There are many aspects of makeup that the average woman may find confusing.
There are color choices; brown or black?, texture choices; creamy, dewy, dry?, delivery choices; cream, liquid, cream to powder,mineralized, pressed powder?
None, however, seem to be quite as confusing as Sheen, or in other words, the level of reflective properties.
In lay terms, can I wear that new sparkly eye shadow? And really, should I? Where?
O.k. There is a very loosely defined rule of thumb.
And, frankly, if you think you look divine in that new super sparkly, electric
purple eye shadow even though 50 birthdays have come and gone, well I say, God Bless ya, You couldn’t pay me to put it on you, but if you feel great, I won’t say boo!
Anyway, if you are 16 with skin like silk, anything goes! Just keep the sparkly stuff to one area of your face and you won’t walk around looking like a strobe light.
But, if you’re a 16 year old, or God love you, a 40 year old with some skin blemishes, don’t even think of wearing a sparkly blush or highlighter, or bronzer, etc. Basically if you have texture, large pores,crepey eyelids, wrinkles, lip lines, any place you put sparkle, or fairly intense Shimmer ( think almost opaque Pearlescent colors) you are going to draw a LOT of attention to that area. Instead stick with matte, every ones’ best friend, on areas that you wish to de-emphasize, but you can often wear a beautiful eye color with a satin look, or glossy lip colors with shine. These can actually create a more youthful appearance.
Let me explain what I mean by these terms.
Matte means the absence of all light reflective properties. These types of cosmetics are usually, but not always, more opaque due to the ingredients typically required to make matte colors.
Satin often is used to describe a color that is mostly matte, but contains a mica or colorant that has very small light reflective particles. Looks a lot like satin material. Many illuminizers are made with these because the shiny particles are so small, they can often reflect light away from the area instead of to it. They are usually in a delivery mechanism that contains silicone which creates a barrier on top of the skin so the particles cannot sink into pores or lines. Mineral makeup utilizes silica and certain micas to achieve this rather than silicone. Satin colors can add a youthful appearance, because young, firm skin naturally reflects light from it’s surface. Use these in combination with mattes for the most natural look.
Shimmer Has larger particles, more obvious to the naked eye. Many times these look like the surface of a pearl. These are often referred to as frosted colors. Shimmery colors on eyes, lips, & even nails, draw attention to imperfections in the surface, usually because the light is hitting every particle on the surface, but any depression reflects back less light, less quickly to the eye & conversely, any raised area reflects back more light, more quickly to the eye. The human eye, being a compound eye (very complex) is capable of picking up minute details almost without thinking about it. (This theory applies equally to all categories)
Sparkle is another category with very defined, distinct, & easilydiscernible to the naked eye, particles. You find a lot of lip glosses with sparkle, and even a good amount of eye shadows. This one covers more than the rest, simply because the particle range is very large, all the way up to the largest size of cosmetic grade glitter. Sparkles are best for very intense looks, or lip gloss, or periodically a body glitter if you’re feeling fun. Clubbing? Glitter up! Church? Not such a good idea.
Shine is actually using the carrier vehicle, regardless of color, to reflect light. It is often clear ( meaning you can see all the way through the surface to whatever is underneath) and adds depth by creating a suspended reflective surface. Lip gloss is the best example of this, and can be anywhere from lightly shiny to looking like polished glass. Color will many times change how shiny this will be, withpearlescent colors diminishing shine, but upping shimmer, and clear colors, or no color, upping the shine factor. (again, this has to do with how the particles or surface texture disrupt and reflect the light back to the eye )
My best general advice is to keep foundation and blush matte, use shimmer high on brow bone, collarbones, & on the body on lips if they are well exfoliated with no dryness. Sparkle can also be used on the body, in the hair, and on a smooth area of the face, like the brow bone or in the corner of the eye to add pop. Lips look youthful with a little shine, and can often carry sparkle well, and if you’re young, almost anything goes, just don’t overdo it Shimmer or pearlescentcolors will make dry lips look awful ( think frosted ), so go for a matte color with a little shine just in the center of lips if they’re chapped or you have a lot of wrinkles around the lip. Use satin on the eye lid, matte for liner & contour colors, & shimmer, sparkle, or satin frombrow bone. A nice shimmer from temple down the side of the eye and on to the top of the cheekbone adds a nice subtle glow to the skin, just keep the color neutral