A sultry smokey eye temptress. A peacock-inspired persona. A golden glow goddess. Striking eye makeup can instantly uplift your mood, ensemble and attitude.
Whether you want to enhance your natural eye colour or make a bold statement on a night out, expertly applying eyeshadow in various tones will make a dramatic difference to your overall look.
Eyeshadow is used to shape and emphasise your eyes. Whenever you’re applying it, use a small amount of colour and gradually build it up until you’re happy with the result. It’s easier to add more colour than it is to take it away. You should also work on both eyes at the same time, regularly stepping away from the mirror to assess your work and to make sure eyes look even.
Any eyeshadow look should be finished off with mascara. For extra definition, run kohl eyeliner along the inner rims of your eyes, then line the upper and lower lashline with liquid or kohl liner, depending on the look you want to achieve.
Discover how to blend your eyeshadow beautifully by following our step by step guide, below.
Step-By-Step: How to Apply Eyeshadow Like A Pro
Step 1 - Prep
Prep your eye lids with a primer and a neutral base eyeshadow.
Step 2 - Start with the lightest shade
The lightest colour you choose to apply should be applied over the eyelid first. It can also be used as a browbone highlighter.
Step 3 - Go for a darker base
Your eyeshadow base colour should be slightly darker than the colour you used to start. This will make your lids appear larger and brighter, and give your eyes a more wide-awake look.
Step 4 - Apply the darkest shade last
The darkest colour you use should be in the outer corner of your eye.
Step 5 - Apply lashings of mascara
Finish off with a coat of mascara. If you really want to turn heads, go for a volumising one.
Enjoy your finished look.
You’ve mastered the blending basics, now to swot up on more beauty must-knows…
The Different Types of Eyeshadow
There are many types of eyeshadows made in different formulas, some easier to apply than others. Here are the most common types and what they’re best for.
This is the most popular and the least likely to crease or smudge throughout the day. It comes in a huge variety of colours and finishes, from matte to shimmer to glitter, and is available in pressed or loose form.
Pressed powder eyeshadow is easy to work with and will blend well, but the pigment isn’t usually as strong as loose-powder formulas. Loose powders will have more fallout than pressed powder, and are harder to blend, but the colour will be stronger.
This can be used to create a subtle, daytime look or something more intense and glamorous. However, its creamy texture makes it more prone to creasing on your lids, so it’s important to use an eye primer prior to application, and never layer it over powder.
Cream eyeshadows are best applied with your fingers as their warmth helps to blend the product evenly. Cream eyeshadow isn’t recommended for those with oily eyelids but is ideal if you have dry eyelids.
These have a creamy formula and are great for when you’re on the go. They can be applied directly from the bullet onto your eyelid and blended with your fingers.
They’re a great alternative to powder shadow if you have dry skin, but are best avoided if you’re prone to oily eyelids.
Glitter Eye Makeup
Whether subtle or intense, glitter adds something extra to your chosen eye makeup look. Powder or cream shadows come with glitter in them, or you can buy loose glitter – similar to craft glitter but specially formulated to be worn on your lids – which will make a big impact.
Simply apply petroleum jelly to your eyelids, it’ll act like a glue, before pressing loose glitter over it with an all-over eyeshadow brush.
These are available with any number of colours – from two to 48 colours, and they’re great for both novices and experts.
Smaller palettes tend to be made up of complementary shades, while larger ones will have a huge variety of colours, allowing you to experiment with many different looks.
The Best Eyeshadow Brushes
There are various brushes and tools for applying eyeshadow. Unless you’re using only one shade, you ideally need a minimum of two different brushes for application. These are the key brushes:
- All-over shadow brush: This has short, flat bristles and can be used to blend eyeshadow or to apply cream or powder formulas.
- Blending brush: This has longer, loosely packed bristles – it’s best used in circular motions across your entire lid and works to blend colours together and soften any harsh lines.
- Slanted eyeliner brush: To line your eyeshadow look this angled brush will perfectly apply your eyeliner.