It’s a question as old as time - how do I actually apply eyeshadow? If you’re a beginner dabbling in the wonderful world of eyeshadow, read this blog post and become acquainted with the best tips on applying eyeshadow to level up your makeup game. Don’t forget us when you’re teaching your own eyeshadow masterclasses!
Although there isn’t just one universal way to apply eyeshadow, there are some extremely useful tips and tricks that will elevate your eyeshadow game in no time. If you want to find out more about eyeshadow terminology, then click here to read our unpacking eyeshadow terminology blog post to help you understand everyday eyeshadow terms.
So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into our favorite tips and how-tos for applying eyeshadow.
Brushes Are Your Best Friend
If you’re investing in good, high quality eyeshadows it’s smart to also invest in a high quality set of eyeshadow brushes that, when looked after properly, can last for years. We love this affordable set from Walmart - it’s perfect for both beginner and advanced eyeshadow enthusiasts. However, the heaps of brushes available can be daunting as a first time buyer - so we’re going to break down three types of brush that should be essentials in your makeup bag.
This type of brush, which often has short hairs and a slightly angled tip, is perfect for packing on color and bringing maximum impact to your look. The best way to use this brush is to dab it into the eyeshadow pan, rather than gliding it lengthways. This motion is then repeated on the eyelid, dabbing the shade across the eyelid rather than blending it in.
Blending brushes are typically very fluffy and soft, with longer hairs to ensure an even distribution of blended shadow across the eyelid. These brushes are often used after the short bristle brush for more of a diffused look if you aren’t opting for a maximum impact and bold look. Blending brushes are often used for blending out darker shades that may have more pigment, thus needing a higher level of blending to evenly distribute the color.
The angled eyeshadow brush is perfect for controlled and precise blending in a certain area of your eyelid, like the crease. Using an angled brush will ensure an exact distribution of the shadow and levels up any eyeshadow look. These types of brushes are great for adding dimension to a look, by allowing you to build up color in the crease of your eyelid without smudging or disrupting the eyeshadow you have put on elsewhere on the eye. Truly, an essential!
When creating an eyeshadow look with a multitude of shades, we prefer to start with the lightest shade and finish with the darkest shade. Starting with the lighter shade first means it will be easier to blend the darker shades as your eyelid will already have some pigment on it. If you are looking to create a dark eyeshadow look, we recommend sweeping a nude shadow that's as close to your skin tone as possible all over your lid to allow a smooth application of the darker shade.
No Heavy Handedness!
OK, this one is easier said than done - but it can be crucial in making or breaking your look. Always underestimate the amount of product you need on your brush, and the amount of force needed to apply the shadow onto your eyelid. By being extra careful with your application, you can avoid having to reach for the makeup wipes mid way through a look. As well as this, being light in your application makes it easier to build up your look if you opt for more color and dimension.
Picture this: you’ve just spent 3 hours perfecting your eyeshadow look. You’re extremely happy with how it turned out, but didn’t apply eyeshadow primer, lessening its staying power. Eyeshadow primers differ from face primers as they tend to have ingredients that act as adhesives to the pigments within your eyeshadow, meaning there is no way that eyeshadow is going to melt off your face (unless you use makeup remover, of course). There are A LOT of eyeshadow primers out there, both high-end and drugstore - but the main thing you want to look for in an eyeshadow primer are nourishing and hydrating ingredients that will keep not only your eyeshadow looking beautiful, but your skin too.
That just about wraps it up for our favorite tips and ways to apply eyeshadow. Ultimately, there is no one right way to apply eyeshadow. It’s about what feels right and feels good for you - and if that isn’t a conventional way, then so be it! Makeup is designed to make you feel good and to help unleash your creativity - this means you can do it YOUR way. The knowledge around eyeshadow and its application are constantly evolving, so if you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share, please share the knowledge!