Thursday, September 06, 2007

Work Horse

I'm often asked about finding good office-friendly eye shadows in muted, wearable colors in matte textures: no shimmer, no pearlized, frosty effect and absolutely no glitter. There aren't that many of those left. My fall-back item in this category has always been Clinique Pair of Shades Eye Shadow Duo. It's a no-nonsense, reliable compact, with two shades that go well together without too much fanfare. The pairs are usually in the same color family, without a contrast. They blend well together and create a very put-together look.

The only problem with the concept is the lack of highlighter in most pairs, which often means you need to add a third color, because the shades are too dark to go under your eyebrow. For this reason, I always thought it would have been better to have it as trios.

The eye shadows are moderately pigmented, which makes them almost fool-proof, just don't expect dramatic results, especially if your skin tone leans towards the dark side. Both the No-Show Taupes and the Spring Wedding duos work well for me, but I was really sorry to see they discontinued my favorite: High Drama. It was an unusual pairing of matte black and chocolate brown. Despite the name, it was elegant and very wearable. I use the black for lining, with or without Paula Dorf Transformer, and the brown on the lid and in the crease. Carefully blended and with a beige highlighter, they make for a great casual look. Too bad it's no longer available outside of eBay.

I hope the rest of this line isn't going the same route (it might be, since Clinique has greatly paired down the number of colors they're offering). I know the big trend for the season is dramatic eyes (see the Sephora catalog for some scary looks), but reality is that sometimes we need to look sane, pretty and like we aren't trying too hard.

(makeup photo is of Sephora Purple Reign look. Please don't try this at home)


  1. A Clinique Touch Base would work well under the Duos, keeping shadow in place and doubling as a highlighter. I wear Canvas almost every day -- it's sheer, slightly shimmery (not metallic), and very versatile because there's absolutely undertone of color to it.

  2. I like purple and mauve eyeshadows actually..They make blue/green eyes really pop...BUT must prep with eyedrops as any redness will be accentuated as well. It is a good alternative to smoky black or slate, especially when worn with a brown ensemble. Why not?
    Just my two cents ;)


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