How to Apply Eye Shadow

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated August 19, 2009)

Makeup can be a confusing world to get mixed up in. You have so many products to choose from and then you have the lipstick shades, the eye liner colors, the eye shadow colors, the foundation tones, and so on and so on. It's never ending. And then, on top of all the products available to you, you still have to figure out how to apply it all. It's a labyrinth of cosmetics! If you're overwhelmed by the vast world of cosmetics open to you and don't really know how to use any of it (even if you have some), then the best thing for you to do is to take on cosmetics one basic product at a time. Today, I'll focus on eye shadow.

If you want to wear makeup, some kind of eye shadow is a must. You don't even have to wear a lot—you can wear a neutral shade, but eye shadow always makes a difference. Now the important thing to remember is that eye shadow always makes a difference for either good or bad. If applied haphazardly, eye shadow can be disastrous. You need to remember two things when applying eye shadow: color choice and application technique.

Both of these tenets go together; you can't have one without the other. With the steps outlined, you can stop at any one of them if you've achieved the look you want.

First you'll want to choose a light, more neutral shade. Using a brush or a eye shadow applicator, spread that first light color all over your lid, making sure to get under the brow line and in the crease. Second, take another shade, usually darker and the one you want to be most prominent on your eyes, and apply that in your crease extending inward to where your eyebrow starts. Try to make the outside crease area darker than the surrounding areas. (Many people stop here, but these next steps can help add more dimension to your eyes.) You can take a darker, more intense color and just dab it on the outside part of your crease, making sure to blend it with the other colors. And then for a final touch (you can also do this trick without the previous step), you can take a lighter, more metallic or shimmery color and barely brush that on the inside corner of your eye.

Also, check out these links for other techniques you can use to apply eye shadow—just one way isn't the only way! Good luck!

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