Comparison: Gold Eyeshadows

Golds swatches

DMM Aries, Shiro Perfect World, HW Tchaikovsky, Shiro Remake, Baroque Versailles / AFK Solar Flare, HW 1000 Likes, HW Amber, Shiro Mockingjay, Corvus Clio

Recently I wanted to find a dupe for Shiro’s Perfect World, my favorite gold eyeshadow, which is now sadly discontinued. I asked for suggestions on Indie Makeup and More, and realized I already had a couple of the suggested colors in my stash. I wound up pulling out all my metallic golds and decided to swatch them all to compare. (I skipped my peachy golds and yellow based golds, since that wasn’t what I was looking for.) I figured it might be useful to someone else who was also looking for a specific kind of gold.

All shadows are swatched over Urban Decay Primer Potion on the top/left and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy on the bottom/right. The top picture was taken in indoor natural light and the bottom in direct sun, for maximum sparkle.

Gold swatches 1Dark Matter Makeup Aries, Shiro Perfect World, Shiro Remake, Baroque Versailles, AFK Solar Flare

Gold swatches 2Hello Waffle Amber, Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky, Hello Waffle 1000 Likes, Corvus Clio, Shiro Mockingjay

Aries 2Dark Matter Makeup Aries: “A light metallic gold with gold sparks. It also has an orange highlight that makes the color shift from a light to a more orange gold.” This is a pale sparkly light gold. Over primer it’s a little sheer. There’s a slight cool grey undertone to it in some lights. I don’t get the orange shift at all. If you’re looking for a sparkly gold, this is the one with the most sparkle out of the ten. (Previously reviewed here.)

Perfect WorldShiro Perfect World: “Pure, soft, slightly metallic gold.” This is my personal favorite gold. It’s description is spot on. It’s a neutral gold without noticeable undertones, and it’s very smooth and metallic. It doesn’t have any sparks. I’m super sad that Shiro discontinued it, since it’s great with my light skintone.

Tchaikovsky 2Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky: “Vibrant gold with red, silver, and blue sparks.” This is a neutral-toned gold, with a smooth metallic finish and noticeable sparkles. The sparkles mostly struck me as silver and blue. I didn’t really see red. Over Pixie Eposy it’s more densely metallic, but it looks nice over primer too. (Previously reviewed here.)

Remake 2Shiro Remake: “Shimmery gold-bronze with purple sparks.” This is a slightly warm, very metallic gold. When I reviewed it before I didn’t notice the sparks, but this time, with more experience looking at eyeshadow nuances, I definitely did, The strike me as bluey purple and are very pretty. (Previously reviewed here.)

VersaillesBaroque Versailles: “Antiqued molten gold.” This is a gold with a bit of a greenish tint to it, which makes it look antique. (The pictures pulled a little warm, but the green twinge is definitely noticeable in person. You can see the difference between it and the warmer golds in the shot of all them together at the beginning of the post.) It has a very smooth metallic finish, and a hint of silvery sparks. The antique greenish quality makes it distinctive in my collection.

Solar FlareAFK Solar Flare: “A bright and sunny gold with a metallic finish.” This is an orangey yellow gold, with less sparkle to it than most of the other golds I swatched. It’s like a mildly metallic goldenrod. Over primer it’s a little sheer, so it can come across as more yellow on the eyes if you don’t use a sticky base.

1000 Likes 2Hello Waffle 1000 Likes: “Dark gold shimmer.” This is a very warm orangey gold. It darkens as it gets more opaque and metallic on a sticky base. Over primer alone, it’s sheerer and lighter. The lumps you see in the swatch are 100% my fault for not waiting long enough for the Pixie Epoxy to dry. Last time I swatched it it didn’t have that problem at all, as you can see in this swatch. If you wait for your base to dry like a smart person, it applies very smoothly. (Previously reviewed here.)

AmberHello Waffle Amber: “Dark orange-gold shimmer.” This is a very warm gold, enough to make it look almost like a rose gold or a pale copper instead of a pure gold. It’s very smooth. Over primer it’s a little sheer, but on a sticky base it takes on a nice metallic sheen.

Mockingjay 2Shiro Mockingjay: “Metallic brown-copper-bronze.” So this one is more copper than gold (and as you can see, Shiro doesn’t even call it a gold), but in direct sun the shimmer takes on a bit of a yellow gold quality. In indoor light it looks like a shiny new penny. (Previously reviewed here.)

Clio 2Corvus Clio: “A slightly blackened molten gold with a metallic finish.” This is the darkest of my golds. It’s also the least shiny. Over primer it’s more of a tan brown with a hint of gold, but it’s almost matte. On a sticky base, there’s more of a sheen, but it’s still the least metallic of all the golds I swatched. Its darkness makes it excellent as a liner. (Previously reviewed here.)

So there you are! Ten of my golds swatched side by side. Hopefully this was helpful to someone else. If you’re interested in me adding in my more yellow or peachy golds, let me know and I can look into updating the post. If, like me, you were looking for a dupe for Perfect World, Hello Waffle Tchaikovsky or Dark Matter Makeup Aries are the closest that I have. Tchaikovsky looks closer to me over primer, but Aries is closest over Pixie Epoxy. Both of them are more sparkly than Perfect World, but it’s more noticeable with Aries. So if I had to choose one, I would go with Tchaikovsky.

How often do you wear gold eyeshadow? If you want some ideas on how I use it, all my posts tagged with gold are here.

Also, I finally got around to making a swatch gallery. It’s in the menu at the left and it has all my swatches sorted by brand. So hopefully that’s helpful to you!


Dark Matter Makeup Zodiac Collection: Looks

Zodiac Swatches

Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Virgo, Scorpio, Pisces / Libra, Aries, Taurus, Capricorn, Aquarius, Sagittarius

After yesterday’s swatch post, it’s time for my looks from Dark Matter Makeup’s Zodiac collection. This collection has a lot of bright, fun colors, although some of them took a little bit of extra work to use in the looks. Nonetheless, I’m happy with what I came up with and if you’re a more confident eyeshadow user, you should be able to make some nice bold looks with these colors. Also, if you missed my update to yesterday’s post, these shadows have been reformulated since I bought them, so it’s possible they perform better now. Dom’s sending me a few samples of the reformulation, and when I get them, I’ll post an update about the new formula.

zodiac s3 Look 1: Virgo and Pisces Zodiac 3For this look I primed my eyes and then patted Virgo over the lid. I placed Pisces in the outer corner and the outer portion of the crease and blended it down and into Virgo. I kept blending until the transition was smooth. I added a little bit more Pisces in the crease to make it more vibrant, and brought some under my lower lashes as well. I lined my eyes all the way around with black pencil liner and applied a lot of mascara.

zodiac s5 Look 2: Scorpio, Taurus and Sagittarius Zodiac 5b I primed my eyes and patted Pixie Epoxy on to my mobile lids. After it set, I applied Scorpio to my lids. I took a tiny bit of Taurus on a blending brush and worked it into the crease to smooth out the edges, fanning it up slightly at the outer corners. I tidied a bit with a q-tip and diffused the edges with my blending brush. I used a liner brush to apply Sagittarius along my lower lashline. I lined my eyes with black pencil liner and finished with mascara. (Lips are Kae Q Sapodilla.)

zodia s2 Look 3: Aquarius and Aries Zodiac 2This is the second look I attempted with these colors, since the first one turned out patchy. For this, I primed my lids and applied Aries up to my crease. I blended out the edges a little to diffuse the upper edge. I mixed Aquarius with Superstar Serum and applied it as winged liner using an eyeliner brush. I applied a little of the mixture to my lower lashline as well. I finished the look with mascara. (Lips are Kae Q Mamey.)

zodiac s1 Look 4: Libra, Gemini and Capricorn Zodiac 1 This look is an attempt at a halo eye, although the colors were too similar for it to be very distinct. I primed my eyes and applied Gemini to the inner and outer thirds of each eye. I used a pencil brush to apply Libra to the very inner and outer corners, as well as to the inner and outer thirds of my lower lashline. I filled in the middle third of each eye with Capricorn and blended the purples together. I might have overblended slightly, which cause the halo-ness to become extremely subtle, so I added a touch more Gemini over the top. In retrospect, maybe I should have added a little bit more back. I also applied Gemini to the middle third of my lower lashline. I blended out the upper edge of the purples with Capricorn on a fluffy brush, bringing it up a little higher than my crease. I lined my upper lashline with black pencil liner and my lower lashline with grey. I curled my lashes and applied mascara to complete the look. (Lips are Fyrinnae Pygmy Hippo topped with gloss.)

zodiac s4 Look 5: Aries, Leo and Cancer, plus Pisces Zodiac 4a For this look I started my priming my eyes and then applied Aries to the inner third of my lids. I applied Leo to the middle third and Cancer to the outer third. I flared Cancer up at the outer corner and applied some to the outer half of my lower lashline as well. I applied Leo to the middle of my lower lashline, stopping before my tear duct. I blended the three colors on my lid together to get a smooth transition, but Leo became very sheer so I patted a little more on top. I took the teensiest bit of Aries on a blending brush and used it to lightly blend out the upper edge. I lined my upper lashes with black liquid liner, ending in a little wing, and my lower lashes with black pencil liner. I also applied mascara.

Zodiac 4bAfter I finished the first version of this look, I realized that it would be super fun to add some turquoise to the lower lashline, so I used a liner brush to apply some Pisces to my lower waterline. This version made me think of a tropical sunset over the ocean!

zodiac looks aSo there are my five Zodiac Collection looks! Despite the fact that some of the shadows were a bit tricky to use and required a careful hand or touch ups after blending, I really like the way they turned out. I was able to make a lot of bright, fun looks! Since turquoise is hands down my favorite color, look number one was my favorite, but I was pleasantly surprised by number three as well. My first attempt at an Aquarius/Aries look (a smoky eye over Pixie Epoxy) turned into a bit of a patchy mess (especially when my eyes were closed and you could see it all), but foiling Aquarius as liner worked quite well and made for a nice, delicate, pretty look. What about you? Which look was your favorite?

Dark Matter Makeup Zodiac Collection: Swatches

Zodiac shadowsToday I’m reviewing the Zodiac Collection from Dark Matter Makeup. The shop is relatively new, but adding new collection quickly (all of which are space/science themed). This collection has 12 colors, one for each Zodiac sign. While the formula of some colors was a bit tricky, there were definitely a bunch of fun colors. Pretty much everything changed dramatically over a sticky base. It’s also worth noting that usually Dark Matter samples come in test tubes, not baggies. I asked Dom, the owner, if she could send me mine in baggies instead, and she was kind enough to do so for me.

(Update: I’ve been informed that Dom has reformulated these colors since I bought them, so the formula is supposed to be smoother now. So this review is for the original formulations of these colors.)

Swatched over Urban Decay Primer on the top/left and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy on the bottom/right. The top picture in each collage was taken in indoor natural light and the bottom one in direct sun.

Zodiac Purples The purpley colors: Cancer, Libra, Virgo, Gemini, Capricorn, Aquarius

Zodiac MiscThe other colors: Aries, Leo, Taurus, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Pisces

PiscesPisces: “A bold teal green with sparkling stars of silver glitter.” This is a bright turquoise with a matte base and silver glitter. It has a slightly powdery texture. Over primer it’s slightly sheer, but it does not play well with Pixie Epoxy. It balled up in some areas and flaked off in others, although the glitter was more noticeable and the color was darker. The PE side of my swatch also stained my arm quite a bit. I love the color of this over primer alone, but it sheers out a lot when you blend it, so I needed to pat a second layer on after blending in order to get a vibrant turquoise when I’ve used it in looks.

AquariusAquarius: “A duochrome that shifts from a dark, yet pure blue to a metallic gold.” This has a bright blue base and a strong gold duochrome overlay, with a bit of a coppery red twinge to it. Over primer the blue is sheer and pretty much all of the duochrome aspect of it vanishes, although there is still a bit of gold glitter. Over a sticky base I found I needed to work very fast to get an even overlay and even then there was a bit of patchiness in the gold. When I tried it over Pixie Epoxy on my eyes, the patchiness was worse. It’s a really pretty color, and I don’t own anything else like it, but it’s tricky to use.

AriesAries: “A light metallic gold with gold sparks. It also has an orange highlight that makes the color shift from a light to a more orange gold.” This is a quite nice light shiny gold with a bit of sparkle. I don’t see any orange in it. It’s really pretty and applies nicely. Over primer it’s a touch sheer, but I found that useful for looks when you want just a hint of gold. Over a sticky base, the sheen was quite even. It’s one of my favorites from the collection.

LeoLeo: “A sheer red orange with sparkles of silver and violet.” This is a glittery bright orange. Over primer it’s more of a true orange with just a bit of sparkle and a sheer matte base, but Pixie Epoxy brings out its red tones and makes the shimmer much more apparent. The pinky purple iridescence of the sparkle only comes out over a sticky base. Like Pisces, it blends away easily on the eyelids and I found myself touching it up after blending to get a more vibrant color.

LibraLibra: “A shifting magenta that has a metallic gold shift.” This is a bright magenta base with a strong coppery gold overlay that really comes out over Pixie Epoxy. Over primer the base is more purple toned with a bit of copper-gold glittery shimmer. Over sticky primer the gold forms a duochromesque layer over the top and makes the base look much warmer. It’s a really pretty color and much easier to apply than Aquarius. It’s unique in my collection as well.

CancerCancer: “Bright blue toned pink with blue shift.” This is a bright pink with bright blue shimmer. Over primer the base is sheerer and more hot pink and the blue shimmer is less prominent. Over a sticky base the color deepens and the blue comes out quite clearly .

VirgoVirgo: “A light pink that has a golden duochrome.” This is a very light lavender pink with golden iridescent shimmer. Over Pixie Epoxy, the base color was more purple and the shimmer was strong, but not strong enough for me to consider it a duochrome. Over primer it was more of a sheer pink with golden sparkle spread throughout.

GeminiGemini: “A purple maroon with red shimmering highlight.” This is a medium warm purple with multicolored red and purple shimmer spread throughout. It was a little bit sheer, especially over primer. It’s more reddish over Pixie Epoxy. It’s one of the most straightforward colors in the collection (which to me seems weird, since it was inspired by the twins.)

CapricornCapricorn: “A sheer satin victorian purple grey with very subtle hints of red.” This is a slightly greyish blue-toned light purple. It’s mostly matte but there’s a little shimmer mixed in. Over primer it’s more of a blueish lavender, but on Pixie Epoxy it’s darker and the blue-grey tones are stronger. It doesn’t show up in the picture, but when the light hits it just right there is the tiniest hint of red shimmer.

SagittariusSagittarius: “A gunmetal gray with intense silver glitter and subtle sparks of violet.” This is a dark grey with a whole ton of blueish silver glitter in it. Over a sticky base the glitter is quite dense, which gives it a blue sheen. It’s sheerer and more charcoal colored over primer, and the shimmery is more spread out.

Scorpio shiftScorpio: “A chocolate brown base with a duochrome of green turquoise.” This is a duochrome with a slightly blue-twinged green overlay on a reddish brown base. Over primer the base is very visible with just a sprinkling of green glitter, but over Pixie Epoxy the green forms a fairly solid duochrome layer over the top.

TaurusTaurus: “A true milk chocolate satin with soft hints of red and violet shimmer.” This is a basic chocolate brown base with red and purple shimmer that come out over a sticky base. Over primer it’s a bit sheer and not very shimmery, but over Pixie Epoxy it gets gorgeous reddish purple sheen that is quite pronounced. I think it would make a good liner. It was a little bit tricky to blend over primer.

Overall Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this collection. On one hand there’s a lot of colors I like quite a bit, but on the other, the formula isn’t my favorite. Overall, these shadows are thinner and more powdery than I’m used to, which makes them a little bit tricky to work with. For most of the colors, you need to use a sticky base to bring out their most interesting qualities. However, I found that they worked better when my Pixie Epoxy was slightly wetter than usual, so I let it set for 12-15 seconds instead of my usual 15-20 and then worked very fast to pat the color on evenly. I also needed to have a lot of shadow on my brush to get even coverage. Over regular primer the colors are sheerer and more muted, and I found myself wanting to pat more color on after blending to make them brighter. (Especially with Leo, Capricorn and Pisces, which have more of a matte with glitter formula.) I wouldn’t use them with white brushes either, because they’re hard to wash out. (Pisces and Libra both took a couple washes to come out of my white haired pencil brush fully.) Unless you regularly use a sticky base and are comfortable taking the time to get the application right, it’s probably not a collection that you need. I would pick and choose the colors that appeal to you most instead. For me those would be Aries, Pisces, Libra, Cancer and Virgo. (Update: But, as I noted above, they’ve been reformulated since I bought them, so hopefully they’re less problematic now than they used to be.)

Even though the formula was tricky, I was able to make a bunch of really nice, bright looks with these colors. They’ll be up tomorrow!

FOTD: Little Mermaid and Pisces Challenge

Pisces and Little MermaidOver on Working With Monolids, Francesca has been doing a sample challenge. She draws two random eyeshadow sample bags from her stash and creates a look using both of them. She brought the idea to /r/indiemakeupandmore, and asked people to list the eyeshadows they own. Then other users would choose two random colors to make a look with, without looking up pictures of what the shadows look like. I love pretty much every type of make up challenge there is, so I jumped on board. Half an hour of typing out names later, I had my list. /u/three8six9, of Butabanasaurus, gave me my first pairing, Blanche Neige’s Little Mermaid and Dark Matter Makeup’s Pisces. From the sound of the names, with their aquatic references, you’d think the colors would go together easily. However. Little Mermaid is red orange. Burnt red orange. And Pisces is turquoise. Super bright turquoise. Not really colors I would have paired up. But it was a challenge, so I knew I had to figure it out!

Pisces and Little Mermaid 1I wasn’t sure what to do, and wound up going full on avante garde. I actually like this, in a “I wish I had a weirdo gallery opening or an experimental theatre opening night to wear this to” type of way.

Pisces and Little Mermaid 2A glasses shot and a close up. To show off the weirdness in all possible ways.

Pisces and Little Mermaid shadowsEyes:

  • Blanche Neige Little Mermaid
  • Dark Matter Makeup Pisces
  • Shiro Doge
  • Stila Desert
  • Tarte Hot Stone Massage
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Anti-Aging
  • Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
  • Sephora Collection Black Lace Eyeliner
  • Buxom Lash Mascara


  • MAC Face and Body in N1
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 1
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Tarte Exposed


  • MAC Viva Glam V

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this combination of shadows so the look sort of developed as I put it on my face. My original plan was to use Pisces in the inner corner, Little Mermaid in the Outer Corner and Doge in the middle as a transition, so I started by applying Doge, a shimmery champagne, all over my primed lids. But Then I wound up covering it all up with Little Mermaid, a burnt orange-red, which I applied up to my crease and below the outer half of my lower lashes. I used a matte orangey nude to blend it out and up to my eyebrows. Then I applied Pisces, a bright turquoise in my inner corner, and blended it up and a round the corner into the red. However, it wasn’t turquoisey enough, so I applied a bot of Pixie Epoxy and added some more on top. Then I lined my upper lashes and both waterlines with black pencil liner. With the black liner on, I decided there needed to be still more turquoise, so I used an angled brush to blend it across my entire lower lash line and along the bottom outer edge of the red shadow. To finish I applied Doge underneath my brow bone, curled and mascaraed my lashes. I did the rest of my face makeup, with slightly reddish brown nudes for both my cheeks and my lips, and realized the amount of crazy eyeshadow I had on was overpowering my brows. So I used a grey brown eyeshadow to fill them in with an angled brush. Weirdo look complete!

Have you ever paired random samples? I had a blast with it and am looking forward to doing the rest of the pairings I was given.