Budge-proof shadows make me nervous because my hands are a bit shaky. I dipped the wider end of the brush into the wheat shade and spread it over my lower lids before slicing the tinier end through the espresso liner. I then pushed its bristles into my lashes and blurred my line by tracing it with the khaki cream.
Bottom line: Great payoff, but steady hands are a bonus.
Next page: All-in-one-kit
E.L.F. Get the Look Set in Neutral Eyes ($5)
Kits tend to contain only one thing I truly want. But each item in this refreshingly inexpensive set proved handy. The neutral shadows can be worn sheer or layered for a bolder look. The chocolate pencil is soft but not mushy, so you can draw a crisp or smudged line. The double-sided wand holds a clear gloss for naturally enhancing lashes and a gutsier gel for shaping and holding brow hairs. And the tweezers and eye shadow brush rival far pricier tools.
Bottom line: Five high-quality products for $5? I’m sold—with cash to spare.
Next page: Patterned palette
This palette’s promise: Its hydrating shades blend easily. I first dusted the silvery shade all over, then accented my lash lines with black, brightened my lower lids with pistachio, and added a bit of spruce to creases to add drama.
Bottom line: The trick to great results? Blend the shades on your eyes, not in the palette.
Next page: High-tech design
Voice technology has made its way into my makeup bag. With the push of a button, a prerecorded makeup artist (a tiny speaker is embedded under the lid of this palette) talked me through the steps involved in creating a smoky eye. Her instructions included brush recommendations and helpful hints.
Bottom line: Your very own makeup artist in a box. Genius.
Next page: Press-on shadow
Photo: Francesco Mosto (all)
Avon In A Wink Instant Eyeshadow Sheets ($10 for 14 applications)
These transfer shadows are so convenient. Each sheet gives you three coordinated shades—base, crease, and highlighter. But careful placement and a light touch are important. I learned this the hard way after slapping a sheet on my lid and rubbing its backing like a scratch ticket—only to win a sparkly mess.
Bottom line: Love the concept, but it takes practice to get the hang of it.