Which is the Best for You – Matte, Sheen or Shine?



Match the sheen of your accessories to the sheen of your skin

Niamh was looking through some old photo albums, you know, the ones with pictures of me in my primary school classes, she was going through and picking me out of the sea of faces in each class.  When I asked her how she knew it was me, she said: “see, your face is shiny in the photo, and you have a shiny face”.

Matte Sheen or Shine? Which fabric to choose

Yes, I am a shiny person, doesn’t matter how much powder I put on, very quickly I become shiny again, and I’ve discovered I need to wear something with sheen or shine, whether it’s just jewellery, or a fabric with some sheen to create a harmonious look.

So when you are deciding which kinds of fabrics suit you best, have a look in the mirror at your face and hair, what are you seeing – shiny reflective surfaces, a slight sheen, or a more matte appearance?  You will often find if your hair is quite textured or your skin textured or dry you will appear more matte, whilst if you have smooth flat hair you will see more shine.

Matte - Sheen or Shine - which kinds of fabrics suit you best?

Just remember, shine draws attention, so don’t put shiny where you don’t want people to look. This is why I wear shiny earrings or necklaces, as it draws attention up to my face, and away from other bits that I may wish to distract from.  Also, if you are shiny think about wearing shiny lip gloss or lipstick too!  Then, think about matching your level of sheen to your clothes or accessories.

What about you?  Matte, sheen or shine?

You can find out more about this and so much more about what suits your body shape, colouring, proportions, personality and so much more in my 7 Steps to Style program.

7 steps to style solve the style puzzle

How to Choose Makeup and Fabrics Based on Skin Sheen

Fabric – Should I choose Matte, Sheen or Shine?

How to Choose the Right Metallic for Your Palette

How to Choose Fabrics to Flatter



I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • First off, you look gorgeous in those photos! I am shiny. I mean greasy. I mean the shiniest person ever. Matte papers are my friend.

  • Another greasy one here. Interesting point to accomodate for this. In the morning I am not shiny but obviously become so during the day. Would probably look especially bad against velvet. What other fabrics to avoid for shiny ones?

    – tall & slim anon

  • I find gloppy lips jarring. but a bit of shine on a face, not so. I use those matte papers too – when traveling , do not take anything else for my face- especially in hot places where the makeup literally drips off the face.

  • KLine – thanks – doesn't matter how much I blot or powder, I just seem to be shiny!

    Tall and Slim – anything rough is not good for shiny, go for fabrics that are smoother and may have a sheen.

    Duchesse – some sheen on cheeks can be great. Lip gloss is not for everyone.

  • Hi Imogen,
    I love the pink dress on you. You look gorgeous. I am of the matte variety so luckily I don't have to wear too many shiny things as I find they exagerate size especially in clothes. Beautiful explanation. Kids make things so simple.

  • I'm shiny on my nose, fairly smooth/matte everywhere else. Like you, I can put on powder and my nose just shines right through after a few minutes. I tend to like blushes that have a bit of sheen or radiance to help balance out cheeks and nose.

  • Imogen, you look lovely.
    Thanx for this enlightening article on levels of shine”
    “Finally”, I say, because I have long been
    wanting to know more on this subject.
    Myself, I know that I’m not Matte. Matte foundations
    kills the natural sheen I have to my skin,
    and matte eyeshadows, even though they suit me
    in color, make my eyelids look dead and mummified.
    Hate it.
    Shiny skins are often oily and fat. So am not that
    Am dry skinned with a slightly Sheen.
    As for another of your posts about texture of clothes
    matched to texture of hair:
    My dry hair is that frizzy kind of red with strands that
    become way bit longer if pulled straight.
    But don’t think I wear textured clothes very well,
    rather smooth ones.
    Specially if I manage to smoothen all that frizz
    away. Anyway not exaggeratedly textured clothes,
    but just a bit.

  • Arrr! Fantastic. Now I know why always felt separate to shiny synthetic materials… Always loved a textured matte knit t or event dress … The dewy look is quite a trend in my group born 1995..

    I have been experimenting with matte powder eyeshadow and lipstick and look hell of a lot more harmonious.

    God bless

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