You don’t have to be a beauty expert or makeup artist to have beautiful and striking looking eyes. Everyone was born with beautiful eyes – the experts just know how to use a few essential makeup items to make them stand out and create ‘windows to your soul.’ And now you can too! All you need are a few basic makeup items such as a good eyeliner and brand of mascara, and the right color eye shadow, and you can create heading-turning eyes from the comfort of your home. Eye shadow not only serves to add some color and depth to your eyes and your face but also helps to sculpt your eyes and eyebrows for an overall manicured look.
1. Choose your eye shadow color – The most daunting thing about eye shadow is the variety of choices you have when it comes to colors and brands. There are entire stores that are dedicated to selling eye shadows alone, with myriad colors, shades, textures and hues and this can be intimidating! But don’t despair – no matter how many eye shadows there are out there, find out what shades suit you best and stick with those. It is good to have at least three shades of eye shadow in your makeup bag to mix and match to create a look, typically light, medium and dark shade.
Expert tip! If you want a natural look, choose three shades in neutral tones, such as browns, beiges, or grays.
2. Choose your eye shadow type – As with the colors, eye shadows come in a variety of different textures, ranging from loose powder, which is the most popular, to compact powder and cream forms. The easiest form of eye shadow to work with is compact powder, which is applied smoothly and does not transfer onto other skin. Cream eye shadow tends to crease quite quickly and can run the risk of making eyes look older while loose powder forms are difficult to apply as they move onto other areas of skin easily.
3. Choose the correct brush – Selecting a good brush is just as important as selecting the color or type of eye shadow. Although you apply eye shadow with your fingertips, your skin produces natural oil that can affect the consistency of a powder eye shadow and make application difficult. It is a good idea to invest in a few eye shadow brushes of various sizes as these male the application of the eye shadow that much easier and can help create a range of different, striking looks.
Types of brushes:
- A flat, stiff brush is good for distributing eye shadow across the entire eyelid in full, thick strokes.
- A stiff dome brush is the best brush to use for applying eye shadow into the crease of your eye and blending it outwards to the tip of your eye. These types of brushes promise a smooth, even graduation of color.
- Get a small and thin pencil brush with soft bristles for applying eye shadow close to the lash line, as they make it easier to get into the small hard-to-reach places.
4. Applying eye shadow – Like anything, there is an art to applying eye shadow to create the look that best suits you and avoid looking clownish. Always use the correct size brush and brush strokes and keep a constant speed when applying eye shadow. Rushing through the application of eye shadow can create a messy, unkempt look.
The first application of eye shadow should always be patted gently onto the eye, as a first layer of color. This creates a base of color for the next shade and allows the following shades to stick better. Then use smooth, even brush strokes from one side of the eye to the other to apply the remaining shades or colors. Never use back and forth strokes – always brush in one direction only!
Expert tip! Never use your eye shadow all the way up to your eyebrows – this creates an over dramatic look and is just too much color!
- Lightest color first- Always apply the lightest color first to establish a base for the other colors. Use a stiff, flat brush to apply the most luminous color to the whole eyelid in smooth flat strokes.
- Middle hue next – Now, touch your middle color over the base to create some depth to the eye. Use a flat brush to pat this intermediate color over the lighter base gently, without going too far over the crease of your eye.
- Darkest shade last- Apply your darkest shade of eye shadow last to contour your eyelid. Using your dome brush and start at the outside corner of the eye and sweep the brush in a half-moon, upwards motion around the center of the crease in your eye. Keep color darkest along the lash line, fading it out as the brush move upwards.