Wednesday, 16 October 2013

#theSOproject: 08 Eyeshadows

I really don't know how it's week eight of #theSOproject already, but here we are! This week it's all about the eyeshadow! I have to say that when I was first getting into makeup, this was the stuff that really made me excited. I think that when it comes to the eyes you can get really creative, which makes it so much more fun! In fact, with the right tools you can even use your eyeshadow as an eyeliner or to fill in your brows. If you love eyeshadow like me, or if you have no clue what to expect then be sure to read on to get some of my top tips!

Eyeshadow can come in so many different types. You're most likely to think of the colourful powder that you apply to your eyelids, although today it comes in lots of other forms from cream shadows to super-intense pigments! You can buy shadows individually, or as a quad or even in a palette of up to more than 100 other shadows! With so many kinds out there, it can be a little overwhelming, so here's some eyeshadow terminology to help you.

  • Powder - This is your bog-standard eyeshadow. These are normally applied with a brush and, like the other textures, vary a lot in quality from brand to brand. Use a primer underneath to make powder last for longer and keep from 'creasing' (collecting in the crease of your eye).
  • Cream - The name pretty much says it all, but cream foundations can also be used to prep your eyelid which means that anything put on top of it before it dries (such as powder shadow) will stay put for even longer! Cream products can also be great for the summer months when you want your makeup to feel lighter and less cakey.
  • Pigment - This stuff is pretty intense and can cause a lot of fall-out. Definitely not ideal if you're in a rush, but if you really want to make an impression then you won't find anything more intense than this! Remember, to apply a pigment you'll also need a mixing medium.

The finish of your eyeshadow relates to the way that it's going to look on your skin. A lot of people define the finish of their shadow from the labels that Mac came up with, but I'm going to simplify it a little for you:
  • Matte - Matte shadows have no glitter or shimmer, and are likely to be more intensely pigmented. These are perfect for makeup that's going to be photographed as they will not reflect they light from the flash.
  • Glitter - Eyeshadows with glitter in are great for nights out and accents in your eye makeup, but they're not great for creating definition in the eye socket.
  • Satin - This finish falls somewhere in between glitter and matte. It doesn't have any particles of glitter, but it does have a pretty sheen to it.

How to Pick

For me, eyeshadow is something that I really enjoy collecting, so for me it's worth paying a little more and building up a really good quality collection. The good news, though, is that there are some great, inexpensive buys on the UK market meaning that you can have the best of both worlds!

When you're at a makeup counter, I would always recommend finding a tester product to swatch on your hand before you purchase. If the swatch doesn't come out the colour that you wanted, don't buy it - you'll only end up applying layer upon layer of shadow to try and reach the colour you want, which will be very frustrating and won't last. Great pigmentation doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Also keep in mind that certain colours will suit you more than others; I already spoke in my foundation post about warm and cool toned skin, well, that's also going to affect the colours that suit you best. Don't stress out though, this should be fun, so as a general rule of thumb...
  • Blue eyes - Blues, blue-y/greens and coppers will suit your eye colour best and really make them pop.
  • Brown Eyes - Browns, coppers and deep blue-y/greens will flatter your eye colour.
  • Green Eyes - Greens, browns and pinky purples look great on green eyes.
  • Hazel Eyes - Orangey tones, some warm greens and deep purple/pinks look gorgeous on hazel-eyed girls (or boys).
You're also going to need to think about whether you want to want to buy a single shadow, or a palette which will include more than one eyeshadow. Some brands even make customisable palettes so that you can put your favourite eyeshadows all in one place. I'll speak more about my personal favourites later, but Sleek and Coastal Scents are both great brands to look into for good quality, inexpensive eyeshadow palettes.

How to Apply

Before that eyeshadow reaches your eye, you're going to need to think about what sort of eyeshadow it is and how long you want it to last. With cream shadows you're pretty safe to pop them straight on with a brush/finger depending on how much precision you want, but for powders or pigments you may want to prep your eye first. This can be done either by purchasing a priming product such as the Urban Decay Priming Potion which is pretty much invisible, or something like a Mac Paint Pot in a nude colour which your shadow will cling to.

Once this is done, you're ready to start applying your eyeshadow. I would recommend doing this before your foundation as it makes it easier to clean up any fallout and you won't ruin the rest of your makeup. Of course you should be as creative as you like, but to create a simple, standard eye look you will need three colours:
  • Lid colour - This is usually the first colour I apply. I usually gently pat this onto the outer two thirds of my eye. A mid-toned colour of your choice will work best for this look, although texture and finish are up to you!
  • Crease Colour - This colour will be a few shades darker than your lid colour. The finish should also be matte, as this colour is going to be applied to the inner-most part of the eye crease to define the eye socket and add dimension. I like to use a tapered brush for this part and use tiny circular motions to apply the colour, and blend it out.
  • Highlight This is the colour that I apply to the inner third of my eye as well as the tear duct area. If you want a real pop then pigment can be great fun to use here - just remember that it should be at least a couple of shades lighter than your lid colour. This colour can also be applied to the brow bone to make it stand out a little more.
Of course you can use more or fewer colours than this in your eyeshadow look, but just remember that blending is the key to making a good eye makeup look great! Different brushes also work best with different textures and functions, but I'll talk more about this in week ten when I talk about beauty tools (if you can't wait, then check out my post on my favourite brushes).

Tried and Tested

Here's a little edit of some of my favourite eyeshadows in my collection. You may notice that most of my eyeshadows are high-end, but I find that they have been a sound investment that have lasted me a good few years. I also have some lower end brands in the mix, too.

  • Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow - I got this product in the shade 'Sand Dollar' a year or so ago, and although I really like the texture and the longevity, I find that I don't reach for this colour all that much due to its silver-tone. I'm usually more of a gold girl, myself!
  • Coastal Scents 88 Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette - This is a fantastic investment for anybody that is just getting into makeup! They also have a matte palette which I really want to get, and it's perfect for those times when you randomly need a colour that you wouldn't usually buy. There are also some really great everyday colours here too, you can read my full review of the product here.
  • Mac Eyeshadows - It's no secret that these are pretty great, but they're not cheap. I've built up a decent collection over the past five years, mostly of neutral colours. You can see my top ten here, but in general fantastic pay-off and a really great range of colours.
  • Mac Paint Pots - I have three of these cream shadows, and they really are perfect for when you're in a rush but want to look like you've made a bit of an extra effort. They make great shadow bases, too. I would highly recommend Painterly and Bare Study.
  • Naked Pigments - These little pots of pigment are extremely intense, and so versatile, You can use them as liner or shadow, or even mix them with clear lipgloss! I have a full review here.
  • No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow - I have only ever tried one of these, but it's one of my favourite colours ever so I thought that it was worth a mention! The shade is called Wheatsheaf and it's the perfect pinky/champagne colour. It lasts well and I always go back to it from time to time and fall back in love!
  • Nyx Butt Naked Eyes - The eyeshadows in this palette are a little hit and miss, but it has a great range of colours and the pan size is actually really big. I have a full review here and some swatches here.
  • Sleek Palette - This has to be one of the best bargains on the British high street. These palette are £10 and include 10 colours, all about the size of a 10p piece (yes, there were a lot of 10s in that sentence). The colour pay-off is amazing and the colours are beautifully rich, plus they have the choice of a few palettes. This is something you have to check out if you're new to makeup!

That's it from me for this week. As always, please feel free to ask me any questions below, and if there are any eyeshadows that you are intrigued about please let me know, and I'd be more than happy to do some swatches for you!

What's your favourite coloured eyeshadow?

BloglovinTwitter FacebookYouTube