The Eyeshadow Index: Your no-nonsense guide to eyeshadow texture and type

When it comes to eyeshadows, there are so many types and textures it can be confusing. We have put together a little eyeshadow index to help you decipher them.

When you are choosing an eyeshadow you will be on your way to a perfectly blended eyeshadow look if you understand all the different textures they come in. If you know what kind of look you want to create, choose the right consistency to achieve it. If you're not sure what the subtle difference is between a shimmer and a frost, maybe our eyeshadow index can help you.

    • Satin: Eyeshadow that has a light sheen to it. This type of eyeshadow catches the light without being glittery
    • Shimmer: This eyeshadow is like a step up from satin. It is a satin eyeshadow with a really light sparkle in it
    • Matte Eyeshadow: No shimmer or glitter in it. They are usually the most highly pigmented eyeshadows and great for creating definition and depth in your eye makeup
    • Metallic: These eyeshadows apply with a shiny finish like metal to give an effect like bronze, silver or gold
    • Pigments: Eyeshadows in a raw form. Regular eyeshadows are made from pigments which are then pressed into a pan. Because the pigment hasn't been pressed, it is really strong. Pigments are ideal for strong eye makeup looks that you want to create intense colour
    • Pressed Pigment: This is the same pigment as above pressed into a pan but doesn't have the binder and fillers that are in most eyeshadows. They are usually metallic or glittery and can break easily. They are great for getting a high shine or glitter finish on your eyes
    • Glitter Pigment: Basically a pot of eye-friendly, fine-milled glitter. You will probably need an agent to adhere the glitter to your eyelids or wherever you want to use it
    • Liquid Shadow: Eyeshadow that comes in a creamy liquid consistency. They are great for giving a high shine finish or extreme matte finish

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Matte and metallic eyeshadows
    • Foil: Usually just like a metallic eyeshadow often with an iridescent shimmer through it, too. They are great for glamming up your eyes without going for full-on glitter
    • Cream Shadow: A cream consistency in a pot or a stick. They are similar to a cream blush and lovely for a natural dewy makeup look. They are very easy to use and can be applied with just your fingers. These are a great choice if you find eye makeup difficult to master or if you love a natural, no-fuss makeup
    • Long-Wear Cream Shadows: These look and feel like a cream shadow but dry down to a water resistant or water proof finish. These are brilliant to use as a base for your eye makeup if you want to make sure it lasts and doesn't crease. They also work under your powder shadows to intensify they colour for a dramatic eye makeup
    • Stick Shadow: A type of cream shadow in a roll up stick. The idea behind these is that they are really simple to use. Just scribble it on your eyelid and smudge it out with a brush or your finger for a super quick smoky eye
    • Chalky Eyeshadow: Generally not a desirable trait. Chalky means it's a matte eyeshadow that has a bitty texture exactly like chalk
    • Frost Eyeshadow: A step up from a shimmer shadow. It will be iridescent with a light glitter in it. The texture is like a satin or matte eyeshadow with glitter running through it. A frost shadow will have very tiny glitter pigment perfect for adding subtle touch of sparkle to your eye makeup

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Pressed Pigment, matte and glitter shadows
  • Velvet Eyeshadow sounds like it is. They are usually like a satin eyeshadow with a slightly thicker consistency so that it becomes like velvet to touch. It usually has a highly pigmented finish
  • Sheer refers to the depth of colour of an eyeshadow. If it's sheer it won't apply too dark so you can wear it as a very subtle wash of colour or build layers of it to get a slightly deeper colour.
  • Opaque is the opposite of sheer. This is usually the most desirable type of eyeshadow because it will apply a nice and strong colour immediately so it's easier to build up the depth of colour.
  • Extra Dimension is a type of metallic eyeshadow. The extra dimension refers to their metallic finish that has and intense pigment with high shine.
  • Mineral eyeshadows are made from minerals and are usually baked. They are usually quite sheer but will have kind-to-skin ingredients in them.


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