We know of many people who have a love-hate relationship with eyeshadow. Most women in Singapore love looking at beautiful photos of eyeshadow looks but stay away from it themselves, for fear that it looks too “drama” or over the top.
How to apply eyeshadow? Well, it actually really depends on how you apply your eyeshadow and you don’t need to be a makeup professional to pull it off.
Eyeshadows, whether you choose to go subtle or to pack on the gold and glitter, can really make a huge difference to the way your eye looks.
The darker shadows enhance the depth of your eye and can make it look more soulful and alive, while the lighter shadows play on the way light hits your eyelids, brightening up your eyes and giving it a sparkle.
If you’ve never tried your hand at eyeshadow before, or have been sadly disappointed by your forays into the vivid world of eyeshadows, don’t worry. This tutorial is all you need to learn how to apply eyeshadows.
Choose a colour that suits you
If you’re a beginner just starting out learning how to apply eyeshadows, you probably don’t want to confuse yourself with multi-colour eyeshadow looks.
Instead, Daily Vanity recommends that you choose one colour and keep using it until you’ve managed to pin down your basics.
Traditionally, brown is regarded as the safest and easiest eyeshadow colour to start off with for beginners. You also won’t have problems finding brown eyeshadows around.
Alternatively, if you have warm undertones to your skin*, you can also try a light terracotta or red-brown type of colour scheme for your eyeshadows. This is trendy and also very wearable, even for eyeshadow beginners!
*To find out what’s your undertone, look at the underside of your wrist. Generally, if your veins look more blue, you’re likely to have cool undertones. If your veins appear green, you probably have warm undertones.
You’ll need three basic shades
But if you’re ready to transit to using a few colours, what you’ll need is three basic shades. To make things easy, find an eyeshadow palette that contains harmonised shades that are already coordinated for you.
The middle shade should be close to your natural skin colour, or just a shade darker than it. This is usually called the “transition” shade.
The lighter shade should be significantly lighter than the transition shade, and is usually called the “highlighter” shade.
The intensity of the darker shade, or the “contour” shade, can vary. The darker it is, the more dramatic and smokey your look is going to become.
If you’re going for a natural look, DV recommends that you choose a shade only a shade or two darker than your transition shade.
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Prime your eyelids
Although this step is technically optional, DV highly recommends that you invest in a good eyeshadow primer.
There are plenty of affordable ones around, so it’s not that much of an extra cost, but it makes a world of a difference in your eyeshadow experience.
What eyeshadow primers do is that they create a slightly tackier surface on your eyelid, which will grip on to the eyeshadow powders better.
This means that your eyeshadows will go on more pigmented, because more of the powder is able to stay on your eyelid.
Having a layer that grips onto your eyeshadows also means they don’t slip and slide around as much. This is a godsend if you have oily eyelids – no more eyeshadow creasing throughout the day! Needless to say, eyeshadow primers also help to extend the wear of your eyeshadow, and keep them looking vibrant for longer.
Some eyeshadow primers also come slightly tinted in a pinkish-white formula. The tint acts as a colour booster, making your eyeshadow colours look more vivid and punchy after application!
Apply the transition shade all over the lid
Use an eyeshadow brush and run it over your transition shade to make sure it grabs enough pigment. Check out this eyeshadow brush guide to figure out what is what!
If you’re planning to put in some serious time and effort into learning how to apply eyeshadow, it’s probably a good idea to get a set of eye makeup brushes. There are many affordable and good-quality choices from online stores or in drugstores.
If you’re simply curious and don’t know yet whether you’d get the hang of applying eyeshadows, you can just use your fingers in the meantime.
Whenever you apply a brush to an eyeshadow powder, always make sure you tap off the excess. Simply knock the handle of your brush against any hard corner, like the edge of the table, or even the edge of your eyeshadow palette.
If you don’t tap off the excess powder, there’s a chance that all that powder is going to end up slipping off your eyelids and onto your cheeks and the rest of your face. Nobody wants that.
With your powder-laden brush, apply it all over your eyelids, but make sure you don’t go all the way up to your eyebrows! Leave at least a tiny strip of natural skin colour beneath your eyebrows.
For beginners learning how to apply eyeshadows, DV recommends that you leave a bigger gap between your eyeshadow and your eyebrows. You get a smaller canvas to work with, but this also means any mistakes made will not be amplified and obvious.
Apply the darker colour to the outer corner of your lid
With a smaller brush, grab some of your darker colours and apply them with a light hand to the very outer corners of your eyelid. Look at how the eyeshadow look in the picture above looks darker as it goes towards the outer corners.
Apply the lighter colour to the inner corner and your browbone
With your highlighter colour, use yet another brush and begin to use this on the inner edge of your eyeshadow as well as your inner corner. A brighter inner corner typically makes your eyes look more awake and open.
Using the same colour, you can also sweep some of that brightness on that strip of skin between your transition shade and your browbone.
This creates the illusion that your browbone is more defined, which once again makes your eyes look more deep-set.
Blend the heck out of everything
If you’ve read any of our other basic tutorials, you might notice this as a trend. You absolutely cannot learn how to apply eyeshadows if you don’t know how to blend properly, and that also applies to all other areas of makeup.
Because it is in the middle of your darker and lighter shade, go back in with your transition shade and make sure there are no clear lines between the few shades you’ve used.
All the three colours you’ve used on your eyelid, even when you use your highlight shade on your browbone, should melt into each other as seamlessly as possible.
It’s generally recommended to use windscreen-wiper motions to blend your eyeshadows together. Many use a brush to blend but you can also use your fingers if you’re more comfortable with it – something that a lot of eyeshadow beginners prefer.
To use your finger, dab using one of them and blend with a clean one; this ensures you won’t be creating a mess.
However, don’t go overboard with this and blend too much – you want a seamless transition from one colour to the next, but you don’t want to mix all those colours together into a muddy mess.
Blending takes time and patience, and yes, even practise as well, but mastering this means you’ve overcome three-quarters of the eyeshadow obstacle and are on your way to becoming a true pro.