Best Eyeshadows | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing eyeshadow formulas useful 🙂

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow ($21.00 for 0.08 oz.) still remains my very favorite powder eyeshadow formula. I’m particularly fond of their more shimmery and satin finishes, though their mattes are nice (but they aren’t as dense, and I love a denser, creamier eyeshadow). Their are over 200 shades to choose from, so you can imagine it is hard to pick favorites, but here are swatches of some of my must-haves!

Availability

Sephora

Tarte Metallics Shadow

Tarte Metallics Shadow

Tarte Metallics Shadow ($14.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula that debuted this year, and I was able to confirm with Tarte that they anticipate these being part of the permanent range, at least for the next year…. so here’s hoping they will make a stronger commitment to the formula by adding more shades next year! The formula on the Metallics range is soft, smooth, blendable, and almost cream-like as they have a denser, richer feel to them. They are pigmented, long-wearing, and easy to use. Some of my favorite shades are Sinful, Pokerface, and Dame.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Tarte

City Color Shimmer Shadow

City Color Shimmer Shadow

City Color Shimmer Shadow ($6.99 for 0.13 oz.) is perfect for someone who likes their eyeshadows intensely pigmented with a very smooth, cream-like feel. They are dense (almost too dense–be sure to use flatter, firmer brushes with these), adhere well to bare skin, and wear for nearly eight hours (without primer). Some of my favorite shades are: Black Widow, All Eyes On Me, Evergreen, and Yas!.

Availability

City Color

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow

Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brilliant powder eyeshadow for those who like rich, shimmery formulas with intense pigmentation and long wear. I really like how well they adhere to bare lids while still being blendable and easy to work with. Some of my favorite shades are: Thrasher, Thunderstruck, Iggy, and Synergy.

Availability

Sephora, Kat Von D Beauty

Anastasia Eyeshadow

Anastasia Eyeshadow

Anastasia Eyeshadow ($12.00 for oz.) are available as pans only, which can be put into any freestyle palette system or if you purchase four (or eight), you’ll get a palette from Anastasia (and I love their quad–very sturdy and travel-friendly). Their Titanium finish is my favorite, because it’s a denser, almost cream-like formula with rich pigmentation and good adherence to the lid. I also like a lot of their newer mattes, which are soft, smooth, and blendable while still being pigmented. Check out our list of the top 25 best Anastasia eyeshadows!

Availability

Sephora, Ulta

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a powder eyeshadow formula with a fairly edited range of shades, and it’s sad to come back a year later and not see any epansion to their offerings, because it’s such a good formula. The textures are soft, smooth, and finely-milled, while the pigmentation is incredibly rich and opaque. Some of my favorite shades are: Rose Gold, Heaven, and Peacock.

Availability

Sephora

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint ($39.00 for 0.22 oz.) is a liquid eyeshadow, so it is most like a cream eyeshadow but still dries down to a more powder-like finish as it doesn’t stay wet or emollient. While there are a couple of misses in the range, the majority of the core range (which has some shimmer) are pigmented, long-wearing, and easily spread across the lid while maintaining coverage. Some of my favorite shades are: Rose Ashes, Shadow, Green Iron, and Emeraude.

Availability

Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Giorgio Armani Beauty

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a cream-based eyeshadow, which isn’t like traditional cream eyeshadows, as it has a more sponge-like texture and less of a wet, emollient feel. I use flat, synthetic brushes when applying these, and with that technique, I find them easy to use as they have good pigmentation, long wear, and are blendable on the lid. They have a massive range of shades, so I’ve pulled swatches of some of my favorites here.

Availability

ColourPop

Urban Decay Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($19.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a long-time favorite, particularly their permanent range of eyeshadows (which I find stronger in terms of quality and more consistent). Some of their matte are real workhorse kind of shades with soft, smooth, silky, and blendable textures, while their shimmers and pearly shades are very rich in payoff and apply beautifully to the lid. With such an extensive range of shades to choose from, it’s hard to pick just a few favorites to call out, but we do have a list of the top 35 best Urban Decay eyeshadows, which can be quite handy.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

L’Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Eyeshadow

L'Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Eyeshadow

L’Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Eyeshadow ($3.99 for 0.12 oz.) is a line of loosely packed powder eyeshadows. I consider them more of a pressed than loose formula, but it’s soft and loosely pressed in the jar that you can loosen the product off the surface with enough pressure or a fluffier, denser brush. They are very pigmented, blendable, and adhere well to bare skin while wearing well throughout the day. Some of my favorite shades are: Golden Emerald, Amber Rush, Liquid Diamond, and Smoldering Plum.

Availability

Ulta

Viseart Eyeshadow

Viseart Eyeshadow

Viseart Eyeshadow is one of the more consistent, high-performing powder eyeshadows on the market. The only downside is that they are only available in an assortment of palettes, with the smallest being six-pans (Theory palettes). I hope that, one day, we’ll see Viseart release a build-your-own-palette system, because that would be so amazing!

Availability

Sephora, Beautylish

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Love these guides! This post reminded me that I needed to pick up some of those city color shadows, but I clicked the link and they are gone! 🙁 You snooze, you lose I suppose! MUFE Artist shadows are magnificent and I have been wanting to get a few of those Armani shadows for some time. It was be cool if that little wishlist icon were somewhere around each of your picks.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, they’re gone?! That makes no sense! I’m going to go email them now, but that’s just baffling… What’s really strange is when you go under eyes > eyeshadow, they are MIA. When I did an actual search for “Shimmer Shadow,” the listing showed up here.

I could look at your mufe swatches and dream about trios virtually all day. Not by look, but by order of acquisition. Was trying to think yesterday: st it’s a chore…..is it those Tarte metallics that are the same size as Sephora house brand e/s? All Tarte singles? Readers pls answer; C do not waste your (precious and ever shortening) time answering me. Re: unavailable city color, the bh shimmer palette that did do well also has not been available for months. Never remembered it was LE.

Foil Eyes? That is available on BH’s website when I checked last night!

Tarte’s eyeshadows are closer to MAC/UD sizes (probably the same but didn’t measure).

kjh – I looked in the back of mine, and Tarte Metallic Singles are .07 oz, same size as the Sephora house brand singles. The UD ones are .05 oz, and the MAC ones are .04 oz. The Tarte ones are actually a great bargain -lots of product and pigment, the packaging is big but lightweight, but I heard they are easy to pop out. I have 7 of them, got them almost 50% off, with Ulta discount and reward dollars. IMO, the quality is comparable to MUFE Artist and the best of UD.

Gotta go there, eventually, to Tarte metallics. Got a well empty palette from S and was thinking how to finish it. Prob can finish with Sephora, anyway. Mufe must be my big fave. Maybe BH takes the foil eyes off the site when it is OOS, but I KNOW I have failed to find it. Maybe you have to intra google it, but it has been missing from their eye palettes sub click. Really. Going now to try to find it. That one would be a perfect gift for a certain coworker.

It is there. They really must take it off, when it’s OOS. Seriously. Or was I blinded by Pride & Prejudice & Zombies? Too funny. I got all the Fka Poppy (lipstick queen) 7 deadly sins, primarily for the collection name…now she has recycled the name for a ll or gloss collection. THAT was naming. And the shades ruled. Who doesn’t want a red called anger, or a bruised purple called decadence. She had virtues, too. Not as appealing! This was my warm up for NARS palette designs that so many find objectionable, and I just love. Call that one Sense and Sensibility.

Many favorites for me here! ColourPop, Tarte Metallic, City Colors Shimmer, MUFE, UD, Giorgio Armani, and Viseart. Will order Kat Von D Raw Power at next sale

Waking up with my coffee and perusing eyeshadow swatches is the BEST!
Only thing that could make this even better would be to have Pookie sitting in my lap whilst doing the above.

I haven’t had a chance to try all the formulas listed, but I too also love the MUFE, KVD Metal Crush formula, most ABH shadows I’ve used and of course, my UD eyeshadows aplenty. And, of course, Colourpop. If the L’Oreal Infallible ones weren’t such a PITA because of the stopper, I’m sure I’d enjoy using them more often.
Btw; my wishlist has just grown exponentially! Haha! ?

Losing especially beloveds is especially hard. People still say, oh, you’re the lady with all the dogs. No, just one. And it kills me a little daily. Plus, Jussi as an only child, dislikes the rapt swooning over swatches. 24/7/365 jussi channel or bust. Adore him, but think of the others daily. So hard…. so sorry about Pookie. She would have loved your Selena…

You’re definitely right, KJH. It doesn’t really go away, it only dulls until one has that little *moment* where we suddenly know what’s missing while everything else is copestic. She LOVED watching YT videos with me! But would get between me and my looking at anything online by plopping down right on this phone! Or any book or paper I ever tried to read, LoL! Pookie was such a funny girl! Jussi seems to have that same very distinct *presence*. Those are the Ones.

II feel you Nancy T.I lost my golden boy 5 years ago and I still miss him. But his wise and happy spirit will forever live in our hearts. The older I get the more I learn about loss. It’s inevitable for us all. So we have to treasure the joy and lessons they brought into our lives.

A fantastic list of eye shadows. It is a shame that bareMinerals hasn’t put out anything exciting in the last year or so and when they did it was hard to get: I’m looking at you Soft and Smoky!

Some of my favourites made the list.
I really like these lists as so much happens with all the LE’s that I almost forget that there are permanent makeup as well.

I have the most fun with my eyeshadows; for years I just went with 1-2 basic, ‘good enough’ shadows and then I I stumbled upon Temptalia, and my eyes were opened (pun intended) to a huge new world. This year, I’ve found favorites in Viseart, Colourpop, Buxom, Urban Decay, ABH I’ve looked hard at several from MUFE, MUG, and KVD, just haven’t bought, yet.

I’m sorry! I am based in the U.S. so while I try to review brands outside of the U.S. here and there, the majority is U.S. based since that is what I have greatest access to. I’m so sorry!

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