chubby pencil form: DS = Drugstore

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Nudestix Eyeshadow Sticks / Clinique Jumbo Shadow / Makeup Forever Aqua Shadow / Charlotte Tilbury Cream Shadow / Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow (DS) / Maybelline Color Tattoo (DS)


Silky smooth texture, bit squishy to the touch, not dry like powder, definitely not full cream consistency, these hybrid eyeshadows pack a punch in terms of color like no other. Although other brands had this type of texture in the past, Colourpop Cosmetics really brought them into the limelight with their amazing range of colors and finishes. Check out my extensive review of SuperShock shadows here

I love hybrid eyeshadows as they provide intense color with a simple swipe, they’re long wearing and the shimmer shades sparkle so beautifully that it demands attention. Better applied with fingers (and blended out with brushes), I have quite a collection of the following brands and highly recommend them:

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Colourpop SuperShock Shadow / Loreal Infallible Eyeshadow (DS) / Chanel Illusion D’Ombre / Chosungah Jello Palette

We’re definitely spoilt for variety when it comes to eyeshadows so it really depends on your personal preference of what you’re comfortable with and what works best for you.

Don’t be afraid to play with different finishes and colors as stepping out of our comfort zones usually end up with a discovery of new-found favorite looks and products :)

What’s your favorite eyeshadow texture/brand/color/palette?

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Megz September 5, 2016 - 2:38 pm

Hello, stumbled across your blog via Google, very well done! Could you please tell me which peachy-beige eyeshadows are used in the matte/satin/shimmer comparison pic? I’m kind of obsessed with that color! (I know, kind of a boring shade to fixate on! XD)

Sarah September 6, 2016 - 6:36 am

Hi Megz! Welcome to the blog! All three shadows are Colourpop Super Shock Shadows. The matte one is Kaepop Wilshire, satin one is Desert and shimmer one is Amaze. I’m totally obsessed with these type of colors too so I totally get you :) Please let me know if you have any other questions :)

Nikki April 7, 2016 - 9:15 am

Hi Sarah! I bought the showstopper palette after your review and makeup tutorial and I use it all the time. I’m looking to invest in another palette and trust your recommendations. Between the Lorac Pro and Chocolate Bar, which one would you recommend? Thank you for another great post (:

Sarah April 7, 2016 - 2:24 pm

Hi Nikki, to be honest, I love both Lorac Pro and Chocolate Bar palettes. Lorac Pro is a bit more versatile because it has equal number of matte and shimmer shades and there’s some different colors in there like a Slate Gray and purple tones. Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar palette also has a mix of matte and shimmer colors but they’re quite warm in tone overall. Really depends on the color variety you’re after but seeing as you already have the Tarte Showstopper which has warm shades, maybe go with Lorac Pro ;)

Kathy April 7, 2016 - 8:34 am

Can I just say your posts are! Seriously, I don’t know any other beauty blog which covers everything there is to know. Love!!

Sarah April 7, 2016 - 2:20 pm

Thank you Kathy! xx

pattibeth April 6, 2016 - 1:48 pm

Very informative article on eye shadows. My skin looks best in matte and satin … I don’t use shimmer.

My favorites … because of a nice variety of nudes and pink and lavender, are the

Stila palette, NYX palette, NYX primal color, NYX single eyeshadow and NYX cream shadow in a tube.

in these colors:

not so nude, Love in Paris Let Them Eat Cake and Adorable, HOT PINK, EPIC, all NYX cream shadow colors are gorgeous and have staying power.

Last, but not least, is the Revolution eye shadow palette in Romantic Smoked

thanks as always, for demystifying the eye shadow topic!

Sarah April 7, 2016 - 5:00 am

Hi Patti, you have a great collection there. I hear a lot about Revolution products but haven’t had a chance to test them out yet. Must look into it.
Thank you for sharing your favorites! :)


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