Unexpectedly Hot - How to apply eyeshadow

BlogHer Original Post

Do you think that eyeshadow application is an art form that can only be mastered by those impossibly chic women who are already good at everything? Wrong! Applying eyeshadow is ridiculously easy - anyone can do it, and it's fun - really! All you need are the right tools and a willingness to play.

The key to applying eyeshadow is not in the color but in the brush. You know those little Q-Tip applicators that come with your eyeshadows? Throw them out. They're terrible. You need to invest in a good set of brushes. I like the ones from MAC, and I've heard that the ones form Sonia Kashuk (avalaible at Target) are excellent too. At minimum, you will need a flat shader brush to deposit color and a couple of smaller brushes for defining and shading. (Don't worry, this will all make sense later.)

(I hope.)

The second thing you will need is a primer. Note that primer is NOT concealer - concealer has a creamy consistency that will not work under your eyeshadow. Eyeshadow primer has a tacky consistency and you just tap a little bit to your lid before applying eyeshadow - it'll grab on to the color, prevent creasing, and help your color last. It makes a HUGE difference. If you've experimented with eye makeup in the past and have been frustrated because the color doesn't show up on your lids or the makeup disappears after a few hours, I'm willing to bet that the reason is that you didn't use primer. Primer will change your life, as far as eye makeup is concerned.

Now, to the fun part - color! You will need at least three shades: A light shade to highlight the brow bone, a medium shade for the lid, and a dark shade for the crease. Advanced students may want to try an even darker shade to define the outer corner of the eye, but this step is optional. The actual colors don't matter, but use common sense. Don't choose shades of tangerine if you're going for a demure look, or use beige if you're looking for a pop of color. (Duh.)

Ready to play? Here we go!

1. Tap a bit of primer on your eyelids.

2.  Sweep your medium shade (this will be your main color) across the lid. Work from the inner corner of your eye and stay below the crease. You're basically applying color to the part of your lid that "disappears" when your eyes are open. 

3. Apply the darker shade to the crease of your eye. Start at the middle (not the inner corner of your eye).

4. Sweep the lightest shade along your brow bone - this will brighten up your eyes.

5. Advanced makeup artists may want to apply the darkest shade to the outer corner of the eye in a V-shape.

6. Blend liberally - and you're done!

Remember that these are just guidelines to get you started. As you become more confident these directions will become second nature and you'll see how much fun it is to play with eye color.

If you're anything like me, you learn better when you someone shows you how to do something as opposed to tell you. I would have made a video, but this one from MakeupGeek.com is perfect already:

(Do you read her? She is adorable and I love her - you will too!)

Remember: This isn't rocket science. You can do it!


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