How to Apply Eyeshadow: Best Eye Makeup Tips

Looking for Eye Shadow Tips? If you’ve ever struggled to get your eye shadow on just right, don’t feel bad. Even after years of wearing makeup women still end up with crooked-looking, spotty, mismatched or smeared eye shadow. The good news is that there are eye shadow makeup tips that can help everyone.

Choosing Colors

When it comes to color choices for eyeshadow, the number-one rule is to test different colors and wear what you like best. However, there are some general guidelines as to which colors work best for certain skin tones and eye colors.

Fair Skin

You can wear most eyeshadow colors, but keep them in the lighter shades, especially for daytime wear. If your hair is dark, you can go with slightly darker eyeshadow colors. Medium plums, purples, lavenders, greens or blues all work, but line your eyes with the same color as your shadow.

Golden Toned Skin:

Apply pale gray, slate blue, purple or pink on the lids and one shade darker in the crease for accent. Highlight the brow bone with off-white shadow.

Dark Skin:

Try eyeshadow that is one shade lighter than your skin tone. Try using a shadow with gold or silver flecks of shine. If you prefer a little more color, use deep shades of purple or burgundy and line the eye with dark colors.

Most experts don’t advocate trying to match your eyeshadow to your eye color. Instead, follow these guidelines: Green eyes look great with purples, bronzes or browns; blue eyes perk up with peaches, yellow and golds; and for brown eyes, anything goes.

Day to Night:

When you are applying makeup for daytime, you can use just a base color and mascara. At night, you want a more dramatic look. This is best achieved by using darker colors with lots of sparkle and shine. Because using a wet brush will intensify powder shadow colors, you can use the same shadow from day to night, but use the wet brush for your evening application. Shimmery cosmetics are great for adding interest, but be careful not to overdo it, or you will call attention to those lines and wrinkles that you would rather hide.

Olive Toned Skin:

Colors in the brown family work well for a subtle look. Choose the ones that are slightly darker than your skin tone, or try a gold that really glimmers and shines. Other colors to try include greens, aquas, purples and blues. Use an off-white, shiny shadow on your brow bone to make your eyes really stand out.

Light Brown Skin:

Brown shadow with a shimmer works beautifully, but don’t shy away form vibrant shades like greens, blues or purples. Keep the shadow sheer, and use one that sparkles.

How to Apply Eyeshadow

Prime Your Lids

Before you start making up your eyes, it’s a good idea to moisturise the skin around them, in order to plump up any fine lines. Once the cream or serum has penetrated your skin, it’s time to prime the eyelids. The eyelids tend to collect oil, which can cause unsightly creases in the pigment, so it’s a good idea to use primer to even out the skin before applying shadow – try Napoleon Perdis Eye Primer – Eye Hydrating Cream. Alternatively, simply dust a light veil of loose powder over the eyelids, before you apply the eye shadow, to set the make-up. Some women like to apply a dab of foundation to the lids in place of a primer. This can also work, but avoid using concealer as this will be too heavy, look gunky and crease the pigments in the shadow.

Get your Base Right

Unlike lipstick or blush, eye shadow isn’t about turning up the volume on the underlying tones in your skin; it’s about shaping you eyes, which is why it requires some mastery to make it work. You can’t reshape but you can enhance them! Most make-up artists apply a medium tone, such as taupe, bone, shell-pink or apricot, as a base. Alternatively, add a splash of colour with a medium-blue or green tone. This base shade can be worn on its own, subtly swept over the eye from the lid to the brow bone. Cream shadows with a hint of shimmer are an effective way to wear a single shadow and achieve a fresh daytime look. However if you’re going for a more dramatic effect, this base shade could ‘anchor’ the other tones and contour the eye socket. And note that powder shadows are much better options if you want to blend colours.

Shade for Depth and Contrast

Pick a darker shade from your compact and apply it with a medium-sized smudging or blending brush (or use a sponge) over the eye socket. Don’t cover the entire eye lid with a dark shade, as this will make your eyes recede and look bruised. Go for a shade within the same tonal range as the base shade but make sure it’s richer, more pigment-packed hue. Bronze, chocolate, slate grey, dark blue and olive green are good safe options; bear in mind that choosing a shade that contrast with your eye colour will make them really stand out. This step is about defining the eyes and making them appear larger and more seductive.

Highlight and Finish

Use a clean sponge or brush to apply a highlighter (a light, fresh shade such as a shimmering white, cream, pearly pink or dusky apricot) to the brow bone, along with a tiny dab on the centre of the eyelid. This really brings out the eyes and makes them look sparkly; highlighter accentuates the whites of the eyes. Blend it well and remove any excess owder that has scattered over the darker shades. To finish, use a kohl pencil to apply a soft line along the outer edges of the upper and lower lashes. (If you feel really confident you can line your eyes with shadow, using a dampened brush dipped in pigment, to give you an expert-looking finish). Finally, use a large, fluffy brush to sweep away any excess powder that may have strayed on to your cheeks then polish off the look with two coats of mascara.