Monday, March 18, 2013

Moving on to Mattes

For the longest time, I basically had no interest in matte eyeshadow. It was all about satin, shimmery, metallic or downright glittery shades. I simply dismissed matte eyeshadows as flat and dull, not suited to my eye shape and often hard to work with. Mattes simply did not excite me and I rarely, if ever, used them. But suddenly and for no apparent reason, that all changed. I started to tire of my usual shimmery shades, which seemed too much for the daytime and at times glaringly frosty. With foundation slipping off my face at the end of the day, shimmery eyeshadow in the mix made me look almost grimy. I needed a new approach. Maybe it was also the release of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette that triggered a change in perspective, but in the last couple of weeks, I've begun experimenting with wearing mattes on a daily basis.


In light of my new fascination with mattes, I felt compelled to go through my entire eyeshadow collection and bring out all the mattes I had. Perhaps doing so would help quell the urge to buy a new, matte-only palette (Stila In the Know, which I've previously always overlooked in favour of In the Light, is particularly calling my name). Having all the shades laid out in front of me would also make it easier to examine my options.


First up is Revlon Luxurious Color Matte Eye Shadow in Vintage Lace (001). I've literally never used this shade and I don't see that changing any time soon. I just don't know what I'd use it for. I wear eyeshadow in an attempt to add definition and the illusion of depth to my eyes, and this shade isn't going to do that. Not having a visible crease, this would be as good as wearing nothing. I'm not even sure the colour would show up unless I packed it on. Maybe I could use this as a highlight or blending colour, though there'd be better and more effective options. The quality is reasonably good (much better than the other shades I've tried in the range), though a tad powdery.


Next are two Revlon quads I have: ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in Attitude (545) and ColorStay 12 Hour Eye Shadow in Coffee Bean (02). I've previously written about Attitude here, and I've been loving the third shade applied close to the upper lash line and blended out as an everyday colour. I haven't touched the fourth shade yet because it's too dark to wear during the day, and the second pink colour disinterests me for the same reasons as Revlon Vintage Lace (and pretty much all light matte shades). I recently rediscovered Coffee Bean, a palette I'd always appreciated but never used. The second shade in the quad, a light mink/beige with a grey tinge, is probably the lightest I'll go. I find the 16 Hour eyeshadows are better quality than the 12 Hour ones, in that they're generally more pigmented and less powdery.


I was underwhelmed with the Too Faced Naked Eye palette, but it does have some excellent quality mattes. In the Buff is a touch whiter than Revlon Vintage Lace, but creamier and denser in texture. Like a Virgin is a revelation and I can see it fast becoming a favourite, much like shade 3 in Revlon Attitude.


The original Urban Decay Naked palette has two matte shades, Naked and Buck, while Naked2 has Foxy and Tease. The beige and tan shades of Naked and Buck aren't too thrilling in that they're similar to other variations of brown in Revlon Coffee Bean and Attitude. But they're versatile and useful shades to have, not just as all-over lid colours, but for softening harsh edges or even contouring the nose (Buck seems to be a favourite of Promise Phan). Can't do that with a shimmery eyeshadow!

Foxy in Naked2 is a bit more yellow than Too Faced In the Buff and Revlon Vintage Lace, and probably would barely show up on my lids. As a highlight colour, I'd prefer something more pearly/frosty over a matte, such as Urban Decay Sin or Bootycall. Tease however, is another ideal everyday shade. My only gripe is once applied, it loses much of the purplish tone it has in the pan and looks more like a conventional brown.


Laura Mercier does the best mattes, period. Pale Pink from the Lingerie Eye & Cheek Palette is a touch warmer than the slightly dustier pink from Revlon Attitude. I use it occasionally as a blending colour but it's too light for my skin tone to be worn over the lid. From the same palette, Rich Cocoa and Black Plum are smooth, buttery and stunningly pigmented. The two shades are more suited for a nighttime smoky eye, but with an angled brush, they could work as an alternative to gel or liquid eyeliner during the day. I often use Rich Cocoa and Black Plum, along with Laura Mercier Twilight Grey, on the upper lash line over a lighter, shimmery colour to add definition.


The mattes in the Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow palette in Storm were unexpectedly a disappointment. The shimmery shades are spectacular (the bronze is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever), but the mattes were subpar. The black was passable, but I literally had the scratch the surface of the two brown shades to get any pigment. Even then, it was a struggle to swatch them. To be fair, I think they might fare better with a proper eyeshadow brush than the surface of a finger. The colours aren't unique enough for me to prefer them over better versions in the Urban Decay Naked palette.

l-r: Too Faced In the BuffRevlon Vintage LaceUrban Decay FoxyLaura Mercier Pale PinkRevlon Attitude (shade 1), Revlon Coffee Bean (second shade), Sleek Storm (third shade), Urban Decay Naked

l-r: Urban Decay BuckRevlon Attitude (shade 3), Sleek Storm (eleventh shade), Revlon Coffee Bean (fourth shade), Revlon Attitude (shade 4)

l-r: Urban Decay TeaseLaura Mercier Twilight GreyToo Faced Like a VirginLaura Mercier Black PlumLaura Mercier Rich CocoaSleek Storm (twelfth shade)


Many of these shades are either too light or too dark. There's only a few that are mid-tone and useable as all-over lid colours, and even then, they still lean on the darker side. I need to be mindful of not applying the shadows too high up or heavily, and blending/softening the edges. I'm liking the more daytime-appropriate, softer and polished look of mattes over the sometimes garish and OTT nature of more frosty and metallic picks. But whether my venture into mattes is a brief flirtation or something longer-lasting, at least I'm now open to using them rather than largely ignoring their existence.

44 comments:

  1. I'm always into shimmery eyeshadows as I find them really pretty and lovely especially it gives that extra spark on your eyes! I seldom wore matte but ever since naked from UD, nude from NYX, undressed from MUA become a hit, I also tend to venture more on mattes shadows ^_~

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  2. The Too Faced 'Like A Virgin' shade is beautiful! I must say I like my shimmers quite a lot with matte eyeshadows never really being ones I go for.

    After reading this post you've made me want to branch out much more, thank you :)
    The Laura Mercier eyeshadows look simply divine, bit pricey for me really but they would be lovely as a birthday gift for instance :)

    Lovely shades and thank you for the swatches!

    Amy xx
    A Little Boat Sailing

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  3. What?! I love matte shadows, probably more than the shimmer eyeshadows! All the matte swatches are like love at first sight for me, haha :)

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  4. I used to feel the same about matte shadows, but I find myself being drawn to them more and more. I love Tease, it seemed kind of blah to me at first but it's actually a pretty unique shade. I was thinking about getting Too Faced's matte palette, as soon as I get over the eye because it freaks me out a bit :P

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  5. Love the pale pink!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  6. I haven't been a huge fan of matte eyeshadows too as I don't find that they give me the effect that I want. That being said, a few of the shades you swatched here are beautiful, both the Revlon matte shadow palettes have shades that I absolutely love. Laura Mercier has such pigmented and beautiful shades and probably the most noteworthy of them all! I find that I tend to use the same eyeshadows over and over again, and tend to neglect other ones that I may have (actually this goes for all makeup I have...). I have MUA shadow palettes in Heaven and Earth and the Immaculate collection and I clearly only use a few of the shades there!

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  7. This has come at such a good time as over the past couple of weeks I have also turned to matte eyeshadows mainly using the one in my naked one palette, but you have reminded me I have the Laura Mercier one so will be fishing that out :) xo

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  8. I've been really into matte eyeshadow recently too! They are so easy to control (in my opinion) and can go with shimmer blusher or bold lipstick :)
    This is exactly why i love your blog, the post is so informative and has high-quality :)
    xx
    Jessie

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  9. like you, i've developed an interest in mattes. love this post & swatches! now i'm quite tempted to get that stila - in the know!

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  10. Mattes are hard to work with so like you I prefer shimmery formulas, but every now & then I crave a matte eye look which I can usually achieve with my 88 warm palette or 28 neutral. Laura Mercier's Twilight Grey would be a perfect go-to winter eyeshadow, and I also really like the mattes from the Naked palettes. x

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  11. I've been a big fan of the mattes lately too, I don't know if it changes with age but I can't wear makeup to work that makes my eyelids look like a disco ball! I usually mix the two because mattes are definitely harder to apply. I need to check out the Naked mattes!

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  12. I totally understand what you're saying, I used to be like that. Mattes where "useless" colours for me to have in palettes and would never use them, unless they were a medium-light transition shade to be used for blending. Boy was I wrong. With age I've learnt to appreciate them a lot more, they are more flattering on the annoying fine lines that have just started to make an appearance and, like you said, they look more polished for day time. I still adore all my colours and finishes but have a wider open mind about mattes, even more so after acquring both the Brights and Darks matte palettes from Sleek. Speaking of, too bad about the Storm palette, looks so lovely on photos : / I have the Oh So Special (has a few mattes) and most colours are quite good.

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  13. I am still not really a fan of mattes. I do like them, but only to help me blending some edges, or when the shades are darker / bold since I find that light-flesh tone mattes are barely visible on my lids.
    Urban Decay Tease is one of my fave matte together with some of my inglot single eye shadows because they are wonderfully pigmented.

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  14. What a collection! I'm loving my Stila in the lights, but I do wish I had a couple of the other Stila palettes! I love the pigmentation. My naked basics palette is currently taunting me, since I promised myself I wouldn't use it untit May- for the purpose of using some of stash.

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  15. Hey dear I really like your blog! What about following each other? Also on bloglovin, facebook and even on Lookbook if you want...just let me know :3 <3


    NEW POST UP!

    www.OntoMyWardrobe.com

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  16. Whoo, glad you're coming over to the matte side of eyeshadow!! Definitely go and get the stila in the know palette if you can as I think it'll fill in a lot of the gaps you seem to have between colors right now :) Not to mention they are some of THE BEST formulated matte shadows around... though you've read my post on the palette so I'm basically just reiterating myself to you haha.

    Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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  17. I've only just started liking mattes too. I think they're better for crease colours and are a perfect partner for bold lips.

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  18. Great post here, just what I needed actually. I've always been a metallic/shimmer eyeshadow girl because quite frankly I never though matte shades would work on me given my lack of an deep eye socket. (You know, that thing they always tell you about putting a matte shade into the 'crease', which I have next to none.) Recently I've been the enjoying is Laura Mercier's "Black Smoke" which I've been getting a surprising bit of use. Gotta look into the others you've mentioned in this post, thanks for sharing!

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  19. This post is perfect as I love matte eyeshadows :)

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  20. I started liking mattes when I got my Naked2 palette. I use Tease almost every day as a crease shadw now! xxx

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  21. I'm so much more of a matte person, I think it's cause I have oily lids and shimmer looks a lot more shimmery-er and I look like a disco ball :/

    xoxo

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  22. i love both.. matte and shimmery eyeshadows :D

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  23. When I started beauty blogging I didn't understand the nature of matte eyeshadows, glad now that I know how to make them work for me. I think because they are so much easier to photograph on the eye, makes me reach for them all the more. Love the shades you have, I have theBalm's Meet Matte palette but I might do a post like this too. Thanks for the inspo :)

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  24. thanks for sharing these! i actually tend to stay away from matte shadows too for some reason.......and i just noticed that too!
    i agree, laura mercier has great products, though i've never tried her matte shadows. gah! i always want to buy and try the naked palettes! i've heard so many good things about it and it can definitely be used as something more than eyeshadow!

    alex @ carouselstreet.com

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  25. I'm not a big fan of light matte colors, but the dark matte colors are just so gorgeous and lush! :-)

    ~ Yun

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  26. great post! i actually don't like matte as much as other types of eyeshadow, and I don't really know alot of great matte eyeshadows apart from some MAC and from UD Naked and Naked 2, i just like them for smokey looks on the outer lid. thanks for the swatches, i've been looking for other great matte eyeshadows :)

    I hope you're having a beautiful day ~ XO
    NEW POST: www.chriissydollxo.com

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  27. I've slowly been switching over to more Matte Eyeshadow look. I've always been obsessed with Matte Brown shades but never worn an entirely Matte Shadow look until now. My favourite at the moment is the Day combination from my Too Face Natural eye Kit which looks very similar to the Naked Eye kit you have :)

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  28. I mainly just use matte's in the crease but I think one a similar shade to your natural skin tone always looks flattering :) x

    http://thebeautyvisual.blogspot.co.uk

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  29. I have been using exclusively matte for the longest time and then out of nowhere, I am into shimmery shades. Lately, I find those too shimmery and want to get back into matte again. Funny how our " taste" switch from time to time. Contemplating on whether to get the Urban Decay's Naked Palette Basics or not. Decision decision.....

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  30. Personally I like matte shadows for everyday use. Actually I have many use both of Sleek Storm Palette, other than covergirl maybelline each individual but honestly I have more bright eyeshadow, eyeshadows that type mate.

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  31. Ooh so many lovely palettes! I really like matte shades for everyday! <3

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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  32. That is some major eye candy you have there! I love pretty palettes. Great to see a post showing love for matte eyeshadows! x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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  33. I have serious eyepalette envy right now! I've also only worn shimmery shades, but I'm starting to like matte shades more and more. I just need to get some good pigmented ones!

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  34. This is such a great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Maybe because every single word in the first paragraph described me right now.
    I'm going through the exact same thing! I always thought ewwww matte how boring! But now it's like uggghhh Naked palette is too shimmery!!

    You've inspired me to go find some good matte shades and experiment :)

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  35. I have been really into matte shades too lately! Especially when it comes to eye shadow. I used to be all about the shimmery shades but my go to, no brainer look is all matte browns. It looks sophisticated or something, yes?

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  36. I am starting to appreciate matte eye shadows a lot more too :)

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  37. Uugh I was overwhelmed with lust when I saw your first picture! I've been using a lot of mattes cause it's easier to work with. I also like mattes cause I could literally use the same shade as eyeshadow, brow powder and face contouring all at once. I'm lazy like that. XD

    ♡ M.May

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  38. It's funny - I began my eye shadow journey with only mattes and used to be deathly afraid of shimmer! Now I can't get enough. I think we all arrive at that balanced place at the end. Looks like you have a nice stash of things there to work with - but no one would fault you for picking up a nice concise palette like the new NAKED either. ;)

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  39. I've always been addicted to mattes! I guess it's because my eyes are big and I wanted to tone them down. I just now started getting into metallics.

    I love that matte white in the Too Faced palette because it matches my skin tone pretty well! I know how difficult it is to find mattes that match the skin.

    & dang that bronze in the Sleek palette looks AHHHHHmazing.

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  40. Awww Revlon's Coffee Bean was THE palette of my teens. I need to hunt that out xxx

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  41. I wish the LM Lingerie palette was still available! I know it was getting scarce when you got it though... Just hope Laura Mercier brings out another palette just as gorgeous! I've got the UD Naked Basics on my list for when I go back to Singapore! Hopefully I'll have time for Sephora. :)

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  42. I've been neglecting matte eyeshadows lately actually! Vintage Lace is my go-to for my brow highlight and as a blending shadow. It's just the right shade for me. I must go re-examine that second shade in the Coffee Bean quad! It never seems to show up well on my skin though. :(

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  43. I love the naked palettes! And I want to have the too faced palette ! Would u like to follow each other. you have such a nice blog! xoxo

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  44. Such a comprehensive post on mattes - you must have been reading my mind in that mattes have been on my mind too lately! I'm heartened to read what you think about the Laura Mercier palette as that was my go-to on my summer holiday and I've recently rediscovered it. I was wondering about who does the best matte shades and you've answered it for me. No need for me to shop any further - thank you :)

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