What do you look for in a range of single eyeshadows?

I like a lot of variety in color and finish; I want to see more basic/core shades, but I also want to see a range of color. Consistency is also critical; a line of single eyeshadows that rates from A to F and ends up averaging a B overall means it’s a pass for me–that means some shades are great but a lot of shades are so-so or worse.

— Christine


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Ana Maria Avatar

My opinions are very similar as Christine’s.

The line needs to have enough variety in color and finishes, in a way that makes sense. The core should be basic shades with enough spectrum representation from light to dark (e.g. transition shades that address most skin tones), from warm to neutral to cold undertones, mattes to satins to slightly shimmers. I don’t like lines where bold colors or very shimmery or glittery finishes are more than 30% of the options. I do like consistency, but I demand more of it when I repurchase the same color; I am aware than formulating specific finishes and colors is more difficult (e.g. reds or purples tend to be more patchy due to pigments) so I’m not that critical on that.

I also love to see good pictures and comparison swatches, and overall better information from the brand how to choose and pair colors. I want guidance on how to choose the perfect transition shade for skin tone, swatches on real complexions (not photoshopped).

Christy Avatar

1. High quality (blendability of mattes, no fallout, lasting power)
2. Available as 26 mm rounds (like Sydney Grace, Colour Pop, ABH, MAC, and old Makeup Geek pans; 26 mm squares also ok
3. $6 or less each when not on sale
4. I have a strong preference for lines Temptalia has swatched, although I did just order a lot of Clionadh shades
5. Has plenty of mattes, semimattes, or shimmers that function as mattes (Sydney Grace has some shimmers that blend out to look more like a matte if you use them in the crease, and I love those shades)
6. Has gorgeous high-shine metallics
7. Has a wide range of colors in both mattes and metallics, both subtle and bright

Olga Avatar

Colors and formula I like. I don’t need to like the whole range to like particular singles, especially if they’re easily interchangeable with other brands. For example, I don’t generally like Mac, but I kind of love Quarry. I have it in a Mac palette with Sydney Grace and Anastasia shadows, and they work quite well together. Not interested in getting more, but could be tempted by particular shades.

Genevieve Avatar

I have decided that what I like in single eyeshadows is that they come in their own container and that they are easy to open.
I also like a range of shades, in both cool and warm colours. Personally I do prefer soft shimmer shades or satin/metallic finishes.
Excellent quality and reviewed by you Christine, is a must as well.

Rachel R. Avatar

Quality: Number one, always. I totally agree that quality needs to be consistent. Range: I always look for good purples, brights, and unique shades, but not having them isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Basic neutrals, crease shades that work on me, a good variety of colors, and shades suitable for brow bone highlights. A variety of depths and different finishes. Price: It has to fit in my budget and be worth its cost. Preferably available to buy in pans only. Need: Does it have products that fill a gap in my collection?

Susan Nevling Avatar

Now the only singles I buy are well rated blues. I have so many palettes with most all the colors I could want. Few contain a decent blue. So I buy blues.

Erin Avatar

quality, consistency, new releases, several textures, and finishes, as well as a good price point. not to mention a lot of colors to choose from, not just what’s trendy… Its why I’ve stuck with MAC singles so long. They’re consistently very well done, I do add alot of other brands though, but for core shades, I rely on MAC.

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