Why “Sheer” isn’t Always a Bad Thing

There’s something about the obsession with full coverage and super opaque makeup that annoys me. It’s like everything has to  be super intense or it’s a “bad” product – descriptors like “pigmented” have become synonymous with “good”. I disagree! I am a contrarian by nature, but by jove, I disagree. I think sheer products have a place and I often prefer them. Let me tell you why. Whether something is opaque or not is not the end all-be all of product quality. Blendability, finish, wear, and colour design are all crucial components of a product that seem to be neglected to make space for the almighty “pigmentation”. You know what was pigmented? The Anastasia Subculture palette. And we know how that worked out.

I recently bought a product that had been kind of poorly received by reviewers because it was considered too sheer. I bought this product anyway, because being sheer is part of the appeal. It literally says on the box that it has a translucent finish. And there’s a place for that! I like a sheer wash of colour, I think it looks lovely and modern.

When people complain that, for example, a highlighter is “not pigmented enough” I just about lose my marbles. Why is that bad? Highlighters are supposed to add a lustrous sheen, not colour! Am I a crazy person? Or is there a place for colour that more resembles watercolour than acrylic?

I like my foundation coverage light. I think a sheer lipstick can look sublime. A liquid blush that lets freckles shine through, or an eyeshadow that almost dyes the skin rather than cover it sounds just wonderful to me.

14 thoughts on “Why “Sheer” isn’t Always a Bad Thing

  1. Josefin

    Extremt fin ögonskugga som dessutom är på rea på Lyko (såg jag nu). Men använder jag turkos ögonskugga det är frågan……….

    Reply

  2. Josefin

    Sen tilltalar ju Shiseido mig väldigt mkt pga vackra förpackningar…och Japan…Har du provat något mer från dem?

    Reply

    1. Saffron

      Jag gillar shiseido väldigt mycket men jag tror det beror en del på att jag är så intresserad av märkets historia… tycker deras produkter har en fin kvalité men de har riktat sig till en mer konservativ målgrupp så produkterna har inte varit så spännande i sig tills ganska nyligen, typ det senaste året eller något har de hottat upp sig lite och nu i höst byter de ju helt till en mer… edgy stil? med mycket fokus på avancerade formulas och så. är det någpt du vill prova från den gamla kollektionen är det dags iom att allt utgår om typ en månad!

      Reply

      1. Josefin

        Ja, deras gamla ads är ju fantastiska, värda att hänga på väggen.
        Ny edgy stil låter väl bra, så länge de behåller sin själ (lol). Är osugen på fler pastellfärgade förpackningar a la glossier, de finns ju redan! Vill ha mörka färger! och guld!

        Reply

          1. Josefin

            Varför kan man inte beställa :'(
            Samt fliken “products”, kittlar seriöst i min mage när jag tittar där:’)

          2. Saffron

            PRISET THO… hjälp!! Men förstår, vill verkligen ha en flarra Nombre Noir men den är ju mytomspunnen och därav snordyr.

  3. Hanna

    Jag. Älskar. Din. Blogg!!!

    Reply

    1. Saffron

      Men åh, tack!! Blir så glad av att höra det <3

      Reply

  4. Megan

    Totally agree. I really love reading your posts, they offer such a fresh perspective in the current beauty landscape. I appreciate this approach to makeup, one that’s about texture and feel and vibe. Plus you’re a really great writer!

    Reply

    1. Saffron

      Thank you so much! It makes me so happy to hear <3

      Reply

  5. DJ

    I think the extreme interest in pigmentation comes from the fact that up until recently, like the last ten years or so, most makeup that most people had access to WAS sheer, not by design but because makeup just wasn’t very good. So yeah, “pigmented” has become synonymous with “quality” because now, finally, we actually can get a decent color payoff that at least approximates the product’s promotional images.

    It’s like when I was in high school, I had a silver Wet n’ Wild lipstick that I wore every day. In the store, the swatch image had a picture of a pair of lips wearing the shade and it looked like chrome! Intensely shiny and silver. In real life, it was basically a frosted lipstick with no base color.

    Today I actually have a lipstick that gives me that look that was on that store display. What a time to be alive!

    I think there’s also largely been an embrace of artifice too. Like, I remember when I first started getting into makeup seriously, a little before the Naked Awakening, everything was about no-makeup makeup and the whole thing was centered around convincing people that you weren’t wearing makeup at all. (I think this was because we were coming off the 2000’s future makeup high, but possibly also just because the coverage was bad.) I know I was not the first to think so, but I was definitely in the minority back then when I said that if I was gonna pay $30 for makeup, I wanted you to know I was wearing it. Now people say that all the time and frankly, it’s quite refreshing to see the tide turn to people being so proud of their fake, painted faces.

    Reply

    1. Saffron

      I definitely agree that there’s been an embrace of artifice… in fact, I’m writing about exactly that in the post I published just now 😉

      Reply

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