I’m a big believer in the phrase “good things come in small packages”. When I’m in a rush or I’m traveling, I often don’t want to mess with an entire palette of eyeshadows. Lately when I’m not testing out a new palette, I’ve been reaching for smaller singles, duos, and trios instead! With less variety, there’s less to fuss over and I’m out the door much faster. Plus, some shadows just look amazing alone and don’t need anything to compliment them.
First up are the singles. I’m a big fan of neutrals, but with a twist. I wouldn’t wear a bright green all over the lid but I’m all about olive shades! Same goes with metallics, pinks, and purples. Therefore all of my favorite single shades are nothing too out-there but they are still eye-catching.
My absolute favorite single shade is this beautiful rose gold shadow from L’oreal. At $6 this is an absolute steal! The Infallible eyeshadows are creamy to the touch and are incredibly pigmented. They stay on the eye really well and with this shade especially I find that one wash of color is perfect for a put-together look. My only issue with these is that a brush doesn’t pick up the pigment very well, so I usually use my finger.
This is a brand that I don’t think gets enough credit, I have a lot of Mary Kay eyeshadow singles and duos and they apply really well. Pink Sateen is one of my favorites because it’s almost duochrome. It’s a really unique silvery pink color that’s stunning alone or on top of other shades. I’ve made quite a dent in this one!
This dual intensity golden/taupe/bronze shade is another of my absolute favorite shades. I’ve never seen another color like it and when I wear it alone it looks like I spent five times as much time on my eyes than I actually did. The price is quite steep, but these shadows are really top-notch and worth it in my opinion!
I told myself I wouldn’t include any eyeshadow pans in this post because they’re all technically in a palette, but with this shade I really had to. All That Glitters is one of MAC’s most popular shades and with good reason! The peachy champagne color is universally flattering and gives a nice wash of color and shimmer on the lid.
From left to right: All That Glitters, Sheer Pink, Himalia, Amber Rush
As for duos, my collection is quite lacking. If I’m going to use multiple shades I prefer quads and trios as they usually include a crease, lid, and highlight shade. However these three I really love so I had to include them!
This duo is the perfect mix of neutral and color for me. The navy crease shade and the pale blue lid shade make for an interesting but subtle difference from my typical brown metallic eye.
Another colorful duo, this plum-toned charcoal and grey combo looks amazing for a smoky eye. These are also matte, which I hardly ever wear! Both the dark and the light shade are housed in the same pan so it’s easy to mix them together if needed, too.
Bronze and gold shades are perfect for autumn so this duo is one I always reach for this time of the year! While these aren't the most pigmented, they are easy to build up and I get almost no fallout from them. The finish is lovely as well.
From left to right: L'Oreal Tidal Wave, Mary Kay Java, Clinique Morning Java
Onto the trios! All of my favorites are very similar in shade selection, but I just love the pink/brown/white combination so I have multiple trios with a similar vibe to it.
My summer obsession was definitely this little ice-cream inspired trio from Stila! The packaging is so cute and I love how easy these shadows are to blend. You get a ton of product (I’ve hardly made a dent in it) and everything about it is fuss-free. I like to apply the golden shade all over the lid, the chocolate shade in the crease, and then pat a little bit of the pink shade in the center of the lid. It’s a slight twist from the standard golden eye and I really love the effect it gives. I only wish it had a better highlighting shade!
These are my first eyeshadows from Kat Von D and now I’m anxious to try more! (Anyone else obsessing over the Magnificent Metals holiday palette??) The pink shade in here is even warmer than in the Stila trio so I think this gives a really cool look for autumn, and this one includes a top-notch highlighting shade!
For around $3 these eyeshadows are bomb. They have a few different color combinations available but of course I went for another pink, brown and white selection. Drugstore eyeshadows rarely have this good of a formula and I want an entire palette of them. These are buttery to the touch, blend and apply beautifully and have good staying power. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these!
From left to right: Stila Neapolitan, Kat Von D Dreamer, Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells
What are some of your favorite trios, duos, and singles?