Wrapping your head around makeup application is hard work. I’ve been wearing (and loving) makeup for years now and I still feel like I haven’t gotten half of it down. And every week it seems like there’s a new technique to know about. So today, I wanted to take it back to basics and pass on a few tips and tricks that have helped me to really understand eyeshadow application. It can be a tricky thing to really get right and although I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no makeup artist, I like to think I know a few hacks here and there that have made the process easier for me.
Of course, none of these are hard and fast rules. And what works for me might not work as well or feel as natural for you. But I thought it was still worth passing on some pearls of wisdom if you feel like you’re lacking in the eyeshadow technique department.
Do some research and learn a little about your eye shape
First off, do your research. It’s always having a good look at your own eye shape and seeing what your strengths are. For me, I know I have quite hooded eyes and not a lot of lid space – that limits my options somewhat but now I know how to work with it rather than against it. It also means that an intensely highlighted brow bone just makes my eyes look smaller. Other eye shapes look closer together when applying a highlight shade to the inner corner.
Learning more about your own eye shape can also lead to you finding beauty gurus you love with similar features, that way it’ll be much easier to recreate their look. A lot of it is simply trial and error and getting to know your own beautiful face.
Focus shimmer shadows on the center of the lid
Less is more is the golden rule with shimmer eyeshadow. It’s easy to start looking a little crazy when you use too many shimmery shades on the eye at once. I know there are definitely pictures of me from high school formals with silver glitter all over my eyes. Not cute. But often, a little goes a long way when you’re trying to make an impact. I always start my eye looks by applying matte shades into the crease, blending them out until they’re seamless. Then I pat on the attention-grabbing shimmer to the center of the lid. This can really make your eyes pop and puts more attention on that stunning shade rather than having too much going on at once.
Use a damp brush to apply shimmer for a more intense finish
If you really want to up the drama factor and you feel like your shimmery eyeshadows aren’t performing to the best of their ability, simply dampen your brush. Patting the colour onto the lid with a slightly damp brush makes it adhere better to your eyes and makes the shimmer truly pop. This method will ensure that your shadow will look gorgeous all night long.
It’s also worth noting that once you’ve applied it, you should give it some time to dry down before blending it out lightly with a fingertip to stop it going everywhere. I’ve used MAC Fix + in the past but I’ve been known to just grab whatever setting spray I have on hand, too.
Blend shadow under the eye for a more put together look
Another mistake I was definitely making when I was younger was not applying any shadow underneath the eye.There’s a fine line between adding some natural definition and smoking out an eye look but reach for a light, matte brown rather than something darker and give it a good blend out – you’ll see just how beautiful it can look. Even now, I definitely don’t go overboard, but adding a little somethin’ somethin’ under the eye, focusing on the outer corner can really bring an eye look together.
Work slowly, build in layers and blend, blend, blend!
When I first started experimenting with eyeshadow, I’d get as much product on my brush as possible. This resulted in lots of fallout and often looking like I just had a black eye. Now I know to work bit by bit. Building up the colour this way means that it blends out nicer and it also means you’re less likely to go overboard and want to start all over again. What is all comes down to, however, is blending. Utilising an awesome blending brush (we all know the Sigma E40 is my go-to) will take any eye look to the next level and have you looking like a pro.