Neutral eye shadows may not seem like the most exciting cosmetic colors available, but they can be truly striking if used correctly. Since there are so many different shades and types of neutral eye shadow, it is important to find those that match your complexion properly. A high-quality brand with plenty of staying power and the right color cast can take your makeup from blah to beautiful.
Natural shades such as taupe, tan, or brown, tend to blend in with your skin, especially if you have a darker complexion. To make sure your shadow “pops,” pick a tone about two shades darker or lighter than your natural complexion. Very fair people, especially those with a pinkish tone to their skin, will find that the best neutral eye shadows are light taupe and grayish. Olive skin tones benefit from a darker taupe shade or shades in the brown range, which can keep the skin from looking too yellow. On very dark skin, look for a shadow that's slightly lighter than your skin tone in a light tan, gold, taupe, or cream to make sure it stands out.
Quality counts, too. The best eye shadow will go on soft and blend smoothly, without a tendency to flake, crease or rub away. Look for shadows with a high pigment percentage and not a lot of filler materials, as they allow a little to go a long way. Cheap brands may seem like a savings initially, but they'll end up requiring more reapplication and may not perform the way you like. Here are a few recommendations for good quality neutral eye shadows.
The Best Nude, Natural, Neutral Eye Shadow
1. Urban Decay Naked2 – This natural-toned eye shadow palette contains a wide range of taupes, grays, browns and coppers, making it easy to find a shade that suits you. With a dozen rich neutral colors and a high quality brush included, you'll have no trouble producing a great look.
2. Lorac Unzipped (pictured)– The Unzipped palette mixes matte and shimmer shadows, allowing you to choose the taupe, gold, copper, or brown shade that best fits your mood. It contains ten shadows and a tiny bottle of eye primer to help the shadow perform correctly. This shadow palette also contains no sulfates, parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, petrochemicals or other harmful synthetic materials.
3. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals – This line of individual eyeshadows offers several attractive neutral shades, including Bare Skin, Drama, Queen Tiffany and Pebble. The products are formulated for a range of coverage options, including opaque all-over cover and delicate, translucent highlights. BareMinerals shadows can be used both wet and dry. They can also be combined freely, allowing you to customize your taupe shadow as you please.
4. Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Shadow Collection – This all inclusive shadow kit contains nine basic neutral eyeshadows for smudging, highlighting, all-over color and many other purposes. The kit includes large pans of three basic ivory, peach and taupe shades, plus smaller pans containing matte taupe, deep brown, bronze shimmer, charcoal, gold and chocolate tones. The kit also includes three easy instructional cards to make it simpler to choose the right look for you.
5. Urban Decay Single Shadows – These individual palettes come in a unique subway token-shaped compact with a window to let you see your shade without opening. The shadows inside come in a wide range of shimmer and matte colors, including great neutrals like Naked, Stray Dog, YDK and toasted. The shadows work dry or wet for more intense color, plus they can also be used as eyeliners.
6. Too Faced Natural at Night Shadow Collection – Similar to the Natural Eye Neutral collection, this palette includes darker tones for evening wear. The large shadows include beige and taupe tones like Full Moon, Nightlight and Spotlight, while the small palettes contain dark browns for accents. The product also includes three how-to cards to ensure a perfect look.