Go-To Eye Shadow Tricks To Make Your Makeup Pop
Eyeshadow is one of the easiest makeup products to use, but it can also be deceptively tricky. How much is too much? What shade goes best with your eye color? How do you apply glitter in a way that keeps it from going EVERYWHERE? (Spoiler alert: You can't. Glitter is forever.)
We may not be able to keep glitter out of our floor tiles, but we can apply eyeshadow in consistent, simple ways that make our makeup pop. Whether you're prepping for your next night out or you're just experimenting with a new look, these easy eyeshadow tricks will come in handy for newbies and beauty experts alike.
How to Know your eye shape and choose the best eye makeup style
Not all eyes are alike! Two people following the same makeup tutorial could end up with an elegant cat-eye for one and a smeary mess for the other, and it wouldn't be the applicator's fault. Some eye shapes lend themselves to one look over another. For example, if your eyelids don't have a defined crease, you're going to have an easier time creating a smoky eye, but a harder time getting definition out of your color mix. There are plenty of helpful charts online to help you identify your eye shape—from there, a mix of tutorials and trial and error will help you discover the looks that are perfect for you.
Why to Get the right supplies before applying eye makeup
Supplies matter! If you're just starting out in the makeup world, you'll probably be happy with a simple drugstore palette with a built-in applicator. If you're a little more adventurous, you might want to branch out into brighter colors in a wider range of hues. No matter what you choose, it's important to at least have a few different brushes or applicators in a range of sizes (or one of those all-in-one applicators that lets you choose your brush size). More importantly, make sure to look for high-quality, allergen-tested products that won't cause a breakout or allergic reaction.
Don't forget the base/primer for eye shadow
I've been wearing makeup for years, and I only recently discovered the importance of eyeshadow primer. If you go with drugstore makeup, most small palettes come with a built-in primer (usually identified as the "base" color). If you spring for the higher-quality products, you can buy a primer separately that matches your skin tone. Alternately, you can invest in a few different shades of primer to go with your variety of looks.
Dark-to-light vs. Light-to-dark eye shadow
There are a few schools of thought on the "perfect" look for eye shadow, but most agree that your perfect look comes from blending colors placed in increasing or decreasing darkness. For example, you get the traditional "smoky eye" look by applying your darkest color at the furthest edges of your eye and your lightest color close to the tear duct, then blending to perfection. A more "everyday" look (like what I wear on the daily) involves a light base, a color on the lid (I like light pink), and a spot of darker color in the crease.
How to have The perfect (sneaky) smoky eye
If you're looking for a solid "smoky eye" but you don't have a lot of time to get ready, you can create a simplified version by using two distinct shades of the same basic color, like brown or pink. Apply the lighter color as your base, covering the whole eyelid. Then, apply the darker color on the crease of your eyelid, starting at the tear duct and moving out. Blend the two with a brush or your fingers and voilá! Simplified smoky eye.
How to Use painter's tape for a perfect eye shadow wing
If you're looking for a more dramatic look, you can create "winged" eyeshadow by applying your makeup in a "wing" shape. Where most fashionistas struggle, however, is getting a distinct edge for the wing without a smudgy smear that covers their whole temple after a night out. The trick? Painter's tape. Gently apply a small piece of tape on the skin next to your eye, angled so the edge of the tape follows the line you want your wing to follow. Apply your eyeshadow as usual, blend, and then remove the tape (carefully!). This pulls any extra smudges away with the tape, leaving you with an elegant, defined wing!
Color, glitter, and other accents in eye makeup
Sometimes, bold is best! Bright colors, metallic eyeshadows, glitter, highlighter, and body jewelry can all be incredible accent pieces to perfect a "night out" or "music festival" look. Speaking from experience, it's best to test out these looks before the big night. (The last thing you want to do is frantically go through your entire supply of makeup remover 20 minutes before your rideshare shows up.) In general, apply these bright accents with a "less is more" mentality. It's always easier to add another layer than it is to clean off too much. With some practice and a little creativity, you'll have a look for every occasion!