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A Pressing Matter: Are You Using the Right Brush for Your Loose Eyeshadow?

Are you having mess issues when you apply loose shadow? Could be you need a different brush. Or two.
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shimmering loose shadows

Rich pigments, vibrant shades and textures that melt on your skin -- loose powder eye shadow is making its beauty mark. Available at a variety of price points, from L'Oréal Paris Color Infallible Eyeshadow at $10.99 to Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow at $42, loose shadow is becoming more mainstream.

But, asked reader Solorange after my recent Color Infallible post, what brush is best to apply it? And how about techniques?

During TIFF I worked with Eddie Malter, official makeup artist for L'Oréal Paris, and caught this demo on video:

Malter likes a large flat shadow brush with a rounded tip. It picks up a good amount of colour and deposits it without sending particles flying everywhere. And when he applied the shadow, he simply pressed it onto Sabine's lids over a foundation base. The formula contains binders that make the colour cling to skin. "If you're worried about shadow falling on the face, do your eyes first, then do your foundation and concealer," he advises.

To lay down the colour, try the Sephora Collection Classic Large Synthetic Eye Shadow Brush #25 ($20). Press shadow into place all over the lid, building the colour to get the intensity you want. To soften the line at the crease, try the Sephora Collection Classic Blending Eye Brush #29 ($20). For more depth, use the same flat brush to layer a darker shadow onto the outer vee of your lids, and use the blending brush to blend the edges into the base colour.

"This works for every kind of eye shadow, pressed, and matte, too," says Malter of this technique.

Have you tried loose eye shadows yet? If you're familiar with MAC Pigment, have you noticed any differences between the two in terms of application and results?

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Longwear Luminous Eyeshadow, $37 at Murale and department stores; L'Oréal Paris Color Infallible Eyeshadow, $10.99 at drugstores ($9.99 at; Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow, $42 at Holt Renfrew; Marcelle Lux Eye Dust, $11.95 at drugstores.