From the vampy silent screen sirens to today's peppy pop stars, eye shadows have always been the most fun and colorful cosmetic for embracing trends. Your lids are perfect little palettes for playing with each season's style. However, with so many choices, how do you know if the color in the package will look just as great on you? Start with a shadow that has a great reputation and a fan following!
The Best Powders
When it comes to powders, these shadows have all-day staying power, come in a variety of colors, and get noticed by beauty editors and reviewers alike.
Shimmer Shadow: Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color
Named one of Allure's Best of Beauty 2013 picks, this shimmering shadow leaves reviewers starry-eyed. The "shadow wardrobe" includes a selection of soft, ethereal colors and is favored for smooth application and high pigment. You can go for the dramatic look, and lay on a lot, or you can use subtle color to bring out the best in your eyes. The satin finish helps the shadow go on evenly, giving you the exact look you want. Lingerie - an ivory beige, and Caramel - a golden beige, are top picks for everyday shades. The eye shadow comes in a variety of colors and retails for about $25.
Matte Shadow: IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Luxe Trios
Like to look a little more youthful around the eyes? Opt for a flattering matte trio from IT Cosmetics that gets rave reviews from like-minded women. The anti-aging formula includes acai, green tea, and vitamins A, C, and E. The smooth-to-apply shadows diffuse wrinkles instead of settling into creases, giving mature women a more youthful appearance. The trio comes in six different palettes and retails for about $24.
Shadow Palette: Dior 5-Color Eye Shadow
Sure, the price seems a little high, but when you consider that every color in each Dior's luxe palette is one you'll love to wear, it's a steal. Most palettes offer a couple of hits, and too many misses. Dior's carefully curated colors are both fashionable and wearable, so it's easy to see why the 5-Color palette was named a 2013 In Style Best Beauty Buy. The long-lasting shades are well worth the price. (Purchase by clicking the image.)
The Best Creams
While cream eye shadow has its disadvantages, namely that it tends to crease and is lacking in the variety of hues that powder eye shadow offers, many women still use it as a base for a longer-lasting look, and some even prefer the texture of cream over powders and other products.
Versatile: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow Liner
Looking to streamline your makeup bag? One little pot from Benefit multitask as primer, shadow, and liner. Smooth on lids quickly with just your fingertip, and blend with ease. Or, use an angled liner brush to apply precisely along the lash line. Named "Best Cream Eye Shadow" by Real Simple magazine, the colors feel good going on and really do stay put.
Waterproof: Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow
Tend to get weepy at romantic movies? Your date will never see you raccoon-eyed with this remarkable shadow. Sold at Sephora, reviewers rave that this formula has a "bouncy" texture and is true to the stay-there name. The color options are bold and vibrant, no nudes here. It's also a crease-free favorite for those with oily lids.
Shadow Stick: Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick
This top-rated portable stick is a great way to simplify your makeup routine. No tools or fancy techniques required - just sweep the stick like a coloring crayon to line, define, or shade the whole lid. Color builds seamlessly, so you can go from natural to dramatic in a few strokes.
The Best Liquids
Women who want real staying power often opt for liquid shadow. It tends not to smudge, and can stay put even on the busiest of days.
Liquid-to-Powder Shadow: Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes
Stay pretty-eyed even when you break a sweat with Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes eye shadow pen. This chic, brush-tip pen lets liquid color glide on. Then, as if by magic, it turns to a powder finish. Included as one of Oprah's Summer Beauty Essentials, these deep and vivid colors provide dramatic, runway-worthy results. And, the sleek sliver case is almost as pretty as the color inside.
Eye Gloss: Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Gloss
Looking for a truly lacquered lid? Eye gloss, like it's lip gloss counterpart, gives a sultry shine. Featured on Tom Ford's fall runway, the glossy finish of Rouge Bunny Rouge eye gloss creates bedroom eyes that are in keeping with film noir fashion trends. Get the look at home with the wand-tip version from UK's cult brand Rouge Bunny Rouge. It goes on like liquid pearls and adds instant glamor.
DIY: Combine Moisturizer with Powder Shadow
Want to rock a shade that's the perfect formula and hue for you? Make your own! Combine a dab of long-lasting moisturizer such as Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream on the back of your hand with your favorite powder shadow. Once you reach the desired pigment, sweep your bespoke eye gloss on your lids, bat your lashes, and smile. No risk, colorful rewards, and it's a trick you can use with cheap shadows, too.
Look Your Best
Whether you're looking for right-off-the-runway color or a more subtle shadow, be sure to choose the best tools for your mini masterpiece. While you may not try a jade green lipstick, you can get adventurous with your eyelids. Have fun with it!