Eye Shadows

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The right eye shadow can add definition and drama to your look. We set our eyes on finding a shadow that not only looks good, but also stands up to the daily, and not so daily, rigors of life.

The Basics

  • A good eye shadow feels soft and silky to the touch, though still keeps plenty of colour.

  • If you’re not sure where to start, choose colours that have natural tones in neutral shades of taupe, brown, gray, beige, and tan.

  • Eye shadow palettes with two or more different shades are tempting, but you’ll likely only use one of the colours so you’re better off buying colours you really like separately.

  • Eye shadows come in different formats:

    • Powders, either pressed or loose, come in matte and pearl/iridescent/frosted finishes and work for all skin types. Pressed are the most popular. Loose can be messy. The dry format helps it last longer.

    • Cream-to-powders come in small tubes or pots and go on with a creamy texture and dry to a powder finish. Can be applied with fingertip, though may take some practice to avoid smudging and smearing.

    • Liquid eye shadows come in tubes with a sponge applicator similar to lip gloss.

Be Aware

  • Blue eye shadow actually dulls blue eyes rather than highlighting them.

  • Matching your eye shadow to your clothes is a dated look.

  • Wearing red tones makes your eyes look tired and irritated.

  • Shimmering eye shadows can look pretty, but they can also highlight wrinkles.


We took the stage with some professional ballet dancers to test these selected eye shadows over a few weeks of daily and dance routines.

Our test products: . BUY IT
  • Cover Girl (powder): $3.99
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • Stila (powder): $23
. . Sephora icon
  • Almay (cream): $9.99
. . Amazon.com
  • Guerlain (cream): $26
. .
  • Maybelline (liquid): $8.49
. .
  • Chanel (liquid): $36
. .

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)


Application Test

  • Stila and Cover Girl (powders) went on well, though we did use a better brush than provided with the Cover Girl.

  • Almay (cream) was easy to get the hang of to apply

  • The liquid shadows took a lot more practice, but one of our dancers was sold after she mastered it.

Longevity Test

  • Most of the shadows stayed on about the same amount of time. None stood out as the best or worst.

Colour Test

  • Stila maintained the same colour on our eyes as in the pot for an overall sheer and natural look.

  • The Maybelline liquid dried nicely and fast, with the perfect amount of shimmer.

  • The Almay had a nice moisturizing feel to it.


We really liked the Stila powder eye shadow, even though it was one of the more expensive choices. For a more economical shadow, and with a little bit of practice, we liked the Almay cream shadow.


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