Matte vs. Shimmer – Where on the Face and Why Texture is Important


For starters, let me introduce the makeup model I chose for this post, the iconic Gigi Hadid.  She is definitely one of today’s modern muses for her soft femininity and her makeup is always stunning.

The leads me to this post and a makeup topic that is overlooked but a crucial one in terms of makeup product selection and placement.  Often times the terms matte and shimmer (or other terms include dewy, shiny, glowing, and radiant) are used when describing a makeup product.

Matte:  A matte texture has no shine whatsoever and can appear to have a velvet or powder finish.  Typically matte products appear more natural looking.

Shimmer:  A shimmery texture provides a shiny and glowing effect and stands out more on the face by reflecting light.

As a general rule, shimmer accentuates features more (more specifically with highlighting and “strobing”–the modern makeup terminology for essentially the same thing) because of how the light hits while matte textures do the opposite by appearing almost flat and do not pick up light at all.

Areas of the face that should typically always be matte:
– Forehead
– Chin
– Nose
– Under the cheekbones (by the use of contouring)
– Eye shadow crease and outer crease (I generally opt for matte shadows; however, depending on the look, shimmery shadows can work)
– Outline of the lips (in other words the lip liner)
– Eyebrows

Areas of the face that should typically always be highlighted (shimmery/dewy/radiant):
– Brow bone (the space right under the eye brows although this sometimes can be matte depending on a person’s preference)
– Top of cheekbones
– Cupid’s bow (the space between the nose and upper lip)
– Inner corners of eyes (optional but ideal for eye brightening)
– Center of eyelids (optional as well, this depends on the look but placing shimmer in the center of the lid catches the light and appears brighter)
– Center of the nose (optional, I personally do not do this much at all but if you look at magazines, the center of the nose always seems to be highlighted)

Areas of the face that can be either matte or shimmery:
– Lips
– Eye makeup in general
– Center of cheeks (in other words the blush color–personally, I typically always choose MATTE for the center of the cheeks but again, this is a personal preference and depends on the overall look being achieved which is why I put this into the either category)
– Skin (in reference to the overall effect of the skin, some people prefer their skin to look matte while others may opt for a more dewy finish that provides a glow)

Keep in mind with the last category, why it does not make too much of a difference is because those areas of the face are dictated by personal preference, style, and makeup trends.  For example, matte lip products are very popular at the moment whereas there have been times shimmery lips are more trendy.  Another example is with blush, a person with more oily skin is going to prefer to stick with matte blushes only because it reduces oil throughout the day while a person with dry skin may only where shimmery blushes because the skin will appear to look less dry and more radiant.

Back to the beautiful image of Gigi Hadid, which facial features are matte?  What areas of her face provide more shimmer?  When examining this image up closely,  it appears that the overall effect is more on the shimmery side.  More specifically, the gold eye shadow on the entire eye, the lips, the skin overall is more dewy, tops of cheekbones, and the center of nose.  In terms of matte textures on her face, I would the eyebrows, outline of her lips, blush, and the contour under the cheekbones.



How to Choose the Perfect Lipstick

How to Choose the Perfect LipstickFor many people, finding the perfect lipstick can be a bit of a challenge and especially overwhelming when you are at a beauty counter and have about a hundred shades staring at you, “Pick me, pick me!”

I love lipsticks and believe every woman should own at least one amazing lipstick, even if you usually only wear a lipgloss or lip balm.

Why do I love lipsticks so much?  I believe lipstick is a total style accessory such as a beautiful cocktail ring or a stunning handbag.  It really expresses your personality, style, and even what mood you are currently in, all in a single swipe.

Here is a set of guidelines to follow for the next time you are faced with a sea of lipsticks without any sense of direction.  Sometimes it can be really hard to choose a shade on your own,  but if you know what exactly to look for, you can go to any makeup counter with confidence!


Lipsticks come in various textures which will allow for them to look and feel very different.

*  Matte:  These are completely shine free.  Your lips will have a more dry looking finish (rather than shiny) and typically last longer throughout the day than any other lipstick texture.  Matte lipsticks are usually very pigmented meaning you can expect a very good color payoff.

* Sheer: These lipsticks have very little color payoff and usually allow for your natural lip color to shine through.  The finish is usually glossy and sort of feels like you are wearing a chapstick or lip conditioner because it feels very lightweight (as if there is nothing on).  The is ideal for someone who does not want to feel like there is much on the lips and does not want a ton of color.

* Creamy: These lipsticks feel exceptionally smooth on the lips because it has the most moisture.  These lipsticks also have great color payoff and best for people that have drier lips.

* Frost: These lipsticks always have a high shine with a metallic finish.  The color payoff can vary but almost always has more pigmentation than a sheer lipstick.


In color theory, intensity refers to the saturation and brightness of a color.  Meaning when choosing a lipstick, it’s good to consider how bright you want the color to be. Although red may seem like the brightest color, depending on its intensity, certain reds are not as bright as others.


In color theory, value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.  Choosing how dark or light a shade is usually determined by a person’s personal comfort level and personal taste. I believe it is good to have a variety of dark and light shades because depending on the overall look of the makeup, it is good to have both options available.  Plus, it is great to be able to mix different shades and having both light and dark colors allows for you to do this more easily.


Determining a color family can narrow down the lipstick process tremendously.  This simply means picking a general lipstick color such as:  brown, pink, plum, coral, or red. Once you choose a specific color family, you can then examine all the different shades within it.


Are you going to a special event where you want your lips to pop?  Or are you looking for an “everyday” shade that you can wear all the time?  Keep in mind that depending on where you are going or what occasion this is for, your lipstick choice could vary.


It is important to consider your skin tone, hair, and eye color when choosing your best personal lipstick shade.  This is something that you may not have a good eye for initially, so it is always good to ask for a second opinion from a friend or a makeup professional that can give you recommendations on shades that will best suit your personal coloring.


I mention this only because I find this to be extremely crucial in coordinating the right lipstick to complete a look.  It is important to always think about the overall look you are trying to achieve with the makeup.  If you are wearing a smokey eye, usually you want the lips to be soft.  If you are wearing very little eye makeup, you may want to make your lips be the main focal point in which your lipstick choice can afford to be more bold.


This basically refers to your personal taste and what colors you are most drawn to.  I know for myself, I am into style which allows for me to be more experimental with my lipstick choices.  Sometimes I like to be bold, other days I may want a more minimalist look to my makeup.