Applying Eyeshadow

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated May 4, 2020)

If you've ever visited the cosmetics isle of a grocery store, department store, or pharmacy, then you've seen the tremendous—almost overwhelming—choices of eyeshadow available. How do you know what color to buy? The most important thing to consider is the shade of eyeshadow that will compliment your skin tone, hair coloring, and eye coloring. If you've fair skin and blue eyes, you should choose cool colors, such as pink, plum, ivory, and gray. If your eyes are brown and you have a medium complexion, warmer colors will look great on you. Green or hazel eyes, combined with fair skin tones, look great with violets and browns. If your skin tone is dark, choose cool or warm tones—either look great on you. Here are some more tips for choosing the correct shades:

  • Brown eyes. If you have brown eyes, then you can wear nearly any color eyeshadow. Green or pink will make your eyes pop, and blue will contrast with your brown eyes.
  • Blue eyes. Never wear blue eyeshadow if you've got blue eyes. Instead, try earth tones such as brown, fawn, ivory, taupe, and gray. Blue eyes will pop while wearing plums and purples.
  • Green and hazel eyes. Purple is the color for you if you have green or hazel eyes and want to create a bit of drama. For a more natural daytime look, choose warm shades with orange undertones. Brown, gold, taupe, and ivory highlights, combined with purple dark tones, will make your eyes pop.

Now that you know your color palette, you need to know how to properly apply the eyeshadow. There's a reason why eyeshadows are often sold in compacts of three complimenting colors. Just yesterday, I bought a Revlon compact of earth tones to compliment my blue eyes. Inside there is a very light shade of ivory, and a medium shade of taupe, and lastly a deep mocha. This is how to apply the three shades of eyeshadow:

  1. Lightest shade. Use the lightest shade of the compact to smooth over the entire eye area, including the brown bone and just underneath the bottom lashes. Then sweep another portion over the brow bone, just under the eyebrow. Dot this shade just next to the tear duct, as well.
  2. Medium shade. Sweep the medium shade on the lid only, taking care not to go above the eye crease. Start with small amounts, and apply more in a sweeping motion. Make sure that you entirely cover the lightest shade that you applied to the lid.
  3. Darkest shade. This shade is meant for creating contrast. Apply the darkest shade to the crease of the eye, taking care not to apply to the lid or brown bone. Sweeping the darkest shade into the crease, and down to the end of the eyebrow. Smudge the eyeshadow a little with a Q-Tip or your finger.

The only thing left to do is to soften any hard lines. You don't want to tell where one color begins and the other ends. Smudge the definite lines of the colors a little, then apply eyeliner and mascara to complete the look.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


Painting in Tight Corners

If you are painting walls that meet in a corner two different colors, it's best to use painter's tape. But if your walls ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Shotgun

When dismantling your shotgun, it is a good idea to place all of the parts you remove in one central location, possibly ...

Discover More

Mexican Casserole with Jalapeńo Cornbread

Serve jarred or canned tamales, topped with salsa, as a perfect side dish for this Mexican dinner menu. Or, if you need ...

Discover More
More Beauty Tips

How to Make Eye Shadow

If you think about how much money you spend on makeup, it's a lot! But if you make your own eye shadow, you not only save ...

Discover More

Choosing the Right Eyeshadow for You

When choosing eyeshadow, first determine your skin color, skin tone, and then choose from within those color palettes. ...

Discover More

The Best Eye Shadow for Green Eyes

Are you one of the lucky few with green eyes? Follow these tips for what colors of eye shadow to use to make your eyes "pop."

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)