Thursday, September 2, 2010

The BLACK Tide

Black being the darkest and gloomiest color in makeup, somehow happens to be the most coveted color by pros and amateurs alike. This is because "black" adds a touch of sophistication and elegance if used gently and can be built to create the most dramatic looks when used in abundance. Every makeup brand has "black" in all the possible forms of pencils, eyeshadows, liners and even lipsticks. In eyeshadows too, Black comes in various formulations right from flat-matte black to ultra smoky and shimmery sooty black.
In this post btw, I'm going to write some of the best black eyeshadows in powder and cream form available in the market and why I do like them. This is my own version of the "perfect" black eyeshadow and what it did to make me love it.

  1. MAC cosmetics….makes one of the best and largest variety of "black" eyeshadows in the prestige professional makeup cosmetics market. The cult status of some of their eyeshadows is not that we are unaware of. There are Carbon, Typographic, Black Tied, Knight Divine and so many more that come as limited editions and go (especially their Hot Contrast and Blue My mind mineralize eyeshadows which sported one of the most satiny blacks I have ever used). My search for "Black" actually started with MAC as I was looking for jet black and not forgery-black which is seen in mass brands except L'Oreal due to their low quality pigments, excessive fillers like talc that give flatness and make the black eyeshadow ashen-grey and I hated the fact that these eyeshadows looked horrible in pictures. MAC made the best ones out there and that's why I shifted. And then it became an addiction to buy branded stuff from India and and I spent some of my earnings on stuff. I particularly liked MAC's LE Cloudburst which has flecks of turquoise blue shimmer though the e/s per se gives a satiny finish. MAC also makes their amazing Paint Pot called Blackground and their Grease paint sticks are good too. So lets see what MAC has to give us in "blacks" eyeshadows………….Carbon (deep matte black), Typographic (Asphalt Black), Knight Divine (Black with silver pearl) and Black Tied (black with silver sparkle). They sell them for Rs.900 each.
  2. LancĂ´me did their Strass Black eyeshadow from the Color Focus Sensational effects eyeshadow which is dark jet black with silver glitter that surprisingly stays on the lid instead of falling off. They sell for Rs.1050
  3. Clinique makes Stay matte eyeshadow in "midnight" which is their only matte black and is very dark and intense. The matte texture is not very powder but can be hard to blend if an under-base was not used. The color is buildable and stays put for the whole day. They retail their eyeshadows for Rs.1050
  4. Shiseido launched their amazing Luminizing Satin Eye color Trio and Snow Shadow is no exception to one of the rarest purple toned intense blacks in the market. I love the velvety quality of the eyeshadows and their ability to blend and hold onto the lids better. Their price should approx. be Rs.3000 but it isn't declared yet. Shiseido also makes Luminizing Satin eye color in Tar for Rs.1500 which is a matte black with buttery smoothness and is finely milled with micronized titanium di-oxide to remove the ashy-ness of the talc fillers.
  5. Clarins is not behind. In the race of an amazing black Clarins has Mono color eyeshadow in "Totally Black" for Rs.820 with an unbelievable texture and very good amount of eyeshadow available at the price we pay. I think it is the cheapest eyeshadow in department store brands with pay off much better than many of the above mentioned brands.
  6. Christian Dior came with its quint of Smokey black eyeshadows with silver and grey for Rs.3300 but what blew me away was their 1-color ultra impact eyeshadow Rs.1950 in Flash Black. This is shimmery black with silver flecks with smoothness and payoff that could make Cleopatra take another birth to use it. Dior thanks its JAPANESE SLURRY TECHNOLOGY for the smooth yet buttery texture of their eyeshadows which are soft to glide but very strong on staying put.
  7. EsteeLauder Pure Color Eyeshadow do sport a shimmery black but are  to be launched in India.
  8. L'Oreal does get their celebrity eyeshadows and PRO collection palettes for Rs.650 and Rs.500 respectively. NYX cosmetics and ColorBar do make decent black eyeshadows and so do Lakme but I was not very satisfied. The Body Shop had one of the most horrendous blacks I ever saw and so does YSL.
  9. I await myself on getting a review of Inglot and Makeup Forever as I haven't had a hand on their Blacks. International brands like Smashbox, Stila, Urban Decay, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, NARS, Laura Mercier etc. do make blacks but since they are not available in India and with me my comments remain withheld until I use them.

So this was my take on some of the fabulous black eyeshadows in the market. I hope it'd serve as guide to get the best black. Soon I'd be writing about the best blues, purples, golds, silvers and all possible colors.

Till then,



  1. Amazing thanks ssoooo much for these eyeshadow articles...Looking forward for some more from your end :)

  2. that is a great post neeraj ... u know i bought my first mac black :carbon" last month and i so regret it why didnt i bought earlier , i thought i would never be able to wear black , but now i am use toit , i do have UD's black but now i must clarins too as u said they r the cheapest and best:)
    wow thanks so muchhhh

  3. yay! Shiseido has launched the Luminizing e/s trio! Lemming for it Neeraj - thanks!

  4. Hi Neeraj,

    Nice informative post. WIll definitely keep an eye out for the items you've mentioned here.

    I was going through your blog and did come across a reference you made to a Dior blush as being very good for Indian skin.

    Could you share that name with me? I cant locate that post of yours. For your reference I have a typically Indian fair skin. However not too fair/overly white? COuld you please help me out?


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