These are my top ten powder eyeshadows (I say that, because there were a few cream eyeshadows I thought about including, but there were so many powder ones I wanted to include, too!). I’m not going to do a breakout for cream eyeshadows specifically, but know that Milani’s Shadow Eyez and Maybelline Color Tattoos would be taking honors on that list! There were numerous L’Oreal Infallible and Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense shades to choose from, too, so I went with my personal shade favorites.
MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula that’s coming out in-stores April 5th. It’s a hybrid powder that can be used wet or dry, with buildable color coverage, and wear for up to six hours. If you’ve seen Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee eyeshadows, these are very similar in texture–but at least there is very little overlap in the shade range.
Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Modern Pewter (dirty olive gold), Rich Core (dirty aubergine), Sweet Heat (bright peach champagne), Warm Thunder (dirty silver grey), and Young Venus (pale white pink).
Rich Core is a dark burgundy that looks very similar both dry and wet, though it does darken a bit when applied damp. Make Up For Ever #17 is more red-toned, less eggplant-like. Make Up For Ever #311 is rather comparable, perhaps a little less red-toned.
Sweet Heat is a medium peach with a metallic champagne-gold sheen. For such a light shade, it actually shows up well when applied dry–it’s just softer and lighter than the dampened swatch. Chanel Emerveille is similar to the dry swatch. theBalm Luscious Lani is lighter. MAC Summer Haze is very similar, perhaps a little warmer. Urban Decay Sin is similar.
The good news is that these all felt and wore fairly consistently. There weren’t major discrepancies from one shade to another. Rich Core had one of the best textures–it felt extra smooth compared to the other shades–while Young Venus had a slightly grittier texture, though it would not be described as gritty. Young Venus also had one of the frostier finishes. Warm Thunder was the least pigmented (at least, when applied dry) of this set of five, while both Rich Core and Sweet Heat were quite pigmented both dry and wet.
From the previous review: These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry. Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly. Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.
The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.
If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.
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