Eyeshadow: The Pros And Cons Of Each Type – Part One

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Guest Blogger: Elise Marquam-Jahns

Are you a cream or stick eye shadow formula kind of woman or a fan of powder eyeshadows? All formulas definitely have their pros and cons. I’ll provide a rundown of all of the different formulas so you’ll know which formula fits you, your lifestyle and your specific eyeshadow needs the best. And I’ll also cover the best way to prepare your eyes before applying shadow to prevent creasing and smudging and the all-important (and sometimes controversial) matte vs. shimmer question for women 45+.

But before taking a look at each formula, let’s talk about how to best prepare your eyes for eye shadow. Do you remember putting on eye shadow back in the 80s or 90s and a few hours later looking in the mirror and realizing that your eye shadow was badly creased or smudged? Back then, it was just a fact of life—especially if you had oily eye lids.

Now, however, we’re fortunate to have eye shadow primer (also called eye shadow base) available to us; which alleviates any smudging or creasing issues. Our eyelids produce oil and eye shadow primer absorbs oil and provides the perfect “canvas” on which to apply your eye shadow. If your eyelids are not very oily, you may be able to get away with using concealer on your eyelids as a primer. But if, like me, your eyelids can sometimes look like an oil slick, skip the concealer and go directly to an eye shadow primer.

Once you’ve determined if you need to use eye shadow primer or can get away with using concealer, there is one more question you need to consider: how much discoloration (veins, dark spots, etc.) do you have on your eyelids?   

If you don’t have much discoloration, pick a clear eye shadow primer. But if you do have some discoloration, look for an eye shadow primer that will match the skin tone color of your eyelids. Using a skin-tone colored primer is like priming a wall before painting it. The primer allows the paint color to go on evenly and smoothly. Primer for your eyes accomplishes the same feat. Sans primer, the eyeshadow on your lids could look darker in some spots and lighter in others depending on how much discoloration you have in different areas of your eyelids. By applying an eye shadow primer, you will create an even skin tone across your eyelid that will ensure that the eye shadow color will look flawless.

Now that you know which eye shadow primer is best for you, let’s check out the various eye shadow formulas.

Cream Eyeshadow

Cream eyeshadows usually come in a small, round jar, tube or stick—which makes them travel friendly—and they can be applied with a finger or a brush. They blend easily and provide a quick wash of color. So if you need to be out the door in a hurry, they’re definitely a good choice. However, they’re not long-wearing or waterproof and are more likely to crease or move, so they’re not a particularly good choice to wear on hot, humid days. In addition, they come in small containers so are quickly used up and don’t lend themselves to more precise applications.

Stick and Crayon Eyeshadow

The biggest plus with stick or crayon eyeshadows is that they’re a breeze to apply: simply swipe across the lid and you’re ready to go. And, they’re definitely travel friendly, and come in an array of vibrant, light to full coverage color. Some, however, glide on more easily than others and since you don’t want to tug or pull that delicate eye area, it’s definitely worth it to choose a formula that glides on easily. However, be aware that a creamier eye shadow also ups the possibility of eyeshadow that creases more easily and often you don’t have much time to blend in these eyeshadows before they become budge proof.

Check out the upcoming Part 2 of this article where we’ll cover the ins and outs of loose and pressed powder eyeshadows and liquid eyeshadow. We’ll also dive into the all-important question of matte vs. metallic finishes and how to ensure that your eyeshadow looks as fresh at the end of your day as when you applied it.

Since these articles on beauty are specifically meant to meet your needs, I’d love to hear from you directly about the makeup topics you’d like to learn more about in upcoming articles. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] with suggested topics. I can’t promise to cover all of them, but I’ll give it my best shot!  Thanks, Elise

About The Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is an author, speaker, radio host and makeup artist. As a makeup artist, her passion is helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty which offers makeup consultations, applications, classes and makeup parties. As host of Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Blog Talk Radio Show, she interviews a wide cross section of health and wellness experts.