If you’re looking for a long-wearing eyeshadow that won’t crease, fade, or lead to fallout, look no further than matte eyeshadow. While the look is associated with the 90s, matte shadows have been a staple in our makeup bags for decades because they offer vivid, long-lasting color and give us an array of versatile and buildable options. “Matte will never go out of style, remember that matte shades can vary from bone or very light to the blackest of black,” says Robert Sesnek, celebrity makeup artist for CATRICE Cosmetics.
With an array of shades and major color payoff, there’s a reason why we often reach for matte shadows. “The texture allows for smooth blending and more depth,” says Sesnek. While you can use a matte eyeshadow on your lid for a subtle everyday look, you can also use it as part of your glam to create dimension in the crease and on the lower lash line.
“The crease look with matte eyeshadow gives a flawless blend to creating dimension in the eye socket,” says Sesnek. If you typically prefer shimmery shadows and are experimenting with matte shades for the first time, Sesnek recommends starting with neutrals. “Neutrals are a great way for someone new to matte eyeshadow to use and incorporate matte tones,” says Sesnek. Not only is it easy to build and blend, but these set-it-and-forget-it formulas can take you from day-to-night. “It’s velvet like texture gives it very incredibly long lasting results,” adds Sesnek.
Ready to meet your matte match? From neutral shades to dark, moody hues, we've rounded up the best matte eyeshadows for when you're ready to take a break from your shimmer shades.
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This one-swipe wonder makes getting ready so simple and eliminates the need for multiple beauty products. Simply swipe and go with this gorgeous terracotta matte eyeshadow that glides on before it sets to a creamy finish. It’s longlasting and won’t smudge or crease, and it can also double as a lipstick or bronzer. Ipsters love how versatile the formula is and use it on their lips and cheeks as well as their lids.
“I’ve used a liquid eye make up like this and took some hints from reviewers here, experimenting with using it as a stain on my lips, or a blush mixed in with some face cream.” says one Ipster. “It makes a fine stay-put matte lipstick too,” says another. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens and phthalates, making it a safe choice for sensitive skin.
If you have oily, acne-prone skin reach for this hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic eyeshadow which won’t clog pores or contribute to bad breakouts. Not only does this dermatologist-tested formula deliver highly pigmented color in a beautiful matte hue, but it’s like skincare and makeup all in one thanks to vitamin C and vitamin E. These protect against pollution and fight off free-radical damage. It’s also paraben-free and cruelty-free.
“I like that it's natural and cruelty free,” says one Ipster. “The color looks beautiful and cruelty free/vegan products are a must have,” says another.
This dark, matte eyeshadow is the perfect pigment for creating a smoky eye and can also be used to give your brows a natural filled-in look that won’t fade throughout the day. “This thing lasted me for a year! I use this for my brows,” says one Ipster. “I've been looking for a super dark almost black matte and this one was perfect! Super easy to blend but still intense,” says another.
Want pretty, pigmented color without creasing or fading? Reach for this long-wearing eyeshadow in a universally flattering shade that’s perfect for your everyday makeup look. Not only is it easily blendable with other colors, you can also wear it alone for a beautiful no-fuss look. Ipsters love the “versatile shade” and said that it’s “very long lasting.”
“It’s a really gorgeous neutral. It’s really easy to blend and has zero fallout,” says one Ipster. “This is a beautiful matte shadow that lasts all day. It blends well and it’s a new regular in my lineup,” raves another.
If you’re looking for a neutral hue to serve as a base for your eye makeup, look no further than this buildable shadow that can be used wet or dry. It’s highly-pigmented and has a soft, buttery texture that blends like a dream. Simply add eyeliner, mascara, and go. “Beautiful subtle shade,” says one Ipster. “Gorgeous color, perfect for a transition shade and in the crease,” says another.
Creasing and fading are two factors that can make your eyes appear older. To avoid it, make sure there’s no talc in your eyeshadow formulas. If you want to allow your eyes to shine, reach for this pretty talc-free palette that was developed with plastic surgeons to ensure it provides stay-put coverage that won’t age your appearance. It serves up an array of matte shades, all while leaving you with a flawless, airbrushed look. Not only does this matte palette allow you to create a variety of looks thanks to the shade range, but the good-for-you formula is packed with nourishing ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, green tea, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E which soothe and hydrate.
If the delicate area around your eyes easily gets irritated, reach for this nourishing eyeshadow that’s safe for sensitive skin thanks to the vegan formula that’s free of phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, and talc. Infused with argan oil, this moisturizing formula glides on like a cream shadow but won’t budge throughout the day. Ipsters love the beautiful, matte brown shade and how buildable the finely-milled pigments are. “Smooth and creamy for a powder,” says one review. “Oh my god I LOVE this shade! it's so warm and blends wonderfully,” says another.
This vegan, cruelty-free shadow is subtle enough for every day, yet looks great when layered with jewel tones for a multidimensional look. Not only do Ipsters love the rose hue, but they love using it as blush, too. “I always get compliments when i wear this eyeshadow...and sometimes I wear it as a blush, too,” says one Ipster. “Great for the office and layers well with night makeup too,” raves another.
When you need to do your makeup in a hurry, make sure you throw this matte eyeshadow palette in your makeup bag. It’s compact enough to fit in your purse and comes equipped with a mirror, and the nine matte shadows offer so much versatility to build up your look from day to night. In fact, one Ipster even uses it to conceal dark circles when she’s in a pinch. “In a hurry, you can use the yellow eyeshadow dusted over foundation to cover dark circles and scars (in lieu of concealer),” she says. Another review attests to how convenient it is for traveling: “Nice colors, big pans, good quality...overall makes this a fantastic travel palette; it was the only one I took with me on a weekend trip to San Antonio and I didn't need anything else.”
If your eyeshadow often creases and fades because you have dry skin, reach for this long-wearing, creamy formula in a neutral hue that looks good on a variety of skin tones. Wear it alone or use it as a base to build out your smoky eye. “I love this shadow! It is my new go-to and stays on all day even with allergy eyes,” says one Ipster. “This is the perfect base coat for every look,” says another.
The cult-favorite brand is known for bold color payoff, and now you can create a major matte moment thanks to this convenient and compact Naked 2 sampler—it’s basically like a highlight reel of our favorite hues. The neutral palette is perfect for creating a natural eye and everyday looks, but it also gives you all the taupe tools you need to smoke out your lids with ease.
If you don’t often use matte shadow, allow this pretty chestnut hue to be the perfect starter shade for epic eye looks to come. It blends beautifully and goes on smooth, making it so easy to apply. This neutral hue is perfect to wear alone with a little eyeliner or to layer with jewel-tones or dark hues to create a smoky look. “This shade is perfect. I use it for my everyday go to look. It adds just the perfect touch with some bold liquid liner,” says one Ipster.
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