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Frost finish eyeshadows have small shimmer particles that create a shining iridescent appearance. They can range from very metallic to minimally shiny. While frost finish eyeshadows are extremely popular, they can highlight flaws such as creases or wrinkles. They are shimmery, but not glittery. Overall I am a big fan of MAC's Frosts!
(Pictured: Satin Taupe)
Lustre finish eyeshadows are the outcasts... ask any MAC die hard what to avoid and they will probably tell you Lustre eyeshadows. Typically speaking they have a very dry but shimmery texture with chunky glitter and lots of fall out.
Matte eyeshadows are those without any shimmer/sheen/glitter. They have flat color with varying degrees of opacity. MAC's Mattes are known for their finicky nature. Most of the permanent Matte eyeshadows are good qualilty while a majority of the limited edition ones released are dry and not worth purchasing.
Pronounced Matte squared -- most people either love em or hate em. They are like regular Matte eyeshadows in that they have zero shimmer/sheen/glitter but they have a buttery texture with amazing payoff. The one downside is that I find them more difficult to blend.
MAC's Satin eyeshadows vary in their finish. Some appear completely matte (Brun) while a few are super frosty (Shroom). The majority have a very subtle sheen or demi-matte appearance. Overall I like Satin finish eyeshadows a lot because they are in that happy middle ground -- not too matte, not too frosty.
Veluxe is a finish unique to MAC. It applies matte but with a smoother less powdery appearance. They aren't as pigmented as Matte eyeshadows... They were being discontinued earlier this year, but MAC brought them back. I'm not too sure how long they will be around.
My favorite finish! Veluxe Pearls are like a Frost but with a more metallic, pearly shimmer. They are soooooo buttery and pigmented. As with any finish there are just a few that aren't completely up to par, but overall I think they are beautiful and worth getting your hands on!
Most Velvets appear matte or demi-matte -- some with a hint of sparkle (Vanilla, Texture) and others with glitter that doesn't translate to the eye (Beauty Marked, Mulch). I didn't realize how many I own and love until I wrote this post! A few have a reputation of being patchy when applied, but I would repurchase all listed below, aside from Beauty Marked.
Below are all of MAC's permanent eyeshadows categorized below by finish... please let me know if I've left any out!
(*) denotes eyeshadows that I either currently own or have owned in the past and would be able to go into detail regarding their performance. Leave a comment below with any questions.
Creme de Violet
Free To Be
All That Glitters*
Stars 'N' Rockets*
Whew, that was a long post! Hope it was helpful!
What is your favorite finish?