Types of Eyeshadow + Eye Makeup Tips & Our Top Picks

There are so many different types of eyeshadow, and each one has its own uses and benefits. So here’s our complete guide on how to choose the right one for your needs, plus the best tried and tested products in each type!

Eye Makeup different types of eyeshadow

Makeup is the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up for my classes. Well, at least it did, during the pre-pandemic times (ah, the good old days). But with all the mask-wearing, I have decided to let my eyes do all the talking. A super-easy and accessible way for me to have the glam face with the minimum effort is by focusing on my eye makeup. Believe me, I was as clueless as a goldfish when I first started experimenting with different types of eyeshadow and brands.

So, coming from a self-proclaimed eyeshadow connoisseur, this article will give you a complete insight into the different types of eyeshadow in the market with tips and my favorite products. Plus, some makeup inspiration for your next Zoom party.

Different Types of Eyeshadow and Our Favorite Picks

As Diane von Furstenberg once said, “No one should notice how your eyes are done or the color of your eyeshadow. They should just notice you and that you are beautiful, that you have beautiful eyes.”

Eyeshadow is one of the most sought-after products used to create glam looks effortlessly. You can work with a variety of styles and use various colors to highlight those styles. Eyeshadow also comes in different textures. Not sure which eyeshadow type will work the best for you? Let us find out.

different types of eyeshadow

1. Pressed Eyeshadow

Pressed eyeshadows are the most common and one of the best types of eyeshadow for beginners. As its name suggests, the pigments are pressed into the pans and later stacked in the palettes. They are easy to blend with fluffy blending brushes and are available in different finishes like matte, satin, and foil.

For everyday use, matte eyeshadow is a great choice. If seeking a smooth and seamless look, satin is ideal. For a dramatic evening look, foil eyeshadow looks gorgeous.

Many brands offer different pressed eyeshadow palettes in the market. I especially love SUGAR Cosmetics Blend The Rules palette. And I must tell you, I have shelled out a lot for eyeshadow palettes from high-end to drugstore, but this one has exceeded my expectations. The palette comes with matte and foil eyeshadows, which means you can create various looks with just one palette. Also, the shades are super-pigmented, the metallic foils are buttery and very easy to blend.

Recreate this romantic makeup look using powder eyeshadows in both neutral and darker shades of pink. Complete the look with matte nude lipstick, fluttery false lashes, and kohl on your waterline.

Tip: If your eyeshadow is not pigmented enough to create a bright eye makeup look, you can use a light concealer on your eyelids as a base to make the colors pop.

sugar cosmetics pressed eyeshadow makeup look inspiration

2. Baked Eyeshadow

Baked eyeshadow has become a popular pick for some women in the last three years. The pigments are a smooth, creamy, and uniform texture that adheres well to the lids. The ultra-smooth and easy to blend formula is what makes this type of eyeshadow so popular with fashionistas.

Besides, baked is one of those types of eyeshadow that can be applied wet or dry. For intense color, saturate your brush with water and pat the product with a flat shader brush. If you only want a subtle color on your lids, the dry application will work.

Kiko Milano Bright Duo sets are one of my favorite baked eyeshadows. It is a fusion of two shades in one pan. The eyeshadow is incredibly soft to the touch. The pigmentation of the colors is vivid and buildable. Each palette contains two different finishes: pearl and matte.

Especially with all the eyes on the eyes, turn up the heat this summer by using vivid baked eyeshadow colors. Use pinks and oranges to create this color-focused eye look, which will enhance your pretty peepers. You can finish off the look by applying nude lipstick to balance out the statement eyeshadow perfectly.

Tip: Use at least two if not more makeup brushes to do your eye makeup. For applying color to the lids you can use a flat shader brush as it picks up the maximum product. For seamless blending, you can use a fluffy domed brush.

kiko milano baked eyeshadow makeup look inspiration

3. Stick Eyeshadow

Stick eyeshadow is perfect for those who do not have the patience or time to blend colors on their lids every time they go out. Eyeshadow sticks are versatile and convenient to carry anywhere. It is simple to apply because all you have to do is swipe it on the lids, blend with your fingers or a synthetic bristled brush as desired, and you will have the color you want. Most stick eyeshadows last for up to 8-10 hours without creasing, flaking, or fading.

My go-to eyeshadow stick is the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow. It is incredibly creamy and very pigmented. It is easy to blend with your finger or a blending brush. This product does not need a primer underneath it. And can be used on both oily and dry skin types.

A bronze makeup look is always in style. Plus, depending on the bronze tones you choose, it can be subtle or dramatic. You can combine warm golds with bronze and browns to create a look suited for a golden summer evening.

Tip: For creamy products, brushes with synthetic bristles work the best, as natural hair brushes can be overly absorbent. Creams are also more difficult to wash off than powder. In this case, synthetic fibers are easier to clean.

bobby brown stick eyeshadow makeup look inspiration

4. Cream Eyeshadow

If you are oh-so-bored with powder shadows, it is time for you to try their cousin, cream-based shadows. These types of eyeshadow are often sold in pots, although they are now also available in pans, tubes, and sticks. Some individuals like this type of eyeshadow because of its shimmery glaze and long-wearing formula, while others dislike how easily it creases. I would not use cream products in hot weather, as they are not sweatproof and will most likely melt off. Nonetheless, cream eyeshadow is intensely pigmented, comfortable to wear, and easy to apply.

My favorite pick is the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream eyeshadow. It is almost mousse-like fluffy goodness in a pot. For a soft day look, you can swipe a sheer wash of color on your lids with your fingertips. For a glamorous evening look, you can use a synthetic brush to pack the product.

Channel your inner Hollywood glitz with this makeup look. Swipe a sheer of your favorite shimmer cream shadow with a softly winged liner and a good coat or two of mascara on your lashes. Then there’s nothing quite like a good nude lip to complete the look.

Tip: If you have very oily lids, you can prime your eyelid and dust a little translucent powder on top before starting with your eye makeup to make the eyeshadow last longer.

charlotte tilbury cream eyeshadow makeup look inspiration

5. Loose Pigments

Loose glitters for all your glitter needs. Shimmer and metallic eyeshadows that are finely milled fall under this category. These pigments are high-shine and come in an array of colors and finishes. Professional makeup artists work the product with a precise synthetic flat brush and apply a thin layer of eyeshadow primer to create a good surface for the loose pigment to adhere to and elevate the color payoff.

My favorite pick is the PAC Pigment Tower. These are a set of 7 stackable, extremely long-lasting pigments that will not cake or crease. I use these types of eyeshadow as a topper on eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick. If you do not have an eye primer, you can also wet the brush to pack the pigments on your lids.

If you love bold and dramatic eye makeup, then this glitzy metallic look is for you. Jazz up your cut-crease with loose metallic pigments and add depth with brown tones. This is one of those types of eyeshadow that you can also combine with others for a smokey eye. Just apply it on the center of the lids. Complete the look with wispy lashes and a nude lippie.

Tip: Loose pigments create a lot of fallout. To make the process less messy, always apply your eyeshadow before your foundation.

pac pigment tower loose pigment eyeshadow makeup look inspiration

6. Liquid Eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadow comes in the same elegant tube as most lip glosses, with a chubby stick wand. Like pressed eyeshadow, liquid ones are also one of the best types of eyeshadow for beginners. My favorite way to use liquid eyeshadow is as a base and then patting powder pigment on top of it to boost its intensity and lasting power. However, the liquid, like its cream-based cousin, creases more easily. Folks with oily lids must avoid this type of eyeshadow.

Cult-favorite Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid eyeshadow is unlike anything else I have ever used on my eyes. It applies effortlessly, and even though it dries out pretty quickly, it is easy to blend. The glittery goodness of the product is very versatile. It can be used as an eyeliner on the entire lid to cut the crease or to dab in the inner corner of your eye to brighten it up. The best part about this liquid eyeshadow is that it doesn’t accentuate the dry skin beneath it, making it suitable for folks with dry skin type.

Make your eyes the star of the show with a subtle glam look. Dot rose-gold liquid eyeshadow in the very center of your eyelid and blend it into the crease for a seamless look. Coat your eyelashes with your favorite mascara and dab some highlighter in the inner corner of your eyes to make them pop even more. Finish the look with some blush and a lipstick of your choice.

Tip: Always dot the liquid eyeshadow evenly on your eyelid instead of swiping the product to avoid a messy look.

stila liquid eyeshadow makeup look inspirationDid you like our guide on different types of eyeshadow? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @shilpa1ahuja. Also, we would love to see your best eye makeup looks, so tag us @shilpaahujadotcom. We will be sure to double tap your beautiful peepers! 

Photo Credits via Instagram: Pressed eyeshadow: @makeupby__nada; Baked eyeshadow: @anitaheizer_makeup; Stick eyeshadow: @huberbeauty; Cream eyeshadow: @kleonnak; Loose pigment: @roxigajdamakeup; Liquid eyeshadow: @nancyr_makeup

Read next:
Different Types of Eyeliner Styles and Looks
Cool Eye Makeup Looks to Recreate when You are Bored

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