Shimmer? Glitter? What's the Difference?

Image from I happen to love glitter, so I agree!

There are a lot of positives about online shopping. If you live in a rural area, online shopping gives you access to beauty brands typically found in big cities and department stores. You can shop from anywhere at any time, but when it comes to determining if a color is right for your complexion, many shoppers run into trouble.

If we are given a color swatch, chances are it is digitally painted and not an actual photo of the product. We have to rely on the product description accompanying  the photo to pick the product we want to purchase. If we're lucky, the swatch is accompanied by a description of the product's texture and finish--but what if you don't understand the description?

Matte? Cream? Satin? Shimmer? What does that all mean anyway? Here is my quick breakdown:

Matte - The color is flat without any gleam at all. Think of a chalkboard/black board--all you have is a non-reflective surface in a certain color.

Satin - A step up from matte. While not completely flat, the product displays only the slightest gleam. Think of the slight sheen of a banana peel.

Cream - The product looks rich and, well, creamy! Think of the texture and shine of yogurt, but in a lipstick!

Gloss - This is the most reflective finish of all. Usually only found in lip products, gloss is very shiny and reflective--think of the shine of cooking oil or aloe vera gel.

Shimmer - Have you closely examined a pearl? It has a beautiful, glowing surface. But if you really take a moment to look at it, you will notice very small particles that sparkle.  This minuscule twinkle is shimmer. Subtle and elegant; perfect for eye shadows.

Sparkle - Think of the facets of a diamond. They reflect light beautifully. You can see the facets sparkle as you move around. Products with a sparkle finish behave in the same way.

Metallic - The shiniest finish of all. Think of the intense, gleaming. color on the blue area of a peacock feather--it almost looks like colored foil, right? Well, that's what most metallic finishes look like as well.

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