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Metallics are back in a big way for fall, from soft shimmer shadows to major-impact glitters. They were spotted all over the runways at shows that wanted to clearly make at statement, including Monique Lhuillier and Zero + Maria Cornejo, either going for a full-on glimmering smokey eye or just a dash across the lid. But being brave enough to wear a high-impact shimmering metallic isn’t something that everyone is willing to do—whatever happened to the natural look?
Luckily, this fall’s metallics come in stages—there are soft shimmers if you want to ease into glitter (which, let us remind you, is not just for children anymore) and then there are flat-out bold, reflective party eyes. Below, we break them down.
This creamy bronze shadow seen at Francesca Liberatore is the perfect gateway drug to a metallic eye. The soft sheen is easy to wear during the day or night, and can actually be replicated with just one product. We currently love Bobbi Brown’s Longwear Cream Shadow Sticks ($29) because all you have to do is color in your entire lid with the crayon applicator and you can run out the door. The color will truly last until you take it off at night—even through unbearably hot temps—and for shimmer that’s saying something.
If you want to amp things up just a little bit, focus your metallic eye toward the inner corner, like artists did for the Guy Laroche show. We don’t suggest going as “messy” as they did for this show, but bringing the shimmer into the inner corner highlights the whites of your eyes, so focus your shadow there, extending a bit of the color on your upper and lower lash lines. We love CoverGirl’s Flamed Out Shadow Pencil in Ashen Glow Flame ($5), a metallic green, which gives you ample control.
Now, if you’ve gotten comfortable with some shimmer and want to embrace your truly disco self, try a shadow with a pearlescent sheen all over your eyelid, as seen on the runway at Leonard. We suggest this for a night out (naturally) but there are actually a few ways to get it. Bobbi Brown’s Silver Lilac ($33) shadow has a great pearlized shimmer, so you can apply the shadow softly all over your lid. Or, if you want to go all-in, apply a cream shadow base and tap MAC’s Transparent Pink Glitter ($22) lightly to the lid. Just remember, glitter is hard to remove so you’ll be finding it everywhere for days.
As your metallic bravery increases, it’s time for some bold hues. At Zero + Maria Cornejo, the models didn’t go full-throttle with their shadow; instead, the metallic shade actually sat above the crease. Since this look isn’t exactly wearable for everyday (or even night), it’s better to use this gorgeous metallic shade to draw just a cat-eye for a more inspired take. To match the shade, use Milani’s Baked Eyeshadow ($13) and wet an angled brush to turn it into a luminous liner.
At this point, you’ve realized metallic makeup no longer belongs in the ’80s, and is just as good of a pick-me-up as a bright lip. Monique Lhuillier went full throttle for her Fall 2015 show, so save this look for an event and you’ll win some major props. For this, you need glitter. The trick here is to apply a layer of a dark cream shadow first as your base to help the glitter flakes to stay. Then, tap the glitter in place. Or, use Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Shadow ($32), which is sold with a primer to ensure the glitter stays in place.