Getting The Feel for Texture

When it comes to choosing eye shadow, many people focus on color first, but shadows also differ from one another in texture. Understanding the many textures available out there can aid you in creating exciting looks, whether you want bold and dramatic, nude and natural, or a creation that is entirely your own.

Here is the lowdown on texture for eye shadows, including a breakdown of my favorite formulas and some hints on how they can work for you.

What does texture mean, exactly?
Texture describes the appearance of an eye shadow, also known as the ‘finish.’ The finish of a shadow effects color payoff, ease of use, and the result of the final look. It applies to all formulations including pressed or loose powder, liquid, and cream. Finish definitely needs to be taken into consideration for the camera — especially in the case of flash photography — but it is also just as important when designing everyday looks.

Matte Shadows
The primary building block to creating a beautiful eye starts with shadows that have a matte finish. Matte shadows have no shine, so they are ideal for providing structure and contour. Since it does not reflect light, the flat texture is great for shaping, defining, and producing a shaded effect. Some mattes are creamy and glide on while others offer a much drier texture. So, it’s best to test the shadow first to see how richly pigmented it is and how finely the powder has been milled.

Try taupe, greys, or browns in medium tones for creating eyebrow dimension or a crease. Use medium or deep, dark tones in brown, black, deep blue or purple as an eyeliner.

Since they offer a more even shading, lighter matte shadows give off a softer and more realistic highlighting effect. Try vanilla, bone and cream for lighter skin tones. For darker skin, try ochre and mid range beiges.

A matte shadow is also the best choice to use as a base because it will not effect the shadows you use above it.

Shimmer Shadows
Shimmer shadows have a subtle sheen and give a hint of sparkle. They offer coverage from sheer to full, depending on the manner of application. They allow the skin to show through, creating a modern and natural look.

Typically, shimmers won’t collect in fine lines and wrinkles, making them ideal for more mature skin.

The lightest shimmer shades work extremely well for highlighting recessed areas of the eyelid. The darker shimmers work great for adding drama without being as harsh as the dark matte shades.