Baked eyeshadow is a type of eyeshadow baked in the sun during its processing. By heating the compounds in the sun, the color pigments are allowed to set in, and a smooth texture is achieved. Two completely separate looks can be achieved with this type of eye makeup. A wet application will create more intense color and lend a more dramatic look, and a dry application will create softer color and lend a more natural look. A variety of different colors are available, including many with marbled and metallic finishes.
Several different baking techniques may be used to make baked eyeshadow, but generally the makeup is simply set out in the sun for a time, usually on terracotta tiles. The purpose of baking eyeshadow is to give it an easy texture to work with and to set the pigments so they will last a lot longer. Typically, several different shades of color are included in one palette, giving the eyeshadow a swirled or marbled look. In addition, many of the baked eyeshadow colors on the market include iridescent or metallic finishes that give them a lot of shine and enhance their appeal. After the eyeshadow finishes baking, it is pressed into cakes and packaged to be sold.
The biggest benefit to using baked eyeshadow is that two completely different looks can be achieved with the same eyeshadow. For a more daring and dramatic look, the eyeshadow can be applied wet. The best method for this application is to dip a makeup brush into some water, cover the tip of it with the color, and then apply it to the eyelid until the desired look is achieved. To create a more casual and sheer look, the eyeshadow can be applied dry. For this application, just cover the tip of the makeup brush with the color and apply it to the eyelid.
A full range of cosmetic companies sell their own versions of baked eyeshadow, from low-end brands sold in local drugstores all the way to high-end designer brands sold at malls and department stores. Almost all formulas include minerals and mica pigments as ingredients. Some brands may contain more filler materials, such as talc, than others, and generally the fewer fillers used, the more intense the color. Darker shades can also double as an eyeliner when applied with a wet liner pencil. Anyone can use baked eyeshadow because it's a universal product that works well with all skin tones and skin types.