By Beauty Contributor Morgan Rainwater
1. Asphyxia Eyeshadow, Urban Decay // 2. Shimmer Eyeshadow in Pink, Ulta // 3. Naked3 Palette, Urban Decay // 4. Naked2 Palette, Urban Decay // 5. Expert Wear Shadow Quad in Natural Smokes, Maybelline // 6. X Eyeshadow, Urban Decay
Playing around and experimenting with makeup and eyeshadow is my equivalent of an artist playing around with oils and canvas. I'm certainly not saying my face is a perfect blank canvas by any means (or even close!), but I do get a little thrill out of mixing colors and techniques to get a fresh and fun new look. (I've admittedly had my share of successes and failures along the way, usually resulting in my poor face being scrubbed clean multiple times!) I'm not a big lipstick person so as far as colors go, I get my kicks trying out different eye shadows.
I've tried many brands and textures (matte, shimmer, creme, and both pressed and loose powder), but I've had the most success with a few tried and true faves. I first fell in love with Urban Decay about 15 years ago when my friend Roxie and I decided to get a free trial makeover at a department store. The artist used the most gorgeous shades of purple (Asphyxia, #1 above) and peach (X, #6 above) on us. I was mesmerized! I purchased the two colors and was hooked. Since then I've collected Urban Decay single color pots here and there. A couple of years ago, Urban Decay came out with their Naked Palettes, which are a collection of neutral colors in one tin box plus a dual ended application brush. I got their Naked2 Palette (#4 above), and more recently got their Naked3 Palette (#3 above) for Christmas. My go-to favorite shades come from these two palettes along with a hint of an Ulta brand pale pink brightener called Satine along the top of my lashes and under my brows. (Sadly, Ulta discontinued Satine, but #2 above, called Pink, is very similar). My favorite colors from the UD Pallets are Buzz, Nooner, and Darkside from NP3, and Tease, Pistol, and Blackout from NP2. The Maybelline Quad (#5) shadows in Natural Smokes is another great group of shadows that I use from time to time, and an inexpensive choice if you're looking for something similar to the UD pallets for less cost.
As it goes with trial and error, you come up with solutions to problems. I've learned that spending a little more on good quality eyeshadow is worth it in the long run, but you can skimp when it comes to other things. Here are three tips that have helped me along the way, and may save you some cash (and keep you from banging your head on your makeup mirror!).
TIP 1: Give cheap applicators a chance. Makeup artists swear by good makeup brushes. I have to respectfully disagree. I've wasted too much money on both cheap and expensive brushes. Guess what works the best for me? Disposable eye shadow applicators! (I use these.) I reuse them until they fall apart. I feel like you get way more color saturation and they're better for accuracy. (I do use a brush to blend colors once they're on my lid.)
TIP 2: Don't spend a bunch of money on 'eye shadow primer.' Yes, putting something on your eyelids first is essential. But I've found that an inexpensive concealer is as effective, if not better, for both color depositing and staying power. Pick a shade that matches your skin tone and run it all over your eyelid before you apply your shadow. (I use this one.)
TIP 3: Learn to DIY. Getting your eye makeup professionally done is fun and you learn a lot - but it can be expensive, and there are ways to learn how to do it yourself. Testing what colors work best with your skin tone is as easy as swiping a tester shadow on the inside of your wrist. And I've personally learned more from YouTube tutorials than I ever have from having a professional do it for me. There are literally hundreds (thousands?) of videos to choose from. And when doing your own eye makeup, you can experiment for free! If you're scared that you'll look like an 80's rock star, just remember that the worst that can happen is that you won't like it - and all you have to do is wash your face and start over! (This isn't to say that makeup artists don't do an incredible job; I'm just saying that you can learn how to successfully do your own makeup too.)
And just for kicks, here's a photo that Melissa took of sweet little Essley and me that shows a peek at my daily eye makeup, and which includes #2, #3, #4 and #6 from above:
I hope you guys like my roundup of favorite shadows and my personal tips for saving a little money on the other stuff. I'd love to hear what your favorite shadows/brands/shades are too! - Morgan
here), drinking wine, or moonlighting as an amateur makeup artist. And now she'll be sharing regular beauty favorites, tips, and tutorials as our new Beauty Contributor.
As I mentioned in this recent post, there are some exciting things happening here at Bubby and Bean. We're expanding and have lots of fun plans in the works. Stay tuned for a post welcoming our new contributors and revealing more details in the coming weeks!