Fiona Stiles Beauty Radiant Aqua Eye Veil in Galaxy Way

First, story time. Before I took up makeup as a hobby at age 28, I used to wear the same look every day: foundation to cover my rosacea and dark, sparkly eyeshadow smudged all around my eyes. I didn’t care about the color: just wanted something in there to define my eyeballs. And of course, I didn’t know what eyeshadow primer was.

I’d been doing that look since I was 16 years old, and didn’t fret about it. Once, when I volunteered at a fundraiser, a very stylish young woman who was the event photographer took to my makeup for some reason. She showered my look with compliments and snapped a billion photos of my face. (It didn’t seem like she was hitting on me or had nefarious goals in mind.) I’m not one of those people who are finely attuned to trends: my trend awareness begins and ends at “Hmmm, millions of people are wearing this, must be fashionable.” But now that I’m more knowledgeable about makeup, I suspect that woman might have thought my creased, oily black eyeshadow looked editorial. Like grease goth–was this kind of stuff considered hot in 2012-2013?

Flash forward to now: I own a primer, not to mention a whole big collection of eyeshadows, but I still go for a smudgy, creased look when I don’t want to spend my sweet time doing makeup. For this, I tend to use eyeshadow sticks in nondescript medium colors, such as the gray Shadow by Bobbi Brown or the mauve Pinch Hitter by TheBalm. Both have broken on me… yeesh. When I went to Ulta to look for a stick or cream product to replace the Bobbi, my eyes got drawn to the Radiant Aqua Eye Veils by the new brand, Fiona Stiles Beauty.

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The shade called Galaxy Way especially called to me: deep and sparkly, it was exactly the kind of color I used to smear all over my lids in years past.

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So… have I been wearing it in grease goth style?! Naaaah. The reason is that the formula turned out to be bone dry. The shadow goes on like a cooling mousse, but dries down in seconds, and every attempt at blending or moving it around results in black clumpies. I actually found Galaxy Way decent for more polished eyeshadow looks, with shimmer on the (primed) lids and matte in the outer corners. The primer allows Galaxy Way to fully showcase its greenish/gunmetal goodness.

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Above is my favorite look with this eyeshadow, so far. I spread Galaxy Way onto the lid with my finger and swirled a medium brown matte eyeshadow (Lorac Corduroy from Pro Matte) into the outer corner and deep crease. For easier blending, I used a trick I learned from one of Viola Killer Colours‘ videos: leave one side of the fluffy crease brush clean of shadow, to apply and blend at the same time. Underneath the eye, I fluffed Galaxy Way out with Corduroy, as well.

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What kind of lip product would go well with this glistening smoky eye? One could put on a dark lipstick for a full-on goth effect, or a light beige for Kardashian glamour. But instead, I chose a brick rose: Charming by TheBalm. I find that those two products, Charming and Galaxy Way, work in symbiosis. The beauty of the eyeshadow elevates the boringness of the lipstick, and in turn, Charming tones down the whole look, making it office-friendly.

Also… how do you like my big ol Swans poster?