The Wedding Makeup Trials | Eyeshadow


When it comes to my wedding makeup, I can't decide if I'm more stressed about picking a foundation or picking eyeshadow. Not only do I have to pick a formula that will look great for hours and hours, but I also have to pick flattering colors and apply it in a flattering shape. This is definitely what I need to practice the most. I already know my skill aren't up to pulling off an Instagram-level smoky eye, but that's not really "me" anyway. I think what makes choosing eyeshadow the hardest is that I barely wear any on a day to day basis except for a cream bronze-y shade here and there, so it's hard to strike a balance between what will be a nice special occasion look that looks good in photos but also still feels like me.

I'm pulling out all my neutral palettes for this one. I definitely know I want something classic and timeless - I'm loving a few lavenders and pastels right now, but I don't want to hate my photos in 20 years' time. I typically opt for cooler-toned shades, as I find they suit my skin the most, but there are a couple slightly warmer palettes making me rethink that.

The one palette I'm leaning towards the most is the MAC Cool Neutrals x15 Palette (review). I already know MAC shadows perform extremely well on me, and I find them easy to use and apply. They're easy to build up, so I'm sure I can strike that balance between my more minimal everyday look and a "done-up" look. I have another MAC Palette that my sister made for me with a few perfect shades that I'll also be dipping into if I choose this palette.


My favorite palette of all time is the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Nude Dip. This is always the one I reach for when I want a more polished-looking eye. My one concern here is that there isn't a matte shade in the quad, and I feel like the shades might be a little too sheer to do a full look with. I might end up pairing this with another palette, because really I can't picture my wedding makeup without this. I used this quad when I did my makeup for my engagement photos.

Then there are the more purple palettes. As I said, I love a cool-toned eye, and something about some neutrals that lean just a little bit purple seem like they would create the most romantic look. I've been dipping into the bareMinerals Bare Sensuals palette a lot lately trying to create some classic looks, and while some of the shades look ultra-purple in the pan, on the eye they come off more neutral and wearable. Something about bareMinerals makeup screams "bride" to me as well, so I think this is my second-place contender behind the MAC.

Another smaller palette that I'm not sure I could get to work alone, although it's very beautiful and one of my favorites, is the Dior Five Couleurs Eyeshadow in Dream. The shades in this are beautiful, but I have the opposite problem from the Tom Ford Quad - all of the shades are matte. I think I just need a little bit of sparkle for my wedding day, right? Maybe I could even pair the two together to make my ideal eyeshadow look.

And then there are the warmer options. Typically anything warmer than dead-on neutral turns orange on me, so I plan to stray far away from those. But the NARS Wanted Eyeshadow Palette (review) and Marc Jacobs Glambition Palette (review) don't seem to do that. I'd be able to create looks that maybe bring a little more life to my face and would look better in photos. There's a look I've been doing constantly with the NARS palette that I think would be a gorgeous wedding look. 

I've been poring over wedding makeup tutorials to try to pick out what kind of look and shape I'll do once I pick out my products, too. I've come to find that simpler eye looks with only two or three shadows are much more flattering on me than more intricate ones. My eyes are quite large and deep-set, so I start to look a little cartoonish and unbalanced if I use too many dark colors, especially in the crease. I'm no makeup artist, but what seems to look most flattering on me is a shimmering nude shade all over the lid, a mid-tone matte brown through the crease (concentrated mostly in the outer corner), and a deeper brown shade smoked up and out from the outer lashline.

What are your favorite eyeshadows for special occasions? Would you wear something soft and natural or glamorous and smoky?

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