Friday, May 24th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


What eyeshadows are necessary if you’re just starting out? Which ones can you wait on?

Temptalia's AnswerI’d try to get a large eyeshadow palette to start off with, then experiment and see what kind of colors, textures, etc. you tend to use most. For instance, some start with colors first, others wear neutrals – but it totally depends.

Thanks to Jen for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

30 thoughts on “What eyeshadows are necessary if you’re just starting out?

  1. I think the eyeshadows that are a necessity are definitely a primer eyeshadow concoction like urban decay primer potion, a beige or nude as a base color, a matte black and grey for beginner smokey eyes, and one or two bright colors for experimentation!

  2. I would start by making a decision on what brands appeal to you most which will give you a sense of your preferred makeup style. Then I would check out reviews on palettes made by these brands and pick up one or two. Buy quality at whatever snack bracket you choose. You will enjoy the learning process a lot more with products that work. I personally think the Lorac Pro palette would be a great place to start since it contains a really good mix of neutrals, matte and shimmer shadows. I’m not a diehard Lorac fan, but this palette is phenomenal with excellent texture and quality for a low price. Completely effortless to create a slew of looks.

  3. I would go for a cheap large eyeshadow pallette like the one ELF have then from there figure out what colour that i like most. Then i can go and buy better quality brands like UD or MAC for the colours that i loves.

  4. I would save up for one high end palette with the most diversity and go from there. The Lorac Pro Palette is probably where I would’ve liked to start. The half matte half shimmer E/S really do help with the variety of looks you could create.

  5. In many ways, I think it depends what stage of life you’re at. If you’re in your teens and twenties, go for colour! Honestly, just go for it. It’s the one point in your life that you can experiment wildly without being looked at askance. Wear teal and canary and peridot and vermilion and make hilarious mistakes and get better and love it.

    If you’re a bit older, starting out with neutrals is probably an easier way to start. It isn’t that once you hit thirty, you’re not allowed to wear vibrant colours; far from it. (I think those arbitrary rules about what older women can wear are so silly–wear miniskirts and emerald eyeshadow at 90 if that makes you feel great!) But because by that point in life, most people have settled into professional work, it can be a bit easier to play with neutrals as you gain confidence. Go for soft beiges like MAC’s Shroom and Phloof!, and a few different shades of taupe and chocolate, like Soba or Cork. Slowly add to your collection as you begin to feel braver.

    And above all, buy yourself a couple of decent brushes. Don’t use those little sponge-tipped applicators. Don’t do it to yourself. That way lies tears and madness and much filthy language.

    • Dawn

      This made me laugh, I wish I had known in my twenties about those sponge tipped applicators! Great advice.

    • VickyM

      How can you tell apart a person that is twenty from one that is thirty? They look the same to me, no difference, also some teenagers look like twenty-thirty year olds, and many twenty year olds have settled into a career or work place so they have to wear appropriate make up depending on what place they work in. In all honesty people should wear whatever they like regardless of age because I have seen many fifty year olds with nice bright makeup and eye shadow looking fantastic and quite a few teens with clowny makeup that is badly applied or doesn´t suit them, and believe I know some mean spirited people who do make fun of this young girls so even if you are 13 you should avoid weird mistakes because regardless of age you would be made fun of, on the other hand if you don´t mind what others say then go for it. Age is a number and bold or neutral makeup has more to do with the person rather than age.

      • alyson

        i agree with you.. i am 30 and even though i do reach for more neutrals now, i actually had a more professional career when i was in my early 20s than i do now (right now i am a stay at home mommy with my newborn son).
        and yes i do like the same as i did six months ago when i was 29 :p but in all seriousness, wear whatever you like.. i like neutrals now but do reach for pops of color sometimes, i started wearing make up at a young age and actually started with neutrals than, too.. added brighter colors around college

  6. Reena Mae

    Nudes, browns, and pinks

  7. I think everyone should own their specific neutral shades, Even if you begin to gravitate towards and favor the brighter colors, it’s good to own some neutral just in case you need to create a more conservative look.

  8. I say a good neutral palettes, or something like Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone (some colors, some neutrals). My own experience is that it’s easier to build confidence from neutral shades, since it’s harder for them to go wrong.

  9. Ellen

    I’m tempted to say UD Naked, but I actually don’t think that’s the best for starting out – the finishes are really sparkly, and the colors tend to lean either pink or very gold. I’d say the best basic eyeshadows are an ivory/beige (or darker depending on the skin tone), plus a couple of slightly darker medium brown-type shades for experimenting with crease color. I think satin finishes are easiest to work with (and most forgiving). Maybe a more pearlescent color for a different allover wash and also for the inner corners!

  10. I’d go with some neutrals first, and colors with some subtle shimmer rather than matte finishes. Mattes just seem to be less forgiving when you’re learning how to blend.

    Wet ‘n Wild has a great selection of three color kits with lots of colors, from neutral to bold, and I’ve been satisfied with the quality. And since they’re inexpensive, it’s not so painful if you pick one you don’t like!

    Also, if price is less of an issue, get thee to Sephora, my favorite place to play. Find the SA who specializes in makeup, and get some application tips from her/him.

  11. I agree with you, Christine. A palette offers good value and they are usually put together in such a way as to offer a variety of shades that work together in lots of different ways. This is great for experimenting and trying all sorts of different looks. A palette of mostly neutrals with a few brighter shades – Stila’s In the Light or In the Know palettes, or Lorac’s Pro Palette or one of UD’s Naked palettes maybe with an extra bright shadow or two – would be a good place to start. They are all good quality shadows which would make the learning process much more positive. Another option is some of the great trios and palettes from Wet n Wild – inexpensive and fun.

  12. I agree that getting a palette is a good idea, but I would get a palette like Naked Basics. One that doesn’t have so many colors that you get overwhelmed and discouraged trying to formulate a cohesive look.

    In general you should get:

    a matte color that matches your skin color to use as an all over base and even out your lid color.

    A matte shade that is 3-4 shades darker than your skin color to use as a crease shade.

    A highlight shade (optional) that is shimmery and one shade lighter than your skin color.

    A dark brown or grey to use as a liner. Black tends to look too harsh.

    A taupe. Taupe looks good on most skin tones and is pretty fool proof. It can be shimmery or not.

    My shades that I would recommend (not all inclusive, these are just ones I have tried) for fair to light skin tones would be:

    Skin tone: MAC Brule, Bobbi Brown Shell, Bobbi Brown Bone

    Crease: MAC Omega, Urban Decay Laced (for very fair), Bobbi Brown Cement, Bobbi Brown Taupe, Urban Decay Tease

    Highlight: MAC Shroom, Bobbi Brown Bone Shimmer

    Liner Shade: MAC Smut, Bobbi Brown Black Chocolate, Urban Decay Gunmetal, Urban Decay Darkhorse

    Taupe: MAC Satin Taupe, Bobbi Brown Heather Grey, Urban Decay Pistol

  13. Karen

    I would suggest starting with a high quality palette (high end, if budget allows, but a carefully researched high quality drug store brand works too) that has a variety of shades both neutral and colorful, with textures ranging from matte to shimmery. Not that I’m just starting out by any means, but I love my Too Faced Sweet Indulgences for this (bonus, it also comes with blushes, bronzers, cheek highlighter, a full-sized eye lid primer and a brush). Urban Decay also has a number of lovely palettes that fit this description, though they tend towards the sparkly.

  14. Alison

    I say figure out your taste and aim for a “look” that resonates with you. For example, I go for a very classic, utilitarian look, so to start out, a palette of neutrals would be my best bet. Go with what works!

  15. Ellen

    Addendum: Fun colors are awesome, but I wish I had learned how to best lay down color and blend it out before delving into colors…I had disasters when I first started out :)

  16. I recommend doing your homework – research and swatch like a mad person! Get your list and start with eyeshadows that are wearable for most occasions, including neutral and vivid colors. Find a good primer and one good basic paint pot to wear under your eyeshadow. They can turn a “meh” eyeshadow into a “wow” eyeshadow with long lasting super powers. I would start with relatively cheap palettes that have a variety of textures/finishes. It’s a cheap way to experiment with colors and textures without breaking the bank.

    What to wait on? You know the ones – those “unique” colors that allegedly “compliment” your coloring but make you self conscious about wearing in public. Unless you’re in clown school, wait em out until you have your technique together.

  17. Ashton

    I can pretty much do anything with some gold and some brown. My favorite addition right now is nars persia for a rusty look.

  18. My first eyeshadow Palette for high end I bought was the UD Glinda Palette. This was a nice combo of a nice eyeliner, and 6 eyeshadows to try a couple of looks.

    It would be good to start off with something like the naked palettes, or the combination studio palettes like Sephora brand ones.

  19. If I had to start over with my collection, I’d start with a great neutral palette like Urban Decay Naked 2 or Lorac Pro Palette. It’s worth the initial investment to be able to work with high quality eyeshadow in useful shades.

  20. VickyM

    I´m going to buy my first eye shadow soon lol, and I think I´m going to start with a nice neutral shadow, probably from Mac that could be used as a sheer and more build up color, so that I could use the same shadow in an eye look sheer and build up for dimension at the same time :D .

  21. The Lorac Pro palette is probably a great choice for any beginner because it has both matte and shimmer shades and a myriad of shades that are flattering on all skin tones.

  22. It depends. I really recommend getting a palette that you like to start. More bang for your buck and you’re not stuck with just one color that might have cost you $18+. Sorry that I don’t have any recommendations for drugstore brands; I typically only buy department store.

    If you’re looking for a nice range of neutrals and the possibility to create a smokey eye Naked and Naked2 palettes by Urban Decay are great starts. If you’re into wild colors get the Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box – it’s been on sale lately and it has some really bold, nice colors. If you’re into more pinky nudes than try Back to Basics Palette by Urban Decay.

    No matter what you’ll want some kind of brow bone highlighter shadow, which you can find in the Naked palette, but if not try finding a shadow that’s a shade lighter or so than your skin (or get Benefit High Beam!). Even though I mostly wear Urban Decay shadows, MAC has some pretty famous highlighting shadows as well. Like a lot of people have suggested, going to Sephora is a great place to start. If you are lucky and the sales associate is good, you can end up getting so much useful advice and they won’t be trying to push one brand on you. Plus they have a ton of stuff there so you can easily experiment with make-up freely and no one looks twice at you….everyone’s doing it.

    My best advice is to start with a high quality palette.

    • Oh, and always get an eyeshadow primer – protect your investment! They can make your shadows pop and last way longer. I use Primer Potion by Urban Decay (which is the most famous eyeshadow primer), but also use NARS Eyeshadow Base which I think is actually a bit better than UDPP. Shadow Insurance by Too Faced is another famous one.

      Another famous product is NYX Eyeshadow Pencil in Milk. It’s a bit chalky but can make an excellent primer. I tend to layer it over my eyeshadow primer but I know people that wear it alone. Also, MAC has some REALLY great paint pots. I still use a primer underneath them (although they MUAs there will tell you it’s unnecessary) but the ones that are good (some of their paint pots are worse than others) will really last all day and brighten up your eyes. if I have the time I’ll do eye primer, NYX milk and then a MAC paint pot.

  23. I would use bold colours

  24. I would say a pallet of neutrals that have a variety of textures and finishes, like Urban Decay’s Naked Pallet. As you get comfortable with this pallet you can start to purchase bolder colourful shadows to use along with the Naked Pallet.

  25. Nicole

    I would go for a MAC quad with 3 light to medium natural / brown colors and a brighter one – for example MACs Shroom / Phloof!, Patina / Satin Taupe, Juxt / Beautiful Iris and Mystery.

  26. Jan

    I did it all wrong and have just using what I should have started with in the past 6 months. I am drawn to cooler, brighter shades. I would advise a newbie to get a nice neutral palette and maybe a few favorite shades for a “pop” when needed. There are a lot of neutral beige/browns but for many gray neutrals are also great. And a mix of mattes/satins with shimmers can make all the difference in the world. The LORAC Pro Palette, the Tarte Amazonian Escape Palette, and even the NARS New York or The Happening are good introductions. Each is pretty good quality and somewhat versatile. I personally like pinks and champagnes as much as cream and beige so the LORAC palette is my HG.