6 Pan-Only Eyeshadow Brands Adorning Zero Waste. Part 1 Buyer's Guide
ourunderdogblog.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this post <---Since I wrote over 100 emails to create this eyeshadow post, I have a warped brain for not ensuring every link was an affiliate, but I've gotta choose content over money because, duh, I freaking love you for reading my hard work.
Third party trademarks and images are the property of their respective owners.
Dear Sir Michael Caine, I too sometimes resemble a poop emoji without makeup, but I remain thoroughly convinced that makeup used to hide the visual stink often backfires. By trying to cover our facial imperfections, we silently scream, "come play hide and seek with my face, Y'all!" It almost makes what we're attempting to hide even more noticeable.
Because cover-up can look terrifying if you don't have the time, energy, or an impressive background in makeup artistry, I offer another way out of "looking crappy". Enter eyeshadow: the matte, semi-matte/demi-matte, frost, satin, semi-sparkly, sparkly, or shimmer solution to making your eyes uniquely fresh and 100% effective at drawing attention away from those other places on your face you don't want to be publicized.
Echoing the sentiments of the iconic Lauren Hutton, I'm here to guide you on stepping away from the overwhelming barrage of eyeshadow choices by making your selection smaller, more economically feasible, increasingly environmentally responsible, and just plain friggin cool. Peace, plastic! Welcome to the world of plastic-free, pan-only eyeshadows. What is a pan-only eyeshadow? Pan-only eyeshadows come in a metal pan without the extra hard plastic surrounding the color. These are also called individual eyeshadows or single eyeshadows but they're all equally as awesome because they're all the same.
This post is dedicated to my childhood friend, Lindsey, whom innocently asked when I told her about creating this pan-only eyeshadow piece, "isn't there only one company that does that?" All you Lindsey's, curious people, and conscious beauties out there stay tuned!
Today I am proud to present 6 existing pressed eyeshadow brands which take your command of "I need space" as a permanent request. Every last cruelty-free and women-owned company I showcase offers a pan-only, pressed eyeshadow to create extra room in your custom makeup palette while cutting out the extra time, excessive expense, and unnecessary waste resulting from de-potting.
While the rest of the eyeshadow industry is charging us additional cash to create excess waste, pan-only eyeshadows are creating a decluttered present and future. As my brother, Cameron always preaches, "we vote with our money." Now that I finally know better, my wages will always be spent on makeup without the extra plastic. It's becoming easier to look pretty while also being wholesome to the Mother Earth we share and gosh dang it, with my filthy mouth, I've gotta be exemplary in every other way I can muster.
When it comes to individual eyeshadows, magnets are the star. Why? Embracing the world of single eyeshadow pans means housing them in a reusable magnetic case of your choice. These custom makeup kit palettes look like your standard makeup palette on the outside but have a magnetic sheet covering the entire base of the eyeshadow palette on the inside. Gotta love science!
So here's the scoop as far as I understand it: eyeshadow pans made from steel are responsive to magnetic palettes. If the eyeshadow pans you inherit are made of materials such as aluminum or tin, (like MAC Pro Palette Refill Pans and e.l.f. eyeshadows) they are not magnetic but can still work in your customized palette through the help of metallic stickers. (More on those below).
Because it can feel overwhelming to choose a magnetic makeup palette, I've compiled some popular choices easily scored through Amazon for you:
1. Z Palette is a popular, sturdy cardboard palette that includes a baggy of circular and square, stainless-iron magnetic stickers. These stickers can be used for any of your wayward makeup pans that aren't already attracted to magnets. Most eyeshadow pans should already work with your chosen palette, so test your magnetic attraction first before taking any extra time to apply metallic stickers. If you're looking for something boasting enough space for makeup brushes and most baked and domed items, then you'll need to go with a Dome Z Palette. These are deeper, (.44" deep instead of the large Z Palette depth of .25"), but both Large Z Palettes and Dome Z Palettes still share the exact same length and width as each other, otherwise.
2. Dollup Case. Patented Dollup Cases have grabbed my attention because of my life goal to Pare down all of my belongings into organized and travel-ready units. Made from premium synthetic leather, these magnetically based cases can open completely flat and boast a hard, clutch-style design to protect makeup from breaking. Dollup cases also come equipped with elastic holding bands for brushes, liners, and lipsticks and an interior mirror that can ingeniously be placed into a tent position for applying makeup without any need for extra limbs to see your reflection.
Since Dollup Cases do not include metallic stickers, if you run into makeup pans without magnetic capabilities, you can simply purchase 60, round Adept Cosmetics metal stickers, 30, round Z Palette metal stickers, or you can even adhere metal items such as Jewelry Bezels, safety pins, etc. to the bottom of your makeup pans. A little insider tip for making your metal-adhering decision: for the sake of sparing one's memory, people like to use a marker to write the name/brand of the eyeshadow color on the back of their metal sticker, so if you think this is something you'll do too, ensure the metal you choose to use embodies an easy writing surface.
3. Adept Cosmetics offers several choices for customizable makeup palettes, including double-sided palettes with a middle divider for holding up to 100 eyeshadows, palettes without a plastic window, (thank you for that), and palettes with enclosed mirrors. Adept Cosmetics even offers a similar setup to DollUp Cases through a magnet and pouch duo travel case and additionally offers an option to lose the pouch side and opt for both walls of the travel case to be magnetized instead. Both casing options come at you live in the colors "Black" and "Blush". See other choices in the empty magnetic palettes for makeup organization realm here such as the whimsical Altair Beauty, and the ever-attractive bamboo palette from Elate Cosmetics featured in Part 2 of this post.
We get to do whatever we want with makeup. How fun! Still, if the goal is to accentuate the best aesthetic version of you, there is a trick the makeup gurus have bestowed upon us underdogs for shopping in stores and online: skin undertones. (Not to be confused with skin tones). Skin undertones are as simple as counting to three. 1. Cool undertone. 2. Neutral undertone. 3. Warm undertone. As commanded by Makeup Geek, "don’t buy in to the assumption that fair-skinned girls are cool and dark-skinned girls are warm—this is one of the biggest undertone misconceptions out there!"
Finding out which of the three undertones you are is not as simple. While you can use the undertone rules of thumb such as the ones outlined in Healthline, you may still end up just as confused as I was. That's where the magic of modern-day machines come into play.
Most Estée Lauder counters at a mall near you use a sweet gadget called the iMatch Digital Shade Finder. It's FREE. Score, baby! After pressing their handheld device onto three different parts of my face and neck, I was dubbed a neutral undertone. A second check at the Sephora store utilizing a similar tool called the Sephora+Pantone Color IQ confirmed the neutral undertone diagnosis. Left to my own devices, I figured I was a cool undertone. Oh how uninformed this underdog was.
Why does any of this undertone mumbo matter? There are articles that preach the absolute necessity of learning and using your correct undertone for lipsticks and blush, but eyeshadows seem to be a grey area where some say "do it in whatever!" while others say, "only do it in your skin undertone". Since I'm all about narrowing down selections to alleviate choice overload and subsequent decision-making paralysis, all eyeshadows displayed in this post include their undertone of "cool", "neutral", and "warm" in their description. That way, if you're a warm and you'd like to, you can take a crack at just the warm eyeshadow tones on this list. Ah! The freeing nature of select choices!
The showcased eyeshadow brands are listed in the order of their eyeshadow prices from least to greatest. Still, I've gotta say that when it comes to packaging, Canada is the queen of sustainability. May she continue to influence the U.S. in all the best ways possible.
Now that we know about magnetic cosmetic organizers, undertones, and pan-only eyeshadows, onto Part 1 of your future eyeshadow collection!
Use Wet or dry
$6-8 a color
Pure Anada is pronounced Pure "uh-NAD-uh"
Shelf Life: Use within a year and a half
The eyeshadows are blended, pressed, and packaged in Morden, Manitoba, Canada at Pure Anada's shop.
Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77499) Calcium Carbonate, Caprylic Triglyceride *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba seed oil) Ultramarines (CI 77007), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891) * Certified Organic Ingredient
These shadows can be split up into two distinct finishes: Matte & Demi-Matte.
Matte shadows are soft, silky shadows that do not exude any sheen whatsoever.
Demi-Matte shadows are a combination of opaque matte minerals and luminous satin mica. This provides both true color and a light-reflecting finish.
Pure Anada's 18 Demi-Matte shadows are:
COOL TONE: Cameo, Freesia, Crocus, Blackberry, Onyx, Meadow, Breeze, Sterling NEUTRAL TONE: Whisper, Mirage, Pewter WARM TONE: Luna, RosenGold, Nectar, Espresso, Sahara, Grape, Reef,
Pure Anada's 7 Matte shadows are:
NEUTRAL TONE: Ivory Tower, Burlap WARM TONE: Ecru, Greenlander COOL TONE: Clouded, Dove, Smoke
Matte taupe grey, Cool Tone. This eye color is the pressed version of their Flint loose brow shade for Ash Blondes & can be used interchangeably for both purposes.
Matte ash medium brown, Cool Tone. This eye color is the pressed version of their Cinder loose brow shade for Medium Ashe Brown hair & can be used interchangeably for both purposes.
Pure Anada's Best Shades For Each Eye Color:
For Hazel Eyes - Greenlander
For Brown Eyes - Sahara
For Blue Eyes - Espresso
For Green Eyes - Grape
Pure Anada's Best-Selling Eyeshadows, in order of popularity:
FREE Shipping on orders over $50.
$10 on orders to the United States under $50.
So let's do the math. At $8 a pop, we would need 7 or more shadows to qualify for free shipping.
USE Shimmery Shadows WET OR DRY. Use Matte Shadows Dry
$9.50 a color
Shelf Life: 5+ years
Mother Bear's Handmade is headquartered, formulated, and crafted in Albuquerque, NM.
What makes Mother Bear's Handmade special:
1. Their current collection of 10 duplicate shades, (A.K.A dupes) from popular brands:
Cider ---> Too Faced in "Caramelized"
Regal---> Too Faced in "Peach Pit"
Ivory Pearl ---> Lighter color in the Nude Dip Tom Ford Eye Color Quad
Pink Pearl ---> Pink shade in the Nude Dip Tom Ford Eye Color Quad
Brown Pearl ---> Darker brown in the Nude Dip Tom Ford Eye Color Quad
Tan Pearl ---> Lighter brown in the Nude Dip Tom Ford Eye Color Quad
White Peach ---> Makeup Geek in "Beaches & Cream"
Camel ---> Makeup Geek in "Lucky Penny"
Currant ---> Kat Von D in "Lolita"
Metallic Pearl ---> MAC Cosmetics in "Nylon"
2. Custom Eyeshadow! For $17.50, (there is an $8 honorarium on top of the regular price of $9.50 for your customization dreams to come true), you can send photos and a description of the color you're after to create. If Angelica can replicate it, consider yourself the proud new owner of your own custom-curated eyeshadow. (The jojoba and coconut oil used in MotherBear's Handmade formulations are not customizable so if you're allergic to either oil, utilize another brand on this list). Your very own customized eyeshadow; would we not get to call you a makeup producer after such an exciting feat?
Sericite Mica, Boron Nitride, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Myristrate, Zinc Stearate, Carnauba Wax, Kaolin Clay. May contain Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Dioxide, Chromium Oxide, Manganese Violet, Tin Oxide, Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil.
Domestic shipping is $4 regardless of how many products are ordered. Domestic shipping on samples is $1.
International shipping varies depending on location and package weight.
Where To Buy:
Mother Bear's Handmade Etsy Shop
Use Wet or dry
$14.95 a color
Ecco Bella is pronounced "Echo-Bell-uh".
Shelf Life: 6 months after opening
What makes Ecco Bella special:
I've read many times over how well Ecco Bella shadows blend and do not crease. Bear in mind that I read many reviews stating that these colors are subtle, so if you're expecting Liberace here, you're going to be disappointed. It seems that Ecco Bella shades are an excellent base color, and as the singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor's mind-sticking lyrics often remind us, it's "All About That Bas[e]".
Rachel Krantz, one of Bustle's former founding editors, loves Ecco Bella's eyeshadows more than any other Ecco Bella product, and if I had to guess, popping their unique Rosa Centifolia (Cabbage Rose) Flower Wax formula onto her eyelids certainly coaxes the adoration.
Ecco Bella refers to their flower wax as "unique Flower Cutin Technology" and credits this ingredient for "providing a moisture barrier between skin and makeup pigments" and further states "our products last a reasonably long time on the skin because the flower cutins help to prevent the cosmetics from 'moving' ... so that your look stays fresher longer."
Places to buy:
Ecco Bella. Use this link to sign up for the newsletter and save $10 off your first purchase!
Ecco Bella is headquartered in West Orange, NJ. The FlowerColor Eyeshadows, Shimmer Dusts, and Powdered Eyeliners are formulated and pressed with organic almond oil and flower wax in The Garden State of New Jersey.
Mica, kaolin, cornstarch/zea mays*, zinc oxide, sweet almond oil/prunis dulcis*, green tea extract/camellia sinensis*, aloe barbadensis extract*, flower wax, iron oxides, sodium levulinate/anisate. May contain: Zinc stearate, *Certified organic/certifié biologique.
These shadows can be split up into two distinct categories: Matte & Frost. Although the Eyeshadows, Shimmer Dusts, and Eyeliner colors are listed as separate products, they can all be used as eyeshadows and will all be included below.
***Note: Although Ecco Bella's eyeshadows are displayed as crushed pigments below, they do come as pressed powders.
Ecco Bella's 13 Matte Shadows Are:
COOL TONE: Vanilla, Smokey Mauve, Eggplant NEUTRAL TONE: Heather, Fawn, Clay, Brown, Earth, Charcoal WARM TONE: Camel, Khaki, Deep Taupe, Ivy
Ecco Bella's 7 Frost Shadows Are:
COOL TONE: Star, Sapphire, Mystic NEUTRAL TONE: Moon, Galaxy WARM TONE: Sun, Celestial
Ecco Bella's Best Shades For Each Eye Color:
For Hazel Eyes - Sun Pressed Eyeshadow
For Brown Eyes - Eggplant Pressed Eyeshadow
For Blue Eyes - Deep Taupe Pressed Eyeshadow
For Green Eyes - Smokey Mauve Pressed Eyeshadow
Ecco Bella's Best-Selling Eyeshadows:
FREE shipping on orders over $75 to the United States and Canada.
Purchases under $75 are about $6.95 on East Coast orders and approximately $9.95 on West Coast orders, as set by USPS. Canada is a flat ship rate of $12.95
FREE International shipping on orders $150 & above. $10-$20 Shipping & Handling Priority Mail for orders under $150
Find more policies for Shipping & their 100% Guarantee, 30-Day Return Policy, here.
So let's do the math. At $14.95 a pop, we would need 6 or more shadows to qualify for free shipping.
I am so excited to have discovered a true matte grey via Pure Anada's Eye Colour in Dove, an outlet to initiate dupe requests and create customized eyeshadows through Mother Bear's Handmade, and I'm really pumped for some options for subtle, all over base colors rumored to stay put rather well thanks to Ecco Bella.
Hop on over to Part Two to learn about 3 more fantastic options for decluttering your makeup bag while also brightening the windows to your soul.
Which colors and concepts from Part 1 are most intriguing to you? The comment section down below is dying to host your thoughts.