I realised recently that the proliferation of eyeshadow quads and huge palettes doesn’t really serve that many people. Yes, I, along with other make-up obsessives, love the ability to create ‘an eye’ and fanny around with different depths of the same colour, but I know that this is not the case for many of you, and that you yearn for the simplicity of a simple eyeshadow, and love finger application.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; you can get a completely lovely finish with a single eyeshadow, an optional eyeliner, and lashings of mascara. I really mean that – the eye has its own undulations and a good shadow strategically-placed can enhance them without needing to shade sockets and what not.
But before you get going, two things: 1) If you use a sheeny or spangly eyeshadow, it will of course highlight that area. If you apply sparkle indiscriminately and it falls into crow’s feet, that mostly isn’t a good thing. As a rule, shine looks best on the inner corner of eyes (blend it by tapping a few times), and in the centre of eyelids up to the crease line, and 2) The one shadow thing is easiest to do if you pick a colour that’s kind of close to your natural eyelid hue – or darker. Lighter is a bit harder, though of course not impossible, to pull off.
Here are some of my favourites, though really I’d quite happily take pretty much any shadow as a single provided I like the colour //
Stila Kitten Shadow / Apparently what Kylie wore c. 2002 and therefore one of my favourite eyeshadows since the day on which I gained that precious intel, this warm, champagne-hued, sheeny shadow suits a hell of a lot of skin tones and comes in two finishes – the original shadow, and a paint pot version, which is absurdly easy to just apply with fingers. It also doubles as a lovely highlighter (though if you use it for this purpose make sure the edges are well blended).
Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow Nude Collection / Don’t discount Bourjois because it’s not overly spendy – these shadows get shade choices bang on, and the colour pay off is brilliant. I am fully in love with the ‘Originale’ one, and often use it when in a hurry, though some of the shimmer does fall down onto cheeks if you apply with a buffing brush, so either pat on with a finger, or do eyes first, take a toner and swipe off fallen bits, then do your usual skin-decorating thing.
Tom Ford Shadow Extreme Sparkle Eyeshadows / Now, if you want a single eyeshadow that’s a bit jazzy, a bit of a show-stealer, I’d stick to TF and get one of his sparkly numbers. They’re really special, combining excellent pigment with serious shimmer.
Decorte Eye Glow / These create dimension and make eyes look lit up and a touch glossy – but the colour won’t budge or slide as most eye glosses do. I use BR382 an awful lot and it’s the one I’m wearing in the picture at the top of this post.