As a child of the 1980s, I grew up appreciating the beauty of the one-hit wonder. Come on, Eileen. 867-5309/Jenny. Whip It! I mean, really. If you can’t appreciate these, well, that’s almost as bad as being a 30-something who’s never seen Star Wars, the real ones, with Han Solo. You know who you are 😉
Anyway, as such, I immediately appreciated the notion of the one-shadow wonder, aka eye shadows that can create a look all on their own. I owe a debt of gratitude to one of my fave internet beauty sensations, Emilynoel 83 and her blog, beautybroadcast.net, for introducing me to this concept. She really lays out the methods for the types of shadows and applications that work well for this look, and I thought I’d contribute my 2 cents with some cruelty-free recommendations and demos.
Before I commence with the swatchapalooza, a few words on how I chose the shadows. First off, I decided to go with shadows that exist as singles. There are tons of shadows that are part of palettes that would do this job quite nicely, but I thought it would be more user-friendly to stick with singles. That said, I did not just pull out all my singletons. To make the grade as a recommended shadow, it had to meet a couple of criteria:
1) Has to be creamy and blendable, i.e., both easy to work with and able to blended out so as not to leave a harsh line under the brow bone
2) Has to have good staying power, i.e., what’s the point of getting ready quickly if you just end up having to spend a bunch of time touching up later in the day
That said, I do have both cream and powder shadows that fit the bill (including one named Bill). Also, while it’s true that satin/metallic finish shadows can be particularly lovely for one shadow looks, since they both reflect and recede depending on how the light hits them (see Emily’s posts for more on that), I also like the more multi-dimensional mattes for a subtle wash of color. Very work-appropriate.
I’ll begin with the cream shadows, which I have in both pot and wand form. The fabulous thing about cream shadows is they can be applied either straight from the wand, or with a finger tip, and then blended out with that same finger! Talk about beauty in a hurry 🙂
I’ve swatched these more or less according to color family. The violety-taupes, the browny-taupes, and the burgundies.
To illustrate, I’ve chosen one more satin/metallic finish and one matte finish to demo. The more metallic finish is ELF’s Cruisin Chic. It’s an absolute fave with me. Then the matte, Ellis Faas E106, a lovely lilac taupe!
Moving on to the powder shadows… I had kind of an embarrassment of riches with these, so I’ve combined the shadow and swatch photos for your viewing pleasure.
As with the cream shadows, I’ve done demo looks with one more metallic finish and one matte finish. The metallic finish is an all time favorite, as you may have noticed from previous favorites and Makeup Geek posts, MUG’s Mesmerized, and then the matte finish is a new fave, Glam Natural’s Ultrasuede.
I hope this has been useful and do let me know what your favorite one-shadow shadows are!
*These are only my opinions, formed through my personal experience as a consumer. I am not a medical doctor, an aesthetician, or a health/beauty professional. There is no guarantee what effect, positive or negative, these products may have on anyone else.
**All products were purchased by me from brands that, to the best of my knowledge, are cruelty-free.