When selecting professional eyeshadow, it's important to consider both the color and the intensity of the eyeshadow along with its consistency. In many cases, you'll actually have to try out the eyeshadow to see how it looks and wears after a long period of time. Another thing to consider is whether the eyeshadow is compatible with your existing makeup palettes as well as its cost. If possible, ask for samples of any professional eyeshadow that you are considering and try it out under the circumstances in which you plan to use it.
Although there is no official definition of professional eyeshadow, when people use the term they are generally referring to an eyelid cosmetic suitable for use by a professional makeup artist who may be making someone up to be filmed, photographed, or to appear on stage. Any brand could technically use this term, though it is up to the makeup professional to decide whether the eyeshadow is suitable for use in a particular context or on a particular job. If you plan to use the eyeshadow in a context where its color and pigmentation truly matter, you may need to experiment with the product beforehand to make sure that you can get the results that you or your client want.
Many commercial eyeshadows are formulated for everyday wear. Most women find that light eyeshadow works well when cultivating a professional appearance at work or school. It can also make small eyes look larger. In photography or for nighttime wear, lightly pigmented, natural-looking eyeshadow may make the wearer look washed out or not appropriately emphasize her eyes. In addition, there may be some situations in which the eyeshadow ought to stand out. In such cases, you will want to look for professional eyeshadow that has a lot of pigmentation so that its color is easily identifiable.
Other considerations include the portability of your professional eyeshadow. If you are a makeup artist who regularly uses a palette, you'll want to make sure that the eyeshadow you choose will fit your palette. If it doesn't and you really like the color, you will want to find a new palette to contain that eyeshadow. Another thing to think about is cost. Some cosmetic brands cost more than others, so you want to make sure that you are getting a good value for your money. Some commercial brands offer a discount program to professional cosmetologists and makeup artists, so if you find a brand that you really like, contact the brand's corporate offices to find out if you are entitled to a courtesy discount because of your professional standing.