Most eyeshadows leave my eyelids in a terrible state after just one use. I can’t count the times I’ve removed my makeup to find a sort of ‘tattoo’ of redness and irritation left behind by even the tiniest amount of shadow. My lids are super-sensitive and become even more so in winter. I can occasionally get away with a cream eyeshadow like Eyeko’s Me and My Shadow, but applying it more than two or three days a week leaves my lids flaky, red, and very sore. It breaks my heart to see the lovely Tom Ford Cream Colour for Eyes sitting unused in my makeup bag (the colours are stunning), but after an hour of wear, my lids are inflamed and my eyes are streaming. It’s not fair!
Fortunately, there is one brand that has never let me down or caused me a hint of bother, and that’s Kevyn Aucoin. Because I don’t know why they work for me, I’m only going to recommend two very specific colours which are Soft Clay (#104) and Stone (#107), £24 each. I’ve used both for years and never had a moment’s trouble. Both are quite muted, natural colours, so it’s difficult to get a smoky look using them. However, they are beautiful and flattering for more mature skin. They don’t crease, don’t emphasise crepy lids, and they wear well.
If you’re after something a bit more sophisticated, I suggest the Essential Eyeshadow Set in Smoky Nude, £46. It contains colours very similar to the two above, along with some gorgeous darker shades for added drama. I’ve only used this one for about a week, but it’s not caused me any irritation, and considering most have me in tears after one day, I think it’s safe to assume this one is a good bet.
I’m not sure if any other Kevyn Aucoin shadows are good for sensitive eyes, but I’m willing to test a few more and report back.