Eye Shadow Formulas

Eye shadow can transform your face in just minutes. It can enhance or alter the natural shape of your eyes, bring out your eye color, and set the mood from a subtle day look to a daring evening style. You have a lot of choices when it comes to eye shadow; there are creams, powders, mineral formulas, and color sets. Some eye shadows can be used either wet or dry; the wet application being the stronger and more vivid effect. Some women like to use eye shadow as eyeliner. They use a small, pointed brush to gather the shadow and gently apply it along the lash lines.

When choosing an eye shadow, quality is important. You want eye shadow that allows you the most options and convenience when it comes to application and wear. A low quality eye shadow can go on too dark or too light. It can get caught in the creases of your eyelids, or it can flake and come off easily.

With eye shadow, quality doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive product on the market. Many drugstore brands offer some excellent eye shadow choices. Cosmetics companies have been very good about keeping up with the latest trends in eye shadow. If a hip, pricey cosmetics company introduces a product that flies, it usually isn't long before one of the drugstore brands releases a more affordable version.

You may believe it's all in the packaging, but sometimes there are merits to buying the good stuff. Higher-end cosmetics usually do have slightly higher quality ingredients, and often have features that can't be found in the more economical brands.
Powder Eye Shadows

Powder eye shadows are classic products that offer some great benefits. Powder shadows are best when you're looking for a subtle look. They usually look darker in the container than they do on your eyes, and they tend to wear off a bit over the course of the day or evening, but you can find them in such a vast array of colors and they can be blended together for cool fade effects like the smoky eye look.

Maybelline New York ExpertWear Eyeshadow Quads (average price $6.00) are a good bet for a drugstore brand eye shadow. The silky powder formula goes on smoothly and helps you avoid the creased look. It comes in 14 color-matched combinations.

L'Oreal Paris' Studio Secrets line offers eye shadows that are intense, bright, and formulated to last through a long day. You can choose from color-coordinated quads or duos that will have your eyes looking camera-ready.

If you're looking for a more posh selection of powder eye shadow, you only have to go as far as your local department store. Most of the cosmetics counters in department stores have samples of their products you can try on as you browse through. You can compare the smoothness, pigmentation, and sheen of these higher-end shadows against the drugstore brands and judge for yourself.

Single Eye Color By Clarins (average price $20) embodies the best of what powder eye shadow can offer. The colors are deep and rich in pigment. They glide on like a dream and have amazing lasting power. If you like choice, this line offers colors in pearl, matt and shimmer shades so you can match them to your makeup or your mood.

Cream Eye Shadow

Cream eye shadow has been popular for several years. Women seem drawn to cream eye shadow because it comes in cute containers and is easy to apply; no sponge-tip applicator necessary. Some say they prefer the feel of cream shadow to that of powder or its dewy, shimmery radiance.

The most commonly reported pitfall of cream eye shadow is creasing. Because it's thicker and moister than powder shadow, cream shadow can sometimes get caught in the creases of your eyelids. To prevent this, it's a good idea to apply an eye shadow primer. Primer helps prepare the lids for the shadow so you get better coverage and less creasing.

M.A.C Paint Pots (average price $16.95) have been the favorite cream shadow of fashion mavens for the last decade. These eye shadows are creamy but don't feel heavy on your lids. You can use one of the lighter colors as a primer and choose a different shade as your main shadow.

NARS Cream Shadow (average price $23) is another well-known product with a loyal fan following. They come in a nice variety of frosty pastel shades, and are super-easy to apply. These shadows go on as a cream, but turn to a powder on your lids, so you're mush less likely to have to deal with greasy, creasy lids.
Eye Shadow Sticks

Eye shadow sticks are basically cream shadow, but in a convenient stick form. You can apply these without getting any color on your fingers, so they're good choices for when you're on the go.

Wet n Wild Idol Eyes Color Sticks (average price $3.99) glides on smoothly to give you shimmy color that really opens up your eyes. The only drawback of this line is that it's rather limited color-wise, with only 6 shades to choose from.

For a slightly wider range of colors, but a higher price tag, you can go for Hard Candy's Split Personality Eye Color Duo ($6 - $11). These unique eye shadow sticks contain two different shades of color-matched shadow; one at each end of the stick. Smooth, creamy, convenient. Genius!

Mineral Eye Shadow

When you're putting a cosmetic product close to a vital body part like the eye, you might be concerned about the safety of the product's ingredients. Some cosmetics may contain chemicals that can lead to health problems down the road or even cause instant irritation in sensitive individuals. Mineral makeup is a more natural alternative to mainstream cosmetics. Mineral makeup comes in a just about cosmetics format from liquid foundation to, yes, eye shadow.
BareMinerals Eyecolor from Bare Escentuals ($13) is a mineral eye shadow that comes in an impressive selection of formulas and colors, from matte to shimmery, and from barely there to eye-popping. These eye shadows can be used wet or dry, and can also be blended to create custom colors.