High vs. Low: Eye(shadow)-Candy

MAC eyeshadow has long been a staple of makeup artists, celebs, and real women alike, beloved for its heavily-pigmented formula – which ensures that what you see in the pot is what you get on your lids upon application. A trip to the MAC cosmetics counter brings us back to those kid-in-a-candy-store days: the array of colors, from vibrant jewel tones to shimmery nudes and bronzes, makes it nearly impossible to pick just one. Our one caveat? That $14 price point – after the first two or three purchases, our candy craving turns into a bit of a stomachache (at MACcosmetics.com).

Now there’s a way to get the rich look of MAC’s premium eyeshadows at a much sweeter price. Like their MAC counterparts, the shadows from L’Oreal’s new HiP (that stands for “High Intensity Pigments”) line are highly concentrated – designed to glide on evenly and last all day. Bonus: each pot contains two different, complimentary shades, such as “Wicked”, a soft taupe/vibrant lilac combo that looks great layered together or worn separately. For half the price of one MAC shadow, you can get two L’Oreal shades in one (from $7, at Ulta.com.)

A long-lasting, concentrated formulation is the perfect partner for this season’s fresh color palette. Many designers sent models down the runway sporting a sheer wash of bold color over lids, paired with dewy skin and nude lips. To make this runway look work in real life, use a neutral shadow as a base color all over the eyelid up to the crease, and apply a dab of a brighter hue just to the center of lids. Or for a super-glam evening look, use an electric shade of purple, turquoise, or green as a liner: line eyes with your standard black or brown pencil, then dip a dampened eyeliner brush into shadow and trace over your existing line. Finish with two coats of mascara and prepare to mesmerize.