Sunday, December 1, 2013

The 5 Eyeshadow Types You Need in Your Stash!

*This post contains products purchased by me as well as samples sent for consideration. 

The 5 Eyeshadow Types
You Need in Your Stash!

My favorite makeup product has to be eyeshadow. There are so many colors and textures to choose from. As an artist, there are endless looks you can create with eyeshadow. However, your average person does not need to buy a million eyeshadows. If you are new to wearing eyeshadow, or just someone who prefers to have the basics, I've put together a list of the five eyeshadow types I recommend. The actual colors, textures and brands you choose are up to you, and will differ depending on your skin tone and eye shape. However, this overall guide works well for most.

Here are my top five eyeshadow types:

1. Highlight: These shades work to bring light to areas of the eye such as the lid, inner corner or brow bone. 
2. Transition: These shades help create a smooth transition between your highlight and contour shades so that you achieve an even blend. 
3. Contour: A contour color helps define the eye and bring more depth to your look. It can be any dark shade, but for the purposes of this list I kept it to browns as a matte brown is the most versatile.  It is important to note that I strongly prefer my contour shades to be matte. This is the shade often used in the crease of the eye and the outer "V."
4. Shadows that work well solo: While any eyeshadow can be used on its own. There are certain shadows, that you can literally just apply to your lid and have it look completely done. I call these my "one and done" shadows. It's important to have one of these on hand for those days where you are pressed for time. 
5. Liner: I rarely use actual pencil eyeliner other than to tight line. I prefer to use a deeper eyeshadow on an angled or push liner brush for a softer look.  You can always dampen your brush for a more intense look.  Liner shades can be any texture depending on the desired look.

Highlight Shades: The proper highlight shade will definitely depend on what part of the eye you are highlighting as well as your skin tone. Some of my go-to shades are: pure white (for when I want a very strong highlight), a shade that matches my skin tone very closely, a shimmery white (for the inner corners of the eye), a peachy gold tone for deeper skin tones. 

 Above: Wet n Wild I Love Matte palette has a great pure matte white. 
I also love Sugarpill Tako (not pictured)

 Above: Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean is very close to my skin tone. Although it is technically a satin, it works well as an allover base for nearly all of my eyeshadow looks. This creamy beige has great payoff and the texture, like most shadows I've tried from this brand, is very creamy and smooth. I also often use NYX I Have a Headache or Arbonne Vanilla (not pictured) as a base. 

Above: Anastasia's Bold and Beautiful palette features 4 eyeshadow colors that work as a highlight, lid color, contour shade and liner. The bottom shade pictured above is an ivory with pink undertones.  I love this shade for fair, light and even medium skin tones as a highlight.

Above: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Photo Op Eyeshadow A031 Metropolitain Nights has a great shimmery white shade that can be used as a highlight for the inner corner of the eyes. I love using this when I want to do a "no makeup, makeup" look, but still want the inner corner of the eyes to appear open and more awake. The gold shade in this palette can work as a great highlight for deeper skin tones. 

Above: Flower Beauty Smoke and Mirrors has a great soft creamy beige in the lower left hand corner of the quad.  This is a good match for most light skin tones and works great as an allover wash from lash line to brow.

Above: Wet n Wild Comfort Zone brow bone shade in the top left corner is a beige  that applies like a satin/frost.  If you prefer a shimmery highlight, this is a good, budget friendly option. 

 Above: Physicians Formula Nude palette the second shade above is a lovely peachy gold shade. It's too dark to be used as a highlight on my skin tone, but would be beautiful on deeper skin tones. I use it on myself as a lid shade.

Above highlight shade swatches from left to right: Physicians Formula Nude palette, Wet N Wild Comfort Zone Brow Bone shade, Flower Beauty Smoke and Mirrors, Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage, Anastasia Bold and Beautiful, Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean, Wet n Wild Matte White Brow Bone shade
Transition Shades: These shades (also known as a mid tone shade) help blend your contour shade into your highlight shade.  You typically want something a couple of shades deeper than your skin color. I strongly prefer for my transition shade to be matte. One of my favorite brushes for applying a transition shade is the Bdellium Tools Pink Bambu Tapered Blending 785. I've rounded up some medium matte brown shades that I like to use for this purpose. You will want to consider your skin tone as well as the look you are trying to create to determine if you want a warm brown, a cool brown or a taupe. 

Above from left to right: Matte Taupe from NYX Nude on Nude palette, Illamasqua Heroine, Makeup Geek Creme Brulee, NYX Blame it on Midnight, Too Faced Chinchilla, Too Faced Tufted Suede (which can be used as an all over base shade or transition shade depending on your skin tone), NYX Tryst is a great choice if you prefer a cooler tone (not pictured)
Contour Shades: Also known as the "crease color" this doesn't have to be brown.  This can be any color of the rainbow, but I strongly prefer a matte formula. This shade is used in the crease as well as the outer corner and often under the lower lash line. I've selected some of my favorite darker brown shades as they will work with most eyeshadow looks. 

Above from left to right: Wet n Wild I Love Matte palette dark brown crease shade, Flower Beauty Foxy Browns quad, Arbonne Java (sample), Makeup Geek Mocha, Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear

Shadows that work well solo: Everyone should have that one shadow in their stash that works well solo. The shadow you can just blend on your lid and go without any further fuss. For this shade, I generally prefer a shimmer or satin, something to highlight the eye. The color I use will often depend on the time of season, what I'm wearing, or the mood I'm in!  

Above from left to right: Makeup Geek Prom Night, Makeup Geek Glamorous, Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma, The Balm Jet Setting Jennifer, The Balm All About Alex (my favorite for Fall), Wet n Wild eyelid color from the Walking on Eggshells Trio

Liner: I frequently use eyeshadow as liner. It just creates a softer look, especially for daytime. Some shadows, such as the ones from The Balm are intended to be used as both a shadow and a liner. However, if you dampen an angled brush, or push liner brush, almost any dark, well pigmented shade will work. 

Above from left to right: Too Faced Matte Eye palette London Fog, Off Black shade in upper right of NYX Nude on Nude palette, The Balm Caught in The Act Courtney, The Balm Risque Renee, Makeup Geek Corrupt (the blackest shadow on the market), Sugarpill Bulletproof (not pictured)
 I hope you enjoyed this look at the top 5 eyeshadow types you need in your stash!  What shadows are your must haves?  Please share in the comments below. 
*This post contains both products purchased by me and samples sent for consideration. This in no way alters my opinion. I do not get paid to write reviews.  All opinions are my own. 


  1. Thank you, this was incredibly informative for a beginner such as myself.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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