Search

Type below and hit enter...

Today we’re critiquing 19 brands of matte eyeshadows to bring you the best on the market! Welcome to the Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown ;) Get a snack, it’s a monster post. If you are unfamiliar with the Sham Frip Smackdown series, essentially I select a category and review a whole bunch of brands within that category so you can be a savvy consumer ;)

I couldn’t possibly cover all the matte eyeshadow formulations I own so I’ve picked palettes or single eyeshadows in which I have most to say, LETS DO EET!

The Uber Luxe Mattes

The heading says it all! Matte formulas at a steep price point.

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

Marc Jacobs Mattes (Pictured: Lolita Palette)* // I own a few Marc Jacobs palettes and the matte shades within are consistently stellar, they’re velvety, blend effortlessly and produce no fallout. In particular, this palette contains a pale, medium and deep shade – very nicely curated.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Hourglass Mattes (pictured: Modernist Infinity Palette)* // These palettes received mixed reviews in the blogosphere, I actually quite liked them; the matte portions are dryer in texture but it doesn’t seem to effect the blending or application (just make sure to tap excess product off the brush or you will experience fallout). The pan does seem to kick up a lot of powder and one commenter on the Sham Frip made a valid point – some of the deeper pigments can contaminate the paler shades. I still love this colourway, gorgeous rosy tones <3

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Surratt Mattes (Pictured: Assorted singles) // Perhaps it’s the shades I purchased (Ombre & Greige), but the Surratt mattes offer quite a soft payoff – not always a negative, who wants a opaque eyeshadow when you’re rushing to get ready for work? I mostly implement these singles for no-makeup-makeup socket contouring and as transition shades. The textures are silky smooth and flattering on fine lines, but nothing to write home about (at least from my gimme-garish-perspective).

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Tom Ford Mattes (Pictured: Cocoa Mirage Palette) // A very warm collection of buttery mattes (one shimmer thrown in), the Cocoa Mirage formula is so silky that I find the shades are easy to overblend, which can lead to muddy/indistinct placements. The solution: I apply directly onto eye primer (where I would normally mattify with a flesh powder first) so the tackiness encourages the powder to adhere. Applied in this manner, I adore the formula – it’s the perfect palette for grungey, hazy eyes. The other colourways in the range are overwhelmingly shimmery, a pity.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Mid End Mattes

I eyeballed these brands as mid end but in hindsight, some lean towards the high end price point WHOOPS.

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

MAC Mattes (Pictured: Assorted & Matte 2) // Rather comparable to Makeup Geek singles with a higher price tag which is not to throw shade at MAC, I reach for them frequently. I’d describe MAC shadows as utilitarian, they get the job done but there isn’t much pleasure beyond that, or in simpler terms – I’d buy a MAC shadow simply because the shade is right. MAC offers a decent array of cooler mattes, some of my favourites include: Haux, Copperplate and Omega (EPIC facial contour shade). On the warmer spectrum, some standouts include: Wedge, Soft Brown, Swiss Chocolate and Brown Script.

US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

LORAC Mattes (not pictured) // I did not enjoy the mattes in the Lorac Pro Palette at all, you can read my review here.

Sugarpill Mattes (not pictured) // Forgot to picture this brand but in short: amazing selection of bright mattes but I suspect there is a quality control issue. Read my full review here.

Becca Mattes (Pictured: Ombre Nudes Palette)* // ADORE the tonal colour scheme in this palette, it really takes the guesswork out of blending. I’ve heard some people describe Ombre Nudes as a collection of warm browns but on me, it runs rather cool, almost an ashy-brown effect. Like the Tom Ford, the Becca shadows adhere best to a grippy base (MAC Paint Pots work well) in order to achieve true-to-pan payoff. I’d very much like to pick up the rosier sister palette, Ombre Rouge :)

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Stila Mattes (Pictured: In the Mind Palette) // Stila mattes feature in many of their palettes although the palette pictured is entirely matte. The pans do kick up a bit of powder (be sure to tap of the excess) and the formula performs best over a grippy base (in a similar vein to the Becca) but critiques aside, I really appreciate the selection of colours – an almost equal amount of warm and cool tones.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

Too Faced Mattes (Pictured: Chocolate Bar Palette) // You gotta love your uber warm shades for this palette but the matte formulas are gorgeous: creamy, easy to blend, don’t kick up much powder and don’t emphasise texture on the lid. If Too Faced made a large matte palette, that would be heaven pls and thx very much.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

It Cosmetics Mattes (Pictured: Naturally Pretty Palettes)* // I’m not sure I’d call this formula entirely matte, the shades are infused with some sneaky sheen but I thought I’d mention them anyway. It Cosmetics excels at the wearable dusty tones and application is foolproof but they’re frustrating because I just CANNOT build much impact with these palettes. It’s like the shadows are diluted with translucent powder, even the seemingly deep shadows blend out to soft hazes so I’d recommend them to beginners or people who prefer very soft eye looks.

See it in action here and here. US stockist here. AUS peeps can purchase in Sephora AU stores.

Urban Decay Mattes (Pictured: Naked Palettes)* // In each Naked Palette, Urban Decay has thrown in a few token matte shades and I wish they’d gift us a few more because they’re lovely! Slightly more emollient than MAC or Makeup Geek, some noteworthy shades include Tease (cool taupe) and Buck (warm brown). You can buy these individually if they strike your fancy.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Make Up Store Mattes (Pictured: Assorted singles)* // Pictured below, Make Up Store mattes are similar in texture to MAC although the colour range is far more experimental with vibrant blues and oranges (in addition to the neutrals) for those who enjoy a bit of colour. They’re a go-to for colourful mattes although I suspect some of you will struggle to find them.

See it in action here. No online stockists for Americans, as far as I know. AUS stockist here.

More Affordable Mattes

Not drugstore (to be frank, I’m rarely impressed by drugstore mattes) hence ‘more affordable’.

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

Inglot Mattes (Pictured: Assorted) // I know you wanna see swatches of this 40 palette so here ya go. Inglot mattes are very hit and miss, I’d be wary about purchasing them online. To Inglot’s credit, they’re on the affordable side (unless you’re Australian, ugh) and one of the few brands that offer a vast selection of neutrals AND brights. The texture is on the dryer side, some shades can kick up a lot of powder and produce fallout, other shades read a bit ashy on the skin. Don’t get me wrong, some perform nicely but if you’re looking for neutrals, go Makeup Geek, the quality is far more consistent. If you’re looking for brights, Inglot is your best best, just touch before you buy ;)

US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Zoeva Mattes (Pictured: Cocoa Blend Palette)* // Zoeva mattes are not available individually, only as inclusions in their palettes which are reasonably priced. Whether you prefer warmer tones (Cocoa Blend Palette) or cooler hues (Taupe Palette), Zoeva has a curated palette to suit you. I’m particularly impressed with the pigmentation of these shadows, it takes little effort to build a smokey look and I’d definitely recommend them to those who like a statement eye.

See it in action here and here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

The Fail

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

Colourpop Mattes (Pictured: Assorted singles)* // I’d describe these as a cream but some categorise them as a powder hybrid so let’s discuss them today. As per my original review, while I love the Colourpop foiled shades, the mattes are just more work than they’re worth; they set super quickly on my skin and became tricky to blend especially when layering shades or contouring the socket. The paler ‘mattes’ (inverted commas, all Colourpop mattes throw some sneaky sheen) make for a nice base but as for the darker shades, I can’t justify the hassle given the incredible list of mattes on this page.

International stockist here.

The Favourites

Ending on a positive note, these are the matte eyeshadows that I recommend to everyone.

Matte Eyeshadow Smackdown – 19 Different Brands!

Viseart Mattes (Pictured: Neutral Matte Palette) // A good mix of deep, medium and pale shades, this Viseart palette does run a little warm so keep that in mind if you’re a cool lover. It’s bloody expensive but definitely a must-have if you’re a makeup artist because the shadows are reliable and offer spectacular impact/opacity from the first swipe. They’re also easy to blend and all that good stuff, perhaps my only critique and I’m grasping for straws here – when this formula is built heavily, you can start to see ‘product’ on the skin, particularly if there are dry patches or texture on the lid.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Kat Von D Mattes (Pictured: Shade & Light Eye Palette)* // I adore the Kat Von D and Viseart mattes equally. Many have asked me to compare the two so here goes: while the Viseart formulation is identical between shades, the Kat Von D shades vary a touch in opacity. This is not a bad thing, in fact it’s a rather clever addition, the paler shades are less pigmented than the deep shades and this prevents the textural buildup that can occur with Viseart mattes. FYI: the large taupe pan makes for a brilliant facial contour shade. Overall, the Kat Von D formulation is more user friendly and suited to any makeup lover, while the Viseart is geared towards makeup professionals.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Burberry Mattes (Pictured: Assorted singles) // I’d really love to depot these because single compacts receive little love from me but I’m pretty sure there would be casualties (NO NO NO). Burberry mattes are more emollient/buttery to the touch than the two aforementioned formulas and the brand boasts a range of nuanced neutral tones. They’re so easy to blend that you could practically do it with your eyes closed. Cons: pricy and housed in brick-heavy-compacts, undeniably luxurious although somewhat impractical.

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Mattes (Pictured: Assorted Singles)* // It was actually when I discovered RBR shadows that I realised the importance of matte shades and the love affair continued from there. The range is rather small and decidedly neutral but what few shades they do, they do very very well. I’d recommend them to the eyeshadow beginner or someone seeking daytime shadows – they can be built to smoky looks but the payoff is a touch softer so ideal for natural definition. Like the Burberry, they feel like silk to the touch and I can’t fault them!

See it in action here. US stockist here. AUS stockist here.

Makeup Geek Mattes (Pictured: Assorted singles)* // Out of the more affordable options, Makeup Geek Mattes receive the most love from me. They’re very comparable to the the MAC matte formula, although perhaps the quality is more consistent between shades. While not silky to touch like RBR or Burberry, they do blend effortlessly and the colour range is spectacular – my perfect warm eye consists of Peach Smoothie, Creme Brûlée, Cocoa Bear and a touch of Bitten (I’ve used this combo in quite a few tutorials).

See it in action here and here. International stockist here.

PS – other brands that I would have liked to included but I don’t own enough to make a proper judgement: Make Up For Ever and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Will have to report back on that front.

NB: I’ve just realised that I haven’t touched on longevity because as long as I use an eye primer, I personally have no issues in that regard but if you do, be wary of the formulas I describe as emollient.

Other Posts In The Smackdown Series

Powder Highlight Smackdown – click here 

Longwear Eyeliner/Tightline Smackdown – click here

Cream Eyeshadow Encyclopaedia/Smackdown – click here

Eyebrow Product Smackdown – click here

Undereye Concealer Smackdown #1 – click here 

Undereye Concealer Smackdown #2 – click here 

Undereye Concealer Smackdown #3 – click here

Who is still with me LOL?! Did you enjoy the matte eyeshadow smackdown? Leave any questions and thoughts in the comments section and we’ll chat :)

xxkarima

* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest when reviewing products :) Some links in this post are affiliate links.

Complete list of products mentioned

Single Eyeshadow
Single Eyeshadow
Pressed Eyeshadow
Pressed Eyeshadow
Lolita Eyeshadow Palette
Lolita Eyeshadow Palette
Cocoa Blend Palette
Cocoa Blend Palette
Naked Flushed Palette
Naked Flushed Palette
Shade & Light Eye Palette
Shade & Light Eye Palette
Ombre Nudes Eye Palette
Ombre Nudes Eye Palette
Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadow
Wet & Dry Silk Eyeshadow
Chocolate Bar Eye Palette
Chocolate Bar Eye Palette
Pro Palette
Pro Palette
Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Modernist Eyeshadow Palette
Eyes are the Window Mind Palette
Eyes are the Window Mind Palette
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

Leave your comment (85 comments)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Just one thing to say about a gorgeous matte palette: Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette. Hands down the most breathtakingly beautiful, buttery, highly pigmented mattes ever. Its almost too stunning to use.

  2. hi, what do u think about tartelette in bloom palette? is it good? im looking for nude eye palette because my skin ton e is warm. but i couldn’t decided which one, between lorac pro or tartellete.. thankyou before xx

  3. I stumbled upon your blogs a few months back and have been addicted ever since. I love your honesty and integrity, I have spent a small fortune over the years on massively over hyped products from you tubers, you know the ones… Oh wow it’s amaze balls. If you don’t have it you need it. It just sinks into the skin and you kinda become one with the universe. I love it yay, blah blah blah. Now I’m like… Really REE!!! And many others. Then the clouds disappear and you realise everything they review is great, not one bad comment on hundreds of products. Any ways rant over.
    I am in total agreeance with Burberry shadows, being a lady of a certain age I have to be extremely careful on what to put on my forty something eyes as most eyeshadows actually emphasise lines and wrinkles and make me look sixty something… Not a good look.
    Have you ever tried the Kevyn aucoin single mattes. They’re lovely, my all time Fave of his is 104 soft clay, have you ever tried any and if so what do you think. Just wondering if there’s anything better out ther.
    Massive thanks again.

  4. Hi Karima! Very interested to try the makeup geek shadows from your review! Do you know of any dupes from the range for Urban Decay Buck or Mac Groundwork?

    1. Hmm I can’t say with certainty off the top of my head but thankfully, there are soooo many Makeup Geek swatches online. If you google it, I’m sure someone has side by side comparisons.
      x

  5. I depotted my burberry eyeshadows. Two of them were hurt in the process (“flakes” from top layer came off) but I am still happy I did it, because
    1. I can SEE them now –> I actually use them
    2. The lost flakes are not too big of a deal, because honestly, I have finished one or two eyeshadows in my life.

    I would love to get more RBR <3 never tried the matt ones!

  6. Hi Karima,

    I notice you never mention makeup forever in terms of eyeshadows. I’m curious what your thoughts are as I love these and would like to know how they compare to Burberry and Viseart. I also love Tom Ford shadows.

    1. Hey Daisy,
      I did mentioned Make Up For Ever, copy and pasted: PS – other brands that I would have liked to included but I don’t own enough to make a proper judgement: Make Up For Ever and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Will have to report back on that front.
      xx

  7. Hii Karima, could you perhaps consider doing a contour products (cream maybe? ) smackdown? Ones with shades suitable for darker skinned girls?
    Or if you have done something of this sort then please link me!

  8. I’m in awe having just discovered ur site after discovering your YouTube channel and finding the link to the eyeliner smackdown. Ive wasted years reading through blogs and watching videos looking for comprehensive, beautifully articulated and easily relatable info on makeup products like finding the perfect matte with pros cons and comparisons. Your blog has literally everything a casual or pro makeup lover could ever need or want. I’m in awe of ur knowledge and ease of ability to convey to readers/viewers info in a delightful but useful manner. U read my mind on things I want and need to know about the mattes for example notinf what’s good for beginners, smoky eyes, etc. I’m clicking to the helpful links next of the Burberry and RBR to pick up some recommended. And someone has finally convinced me to try the Makeup Geek shadows as I had feared all hype with little real daily use appeal. I can’t fathom the work that goes into a post like this or the videos you so expertly produce. A true fan girl here in the US and that says a lot coming from this 40yr old former corporate professional now stay home mom who spends an inordinate amount of time and money buying makeup to just enjoy as my hobby. Best regards and many thanks as I am so excited to read all the past posts esp the smackdowns- my collection I know will grow after picking up many items noted as the star performers in these smackdowns and tutorials- tutorials btw so easy to follow with end result looking amazing tho u offer us great tips to simply the application. Rave done and thank u again!

    1. Hey Kimberly!
      Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m so so pleased that you’re enjoying the blog posts :) Typically a post like this one takes a month to compile but it’s a labour of love and smackdowns are my favourite to produce ;)
      Let me know if you try any of the products I recommend, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
      xx

  9. Hi Karima!
    I have a question for you! I noticed you mentioned that the Becca palette leans cool on you, but most people classify it as warm… Do you know why that is? I feel like most shades, aside from the warmest of the warm, all look cool on me. Grayish or purplish undertoned? Whyyyy?! I always thought my skin tone was on the warm side of neutral. Not pink at all, but not quite yellow either. Could that mean I’m olive, like you? Or does my skin tone have nothing to do with this dilemma? I am pretty pale in the winter, but tan easily and rarely burn when I spend time in the sun. My eyes are a medium blue/gray and I naturally have blonde hair so I thought those characteristics excluded me from the olive category…… Excuse the rambling. Lol. So long story short… why would you say warm toned eyeshadows look cool on some people?

    1. Hey Chelsea,
      Colours can shift depending on your skintone. For example, orange lipstick often turns red on me. I’m sure there is a complicated colour wheel theory for this but practically, all you need to know is that your skintone shifts eyeshadows to the cooler spectrum.
      You may be olive but I don’t think that’s a pertinent factor in the explanation.
      That being said, I think the Becca shadows are likely neutral, which is why they can appear warmer on some skintones and cooler on others. I’m not shifting the temperature from 100 to 0, if you get me :)
      xx

      1. Thanks for the help Karima! I appreciate (and am impressed by) you taking the time to answer all of us. I can’t even manage to text my sister or friends back on a regular basis. Lol. I love your makeup style and techniques as well as your wonderful personality! Also FYI, Too Faced does have a matte eyeshadow palette.. It’s called the Natural Matte palette! ;)

  10. Hi Karima :) Love your blog and youtube channel – so informative and I always feel like I learn something from you!! Totally out of context: I was wondering how do you clean your brushes? Keep up the amazing work please :D I always look forward to a new tutorial from you!!
    Much love xxx
    Trine

  11. I think most of the time we are green skin twins. The Bourjois healthy mix 52 and Koh Gen Do aqua are some of the best matches i’ve had, but unfortunately im usually on the oily side. I was just wondering if you don’t mind me asking, have you ever had any other great shade matches in foundations that are more suited to oilier skin types.

    p.s. will you be doing a tutorial of the look you did with the tom ford cocoa mirage palette? Loved that one

    xxx

      1. Thanks for doing the tom ford video! Its so great that you spend time listening to your audience and replying to comments! Thank you.

        X

  12. Hi,

    would you recommend the tom ford cocoa mirage for a beginner looking for an everyday neutral palette? Ive been considering this or the charlotte tilbury sophisticate palette as I quite like the idea of a quad because its easier to travel with. Or is the Kat von D the way to go?

    1. I just came back to add: or the rouge bunny rouge matte quad you just added on your Instagram. My brain has melted, i wish i could have them all.

  13. FYI…attending continuing Ed classes in Orlando, FL (read DISNEY, UNIVERSAL, etc). However, my decompression therapy of choice is tucking into a slice of cold pizza under the covers of my hotel bed reading this a Enablement, I mean, smackdown. Love me some Viseart, MUG, KVD, Burberry & TF. Have you tried some of the Burberry quads? Epic warm shades, same great consistency. I’d love to see you use some in a tutorial. (More matte eye tutorials, maybe with bright or dark lips?). Much love from someone who would much rather be reading your well executed comparison of what are arguably the best eye shadows, mattes anyway, out there, at home with farting dogs on the bed. Miss those breezy little bastiges. <3

    1. Cold pizza in a hotel room is actually my idea of fun :) I haven’t tried the Burberry Quads actually, are they permanent? I heard mixed reviews when they launched.
      Hope your classes are going well!
      xx

  14. I’m still with you :)
    I love your youtube channel and enjoy chatting in the comment section where one actually replys to questions and nice suggestions and so on. As a blogger myself, I know how important this is but as the public grows, it happens more and more often that the blogger behind the blog becomes unreachable, which is quite sad in my opinion. So I was really surprised when you told us in your recent ‘Ask Karima’ blogpost that you always respond to anyone on your blog.. I’m a new follower, so.. I wasn’t aware about that :)

    But getting on to eyeshadow! Just today I followed your tutorial on the matte eyeshadow daytime glam look and thought about my favourite matte eyeshadows. I have very pale skin (not too fair, but with very little ‘pigment’ to it: I tend to describe my skin as ‘slightly translucent’, if you see what I mean) and can’t pull off very pigmented or dark shades. I really like the matte formulas of the new L’OrΓ©al Ombre pure eyeshadows (do you already have these ones in Australia?), because they are sooooo soft and buttery and blend well and so on (for example the shade 106 breaking nude). These are sold in drugstores here in Europe for about 7€ (about 10 U$). But I also own really nice shades from German brands (Cosnova: they own essence and Catrice) since I’m not looking for very good colour payoff but more for very light colours.. so the dusty eyeshadow formulations which everyone hates are right for me *lol*

    Thank you for your time,
    lots of love from Germany

    1. Yep! I always respond to blog comments :) We have really thoughtful conversations in the comments section!
      Not sure if we have the L’Oreal Ombre Pure Eyeshadows but I’ll definitely take a closer look! They sound lovely :)
      x

  15. YES! This is the post I’ve been waiting for :))) Happy New Year Karima. I love the new Ask Karima post and I look forward to all your new videos. I went out yesterday and got the Becca palette!!!!!! I love it! Honestly, I do not go out and get anything before checking your blog to see what you thought about it! Hope you have an awesome year.!! XO

  16. Hello from Florida Karima! Although I rarely comment, I am a faithful reader/viewer. This is BY FAR my favorite smackdown of the smackdowns! I agree with your assessments entirely. KVD have been a revelation for us makeup lovers. As a matte eyeshadow LOVAH I feel compelled to offer up some of my faves. Not sure about availability in Australia, but a few reasonably priced palettes I find I reach for frequently are:

    1. Cargo: The Essentials Eye Palette – (it has a nice cityscape on the front.) The shades might appear a bit warm for some in the pans, but when applied they are surprisingly lovely on a variety of complexions. YAY! Great with primer or without, minimal fallout considering the price. Mine wears well all day. Color payoff equal from shade to shade. Perfect for a work day polished eye. I got mine for about $28 at that mecca of coupon awesome: Kohl’s.

    2. NYX’s “Butt Naked” and “Butt Naked – Turn the Other Cheek” palettes: Super duper affordable! Great matte eyeshadow collections and blushes too! Although I find the blushes a bit glittereh for my taste (I am a lady of a certain age, ahem) the curation of these shades is as phenomal as KVD’s shoe collection. Great grab for travel.

    3. BH cosmetics “Makeup By Mandy”: tightly curated 6-pan palette. Never ever fails. Super affordable. If this is no longer available, rent your garments and scream at the heavens. Just kidding. BH cosmetics have an amazing variety of matte palettes. This one was $12, but they have 12-72 pan whoppers from $12-$48. Great for beginners, and some of the larger palettes have awesome cool shades to appropriate for contour/eyebrow duty.

    4. Bare Minerals “The Truth” quad: Yes yes, a bit of sneaky shimmer. But not enough to jam up a great cool matte brown eye. Smooth buttery quality, minimal fallout. A staple! Albeit a bit more expensive. $35ish, wherever BM are sold.

    5. Laura Geller’s Creme Glaze Deluxe in “Desert Dusk”: a new fave, again slightly more spendy. These go on semi-creamy and vaguely translucently. As if one were somehow born with a perfectly shadowed eye! But buildable into a variety of looks. So much love. $30+ at Ulta

    Sorry to hijack this magnificent post with my War & Peace sized commentary, but I love matte shadows and EHRMAGHERD Yerr r serrrr errrserrme. I’ll resume lurking and will comment again in about 2 years. Peace!

    1. I’m searching my brain here trying to recall if Cargo is available in Australia anymore… Can’t remember. Will check out the NYX palette! Don’t wait another 2 years to comment ;) I love to chat makeup, anytime, all the time.
      x

  17. I too, am beginning to realise the importance of mattes in my collection whereas before (because I’m such a magpie) it was shimmer as far as the eye could see! I love my Urban Decay basics palettes & the Sugarpill ones for outrageous colours.
    I’ve just bought some Rae Morris brushes on your recommendations & can’t wait to try them out. I only received them yesterday so as yet to use them but they feel incredibly soft & some of the shapes are so unique.
    Thanks for taking the time to review all of these brands!

    1. Feel you on the magpie thing, I’m always drawn to shimmery purples :P Just occurred to me that I didn’t mention Sugarpill or Lorac mattes… ERGH I might go edit my post.
      Report back on the Rae Morris brushes! Also recommend drying them in brush guards, since they’re so fluffy.
      xx

  18. Love your posts, thanks for this one! I’m more on the neutral sides of mattes, so I really like a light cafe brown, a wood type brown, and a deep brown for creating dimension on the eye. Have you tried Lorac shadows? They offer lots of mattes as well!

  19. Thanks for doing this! I was hoping you would do a mattes smackdown, i think many of us were, so thank you for all the hard work! I had wondered if you didn’t like MUFE eyeshadows, since i never saw you using them. I ended up getting a lot, even though i don’t like the price point and think the pans are too big. But i really like their earthy greens and taupes, which i use in lieu of warm browns (can’t make those suit me, no matter what). The MUFE mattes i have are consistently good. Easy to apply, pigmented, not powdery. I wanted to ask you if you have come across a good greys palette. Brands seem to make the same simple couple grays and i crave range and complexity

    1. I agree with you on the ‘pans too big’ comment, I would assume that they’re aimed towards professionals because they’re just… too big lol.
      That won’t stop me from buying more though lol.
      xx

  20. Wonderful blog post! I learned so much! You truly do a thorough research and I love how honest you are. Thank you and keep’em coming! xoxox

  21. Love your Smackdown posts! Super helpful! I love matte eyeshadows, they may not be as exciting as some others but they’re really necessary. Love makeup geek matte shadows. That Viseart palette is so drool worthy! Gorgeous!

  22. This was way too much fun to read:D love your posts so much Karima!! MUST finally get my hands on some Makeup Geek shadows…
    xxx

  23. Lovely post Karima! I want to try out the Kat Von D palette but unfortunately it isn’t available in my country :( I have also heard great things about the MUFE Artist Shadows in their matte formula, have you tried those? By the way, being an ashy contour lover like you, I’m happy to say that I have found my favourite contour powder which is the Inglot HD Sculpting powder in 505, it has a greyish tone to it and it’s my perfect everyday natural sculpting shade, you should check them out!

  24. As always, wonderfully thorough! I know you say you don’t usually like drugstore mattes, and I agree, with the exception of sleek, have you tried them? The matte brights palette is one of my absolute favourites and saved me a ton of money when I was desperate for a bright matte yellow that actually shows up! xxx

  25. TL;DR never applies when I’m here on your blog! I read all the way through and even wished you had kept going when I got to the end. Thanks for the well thought out review and tips on how to get better performance from the brands you mentioned. I use mostly mattes because my eyes are on the hoody side so this smackdown is very helpful to me. I especially appreciate that you commented on how some mattes when built up look like obvious product on the skin (my pet peeve) and how the different brands fare on fine lines.

  26. This is exactly the post i’ve been looking for.. thanks a lot.. wat an incredible collection..! did u try the tartelette in bloom palette? Please let us know ur opinion

  27. I am tossing up between the KVD Shade & Light and Tarte’s Tartelette palette. Have you tried that one? I’d love to here your thoughts :)

  28. Too Faced actually does have an all-matte palette called “Natural Matte Eye Palette”. It’s quite impressive and the color runs warm.

  29. Hi Karima… so glad that Tom Ford’s Coco Mirage features in this post! When I touched these shadows for the first time I was totally blown away by the quality, they are so incredibly smooth and buttery. I also like that they aren’t too powdery and the brush hair do not kick a lot of powder. Ever since I got Coco Mirage, there’s no looking back. I agree with over blending, but, I am such a blending freak that I can end up over blend any eye shadow.. lol..

    Karima, I need your advise … I wish to buy a Marc Jacobs palette, which one do you recommend? Lolita?

  30. I kept reading, searching, where is the Burberry?! Then I found it, phew. I love my mocha quad and always take it with me on trips. I wore antique and tea rose on my wedding day (along with Burb Tangerine blush). Love Rosewood and Almond for every day. Can you tell me favorite eyeshadow brand?…

    Based on your reviews I really need to check out the Kat Von D eye palette.

    1. Clearly I have a lot of eyeshadow (lol) so picking a favourite brand would be difficult, different brands excel at different finishes/colours etc. The Kat Von D is a great palette, would recommend it to everyone.
      x

  31. I knew better than to read this post. ENABLER! :) My fav matte go to is Tease by UD. With lots of mascara it’s my go-to easy work eye that matches all the lipsticks. Thanks for this post, Karima. You are so well thought out and I TRUST YOUR SHIT. Keep it up! Live for the smackdowns…

  32. Make Up Store Australia’s website does ship to the US! (They’ll ship to any country that doesn’t have a physical MUS. The US hasn’t had a physical store for some time.) There are also some products available through Beauty Bay.

  33. Loving this post! I’m a huge fan of neutral mattes and this is such a great guide. Personally I love Too Faced Mattes but I think I’m going to expand out to some Makeup Geek ones and some Inglot ones.

  34. How do you take such wonderful photos of your shadows and keep the colours true to life? I always find that they’re washed out when I take pictures.

  35. I’m still with you girl! Lrrrrrv this post of course, it is amazingly detailed AND amusing. You are a master and yes, I will buy the shade light eye palette lol :D