Candice Chen (avatar)
updated 4 years ago

Makeup Texture 101

It's hard enough choosing colors. It can be downright mind-boggling trying to figure out makeup textures.

What's matte, what's satin, what's frost, what's metallic, and what's sparkly??

The line isn't always clear but I'll try to clear up some doubts today.

Here are some eyeshadow textures swatched for you.

At the top are cream shadows. At the bottom are powders. Actually when they're on, the difference is not huge. Creams TEND to be more intense initially but powders go on sheer and can be built up.

The texture with the least shine is Mattes. It just means they don't reflect as much light. You won't see any pearl. The shiniest are usually metallics. Sparkle shadows have noticeable glittery specks but not all are very bright.

The most common and popular #eyeshadows tend to be the basic shimmery/pearly ones.

They have a reflective quality so they highlight the skin texture but not so much that they are metallic yet.

They look good on most people, but if you have a lot of lines or puffiness, darker shimmer shades are better. Paler shimmers can emphasize fine lines and wrinkles.

#MAC's Frost range falls under this category. So do #Chanel's baked quads, most of the #Diors, #YSL ombre 5 lumières and drugstore shadows.

Matte shadows don't reflect too much light so the colors actually show up better on camera and from a distance.
The problem with matte pigments is they sometimes don't apply evenly. If you don't apply it right, they can look patchy. Done well they look velvety and beautiful.

Unlike other shadow textures mattes can't be applied damp.

Some of the best and finest-textured mattes come fr from #MakeUpStore and #MAC.

Many of the luxe brands used to stay away from straight-metallics in their core ranges cos they tend to be not too suitable for boardrooms, formal functions, or the more mature eyelids of the ladies who purchase from them.

Artist brands like MAC, MakeUpForEver and ShuUemura were the ones to go to for sparkly metallics.

But nowadays, luxe houses are reaching out to younger women who want trendier textures and colors, so many are adding stronger more vibrant colors and textures in sub-ranges.

When choosing a palette try to look for a balance of dark and light, shimmery and matte. Pale shimmery shades don't look good on outer corners of the eyes so you need a deeper less reflective color there usually.

Sparkle is optional. Add a bit for drama if you want.

Of course it's very hard to draw lines nowadays.

Mattes and Metallics are on opposite ends of the scale a d in between there are satins and shimmers. But any of these 4 can contain glitter too.

#Nars has many matte shadows with sparkles in them. You need to test them on your hand before you buy and use a good base with those cos otherwise the sparkles will fall off and you're left with just the matte on your lids. (Sparkle particles are coarser and don't cling to the skin that well.)

If you look at MUG's shadows, you'll see clearly that Paparazzi is matte with sparkles, while Liquid Gold is clearly metallic. (They look almost metallic.)

As for the 2 beige shades it's harder to say. Afterglow is more metallic than Sweet Dreams but not as metallic as Liquid Gold.

The last texture? Duochromes.
These are those shadows that look like one color but "shift" to another color in different lights.

There is a "base color" (the main color you notice in the pan) and a "highlight" when the flat surface of the pigment particles hit the light.

These are fun but many are unflattering.

Tip is to look at the base tone. (E.g. this #LimeCrime shade I used has a purple base and a pale green highlight). If the base color doesn't look good on you don't buy it.

And it's similar with blushes and lipsticks.

I've got 4 red lipsticks here.
Matte - dry velvety texture with high pigmentation and low shine (MAC Ruby Woo)
Creme/Cream - the most common lipstick texture (#BobbiBrown Old Hollywood)
Frosted - it's not too visible but the lipstick is pearlescent (#KatVonD Foiled Love)
Sheer - semi-translucent and quite glossy, this texture is very common in Asian brands as many people are scared of stronger colors and textures

Day 136

Friday, 16 May 2014

31 9
pinkpluspinky (avatar)

pinkpluspinky Hi Candice! Sorry I had to comment here cos I can't comment on your concealer post. Dayre seem a little wonky after the latest update. 😣 Anyway, I wanted to ask. Which loose powder do you use to set your concealer? Is it the Laura Mercier secret brightening powder? I remember you recommending it but can't seem to find the post. How do you apply the powder to set it? Brush? And may I ask which particular brush you are using? I am using the 217 to pick up the Laura Mercier but it seemed to waste a lot of product. Like I need to pick up quite a lot yet have difficulty having the powder to transfer to my eye area. But when I flick the brush can still see a lot of powder "flying" out. Do you have this problem? Million thanks!

4 years ago

lmhlmhl (avatar)

lmhlmhl Thank you so much for this post :D clarified a lot for me! Pearl and satin look similar to me though.....

4 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @mh_legacy Yeah they're similar. It's hard to draw a line. Satin is sorta between matte and shimmer but it's never too clear haha!

4 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @pinkpluspinky No worries! Yeah Secret Brightening powder is good but the one I have right now is the Bourjois Java Rice Powder. Similar effect! 217 is a bit small. I'd suggest a bigger brush or a small blush brush (sephora's flat face brush is good) and instead of sweeping it on, you pat pat pat with the brush, like you're using a sponge! That usually works better for me cos it deposits a fine even layer.

4 years ago

unspokensilence (avatar)

unspokensilence This is so helpful! Love metallics and satin finishes! :) And that etude house palette is beautifulllll, need it!

4 years ago

alphelle (avatar)

alphelle babe just to confirm, ur description of lipstick was from right to left?

4 years ago

pinkpluspinky (avatar)

pinkpluspinky @makeupbox thank you! 😃

4 years ago

makeupgeeek (avatar)

makeupgeeek @alphelle yes its from right to left 😄

4 years ago

alphelle (avatar)

alphelle @makeupgeeek thanks dear! :)

4 years ago

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