Rant & Rave: Matte Eyeshadow

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Matte Eyeshadow

I love matte eyeshadows for the crease, above the crease, and brow bone, though I don’t tend to wear it on the lid (I like shimmer there). I wish matte eyesahdows were–on the whole–easier to blend out and to use. I feel like it’s a lot harder to get a great matte eyeshadow than it is a frosty/shimmery one.

— Christine

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Rant: Matte shadow formulas aren’t always the greatest. They are often patchy, poorly pigmented, difficult to blend, or some combination of these, and this seems to be a recurring issue with darker purple and blue-toned matte shades.

Rave: With my deep set, hooded eyes, matte transition and crease shades are always welcome!

I have a hard time blending out mattes too, especially darker colors. For that reason I stay away from darker mattes unless I’m using them as eyeliner. Glad I’m not the only one!

I love that it looks better on my older skin than most shimmers. I wish there were more (and more pigmented) shades of matte shadow these days, more than 500 shades of brown, beige, and off-white. I’d kill for a really good matte dark forest green.

I also have a difficult time blending out mattes, which I usually use in the crease and as transition eyeshadow. I have deep set eyes too, so the mattes I use can’t be too dark if I can’t blend them out right; if they’re too dark, they make my eyes look more deep set and accentuate the dark crevice there.

I also find many of the more neutral mattes are either too yellow-based or are too red-based, either of which make me look ill.

My mattes are the needles I have found in a gigantic eyeshadow hay stack. It’s asinine how difficult the industry makes it for us to find them. I’m not going to buy an entire palette to get one or two matte shades, if that, so I buy only singles — always. And to get the formula and shade I want is like tracking down a green pea hidden in the natural grass field of an NFL stadium. Tedious, time-consuming and frustrating! It’s taken me years to build my small collection of HG mattes. You’d think they were so rare as to be almost extinct. Ridiculous!

There aren’t many, but my little hand-picked HG gems come from: MUFE, Laura Mercier, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Chantecaille, Burberry, Studio Gear and Paula Dorf. Some aren’t available anymore. They’re all singles.

I’m hoping to add one or two from ABH as the reviews indicate a quality formula, but I need to swatch them before I do. I so wish Viseart would permit customers to build their own palettes, but no — sigh.

Mine are all cool colors. The warmer ones are easier to find, imo, because the market can’t seem to make enough browns, peaches and yellow-based shades. I know there are other lines out there with mattes available for purchase on the internet, but I refuse to buy an eyeshadow again without swatching it first. I’ve tried that and gave up.

I haven’t had to many problems with matte shadows blending I just wished that when purchasing a palette their were more mattes that were inclusive. I like to wear shadows that have a satin finish and I also love shimmers but I always want to have a matte to use especially in the crease.

My eyes look lifeless with full on matte shadows, so I also prefer to use for crease, outer corner, browbone or for pushbrush lining. I need some kind of shimmer on lid or lining.

Hate: For me, mattes tend to have a high tendency to fade, be more difficult to diffuse and poor pigmentation can add to the overall performance frustration. If I am using matte shadows, I always wear a primer.

Love: On the other hand, they are absolutely necessary for very effectively receding my hoods, adding depth to lashline, accentuating and lifting corners of eyes.

Everything you just said, Wendy! Esp. the “loves” part. I do a cut-crease or halo effect almost every single day, otherwise my eyes look flat and all that’s noticeable is the hood.

I don’t really have any “raves” per se but rants:

First, I have to rant about MAC Matte2 being discontinued – one of the consistently best matte formulas I’ve come across.

Second, I dislike that they can be very patchy and apply unevenly and be hard to blend out without going even more patchy.

Third, a lot of mattes actually make the skin on my lids look older and drier because they are so dry looking and dull. It’s one reason I’m such a fan of shadows with some sheen – they make my eyes look brighter and livelier and don’t make my skin look flat and dull.

I agree Mariella – I am not a fan of mattes at all, I much prefer a satin finish as I think this looks better on my more ‘mature’ eyes. And the shades do look dry and dull too.

Agreed. Slight shimmer refracts the light and makes the texture less noticeable. Matte can be so flat that it needs a transformer shimmer coat verrrrry lightly over it… like the one in the It palettes. Esp if the matte looks powdery. One of the reasons I love mufe so. The shimmer is so refined, that it doesn’t go glittery or frosty. As to mattes in general, they can be uneven, and the warms often perform better than the cools. Also, although HEs tend to perform better than DS for mattes, that is not always true. And there’s nothing more dreadful than a drab, patchy, poorly blending matte that you paid a boatload for!

Rave: I use one or more every day. On me — on my larger, becoming slightly hooded eyes — they’re core to my eye makeup; shimmers are for accent.

Rant: A really good matte is harder to find than a good shimmer. This said, I’ve found several of a nice texture and usability, so I’m feeling pretty good about my options here.

Rant: Matte is my least-favorite finish. They’re often underpigmented, patchy, and hard to blend. They aren’t very exciting to look at, and I don’t think they’re terribly flattering on me.

Rave: They make great crease shades, especially for hooded eyes.

Rant rant rant.
I do not like matte shadows. I’m tired of seeing them. I like shadows with a more shiny look. To me they look more natural and help my deep set eyes look less “lost”.

Matte eyeshadows are my new love!

Before investing in viseart matte palettes I would always get frustrated because eyeshadow palettes often contains too few mattes, do not perform as good, etc. Having hooded eyes I need to add some definition and I am so happy I found good colorful mattes! I even sometimes go for a complete matte eyelook… Something I would never have thought possible a few year back!

What a difficult question!

My reply won’t be conventional… Dark mattes! The colours are lovely and it is such a good companion palette if you like smoky eyes, or colorful eyelook. Also great if you are medium to deep!

That being said, I reach for the neutral matte and the cool matte palettes on the daily. I didn’t chose them only because they are not as unique as the dark matte!

I am also planning on getting the warm matte palette ?.

I completely feel you janine. We don’t see many makeup looks achieved online with the viseart which I feel makes it intimidating to jump in.

Do you need to define your eyes on the daily? I didn’t expect to use the dark matte as much as I do, but having hooded eyes, I often use on the outer v, lash line (top and bottom).

There are sales every now and then. I bought mine 25 % off. Are you based in the US or Europe?

Ooooh sales! I’m in the US. I’m not sure what defined eye is but I usually use alittle darker shade in the crease and even darker in the v or the end of my lid.

I don’t usually do eyeliner but sometimes I tightline.

I think I’m gonna wait tho bc I bought bh mattes and I need to play with them so far I’m not a fan and prefer satin and anything sparkly. I also got some Colourpop mattes and they kind of make my eyes look muddy or something. I want to get the Viseart bright colors next the satins ones they look so pretty for spring.

I couldn’t select the “reply” option under your last reply, so I will do it here!

Yes, what I meant with “defining” your eye is exactly what you describe ( outer v, crease). It can be essential when you have a hood. I this case I would go first with the neutral, cool or warm matte (depending on your preference) first as they allow both. I know too well this “muddy” effect you describe. I personally never experienced that with viseart shadows.

The ribbon palette is gorgeous! Really soft colours and the texture of the shadows is really flattering. I wish I could play more often with it (I can’t wear all of the shadows for work)

Musepro often has good offers (such as 2 palettes + some brushes for $120) a few times a year, sephora has its vib sales, beautylish also had an event once a year (I think) where you get $20 gift card per $100 spent.

Mattes are needed now on the below the brow area because with age, the shimmers just accent fine lines EVEN with primer. The mattes look good on me, but as someone mentioned how many browns or tans/beiges does one need? Gray mattes are nice too but blue or green are unchartered territory of makeup companies. Shimmers look nice on my lids so it’s a reverse of what I did 30 years ago.

I find that viseart mattes are more forgiving than a lot when applied on the lid but I don’t have make skin.

I have to admit that it is only once I put my hand on matte blues, greens, pinks, orange, etc that I finally started to appreciate them!

I love matte eyeshadows and use them almost every day for my hooded eyes.

Rant is that they often come off as a different color on the eye than what they look like in the pan, which makes creating a look with them sometimes guesswork. I also don’t like matte shadows that kick up a lot of dust/extra pigment, and even high end brands seem to have this issue.

Favorite all-matte palette is the Becca Ombre Rouges!

Rave: Definitely great in the crease
Rant: Some of the formulas are average and I think it is a finish that is hard to get right, especially with blues and purples.

Rant: Some are powdery to a point where there’s a TON of kickback. But they can also be like super dry, and PATCHY!!

Rave: Super smooth, soft, blenadble mattes are BOMB. As someone with severely hooded eyes, I NEED mattes!! I need a least three mates to build a look, one base, one transition to go high up on my hood, and one to deepen the look up!

For me, they are an absolute necessity. Especially for browbone, transition and to cut (fake?) a crease. My eyes are so hooded that I have to raise my brows a bit in order to take pics of my eye looks, otherwise only a sliver of mobile lid shows looking dead ahead, therefore, I cannot put shimmer on the hooded area or it just looks very, very bad!

However, not all matte eyeshadows are created equal. I do have some favorites that blend out very nicely, and then I also have some that are total pains in the butt to work with! Very upset that MAC dc’d their Matte² and most Veluxe formulas, as I love Kid (V), Folie (S, but looks matte), Nehru, Fig1, etc. Lorac mattes are usually good, as are most KVD mattes.

I so strongly resonate with what you said about raising your eye brows Nancy!! I usually do it in my eye makeup shots, because on my right eye, you can’t see ANY eye lid. And on my left, there’s a small sliver. So all you see when I relax my brows is HOOD. Sigh!

Rave: Mattes are my favorite finish! I love how much variety you can get in a look by mixing mattes and creating an ombre effect in the crease and even on the lid. Ironically, unlike many, I’m not a huge fan of shimmers lol
Rant: Many can be under-pigmented, especially if they’re on the deeper end of blues, purples, and reds. I don’t typically have a problem blending eyeshadow (but to be fair I use a primer and set it with powder before I add any color).

I love sparkles and shiney things. I would like to use mattes more for experimentation. I like trying new things.

I have trouble blending above the crease and getting each eye to match anyway.

I don’t like the lighter colors look too chalky on me.

Rant- I hate chalky, patchy, hard to blends mattes (which are all too common)
Rave- love a good, basic light nude matte as a base and to highlight browbones. L’oreal’s Infallible in Endless Pearl is my fave!

Rave:I think a matte is necessary for a look. It adds dimension and contrast against the shimmer shade.

Rant: They can be difficult to blend since they are often a drier formula

The dry, patchy, low pigmentation matte eyeshadows are just the worst. Some are too soft and TOO pigmented (when you go to blend them they just go everywhere and muddy everything). It can be kind of hard to find a happy medium.

I also hate applying interestingly or bright colored mattes that just fade away, even with primer. It makes it really hard to use them as accent shades if the accent is going to just disappear!

I do love putting interestingly colored matte shadows in the crease, though. I really like the ones in the Kat Von D MetalMatte palette, especially the forest green and the yellow! Most times I feel people put pops of color on the lid, but they can be just as cool and effective in the crease with a neutral shade on the lid, in my opinion! I wish more brands would put out a variety of matte shades rather than just the neutrals 🙂

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