2019 was the Year of Glitter, and I feel like I embraced that pretty well. I’ve always been prone to a bit of glitter, but last year I really kicked it up a notch, incorporating glitter gels into my highlight and on my lids, and even bringing back the glitter lips that used to be my signature back in the days of boozy drag shows at Sensations. Obviously glitter isn’t going anywhere in my life (I’m sorry turtles, but the scientists will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!), and I know we’re a little late into the year for me to start declaring things, but I’ve been inspired by YouTubers like Emily Hanhan and Angelica Nyqvist to embrace single shadows and declare 2020 to be the Year of the Singles!
I’m not necessarily new to buying single eyeshadows (the shopping part is always the easiest for me!), but I’ve never really gotten into the groove of using them in my makeup routine – which doesn’t make any goddamn sense, because I am more than happy to flit back and forth between 7 different palettes, using one shade from each one to create my looks. But for some reason, if you take a pan of shadow and put it in a magnetic palette, and then put that palette into my collection…well, that’s where makeup goes to die.
But not this year! This is the year that I gather my strength and I force myself to find a way to incorporate these shadows into my looks. And this is the perfect time to do it: with all of the craziness being caused around the world by Mean Miss Rona (that’s what I’m calling it from here on out, so get on board), I’ve been really trying to focus my discretionary spending on indie brands, and a lot of the brands that I’ve been wanting to try for a while are known for their amazing selection of single shadows.
Enter Give Me Glow.
(The more observant of you will have noticed that there are only 17 shadows pictured above – more on that below!)
Give Me Glow Cosmetics is one of the brands that I’ve heard people mention in videos and reviews, and the feedback is almost always positive to gushing. Recently I had a coupon code available, and I saw that they were still shipping, so I decided to place an order: 18 single shadows, 2 liquid lipsticks, 2 loose highlighters, and a setting powder.
I think one of the problems I have with single shadows is that unless it’s a brand that’s fairly cheap (like Coastal Scents, which sells their Hot Pot singles for $3 each), I always go for the shimmer, duochrome, sparkly, glittery, and metallic kinds of shades. I mean, let’s face it: my face is basically like an Easter parade float and I’m not afraid of doing an all shimmer look if the mood fits, but it’s nice to have some matte options to blend things out, lay down a base, etc. But when you’re paying 5, 6, 7 dollars for a single, it’s harder to talk my brain into buying a matte shade when there are so many lovely sparkly options available! Unless it’s green, of course, which is how I ended up with the only matte shade I ordered from Give Me Glow: Limeade. And that one matte shade has really put me through it!
When I got the shadows, I unboxed them, took them out of their sleeves, put them in a couple of empty Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes, and set them aside to come back to later. When I grabbed them to take the pictures, I opened up the palette with the greens, purples, and blues, and this is what I found:
The shadow had absolutely shattered! I’m not sure what caused it, as I hadn’t really dropped or jostled the palettes. The only theory I have is that I remember reasing somewhere that if you have a bunch of magnetic palettes stacked on top of each other, the magnetic pull can affect shadows. The Give Me Glow matte formula is much drier than the shimmer formula, so I’m guessing something like that happened? I don’t really understand the science-y part of it, but it kinda makes sense. I was going to email the company, but I decided to see if I could fix it myself first. I’ve repressed shimmer shadows before, using either contact solution or alcohol, so I figured a matte shade would be pretty much the same thing, right?
I used my depotting spatula to break the shadow up into smaller chunks and got out my trusty bottle of Bio True contact solution. I poured a little on…and it sat on top of the powder. Like big droplets, just sitting there on top. By the time I got my camera for this pic, you can see that it had started to sink down a bit and mingle with the powder, but it still didn’t want to completely mix. I stirred it up as best I could with the depotting tool, put makeup wipe over the top and pressed it down into the pan. It was a sad sight. I didn’t even take a picture of the finished product, and I thought I was going to have to just resign myself to ordering another pan, because I need this color in my life.
I decided to reach out to YouTuber Amily Hanhan; I know that she repans a lot of her shadows into smaller pans to make them more uniform, so I was hoping she might have some tips. She told me that with mattes she doesn’t add any kind of liquid, and sent me a great video of someone chopping up the shadow, going over it multiple times to get it to a really fine powder, then putting it in the pan and using a metal disc on top and pressing it down. I figured I couldn’t make the shadow any worse, so I started chopping up the newly pressed powder, worried that the added liquid would prevent me from getting to it to work. Luckily, I soon had a big pile of finely chopped powder that I poured into the pan. I didn’t have anything the exact size of the 36mm pan, so instead I laid a paper napkin over the surface and used a quarter, pressing it and then moving to a new spot, pressing, moving, etc. and ended up with this:
Sure, she’s a little rough around the edges, and moving the quarter made a strange pattern in the powder (it’s almost geometric – like the Spiro-Graph toy I had in the 80s!), but I was actually pretty proud of my effort. I’m excited to see how it performs in a look, and I’m hoping I pressed it enough that it won’t explode in a lime-colored cloud, but I’m considering it a success!
So let’s go ahead and take a look at the shades that I purchased from Give Me Glow Cosmetics. I did swatches over the ABH eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The swatches in the top right are in my studio lighting with no flash; the bottom right is the same studio lighting with my camera flash. Since it’s not like a palette, where I have rows to go through, I’ll just post them in groups of three and work my way through.
Electric Mint is my favorite of the shades! It’s a gorgeous light blue-toned green, but with a strong golden shift. It’s so pretty, and I can’t wait to use that for a look with a purple shade coming up below. Emerald City is a forest green with a slight gold shimmer to it. Lemon Lime is a swampy green with golden shift. All three of these greens have a gold shift to them that is really pretty, and I love that even though the all have that kind of shift, they have different base colors and the combinations lead to very different effects.
Limeade, the one matte shade, is a bright lime green. As I noted above, the matte formula (at least for the one that I have – can’t speak to all of the colors available!) is much drier and silkier feeling to the touch. Their shimmers are creamier and a little bit chunky. They definitely do best over a tacky base, with some spray or glitter glue, or applied with a finger to really soften up and deposit the pigments. Kiwi is a pale green with a strong silvery shimmer. Going Bananas is a bright yellow with a metallic sheen.
You’re Cheesy is a bright, happy orange shimmer with a yellowy gold shift. Fireworks is a pinky coral with a peachy gold shift. This is what MAC’s Paradisco wants to be when it grows up! Creamiscle is a pale peachy orange with a silvery shimmer shift.
On Ice is a silvery champagne taupe. Halo is a white base with a strong pale yellow gold shimmer. This is the sort of shade I always think of as “candlelight,” a color description that I actually used to see used for lame’ fabric that had gold metallic on a white base. It’s gorgeous, but I think I was expecting more from this shade. Lacie from Spooky Lips & Fat Hips has raved about Give Me Glow’s Halo highlighter, and this is the supposed to be the same shade as an eyeshadow. I’m not sure if the formula or the color changes a little in translating it from one type of product to the other, but I feel like this doesn’t have the same interesting undertone that I’ve seen in Lacie’s videos using the highlight. It’s pretty, but I think I just built up my expectations too much. Pink Frosting is a bright, bubblegum pink with silvery shift.
Ultra Violence is a gorgeous royal purple with a blue shift. This is the one I want to use with Electric Mint, maybe a little Pink Frosting. I don’t know why, but one of my favorite eye combos is blue-toned, purple, blue-toned green, and a bright blue-toned pink! Pretty Little Lilac is…well, lilac! It’s a nice pastel shimmer with silver reflect. Peri is a similar shade with silvery reflect, but the base is more blue-toned than Pretty Little Lilac.
Bubbles is a light blue with strong silver shimmer. Under The Sea is a bright true blue with a metallic sheen. Blue Jeans is a medium to light blue base with a bit of a gold shift to it. This is a really interesting shade, and I’m excited to play around with it.
The shimmer formula here is very creamy, almost a little flaky or chunky. It gives you some amazing coverage, but if you prefer a dry application, you might have problems with some of these. I used the ABH base which dries down and isn’t tacky at all, and I had some problems doing dry brush swatches for some of these shades, specifically Bubbles, Blue Jeans, Halo, Emerald City, and On Ice. The just need a little bit of moisture to activate the formula; once you do that, these apply like a dream! The finger swatches of these were much better than the brush swatches, and I can only imagine the foiled amazingness you would achieve if you also used a setting spray or glitter glue with them.
I can’t wait to play with these – I’ve already started to think about another order from Give Me Glow so I can get some more of the mattes – maybe I’ll use these shadows for an upcoming Face Friday look!
Now, let’s take a quick look at the other products that I picked up.
First up, I ordered the loose setting powder in Sugar Cookie. This was a nice powder for baking; I used it in my Face Friday post doing pastel rainbow eyes with Violet Voss (you can check that out HERE) and it worked pretty well. I think the packaging is cute and elegant, but at $17.25 would I recommend it more than my old standby Coty Airspun powder? Not really. The nice thing about these powders is that they come in a range of colors that I can’t get from the Airspun powders, including a pink for brightening. I think the colored powders are probably a better option, but for the translucent I would probably go with a cheaper option.
I’m drooling over their 9 pan highlighter palette, which was unfortunately sold out, so instead I picked up two loose highlighters. I’m not really a huge fan of loose highlighters – not because the products themselves are bad but because I have a lack of self control and that can get out of hand really quickly with loose products! – but these are two great shades and I’m definitely going to use them in an upcoming look. Glazed is a pale champagne pearl with a nice amount of reflect. Peach Pop is a gorgeous peach with gold shimmer. I can’t wait to use this with a peachy blush and do some glowy blush draping.
I also really love the liquid lipsticks that I ordered. I actually only included them as a last minute impulse purchase! I don’t really have much for brown/nude shades in my office for filming makeup, so I thought I would get these two shades to be able to use them separately or to create a beige/brown ombre. I got them in and instantly fell in love! First of all, they have a thinner, more watery formula – like the OG Makeup Monsters formula, or the Lime Crime Velvetines. Some people prefer a thicker formula, but I love that thin, watery texture for creating gorgeous ombres. And the smell! Root Beer Float and Brownie Batter both smell exactly like what they are named for! Root Beer float is a medium cool-to-neutral beige brown and Brownie Batter is a deep chocolate brown. I am definitely going to be trying more of their liquid lipsticks! As of this writing, they have two more shades on the website and I think I saw on Instagram that they are planning to do some more shades – I hope that’s true!
I am so excited to dive into the world of single eyeshadows. I’ve already got gorgeous singles in my collection from Makeup Geek and Shroud Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever and JD Glow, but these new goodies from Give Me Glow have got me really feeling inspired!
The obvious con for single shadows (even from somewhat cheaper brands) is the price – a 12-pan palette from a middle of the road brand at Sephora might run you $40 to $50; at $7 a pop from Give Me Glow, 12 shades would run you $84. But the benefits are that, unlike a pre-made palette, you get to choose every shade, so you are more likely to get full use out of all 12 shades. And of course, you don’t need to buy 12 shades at once – or ever! You can customize and get the exact number of shades you want, and get only the shades you want. There is a versatility there that is very appealing, especially for someone like me that has spent more money than I care to admit on palettes where I only liked one or two or three shades.
Whether you just dip in a toe or be like me and take a big old bellyflop into the waters of single shadows, now is a great time to explore this more customizable world. There are so many great small indie brands offering amazing singles that deserve our love and support.
The Year of Single Shadows – bring on the glam!