Eye shadow palettes are our newest vice. They offer instant gratification, fun browsing with a de-aging bonus. Cosmetic company researchers spurred on by makeup artists and impressive sales numbers have realized our demo prefers multi-shade palettes to single shadows or duos. One great palette can enhance mature eyes quickly and effectively without a lot of additional products or decisions. But here's the truth: some palettes won't work for aging eyes (even surgically enhanced ones) due to inadequate shades, texture or quality; but lots of others do. These three are the ones for us:
MATTE NEUTRALS FOR DEFINITION. A palette of greys, browns and beige-y nudes is DIY Photoshop. These shine-free shades blank out crepe-y soft lids so drawing on bigger, firmer eyes is easy. All you do is contour with light, medium and dark shades for a natural or dramatic look. Matte neutrals are your basic everyday go-to. Blend the light mattes (vanilla,cream, nude, beige or peach) on the lids to open the eyes, trace the crease with medium brownish-grey for depth ( also layer these over the light shades to vary or intensify them). Use the deep brown/black shadow as liner. Choose velvety, finely milled shadows. Skip any that feel grainy or look chalky. Try: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($27, sephora.com), Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye Palette in Eye On Neutral 02 ($19.99, target.com), Stila In The Know Eyeshadow Palette ($39, sephora.com).
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SHIMMER TO BRIGHTEN . Shadows that shine, gleam and glow give tired eyes a lively warm look and energize your entire face. Choose a palette with a neutral mix of matte, shimmer and subtle micro- glitter. Follow the light/ medium/ dark placement above. Treat shimmer as
an accessory the way you'd toss on a statement necklace or a sequin scarf. It works as a pick-up whether your lids are loose, lined and saggy or surgically enhanced and smooth. Layer shimmery shadow over a base of matte shadow, use it as a highlight at the inner/outer corners or the very center of the lids. Layering same shade shimmer over its matte cousin intensifies the color. Try: Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Eye Palette ($75, bobbibrown.com), Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Rosy Tan ($60, sephora.com), Maybelline Stylish Smokes Eyeshadow Quad in Natural Smokes 02Q ($5.69, drugstore.com).
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USE COLOR TO FEEL FESTIVE. Colorful eyes are really an after-dark or party option unless you're edgy, artsy or work in a "creative" environment. Choose neutral palettes with pops of color like blue or violet. Layer the color over or under a neutral brown, nude or grey to make it wearable but with a trendy sizzle. Apply color dry for a muted look, with a damp eye brush to intensify the color. Try: Kat Von D True Romance Eye Shadow Palette-Poetica ($36, sephora.com), Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow in Lambada or Belly Dance ($36 each, sephora.com), NYX The Smoky Fume Shadow Palette ($7.49, target.com). Yves Saint Laurent Pure Chromatics Wet & Dry Eye Shadow No. 13 ($55, sephora.com).
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Eye shadow palettes make glam holiday gifts for friends and family... buy now since some are limited editions!
For more beauty and style tips for women 50+ check my books The Wardrobe Wakeup, Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson ($ 17.04, amazon.com) and The Makeup Wakeup,Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter ($18.25, amazon.com).
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