Why Shimmery Makeup Is On Its Way Out

by Thalia Ortiz

In recent months, there has been no doubt that the matte makeup trend has swept the beauty world by storm. In every cosmetic or skincare product you can possibly think of, mattes have made their way in, and seem to be there to stay. So what is it about these shine-free lipsticks and eyeshadows that makes them so wearable, anyway? Well, for one, they are long-lasting, especially matte lipsticks — seriously if you pick the right formula, those things don’t budge. But with all of the hype surrounding matte beauty products, I couldn’t help but wonder where all the love went for shimmery textures.

Now, the lack of shimmery makeup on the market should not be confused with the illuminating creams or face highlighters that have hit the shelves recently. These products can be great and add the perfect finishing touch to any beauty look if used correctly. Beauty junkies like myself love these products because they can produce glowing skin no matter what the setting. What I’m talking about, however, refers more specifically to frosty lipsticks, nail polishes, and eyeshadows, and the fact that beauty brands seem to have ditched this frosty trend in favor of shimmer-free matte palettes.

When I was growing up and in high school, shimmer was the thing and it was next to impossible to go to the drugstore and find anything but a frosty lip product or shadow. Trendsetters of the late ‘90s and early 2000s like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera made the frosty look the go-to, and it crept up everywhere. No beauty routine was complete without at least a little bit of shimmer.

Fast forward to today, and it’s like people are running for the hills to escape shimmery products. Earlier this year, Cosmopolitan published a piece about beauty trends that should die in 2015. The article noted that applying frosted lipstick and using shimmer in the inner corner of the eye are "outdated looks."

Whether it’s true or not, and whether or not we should do away with shimmery makeup altogether this year, Cosmo's opinion doesn't seem to be exclusively their own. Rather, most people are inadvertently anti-shimmer these days. Shimmery powders are being used sparingly in areas like the brow bone or slightly on the cheekbones for contouring, but not much of anywhere else.

Reasons for this could be as simple as the fact that most major beauty brands like NARS, Tarte, or Kat Von D are not producing a widespread selection of shimmery products — since there isn’t a major demand for them right now. This season alone, Tarte released the Tartlette eyeshadow palette — a collection of shimmer-free eyeshadows in low-key neutrals. After a few weeks of being sold out on Sephora’s website and in stores, it’s finally back in stock and selling like hot-cakes.

Tartlette Eyeshadow Palette, $46, Sephora

Kat Von D followed Tarte’s lead and a few weeks after the Tartlette palette was released, the brand came out with the Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette. The eyeshadow palette is filled with neutral brown matte shades to help define and add dimension to the eyes sans shimmer.

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette, $48, Sephora

It was once thought that matte eyeshadows were strictly for daytime and could not look dressy or appropriate enough for nighttime, but thanks to deeper matte shadows like Kat Von D’s, this is just not true anymore. It’s totally possible to play and experiment with mattes nowadays because they’re blendable and don’t have a chalky finish like they once did. Today’s mattes are rich and bold — they’ve become anything but boring. Not to mention that thanks to the current contouring craze, people are even forgoing their once beloved shimmery bronzers for natural contouring creams or powders with a matte-free finish.

Perhaps the biggest reason for this shift in choosing mattes over shimmers boils down to the simple fact that natural beauty is in at the moment. The no-makeup-makeup look is a thing and, in a sense, shimmery or frosty makeup can distort this natural vibe.

Age can also be a factor in this change. Although there's nothing wrong with the natural process that is aging, I've heard plenty of people remark that frosty makeup can make them appear older, or conversely, too juvenile. Seriously, I hear this concern all the time from my clients as a retail makeup artist. And I think it goes back to the fact that at the end of the day, shimmery makeup is not the most natural look and may not always allow for a person’s unique beauty to shine through.

The question is, are we done with shimmery and frosty shades for good? Maybe not just yet, since drugstores or retailers like Sephora still carry them, albeit in limited quantities, and there are people out there who are die-hard shimmer fans. Beauty trends can change in the blink of an eye and it’s fun to experiment, but never give up your personal style for the sake of what’s in at the moment.

Images: Getty; ashleyxodollie/Instagram; Giphy