3 Best Eyeshadows for 2016

This eyeshadow blog is based on my own personal experience and is my own personal opinion.

I have been using makeup since I was a little girl, raiding my mam’s makeup cupboard. However as time went on my interest in makeup only got stronger. In my teens I did a theatrical makeup course. Fast forward to 2016 and I am the proud owner of Vibrant Hair & Beauty in Chester Le Street. I am a fully qualified makeup artist and over the past three years have carried out numerous makeovers for brides, ladies on a special occasion and proms. It is fair to say I have had my fair share of experience of eyeshadows.

I am writing this blog as I get asked all the time by ladies coming into my salon on which products I use and why I use them. The topic of eyeshadows came up the other day, which sparked my idea for this blog.

Choosing an eyeshadow

There are so many products on the marketplace now it is a minefield. We are bombarded with numerous advertising campaigns, where the current A list celebrity is showing off a brand product. Does this mean the product is good, because say Beyounce wears it on an advert? Companies spend millions of pounds a year in advertising their products and I will be honest, I for one did use to follow that as a guide. There are some great brands out there and when I was setting my business up it was hard to know where to start. In the blog, I will share with you how I arrived at my final decision using a simple ranking system that I devised. Don’t worry it is not some complex mathematical equation, it is fairly straight forward, but has stood me in good stead.

So which brands did I try?

Which brands didn’t I try would be easier to list! I have visited numerous department stores, Beauty shows. I have had many sales representatives visiting my salon in Chester Le Street displaying their products. I have to say there are some excellent products on the marketplace and I have thoroughly enjoyed using all of them. That been said, I had to make a shortlist. After much deliberation I decided the three brands that would appear in my top three were (in no order) MAC, Kiko and Urban Decay.

My top three

• MAC – MAC Cosmetics

Now MAC is one of my personal favourities. I have been using the MAC makeup range of products for the best part of ten years. They were my go to brand when I was younger, long before I set up my Hair & Beauty salon – Vibrant Hair & Beauty. After I set my business up, I continued to use MAC and have always had great results with the products.

The retail experience you have when you buy MAC is fantastic. Not a penny is spared and I have always found their staff enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

• Kiko – Kiko Cosmetics

Kiko is the new kid on the block in my salon. I have been using their eyeshadows for about one year now and I have to say that most of them are very good and at a great price. Not all of the Kiko range of products have been to my pleasing, if I am honest but I love their eyeshadows which are very comparable to their market leading brands.

The retail experience maybe not as glam as MAC, but the staff are very knowledgeable with their products and how to use them.

• Urban Decay – Urban Decay

I have been using Urban Decay for a couple of years now and tried it for the first time in an airport duty free. I was impressed with the quality of the products and I have watched the brand grow. I love the edgey attitude of their marketing brand, really suits women of today!! Their staff again are great, like the other two brands. I like the fact you can get training by spending over a certain amount of money.

The retail experience of Urban Decay is fun, cutting edge and in general, an enjoyable experience.

Ranking System

As I have said, when I started my business it was a minefield on where to start. You can walk into any reputable department store and every brand and eyeshadow looks amazing. Sometimes the price can look amazing too, sometimes too good to be true.

I have ranked each company from 1 to 5, using these 3 ranking factors to determine who made my top 3 :

• Pigmentation – gives you a true colour, which helps blending and gives a deep effect if required.
• Colour / Colour Range – I look for depth in colour and the range of colours is very important.
• Cost – Although not the most important factor, it is a factor that I had to take into consideration.

I don’t want you to think as the #1 spot as “the best eyeshadow,” but as the most rounded product, that brings a good mix of the criteria in my ranking system. Any of the products that I reviewed are very reputable and have made my top three. Trust me I have tried hundreds!!

My Research

I have spent several hours going through my past notes on all the eyeshadows in the past three years. Yes, I do keep a diary but I have found this practice to be invaluable. My makeup mentor, Kate Hughes, suggested I shop around and try every different brand. After all money didn’t necessary equate to quality and ease of use.

After spending hundreds of pounds on makeup and trying all different brands, I found it hard to decide which products to use in my salon. All the products were good, but I need to decide what I really needed for my clients to create that wow look for their wedding, special occasion etc. Hence my ranking system.

Scores on the doors!

So remember my ranking system – 1 to 5 ( 5 is good, 1 is poor) over three categories – Pigmentation, Colour & Cost

colour / colour range

Drum roll please, the winner of my 2016 Eyeshadow review is KIKO!!!

I have decided that Kiko was the best eyeshadow that I have used this year as it ticks every box that you need. The pigmentation is fantastic and for me this is the number 1 criteria when choosing an eyeshadow. It allows me to be creative and really express myself as a makeup artist.

Although the colour range is not as good as it’s two closest rivals – MAC & Urban Decay – it covers off all the colours that I have so far been requested. And finally Cost.

Cost as I said is a factor, but the not the most important one. However, I believe Kiko really do set their prices too low for the quality of their products. Kiko can start at £3 per eyeshadow, whereas Urban Decay and MAC are somewhere in the £14 per area which is a huge difference. At first when I tried the brand I thought the price of Kiko would match the quality. How wrong could I be.

Overall takeaway

The top three brands I have chosen are doing at least two of the criteria’s I set out extremely well. All three of them bring excellent pigmentation definition to their products, which cannot be said for their competitors that I tried. The colour range is fantastic, with MAC and Urban Decay really leading the way and pushing the envelope when it comes to colour selections.

This is just my opinion, however I just wanted to share my experiences as I wish I had a blog like this when I was starting out. It would have helped me greatly. As Kate told me though, please experiment yourself…let’s be honest that is where the fun begins!!

Enjoy and until next time!

Julie x

Comments 2

  1. This is excellent Julie thank you I have to agree with you about Kiko absolutely fantastic eyeshadows! Great to get your professional approval because at the cost was always a little worried they couldn’t be as good as I thought! Hope you do a lipstick review in the future xx

    1. Post

      Thanks for the comments Kate.

      I shall be doing regular reviews of both hair and beauty products on a monthly basis if possible. Glad you enjoyed the blog and watch this space for future blogs. Julie x

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