Aromaleigh eyeshadow swatches are a combination of skin swatches and a shot of the loose product. These shots are arranged in grid format to show you several different product views at the top level, so you don’t have to click into the product information to see additional views. What you see in the swatch photos is what I captured on camera- I do not Photoshop or enhance my swatch photos to improve their appearance. I do use Photoshop to arrange the grids for each color, to adjust the white balance for my swatch photos, and to correct exposure (if a photo is too dark, I will lighten it).
The making of a swatch grid:
I use NYX cream eyeshadow base in “skintone” for all of my skin swatches. I have never foiled my swatches with water. I don’t use glue primers or sticky primers as I feel it is important to present the eyeshadows using a simple technique, and an easily gotten base that most people can use. You can buy NYX base at the drugstore. Another base that customers mention liking is ELF. I have not personally used this base, but it seems to work well for a lot of people, so it is worth a look.
How do I photograph my swatches? I use the NYX primer, and a flat taklon eyeshadow brush. Immediately after applying a light layer of primer, I gently dip one side of my brush onto the surface of the loose shadow and lightly pat the eyeshadow over the base. I never draw the brush across my skin’s surface- I always pat! Patting works best, as my shades are a complex blend of many different effect pigments with varying particle sizes. Patting color on flattens the pigments, and aligns them- to give you the most pronounced effects. I then tap or lightly blow off any extra pigment.
At this point, I clean my brush off, and then again, pat the color down on my swatch area. This really helps to bring out the sheen and effect of the colors- because again, you’re flattening the pigment particles down. There’s a reason why patting works great, and that reason is… science! The shimmering aspect of eyeshadows is most commonly a “mica platelet”, or mica that is treated with various substances to reveal a beautiful range of colors and effects when caught in the light. Mica itself is found in deposits of thin, delicate sheets, called “mica books”. Mica naturally arranges itself into this flat crystalline structure. Mica platelets are flat, with smooth edges. You see the greatest range of shimmer and beauty from the mica when it is… perfectly flat. This is why a pile of loose eyeshadow doesn’t look as intensely shimmering or duochrome-y as a flat pressed cake of eyeshadow. It’s because the mica platelets have been flattened in the pressed product.
When I am applying eyeshadow to my eyes, I will often use my pinkie finger to do this “flattening”- it works great for my one color looks and brings out a stronger effect, especially in duochromes and shades with prominent color shimmers.
I photograph the swatches with shallow focus (depth of field) and at an angle, so that I have the greatest chances of picking up the effects a shade clearly exhibits in real life. Capturing my shades on camera is very challenging for me. This technique works the best to display the potential the shades have. I use an Olympus TG-820 point and shoot camera for my swatches, using the macro-S setting. I recently invested in a DSLR and have just started using that. (The swatches for the Blade Runner inspired collection are photographed with that camera).
I photograph most of my colors under a daylight bulb. I never use flash. I used to use sunlight, but I stopped using it because my results are better and more consistent with the daylight bulb- especially for shades that have duochrome, or color traveling pigments in them. These colors completely wash out in sunlight, and look like nothing on camera. To capture duochrome effects, it’s really important to have a single point light source, and to capture your shot at the same angle the mica transmits color reflection at. While it may seem like wizardry, it’s not- just science. This is why swatches taken under diffused or broad light sources will always look flatter and not show duochrome effects. It’s all about the angle of your camera, and the angle of your light source.
For sunlight/daylight bulb comparison, the following collections are photographed with daylight bulb: Dryades, Asteriai, Diavoli, Sol Invictus, Feast of Lupercal, and More Human than Human. You can see the duochrome and shimmer effects of these shades wonderfully. Collections I photographed using early morning sunlight include: This is my Design, Serpens, Brilliant Deductions. The effects are harder to see in these shades- you usually won’t see what the color description reveals until you are viewing in person.