Explained: Eyeshadow Finishes + When To Use What

Get it right with this guide!

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Having trouble working with eyeshadows and their different finishes? Fret not, as we’ve put together this cheat sheet to various eyeshadow finishes, the best way to use them (and with which brush), as well as the skin type they pair best with.

Matte

As matte eyeshadows do not have shimmer or sheen reflecting off them, they’re great as a base. You’ll also want to use them to reshape, define and blend other eyeshadows as most matte finishes are highly pigmented.

Satin

Satin eyeshadows are between a matte and shimmer finish. They’re shinier than matte finishes, but never as reflective as shimmery shadows. This makes them perfect as a topper, or in the inner corner of your eyes and brow bone.

Velvet

Similar to a satin finish, the difference is it has a thicker consistency. Hence, velvet shadows set more smoothly, and feel soft and buttery.

Frost/Foil

Formulated with a slightly creamy texture and light-reflecting particles, this finish creates an icy and high-shine effect. Amazing for a glamorous, evening look! But, do make sure to prime and set your lids first to prevent creasing.

Metallic

This finish is meant to mimic the look of actual metals, thus it’s formulated with larger light-reflecting particles. We recommend applying it with your fingers, and then dusting off fallout with a brush. Lastly, touch up with loose setting powder.

Shimmer

If you love metallic or frost eyeshadow finishes, but need something more subtle for the day, shimmer finishes are your pick. Though sheer, they can be layered for a more vibrant look. They’re also more forgiving on mature skin, being less prone to fallout and creasing.

Glitter

Glitter eyeshadows, as the name implies, contain actual glitter particles to give you a more dramatic look. As fallout is a given, do work on your eyes first before applying foundation.

Cream/Stick

If you’re looking for a long-lasting and highly pigmented eyeshadow, go for one with a cream base. Lightweight with a skin-like feel, the one downside is they tend to crease on the lids. We suggest setting with loose powder when you’re done, while those with oily lids or mature skin should also prime before getting started.

Liquid

With a similar texture as cream finishes, liquid eyeshadows are nevertheless more intense and pigmented. Some liquid eyeshadows even dry matte without losing intensity of colour. Other reasons to try it: quick and easy to use.

 

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