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What the Sheen?

What’s the Sheen? Matte, Satin, Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine!

There are many aspects of makeup that the average woman may find confusing. There are color choices; brown or black? Texture choices; creamy, dewy, wet, dry? Delivery choices; cream, liquid, cream to powder, loose powder, 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! Cause makeup main job is to make YOU feel amazing!

Fantasy Eyeshadow

Fantasy EyeShadow

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 super sparkly blush or highlighter, or bronzer, etc. And really glitter will not be your friend. Basically if you have texture, large pores, crepey eyelids, wrinkles, lip lines, any place you put sparkle, glitter or even fairly intense Shimmer ( think almost opaque Pearlescent colors) you are going to draw a LOT of attention to that area. Instead stick with matte sheen, 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 Sheen means the absence of all light reflective properties. Velvet is often a name that means matte. These types of cosmetics are usually, but not always, more opaque due to the ingredients typically required to make matte colors. This texture can look great on all skin types, but they are not everyone’s first choice- like if you really crave a super dewy finish. On eyes, though, anyone can wear these, and they are a go to if you are at all unsure. These are a makeup artist Staple texture!
Satin Sheen often is used to describe a color that is low in luster, but contains a mica or colorant that has very small light reflective particles. Looks a lot like satin material. Many illuminizers and highlighters are made with these because the shiny particles are so small, they can often reflect light away from the area instead of to it. The illuminizers like Touche ‘Eclat 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 micron sizes of micas to achieve this reflective quality and can come in powder form, as well as liquid or cream. Satin colors can add a youthful appearance, because young, firm skin naturally reflects light from it’s surface. Use these strategically, in combination with mattes for the most natural look.

Satin Sheen

A Satin Sheen (Like this material) has a low luster, but still slightly reflective surface, with no distinct particles.

Shimmer Sheen has larger particles, more obvious to the naked eye. 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)

Shimmer Sheen

A Shimmery Sheen has distinct, & separate reflective particles, but are still smaller in micron size.

Sparkle Sheen is another category with very defined, distinct, & easily discernible 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 glitter. Sparkles are best for very intense looks, or lip gloss, or periodically a body glitter if you’re feeling fun, and even eyes. Clubbing? Glitter up! Church? Not such a good idea.

Sparkle Sheen

A Sparkle Sheen has large distinctly separate “chunky” pieces and are very reflective.

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, with pearlescent 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, & concealer matte, Matte bluses are great, or at most a satin, and use A nice satin highlight 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 more natural looking. Also great on inner corner of eye, collarbones, & on the body, peak of cupid’s bow lips if they are well exfoliated with no dryness. My favorite is always FFM Golden Luster– it is my Crack! I use one of my Lusters on each and every shoot I do! I Also offer Bare Luster, Copper Luster, and Pinky Luster!


Golden Luster Highlighter

Golden Luster Satin Sheen Highlighter- & our Sample of the Week!


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 pearlescent colors 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 look amazing on nails!

One of my all time favorite Polishes is Aurora by Zoya  It combines the sparkle and Shine principle- and it has a very cool “depth” like your looking down into a clear pool ( the shine) to see the sparkle. It reminds me of something from Lisa Frank





And this weeks sample (for all full size orders) Is Golden Luster! So you can make this your new Drug of choice too!

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