Since MAC is often used as a point of comparison, I thought I'd post a list describing their finishes (y'know, in case "Veluxe Pearl" isn't self-explanatory enough for you!) Some of MAC's finishes fall into the "unique" category, but I've noted those that are universally used across cosmetics brands.
- Frost - iridescent frosty shine. (Universal term.)
- Lustre - smoothly pearlized; intensely frosted.
- Matte -high color payoff in a no-shine matte finish. (Universal term, also often used to describe foundation finish.)
- Matte2 - intense, opaque silky matte finish.
- Satin – satiny, demi-matte with a subtle sheen. (Universal term, also often used to describe foundation finish.)
- Veluxe - superfine pigment rich, silky smooth matte finish.
- Veluxe Pearl - velvety soft metallic, overlaid with high-shine pearl.
- Velvet - soft velvety finish with high color payoff.
Though some of these terms are still a bit ambiguous (Really, MAC? Do you really need 3 terms for "matte"?) hopefully this will help you decipher what you're buying, especially if you do a lot of your shopping online. These definitions, by the way, come straight from MAC customer service (except my notations of universal terms) so please feel free to add your definitions in the comments! What's your favorite eyeshadow finish?