Not Fair

Not Fair: the best eye makeup ranges for olive and dark skin tones

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The best eye makeup ranges for olive and dark skin tones

Finding eye makeup  that shows up on my dark skin tone can sometimes prove to be a pretty frustrating task. Pigment has fast become my friend in my quest for smokey eye  sovereignty and so I’ve tried and tested a range to find the best eyeshadows and best eyeshadow palettes around that truly deliver most bang for your buck. Ranging from £6.90 to a more spenny £56, there’s something for every budget and beauty preference.

From matte to glitter eyeshadows, shimmer to show-stopping sparkle, here’s my pick of the most powerful and prettily pigmented eye makeup on the market that looks incredible on olive and dark skin tones in particular.

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KIKO Cream Crush Lasting Colour Eyeshadow, £6.90

The vibrancy of the bolder colours in this range is pretty hard to beat. In particular, the peacock-inspired Pearly Emerald has become my new summer shade for adding a dose of Lupita-esque vitality into my eye palette of choice. Easy to blend yet supremely long-lasting too, the collection comes in a mixture of matte and pearl finishes to provide a bevy of makeup ideas at your fingertips.

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Urban Decay Naked Palette, £38

Every woman should own a Naked Palette. Yes, I said it. These have raised the bar as far as I’m concerned in terms of pigmented colour, easy to blend texture and an array of colours that can be used for either day or night. From the original neutral Naked Palette to the taupe-hued Naked 2  to the rose-inspired Naked 3 , each offers a slight tweak on its predecessor with each still offering a stellar selection of matte, shimmer and sparkle eyeshadows that suit any skin tone and any occasion too.

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Clinique All About Shadow Singles, £16

Clinique will always have a special place in my heart as it was one of the few brands that catered for dark skin tones when I was growing up. The brand is still going strong with regards to its universal appeal and its eyeshadows in a great array of neutrals, brights and range of different finishes doesn’t disappoint. From Soft Matte to Soft Shimmer and Super Shimmer, I particularly love the deep navy Deep Dive for providing a pop of sophisticated colour to lids. It comes with a handy sponge applicator, but personally I prefer using an eyeshadow brush to unleash the full potential of its jam-packed pigment.

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YSL Couture Palette Rock Reseille Edition, £45

For a lighter take on a smokey eye, this eyeshadow palette of pinks, peaches, corals and browns makes for the perfect day to night assortment. Encased in a limited edition Rock Lace designed compact, it’s one of those rare finds that almost looks too good to use - however don’t let its collectable appeal put you off. Its rich colour payoff and elegant combination of shimmer eyeshadows and heavier tones makes it definitely worth getting stuck in and finding the right balance of colours that works best for you.

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Illamasqua Powder Eye Shadow, £15.50

From the bronze Bronx to the sunshine-hued Hype, this range of eyeshadows makes for the perfect pigmented pick for the most reserved or the most experimental. While the neutrals are definitely worth shouting about, the brights are where this collection comes into its own, encouraging all who dabble in them to go a shade braver thanks to the choice of oranges, greens and reds on offer that all look incredible on darker skin tones in particular.

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Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Eyeshadow Palette, £38

With a handy step-by-step in the lid, navigating your way to the perfect smokey eye has never been simpler. My particular favourite has to be the range of colours in Lumière d’Azur, which offers a gorgeous array of midnight and sky blues to cover highlighting and depth seamlessly with three differently tipped makeup brushes to ensure expert precision every time too.

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Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencils, £19

My new secret weapon for making eyes pop when they’re feeling their most weary, these pigmented and illuminating eye pencils from Charlotte Tilbury have been ingeniously created to enhance and intensify any eye colour. For my deep brown eyes, I opted for Dark Pearl which gave my peepers a noticeable yet understated bronzed smokiness. Its creamy satin-like texture melts into eyelids and for me, stayed put from pre-party drinks to the taxi home. I’m yet to find a clubbing buddy who’s able to last as long.

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Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette, £56

This eyeshadow palette is quite seriously, a work of art. The Mona Lisa of the makeup world, its 3-dimensional rocky-terrain design is certainly a sight to behold - don’t let that fool you though into thinking that it’s a case of style over substance. The five shades ranging from matte to shimmer certainly deliver in the pigment stakes to add a dose of high impact colour to your day to night artilleries. I particularly like the Exposure edition for giving my attempt at a smokey eye a soft purple haze.

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MAC Pigment, £17

From demure to the more dramatic, MAC Pigments are a must-have in any girl’s night time makeup routines. From coppers to silvers, blues to bronzes, the term small but mighty has never been more apt. My particular favourite is Tan, a pinky brown bronze which gives eyes a gilded edge that catches the light perfectly (although looking at the range of colours available, picking one really doesn’t make for the easiest of tasks).

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Clarins Ombre Matte Eye Shadow, £19

With a unique cream-to-powder formulation, these eyeshadows offer the best of both worlds with the silkiness of a cream and the durability of a powder. Lightweight and smooth with a texture that spreads evenly over eyelids, Sparkle Grey in particular is perfect for giving tired eyes a quick and easy pick-me-up to help disguise the effects of fatigue and a sophisticated work to play makeover.

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Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, £20

Certain to add a luxurious touch of silky colour to your makeup bags, this versatile stick makes on-the-go touch ups easier than ever. Whether you’re looking to highlight, define or add a dose of subtle iridescence, its creamy texture glides onto eyes beautifully, for budgeproof long-lasting colour that neither flakes nor fades. Plus it’s sharpener-free too. It scores double points on that alone.

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NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow, £21

When it comes to metallics, these eyeshadows are my favourites. The champagne beige Dione and the shimmering topaz Himalia are high octane glamour at its finest with the deeper navy Glove and black orchid Subra throwing a dose of added intensity into the mix too. With an almost gel-like feel that gives them a luminous matte or high shine finish, they add a healthy-looking gloss-like effect to eyes and can be applied wet or dry depending on the impact you’re looking to make.

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Urban Decay Moondust, £14

Glitter eyeshadows at their most shimmer-fuelled and sophisticated, these pots of intergalactic artistry promise as much pigment as they do space age appeal. The perfect way to restore that missing sparkle in your eye in more ways than one, long gone are the days when multi-textured eyeshadows meant the messiest of post-makeup clean-ups. Their pressed-powder formulation ensures both colour and iridescence stay put, for a way to give your go-to eye makeup look a futuristic added dimension.

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Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Rio Rio, £7.99

Bold, bright and eclectic, this carnival-inspired eyeshadow palette from Sleek makes for the perfect wake-up-call for makeup bags stuck on Snooze mode. Comprising of 12 tropical and summery shades that are reserved solely for party time, it promises pigment and a not-so-killer pricetag in equal measure to keep moods and bank balances in good spirits all year long.

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