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Back to Basics: The Best Black Eye Shadows

What makes one black eye shadow stand out from the crowd? For me, it should be pigment rich and easy to blend, so you only need to use a little bit to get the job done. Still, the number one reason why I might choose one black shadow over another is if it can be worn wet and dry — letting it double as an eyeliner without damaging the composition of the shadow.

The following blacks have been my favorites for years. They stay put, so by the end of the night they don't flake or wind up halfway down my cheeks. For those of you who have tried-and-true favorite black shadow as well, by all means let me know about it!

Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeliner in Black Caviar ($22) is categorized as an eyeliner, actually (oh the irony!) but I love to use it as a shadow as well. It's got a more textured consistency than a powder shadow, yet it's not quite a cream consistency either. The best part about it that it will never fall onto your cheeks, and it glides on easily with a brush. If you haven't yet tried it, this is a must-have.

For two more bellissima black eye shadows,


T. Le Clerc Eyeshadow Duo in Noir ($24) actually contains two colors: a golden, shimmery green on one side and the most luxuriously-rich deep-black matte powder shadow on the other.

This duo is a staple for any evening affair. Use the black on the lower part of your lids or as a liner, and use the green in the crease and in the inner corners of your eyes for sparkle.

MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon ($14) is an intense black eye shadow. It contains high pigment and it blends well. What I love about this color is that it's a real black — meaning it's dark and matte. It's always a great product to have on hand if you want to create a smokey eye.

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Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Great! Thanks for letting us know!
lacornflakegirl lacornflakegirl 8 years
i love this product! sooo easy to create a smokey eye with it...
creepupmytee creepupmytee 8 years
I'll definitely get the MAC one! :D
Noralicious Noralicious 8 years
i don't use black eye shadows i use black liner and mac is the best it's stay 4 so long
tralalala tralalala 8 years
My favorite is Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Onyx. It doesn't look that dark on the site, but oh my goodness. Sugar Cube and Slate both go well with it for a smokey eye.
judeandam judeandam 8 years
i'm w/ aimeeb - i like MAC's black tied. It's a midnight black with a silver white sparkle (per their website). The sparkle gives a little kick to an dark smokey eye.
TFS TFS 8 years
MAC has the best black shadow. need to do your research more bella!!!!!
musewings musewings 8 years
I have two black shadows I like. My favorite is Trish McEvoy's Lava, which is a black with gold shimmer, that I like to use wet to line with, and then dry, as a shadow, in the outer corner for a little extra drama that's not over the top. I also like Urban Decay's Zero. I love the texture, pigment, and staying power of all my Urban Decay shadows.
rumpel2 rumpel2 8 years
i have never tried black eyeshadow...but reading this post makes me want to try it...will do it this weekend! :)
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 8 years
I love love black eye shadows! SHU UEMURA works the best for me. and i have a few MAC black ones too. i cant get enough of them.
BelleRose BelleRose 8 years
I really like Milani Storm e/s. It a nice black shadow with some silver shimmer in it. It blends well, too. I like to wear it with Milani's Silver Bullet.
htiduj htiduj 8 years
i use a black shadow from lancome. i mix it up with a gray, and its really fun for a night out. and ms money, i think that black eyeshadow may look absolutely gorgeous on you! i have seen quite a few women of color wear black eyeshadow, and they were to die for. especially when they use a more creamy shadow, or add a little bit of shine on top. it all depends on your skin tone! seriously, i am paler than pale (transclucent) so by all logic, black eyeshadow should make me look like a vampire, but it works. try it out in the store - you may be surprised!!!
msmoney23 msmoney23 8 years
Hmm...I don't think that will look very good a woman of color like me.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I like MAC's black tied the best.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
I love the MAC shadow - it's so intense!
emalove emalove 8 years
I think black shadow looks too severe on me, unless I just use it as a liner. I prefer charcoal gray, deep blue, or purple for a smoky eye just looks better on me.
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