I'm more of an eyeshadow hoarder than wearer, which explains why it took me forever to test out the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadows ($24 each) that I received last fall at an event. The 210-shade range launched in September 2014 and comprises matte, satin, metal, iridescent and diamond finishes, and boasts pigment atomization and water-blend technology. The formula delivers 88% colour pigment (the highest concentration on the market), and purportedly took MUFE three years to develop.
Putting aside the pseudo-scientific marketing jargon for a moment, these are just really good, high-performing shadows. The pigments are ultra-fine and blend easily, and when worn with primer last all day without fading or creasing. As I've said, I don't wear eyeshadow very often, relying instead on bold lip colours to make an evening statement; consequently my application skills have worsened considerably. But even I found these a joy to use. It doesn't take a lot of product to get good colour payoff, and it doesn't take a lot of fastidious blending to make hard edges disappear.
With over 200 shades to choose from, narrowing it down to a trio to fill an Artist Shadow Custom Palette Case ($1) can be difficult. After a mood board exercise at the MUFE event and much deliberation, I ended up with M-106 (a matte, dark slate), S-920 (a satin finish violet), and ME-700 (a metallic gold). Each shade can be worn on its own, but they can be blended together for, say, a smoky purple eye or a burnished gold lid with a bit of smolder. While the violet and gold shades pretty much "stick" to skin on contact, the slate shade is crumblier and darker, making shadow fallout more noticeable. Tapping off excess is advised.
If you like to switch things up instead of sticking to tried-and-true shades, it's easy to change the colours in the palette cases. Tiny pinholes at the bottom let you gently pry the eyeshadow pans away from the magnetic base. (It should also be noted the magnets are very secure and the case is slim yet sturdy.)
And last but not least, I am head over heels in love with the 234 Angled Shader Brush ($35). The soft brush head is dense and wide enough to apply a wash of colour across lids evenly, but precise enough to intensify and smudge along the crease and lashline. If you're not into fussing with multiple eyeshadow brushes, consider adding this multi-tasking workhorse to your routine.
MUFE shadows are definitely spend-y, especially when you consider that one shade can cost as much as a whole palette, but they're a worthwhile buy for genuine eyeshadow aficionados who appreciate the shadows' quality, colour payoff, and ease of use. Regardless of whether you wear eyeshadow every day or once in a blue moon though, do yourself a favour and buy that angled shader brush. You won't regret it either way, promise.