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Home Forums Makeup Advice Blending: Why Mattes vs. shimmer?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mariella Mariella 4 years, 10 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Stephanie Saur

    In Marlena’s pallette reviews she often faults the pallette for not including enough mattes for blending. What’s wrong with using the shimmering shadows for blending? Maybe I just don’t understand blending in general. I usually just smudge out the lines separating different eyeshadows from my lid to crease to browbone.

    So for example I’d put a apricot color on the lid, dark brown in the crease, and a vanilla color beneath my eyebrow (all shimmers), I’ll just feather out the colors so they look natural.

    Are you supposed to use a matte brown to smudge the shimmery crease color, and a nude matte to smudge the vanilla (so 5 shadows in total)? Or, are you not supposed to use shimmery colors in the crease at all?

    If you’re not supposed to use shimmers in the crease, how do you wear those dark glitzy UD colors like Muse and Jagged from the Vice pallette?



    I think Marlena just prefers mattes for blending, mainly to blend any harsh lines. I also seem to think she’s not a fan of using all shimmery colours on the eyes. Balance and all that.


    I use nude matte colours to make it look like the eyeshadow is blending out to my natural skin and shimmers every time else! I love shimmery colours and have lots of trouble with mattes, I think it’s just up to personal preference

    Profile photo of Maritoni

    I tend to use matte colors for the crease of my eyes. To me, the shimmer behaves almost like a highlight, so by placing the shimmer on the lid, your pulling that “forward” and the matte nude in the crease pulls that part of the eye “back.”


    I don’t use any shadows for blending. I use only clean small brush. And I personally don’t understand why you’re supposed to use shadow for blending except that case when you need to soften the bright color.


    I agree with mtishawt asbout using shimmers more as highlights.  I also just really don’t like having shimmers in my crease because I feel like it tends to make my eyes look oily when I actually have very dry lids.  I’m not saying I NEVER wear shimmers there, it’s just a personal preference.

    Profile photo of Becky Gaskill

    One of reasons that I prefer matte vs shimmer for blending is because my skin from my brow to the crease has a lot of pores. Using a shimmer draws attention to the pores (not attractive). I do use shimmers, but I keep them on the lid or inner corner of my eye. Overall, I think it is a matter of personal preference.


    a lot of what people have said already is what i would answer. there are truly three categories of finishes to shadows: matte, shimmer, metallic. someone mentioned that shimmer shadows draw attention to pores but people don’t have pores on their lids the same way they do on the nose, for example. anyways, some people, like marlena, prefer using a matte color to blend out what is on the lid. furthermore, some prefer neutral color mattes in the crease. my personal opinion is that one can use anything but a glitter shadow. no matter how metallic a shadow is, it will be come matte when you blend it out enough. you must go back in and reapply it exactly where you want it the darkest. i use mac’s 217 and 224 brushes in the crease; the 224 to apply a mid-tone shadow there and then a 217 to apply one or two sequentially darker shadows there but mostly focused in the outer v. if you blend, the metallic finish diminishes a great deal. you can easily take a metallic bronze, brown, black, purple-any color, apply it on the lid, and blend it out like crazy to make a gradient. that is what a smokey eye is.

    so, in summation, it’s just a personal preference.


    The first rule is that there is no rule, lol, so everyone picks what they like best.

    The general consensus, though, is that an eye makeup looks best when you pick and mix different finishes, so you don’t end up with an all-glittery look (that can be a bit disco-ballish, at least for daytime) or an all matte which has a bit of a retro feel.
    And if you mix, the trend is to use the mattes in crease and on the browbone because nowadays it’s considered that a shimmery brow looks a bit dated, the trend is more to use mattes there. Also for me, personally, my eyes being a bit hooded, I don’t want to bring attention to the hooded part so rather use a matte there.

    So all in all, if you want mattes for your crease and highlight, you’ll find out they’re missing in most palettes :-s

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