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Beauty Products & Reviews

Eye shadow addiction: high end vs. drug store eye shadows

Beauty products fascinate me, and especially eye shadows. I have a particular affinity (read: addiction) for eye shadows because there’s such a wide selection of colors and shimmers.  Over the past few years I have really started to appreciate certain characteristics of eye shadows.  My favorites meet these three criteria:

  • So finely milled that they almost feel creamy
  • Highly pigmented. If you’re new to cosmetics addiction, this basically means that they are loaded with color.  With one swipe you get rich color instead of an insipid, transparent dusting
  • Little fall-out.  Again, if you’re new, this means that the shadow stays where you put it and doesn’t sprinkle down onto your cheeks or under-eye area

There are high-end products that meet these criteria as well as low-end shadows, but if I’m being honest, the higher end products are my favorites in this category. Many of the products I use every day (17 products from face wash to finishing touches) are from the drug store.  But for some reason, when it comes to eye shadow I always reach for the more expensive brands.


If you can swing it, investing in palettes is a more affordable way to buy high-end shadows.  The Naked palettes by Urban Decay are cult favorites and are a good example.  Each of the three Naked palettes contains 12 shadows varying in sheen from matte to shimmering, and in a range of shades from a very light highlight to a deep black.  And at $54 per palette, you’re paying $4.50 per shadow.  That’s less than what you would pay for most single drug store shadows, and the quality can’t be compared.  Ounce for ounce you are certainly paying more, since the pans in the palette are smaller than what you’d find in single-pan drug store products – but how often will you use every speck of those drug store products anyway?  For the value and variety you get, my money’s on palettes. What are your faves?


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  1. Pingback: Review: Too Faced Natural Eyes | The Beauty of Midlife

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