8-10 Minutes reading time
In this post I’m talking about some of my favourite eyeshadow primers, cream shadows and palettes, along with some application tips.
Eyeshadow is such a vast topic that it’s really difficult to narrow it down to just one post; in fact it’s the ultimate multi slice topic because there is so much that can be done with eyeshadows. Keep on reading for some light product reviews and recommendations, and application tips to make your eyeshadow game stronger and work for you.
The Slice: Eyeshadow part 1 – Products to buy and apply
March Makeup Month continues with a potentially mammoth post… eyes/eyeshadow.
Please remember that I’m trying to make this blog accessible for the every day person, and so am not going incredibly in depth into each individual section. I still have a large number of posts to make up the rest of March Makeup Month, so this post is a run down of some of the best products for the everyday person, based on my amateur makeup artistry and personal experience. If there’s anything more that you would like to see discussed more in depth or more product recommendations for a particular look, then please comment below after reading this post. This will be part 1, the recommendations, and I will be continuing with tools and tutorials in part 2 soon (as I did with the Foundation Slices). But for now…
Yes, I know I did a post all about primer already, but I intentionally excluded eye priming from the post because I always forget to prime my lids at the same time as priming my face or applying foundation or concealer. I am consistently inconsistent when it comes to eye priming.
Like the rest of my T-zone, my lids are oily usually halfway through my day. I am forever envious of anyone who can put foundation on their lids to take away the discolouration and to act as their primer – what luck! I have tried several different types of eye primer – high and low end – and always come back to the same two. If you are a person who wears very little shadow or who has no need for primer because your eyelids are infuriatingly perfect, then feel free to move on to the next part of the post. If you, however, have eyeshadow longevity issues then one of these might help:
Urban Decay Primer Potion – £17.99 from Debenhams
Like most adolescent girls I was given an UD giftset at too young an age to appreciate it, and then when I was older I found I still had a Primer Potion sitting in my dressing table drawer that was severely out of date. Now I am forever indebted to the Primer Potion Goddesses at UD for this product. If you’ve ever purchased a UD palette before you might have also been lucky enough to get the samples of their other primer potions – Minor Sin, Eden and Anti-aging. Whichever option you choose; these primer potions work wonders depending on your need and for providing a lasting base for a flawless eyeshadow finish.
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – Painterly – £16.00 from MAC
I use the shade Painterly because it’s a shade very similar to my natural lid (if my natural lid wasn’t a lovely hue of mottled veiny pinkness). Painterly is a nude beige colour with a slight pink undertone, which is why it suits my skin. Other common colours you’ll see used as primer are Soft Ochre (yellow toned) , Camel Coat (slightly darker, muted beige) and sometimes Bare Study (soft beige with gold pearl).
The paint pots are incredibly long wearing, highly pigmented and have a thicker consistency than the Primer Potion. A definite recommend for those that have very oily lids – but be careful not to use too much of the product. I apply a light layer with my ring finger because of the thickness and I can feel where the product needs to be blended when using my finger, but you can also use a brush if you prefer a thicker coverage.
For a person who is always on the go a well pigmented, blendable and long lasting cream shadow is the perfect makeup bag accompaniment, and there are so many types available right now. If you find a really good quality cream shadow, you won’t even need a brush to blend – your fingertips can do the work for you!
The above primers can work as a cream shadow in the right circumstance; perhaps not the Original UD Primer Potion as it blends to an invisible colour, but Eden and Minor Sin have enough pigmentation to act as shadows alone. Similarly the MAC Paint Pots come in all different colours, my favourite shadow colour is Groundwork.
Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Gel Eyeshadow – £4.99 at Boots or Superdrug
I must have tried at least every colour of these badboys, and my favourites are On and On Bronze, Metallic Pomegranate and Pink Gold.
The Leather Matte effect colours are suggested dupes of the MAC Paint Pots (in particular: On an On Bronze dupes for Indianwood, Creme de Rose dupes for Painterly, Creamy Beige dupes for Groundwork and Creme de Nude dupes for Soft Ochre. Just google any one and you will see hundreds of posts and swatches comparing. I, too, have done the comparison of my beloved Painterly, but personally I still prefer painterly.
These shadows, though, are great for swiping on in a rush and blending out with your fore, ring or baby finger to provide a subtle blended shadow effect. The On and On Bronze is perfect if you’re still not over the Olsen twins smokey bronze eye looks, like me.
KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow – £6.90 from KIKO
Another amazing creamy, blendable product, but this time in stick form. KIKO might not be as accessible as Maybelline, but it’s definitely worth the shipping or popping in store when you’re near one to check out their range of cosmetics. Apply straight from the stick onto your eye and blend with fingers or a brush, and BAM you’re ready to go.
These types of eyeshadow sticks are everywhere at the moment, and another high street alternative is the Rosie for Autograph Cream Eyeshadow Stick (£12.50 from M&S) but the product didn’t settle on to my lids very well and became very patchy very quickly on my eyelids, and the same for the H&M Eyeshadow Pencil.
Now here’s where this post can become gargantuan. If you’ve reached this far then you’re probably someone who already knows a bit about makeup and, more specifically, the vast variety of powder shadows and palettes available on the market. I’m not here to try and sell you anything: I simply want to make life easier for those of you who don’t have the time, desire or money to test every type of eyeshadow.
Here are three of my favourite eyeshadow palettes that I go to on a daily basis. Being someone that has a full time job and loves an extra ten
thirty minutes in bed in the morning more than I like to rock a perfected eye look at work, I choose versatile palettes that give me a selection, but not overwhelming variety, of colours and eye looks to choose from depending on whether I washed my hair that morning. As my blog is aimed at the everyday person, I aiming to highlight the benefit of investing in a good quality, multi-use palette.
Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics – £24.00 from Debenhams and various other retailers
I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband who has bought me almost every single Naked palette that UD sells, because they’re an easy go-to gift and he doesn’t have to think hard about which ones I don’t have. He bought both the Basics 1 & 2 for Christmas one year because he forgot which one I asked for, and I squeezed him for being so wonderfully forgetful.
I do use Basics 1, but not nearly as often as Basics 2. I don’t know how many times I need to tell you that I am pale but I am really quite pale, which is why Basics 2 is the perfect tone for my skin. I use a either Skimp or Stark (or mix both) as my base colour and sometimes to highlight my brow bone, Frisk as my crease transition colour, Cover to darken the outer V and Undone for lightly lining close to the lash-line or darkening the outer V even more. I always, always, use Primal for my eyebrows as it’s the perfect ashy toned brown for my naturally dark brows.
This is a perfect neutral, mostly matte, eye palette, and is perfect if you go to the gym in the morning before work because of its compact size and good sized mirror. I can’t recommend this palette to you enough if you are a fan of choosing between barely there makeup or a daytime smokey eye and only having to use one palette.
Urban Decay NAKED 2 – £39.50 from Debenhams and various other retailers
Confusingly similar name to the previous recommendation, but the Naked 2 palette is my second go-to. It was difficult for me to choose between the Naked original palette and this, but I chose 2 because it was my first Naked palette purchase and it really is still my favourite. I use every shade in this palette, compared to some shades in the original and Naked 3 that I haven’t ever touched. Again, this is because of my skin tone and Naked 2 cool undertones suit my pale skin and green eyes more than the Naked original, but I would highly recommend either of these to anyone who is looking for something more than a drugstore palette.
I have a few MUA friends who really don’t like the colour payoff and quality of UD products, but personally I think for the everyday person who just wants to change up their eye look every now and then that you can’t go wrong with an UD palette. With 12 shadows the palette works out to just under £3.30 per shadow, which surely is what you’re happy paying for a single eyeshadow at the drugstore/pharmacy, so why not just invest in a larger palette? The double ended brushes that come with the palettes aren’t a terrible quality, so you’re getting even more bang for your buck (one for you there, Alex!). You’ve probably seen drugstore dupes of this palette rocking about, but I don’t think the quality is comparable at all to these, so if you are planning on purchasing then just invest that little bit extra for the real thing.
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Master Palette By Mario – Discontinued
Okay, so I feel like a bit of an asshole putting this here as it’s now discontinued BUT my purpose for including this palette in the recommendations is because the ABH quality is so. damned. good.
I have a few other high end palettes that I use when I’m feeling fancy (such as a lovely Chanel limited edition palette) but now I really understand the big deal about Anastasia Beverly Hills. These shadows make you think of the ultimate cliché eyeshadow buzzwords: buttery, soft, smooth, blendable, pigmented… basically they’re an eyeshadow lovers dream. For a quick and easy work appropriate look I either use Paris or Kim on my lid and blend out, sometimes using Lula or Isabel as a crease transition or lower lashline blend if I have the extra time. If you’re someone who likes makeup a lot and wants to spend £41 on a palette with some slightly more daring colours, then sign up to join the waitlist for the Modern Renaissance palette on Cult Beauty where you’ll find some very similar shades such as Warm Taupe, Raw Sienna and Antique Bronze.
Another eyeshadow game changer brand is Zoeva, with so many different palette colour ranges to choose from on Cult Beauty with an even better price point than Urban Decay (15 shadows for £28 – £1.90 per shadow?!). These palettes come highly recommended from beauty YouTubers and bloggers alike, so if you’re not convinced on an UD or ABH palette then maybe check one of these out if you’re willing to wait for the delivery.
This was another meaty slice here, so thank you for making it this far.
If there is one thing to takeaway here, I do think the use of a quick cream shadow or a multi tasking palette is invariably going to change how you get ready for your day. In the next post I’ll be talking tools and tutorials, again aimed more at perfecting your everyday look rather than the heavy night out smokey eye.