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What Indie Eyeshadow Singles Should I Use?

So you’re looking for some indie single eyeshadow ideas? Lady or gent, you have come to the right place. I have some stunners to suggest.

If you’re here, I’m sure you know that the hole in the market that indie shadows fill is most often unusual and colorful shadows, available in singles.

Some indie companies still do great with neutral mattes, but the ones I’m showcasing here are shadows you’d be hard-pressed to find in a Sephora—especially not at these prices. They’re meant to stop strangers in their tracks and make them ask, “Wow, what’s on your eyes?” They’re meant to inspire.

With that, let’s get to it. Here’s my list of favorites to either check out for the first time or to dig back out of that dusty singles palette.

Best Everyday, All-Around Single—JD Glow’s Sin

Sin takes the cake for me. It looks wild on JD Glow’s website, but it’s actually a fairly tame mauve made special by the golden sparkles embedded in them. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look good in a mauve!

Sin, like many JD Glow Galaxy shadows, feels a bit dry to the touch, but it goes on beautifully with a finger or one of those old school foam applicators. And Sin looks lovely paired with purples, pinks, and reds. But note that it’s quite shiny. The only way I could see this beauty not working for you is if icy shades aren’t your thing.

Galaxy shadows will cost you $7.50—a steal for how unique they are.

(Note: their website says this shadow has a green shift, but the only shift I see is a pinkish-to-purpleish one. The pictures below are accurate.)

This is Sin (mauve with sparkles) with a little Love Letter (dark pink) from Modern Renaissance in the outer corner.
Sin all over the lid, with a little Love Letter from Modern Renaissance in the outer corner.

(Note: All swatches done with finger on bare arm, all eye looks are over primer)

Most Fun Neutral Single—Looxi’s Latte

Latte from Looxi Beauty is your golden ticket if you’re a neutral lover. It’s a rose-leaning gold that shines like a brand new coin on your eyes. And it’s only $5—$3 if you catch it on sale! This metallic glides on like butter and doesn’t flake upon application or during the day. I adore wearing Latte on days when I’m feeling a brown outer corner and some shine on the lid.

Looxi Latte (gold) with a bit of brown shadow on the lower lash line.
Looxi Latte all over with a bit of brown shadow added on the lower lash line. The rosiness of the shadow isn’t really coming through here, but it’s there in real life.

Most Unusual Reflect—Sydney Grace’s Red Mist

By far the most unusual reflect I’ve seen on a duo or multichrome is a white to red shift, and that’s what you’ll get from Red Mist.

Some other brands have shadows that shift like this (Terra Moons has fan favorite Red Giant), but at $6, this one is the most affordable I know of. If you want a show-stopping inner corner, try using Red Mist damp.

Red Mist (white with a red flash) in the inner corner with some Sydney Grace mattes on the lid, crease, and lower lid.
Red Mist in the inner corner with some Sydney Grace mattes on the lid, crease, and lower lid. Red Mist’s shift is nearly impossible to photograph.

Best Matte Single—Menagerie’s Belly Slide

Belly slide is an amazing shadow. It looks like a straight pastel purple in the pan but goes on as a delightful blue-purple. I have this in Menagerie Cosmetics’ Pastel Pup palette, but it’s available as a single for only $5.

It’s a bit powdery in the pan but as smooth and pigmented as can be upon application. Get maximum opaqueness by patting and blending, not just jumping to the windshield wiper motion. I love this as a one-shadow look.

Belly slide (blue-purple) one shadow look with a little black liner in the waterline.
Belly Slide one-shadow look with a little black liner in the waterline and Stila’s Glitter n’ Glow in Diamond Dust in the inner corner.

Most Unique Single—JD Glow’s Good Gawd

I challenge you to find a shadow with as much going on as Good Gawd. It’s an icy, high-shine lavender that’s jam packed with blue-green sparkles. Is it pink? Is it white? Is it blue? Is it green? Frankly, I don’t know.

Glitter glue is an absolute must-have for Good Gawd. This will have both application and all-day glitter transfer to your cheeks, so unless you don’t mind looking like a sparkle fairy sneezed all over your face, it’s worth going through the extra hassle. (I forgot glitter glue here, but I actually like looking like a sparkle fairy sneeze victim, so it all worked out.)

As an aside, if you want to know more about how avoid being a sparkle fairy, check out our post with tips on how to prevent eyeshadow fallout!

Chaos (lavender with blue and green sparkles) on the upper lid and lash line, with Menagerie's Whisker (a black, mentioned later in this post) on the outer corner.
Good Gawd on the upper lid and lash line, with Menagerie’s Whisker (mentioned later in this post) on the outer corner.

Most Dazzling Single—JD Glow’s N-Sane

There is nothing like JD Glow’s Galaxy shadows, and N-Sane is my favorite of the bunch. It’s a warm purple shimmer with tons of blue sparkle, and you can pick it up for $7.50.

This amazingly textured shadow does best with a glitter glue, as do most Galaxy shadows. It’s not just that they tend to have fallout—you also give them the best chance to shine, with the sticky base bringing out all the goodness.

I called Sin the best all-around shadow because N-Sane won’t be for everyone. But if you’re looking to indie brands because you want shadows that will really get your heart pounding, this is my top pick. You can’t miss seeing N-Sane in person if purple is your jam.

N-Sane (purple with blue shimmer) all over the lid, with Clionadh's Spark in the inner corner. (Spark (purple), as well as Breaker (blue, shown later). are amazing colorful highlighters with no white cast.)
N-Sane all over the lid, with Clionadh’s Spark in the inner corner. (Spark (purple), as well as Breaker (blue, shown later), are amazing colorful highlighters with no chalky white cast. As long as we’re talking indie… 😀)

Best Black and White Singles—Menagerie’s Whisker and Saddleback

A lot of indie brands (like Kaleidos) do fantastic blacks, but if you want a single, Whisker is your huckleberry. It’s coal black, opaque with one tap, matte as can be, and delightfully blendable. (You’ll want to watch for application fallout with this one. I use a tissue under my eye as I apply, and then there’s no fallout for the rest of the day.)

But if you’re looking for the real standout here, look to Saddleback. This is easily the most impressive white I’ve ever used. It makes a better inner corner highlight than most shimmers, honestly. Its opaqueness is truly something of wonder, and it doesn’t simply blend away. You can also count on it to be the perfect mixer for when you want to lighten another shade—just make sure you pick up the white first. Don’t want to pollute that beautiful, pure pan!

Like Belly Slide above, I have this in a palette, but you can get either of these in singles on the Menagerie website.

Whisker (black) as buffed out eyeliner, Saddleback (white) in the inner corner, and a little black liner in the waterline.
Whisker as buffed out eyeliner, Saddleback in the inner corner, and a little black liner in the waterline.

Best Single for Liner—Sydney Grace’s Abyss

I love a dark, shimmery liner, and Sydney Grace’s shimmers apply almost like a cream. Abyss especially is perfect for picking up on a damp liner brush and creating a slick wing with a little something extra.

If you don’t love dark blue as a liner, Sydney Grace also has Midnight Amethyst for your purple fix and  Midnight Green for that blackened forest green hue.

Abyss (dark blue) as liner, with Clionadh's Breaker (blue highlighter) in the waterline.
Abyss as liner, with Clionadh’s Breaker in the inner corner.

Bonus Ideas

Here are some indie companies that have dozens and dozens of singles. I don’t have these in my personal collection, but I’m hoping they may inspire you.

Clionadh’s Stained Glass Multichromes

The world is aflame for Clionadh’s Stained Glass multichromes. These are a little a pricey, but so are multichrome pigments, so it makes sense to have that cost passed onto us.

Multichromes, if you didn’t know, have reflects that flash more than two colors, depending on how the light hits. They are truly spectacular in person.

Image of dozens of multichrome indie eyeshadows
Source: Clionadh

Lethal Cosmetics Build Your Own Palette System

If you haven’t gone to Lethal’s website and tried their palette builder, this is well worth a trip–even if it’s just for fun. I can’t tell you how many virtual palettes I’ve built.

Lethal has an excellent range of singles. And I’ve never heard anything but rave reviews about their formula, especially their mattes. They pride themselves on being animal friendly, people friendly, and planet friendly, so you can feel good about buying from them. But prepare to pay some extra shipping unless you live in the EU.

A purple, pink, and turquoise palette
Here’s the most recent fantasy palette I build on Lethal’s website. (Source: Lethal)

Terra Moons Cosmetics

A darling of the indie world, Terra Moons is on the pricier side but has shadows you can’t get anywhere else. This company is not for neutral lovers by any stretch, but if you like show-stopping finishes and inspiring, unusual colors, you’ll love them.

They have plenty of chameleon shadow bundles (iridescent, pastel, extreme, and more), and you can pick and choose your favorite singles and buy them individually. You can also get matte neons and multichromes.

Group of pastel pans that shift in the light
Pastel Chameleon (color-shifting) bundle. (Source: Terra Moons)

Wrapping Up

I hope you had a great time checking out some indie shadows with me, and I hope you felt inspired by my suggestions.

I adore indie singles and hope I’ve sparked some interest in new ones to try!

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