Transition Eye Shadow Shades

When I finally understood the concept of a transition eye shadow, it upped my eye shadow blending game by tenfold.  A transition eye shadow shade is one that is typically matte and slightly darker than your natural skin tone – this helps to blend the lid colour into the brow area. Most days now, I just pop on a shimmery neutral shade [taupe!] on the lid up to the crease, then I blend the edges with a transitional shade – something like this:
My blending skills are better than my photoshop skills.

It looks like I spent a lot of time with my eye look but in fact, it took less than 5 minutes. I’ve depotted some of my most used transition colours into a small z-palette so I can have a range to choose from each morning:
I would group my transition shades into neutral, warm and cool categories. I’m around NC25 so these would be suitable for skin tones that are similar.

• Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Naked
• Cargo Eye Shadow Single in Surrey
• Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Justify
• Physicians Formula Matte Collection Quad Eye Shadow Canyon Classics (upper left corner pan)
• MAC Eye Shadow in Wedge
Sorry these swatches are a little hard to see against my skin as they’re all just slightly darker than my skin tone – but that’s the whole point of transition colours.

These are my most reached for transition shades – they can be used with any eye shadow shade that I use on my lid. I especially like MAC Wedge for its buttery quality and ability to diffuse harsh lines of my lid colour.

• theBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude eyeshadow in Matt Singh
• NYX Nude Matte Shadow Blame It on Midnight NMS08
• Smashbox Eye Shadow in Nude Pearl
• Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Hazelnut
I’ve grown quite fond of the warmer transition shades lately – these help to brighten up deeper smoky eye looks. I also enjoy wearing a cool lid shade and warming it up with one of these shades.

• Milani Eye Shadow Single in Taup-e-ary
• Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Laced
• Constance Carroll #58
• Maybelline ExperWear Eyeshadow Single in Earthly Taupe
I reach for these less often but they do come in handy if I’m wearing a warmer lid shade (like MAC Woodwinked) which can sometimes make me look sickly. Using a cool transition shade can help to neutralize the warmness on the lid.

Do you use transition eye shadow shades? What are your favourites?

47 thoughts on “Transition Eye Shadow Shades

    1. I just checked and I have Soba too. I bought it because everyone raves about how great it is as an transition colour… and I hardly ever use it because it’s in a random palette. I must put it into my z-palette so it’s more accessible!
      The NYX is super soft and a bit powdery, but I don’t mind that quality for a blending shade since it helps to diffuse everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do that all the time. I probably went about a year using an old Stila quad just because it was out. I ignored most of my other eyeshadows for a YEAR. LOL.

        I’m gonna have to test those NYX shadows soon! I depotted a bunch and paletted them and everything, then …. didn’t use them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. To depot or not, that is the question! I sometimes think I don’t use eye shadows as much once I depot them. I have a tone of MAC that I’m contemplating on depotting them… but, it’s one of those things that can’t be undone…


  1. One of my favorite transition shades is stark from my Naked 2 Basics palette by Urban Decay. That’s the only one that I can think of at the moment. I really like the shades you picked out though. 🙂 xo


  2. Urban Decay Naked is a long time favorite of mine! I love the Peanut Butter shades, as seen in the Semi-Sweet Chocolate palette! Anything that resembles that is okay with me!

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    1. Peanut Butter shades?! I love the sounds of that! I’ll have to check it out at the stores. Too bad they don’t have them in singles. I actually had a little depotting mishap with my UD Naked – about 1/3 of the pan crumbled and I had to dump it into a little container and I use it loose. It’s such a soft buttery shade. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. greaaaaat shades!!! really loving that shade from the balm and the illamasqua shade! I love using Makeup Geek’s Beaches and Cream, Urban Decay’s Naked, as well as almost every single shade from the Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Palette like Honey Butter, Chocolate Cookie, Nude, Strapless, Risque, and Cashmere Bunny. Also Nooner and Limit from the Urban Decay Naked3 Palette lol.

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      1. You’ll love them !! You’re gonna want to buy every single shade lol & yessss there is so many! I loved your picks!😊


  4. You should definitely try Bobbi Brown Toast! It is my favorite transition shade of ALL TIME!! That Smashbox Nude Pearl eye shadow is beautiful! Also, the Illamasque Justify is so pretty, too! Girl, I am about to go out and by all of these ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve put the BB Toast on my wish list! 😀 There are SO many gorgeous BB eye shadow shades, I’ll probably have to get a few of them! 😛
      The Smashbox Nude Pearl is beautiful, and the quality of the shadow is amazing! 🙂 It’s hard to get Illamasqua in North America anymore since they are no longer sold in Sephora! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes a good transition shade is always key…I use a few of the popular ones from MAC i.e. Wedge as well as some MUG shades (can’t think of the names right now) and I quite like the shade Bliss from the Stila in the Light Palette. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found this helpful! Transition eye shadows make it super easy to get that blended eye shadow look. I often just wear a shimmery shade on my lid and then use a transition shade above it around the crease to blend. Really quick and easy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a nice collection of transition shades!! I would use every single one of them. I did try the Cargo in a different shade and it barely had any pigment but I like this one on your arm. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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