I am really excited about today’s post. There is a tag doing around Youtube about the best shadows for one shade looks. I think that’s great because, let’s face it, sometimes we simply don’t have the time or the inclination to do a complicated shadow look with six different shades. Sometimes we need to rush out the door and only have five minutes to throw on our makeup. Or maybe you just want to do a simple look to liven up your face as you run a couple errands on a Saturday. I have seven one-and-done shadows, all from the drugstore, that will give you a beautiful eye look with just one shade.
One of the easiest shadows to apply when you need to rush out the door are cream shadows. My first one-and-done offering is Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. I find that the Color Tattoos work very well for me without creasing or fading and don’t need to be set by a powder. I don’t even need a brush. I simply apply the Color Tattoo and blend it out with my fingers, easy peasy. Bad to the Bronze is a deep metallic bronze shade. The intense metallic finish gives it a multi-dimensional look when the light catches it, making it look like you have more things happening on your eye than you actually do.
Another cream shadow that I have spoken of often is the e.l.f. Smudge Pot in Cruisin’ Chic. It is a gorgeous brown-based metallic taupe, and a lighter shade than Bad to the Bronze. The Smudge Pots are so lightweight and creamy, they blend like a dream. When they dry down they have great lasting power with no creasing or fading. I really love Cruisin’ Chic. It couldn’t be easier to apply with either a brush or your fingers. It is a great everyday option that all by itself looks like I put way more effort into my eye look than I really did.
Moving away from the cream shadows, let’s talk about L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush. First of all, if you don’t already have this shade in your collection, run out and get it immediately because it is gorgeous. Amber Rush is a metallic rose gold color that is to-die-for. It is so beautiful! The Infallible Eyeshadows are pressed pigments that seem to “melt” onto the skin during application. The soft, velvety texture glides on beautifully and is extremely lightweight. You can use either a brush or your fingers to apply. I like to use both, actually. I use my fingers to pack the shade onto my lid, and then diffuse it up through the crease with a fluffy brush. One shadow look or not, Amber Rush is a must-have. Another Infallible Eyeshadow option for a one shadow look is Bronzed Taupe, but that one is quite a bit darker.
A similar style to the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows is the Ulta Brilliant Color Eye Shadow in Taupe. It is also a pressed pigment and performs just as well as the L’Oreal Infallibles. Taupe is a warm brown based, metallic taupe shade. It is a great neutral, but with some drama and intensity. It is a little bit lighter than Bad to the Bronze, and a little darker than Cruisin’ Chic. For those of you who aren’t a fan of cream shadows, this type of shadow may be a better option. You can apply Ulta Brilliant Color Eye Shadow in Taupe with fingers, or use a synthetic brush for great results.
I can’t do a one-and-done post without mentioning the quintessential Wet n Wild Coloricon Single Eyeshadow in Nutty. It is a metallic taupe that works for any occasion. It can be built up for a darker look, or sheered out to look more natural. Nutty is a standard powder eyeshadow, so those who may not know how to use other formulas will be able to apply it with ease. It is the least expensive shadow on the list at only $0.99. Wet n Wild Coloricon Single Eyeshadows are intensely pigmented, have excellent lasting power and an overall fantastic formula. You need Nutty in your life.
A somewhat daring one shadow option is the Jesse’s Girl Pure Pigment Eye Dust in Sunlit Cactus. I mentioned this in my April favorites post and can not get enough of it. There are orange, gold, and green pigments in the shadow, and they create all of these fantastic dimensions to the eye. Loose shadows can be a little messy at times, but I definitely think that Sunlit Cactus is worth the trouble. The shade is so eye catching, and interesting without much effort on your part. It has so much drama and intensity, it can absolutely stand alone.
The last shade that I have is e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow in Golden. It is a warm, brassy gold shade that is lighter than many of the shadows on this list for those who don’t like dark eye looks. I really like the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow formula. It blends extremely easily and evenly. The shades offer great pigmentation, but can be applied lightly and sheered out for a subtle wash of color. For a one color look, I would pack Golden on the lid, and then gradually blend it up to nothingness with a fluffy brush. It is beautiful.
Here is a swatch of all the shades mentioned, side-by-side and in the order they were mentioned, so that you can easily compare them to each other. By now you may be noticing a trend in all of these shades. They are all shimmer or metallic finish and they are mid-tone shades in the taupe, bronze, and gold families. My personal opinion is that those are the best shadows for single shade looks. They are universally flattering, go with everything, and the finish catches the light in such a way that the shadows look darker or lighter with the contours of your eye. You can certainly do one shadow looks with other shades families like grays or plums, but these shades are the ones that I thought would appeal to the most people, and that most of you may already own. You can achieve different looks with only a single shade depending on the tools you use to apply them. For most of these shades I would recommend a flat shader brush for the lid and a fluffy brush for the crease to alter the way the shadow looks slightly. You don’t have to make it too complicated; the whole point is that these are for easy looks to get you out the door quickly. I hope that you saw some shades you like and that you try some one shadow looks the next time you are pressed for time. What are your favorite one-and-done shades? Let me know in the comments below.