We’ve come along way since eyeshadow consisted of one or two pale or neutral days. Now we have the choice of any color and finish we can imagine. Working with some eyeshadows is much trickier than with other kinds. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to having killer peepers.
1. Eyeshadow brushes are a definite must. Preferably I like to have a large shader brush for under my brow bone, a medium domed tipped brush for my crease, a small rounded eyeshadow brush for lining close to the lashline or smaller application of color, an eyeliner brush (this can be angled or not, angled may be easier for beginner’s especially on the top lashline), and a medium angled brush for your eyebrows. I love M.A..C.’s brushes, but they are pricey for a full sized set. The sets that come out are good too, but they are not as well made as the full size. Another alternative that I really like are the brushes Sonia Kashuk for Target makes. Mine have held up well and they come in a nice variety.
2. Before you apply your eye makeup start out with clean brushes. I use my regular facial soap to clean them or you can use brush cleaner (make sure you read the cleaner’s instruction’s as some you must dilute with water first). Clean brushes mean a true color application. When old shadows mix around in your brush they muddy down or make your shadow less intense. It’s also important to clean your brushes because they come into contact very close to your eye and tear ducts, you don’t want to get a nasty infection and contaminate your makeup. Let them dry thoroughly on a towel, never brush end up, as the water will stay in the ferrule (the metal part that connects the bristles with the handle), not only will this lead to bacteria growing inside, but it will also loosen the glue after time and your brush will fall apart.
3. Groom your eyebrows or have them professionally done if you don’t know how. Even getting rid of the extreme out of place hairs under your brow will give you alot of extra room for applying eyeshadow. When in doubt don’t even bother plucking or removing the hairs on top. This could lead to you plucking out your natural arch and way to thin and flat eyebrows. Don’t pluck using a magnifying mirror if it is your first time.. you might overpluck. If they are red, swollen or sore, apply a VERY thin layer of Preperation H (yes) over painful area, but not in the eye. Wipe and wash it off before your makeup.
4. Right now, throw out any mascara, liquid liner or emollient (creamy, liquid) products if they are open and over 3 months old. Most likely it is teeming with bacteria and there is no way to clean it. It’s better to be safe than sorry! With powder, less bacteria can grow so it lasts longer.
5. You can apply your eyemakeup first or last. Some people prefer to do their eyes first, before their base or foundation because they get eyeshadow fallout. If you are applying correctly and are skilled you shouldn’t really get any fallout, so try and refine your skill and brush movements.
6. Always use an eyeshadow/eyelid primer before you put on eyeshadow. This makes your eyeshadow stick on better, crease less, last longer and be noticeably more vibrant or pigmented. Urban Decay Primer Potion, M.A.C. Paints, M.A.C. Paintpots, M.A.C. shadesticks, LAsplash eyeshadow primer are all primers that i’ve used and work well. Apply a thin layer to your eyelids with your ring finger lightly from the lashline to your eyebrow. A good eye shadow primer will last all day maybe longer.
7. If you do a simple 3 eyeshadow look, which can look great, I usually start with a crease color. With the domed shaped eyeshadow brush pick up some color, tap off excess and press the brush firmly yet gently into your outer crease, move the brush carefully back and forth in a windshield wiper motion. Loose eyeshadows are a bit more difficult. Build up when using these until you know how the color behaves. Make sure it is in your brush, with the excesss tapped off to control fallout.
8. Next take your pencil brush or a slightly smaller domed brush, or even a flat brush to apply color under your crease. A flat brush is really good for packing color on, especially in layers.
9. If you choose to use another color or apply eyeshadow to your lower lashes, use the pencil brush. On your lower lashes, just apply the color towards the top of your lashes but not in your eye or on your waterline (the area that sits right next to your eyeball).
10. Apply a light shade to your browbone with your large shader brush. I try to get right under my eyebrow in a patting motion and then gently blend down into your crease color.
11. You might have to add more eyeshadow to your domed eyeshadow brush and place it in your crease, this time use a tiny circular or swirling motion to blend the browbone highlight with the crease color.
12. If you choose a gel eyeliner, use your eyeliner brush. An angled eyeliner brush works well on the top lashline, especially to “flick” your liner at the corners. Gel eyeliner may sound intimidating, but it is actually very easy to use and lasts longer than most eye khols. Felt eyeliners are good too. The hardest in my opinion is straight liquid liner. It takes a very steady hand and it’s easy to apply too much.
13. Lining your waterline, also called tightlining. This just means putting eyeliner on the inner line of your eye, where your skin touches your eyeball. No cosmetics company or doctor will endorse this practice, but people are going to do it anyways. Make sure you are careful to not poke your eye. The ingredients in the makeup are not necessarily safe if they get into your eye. Irritaion, redness, swelling, infection or worse can happen, i’ve heard it happen to people, but not myself and I see it done frequently….you were warned. This is an at your own risk step. Okay I recommend can use gel or pencil eyeliner. I’ve always gotten irritation using felt liners and never ever use a liquid liner on your waterline. You’ll have painful, runny eyes and you can say good bye to all your eyemakeup and have nice bloodshot eyes. If you get any kind of irritation wash the outside of your eye with a mild soap and rinse your eye open heavily with lukewarm water. See a doctor if the irritation persists.
14. Lining and Tightlining your eyes with black is dramatic and can add a very nice look, but dark shades make the eye appear smaller. Using a white or a cream color eyeliner will open up the eye area. Cream/Off white is a bit more natural and less “mod” if you will.
15. Filling in your eyebrows frame your face and add a nice groomed appearance. With your larger angled brush apply a brow powder (usually 1 shade darker than your head hair color) to the inner eyebrow. The Pointy or wider end should be at the bottom of your brow. Brush the powder lightly over your eyebrows, making sure to blend into your hairs well. You want definition, but not necessarily a harsh line. For the outer part of your eyebrow, extend the powder out to the end of your brows. To determine where your brow should end, place a pen diagonally against your nose, along the outer corner of your eye, where the pen sits next to your brow is how far it should extend out. You can go slightly further if you want, but don’t go too far. If you choose to use a brow pencil in place of powder, don’t press against your brows too hard- this will cause your brows to gunk up, use light, short, hairlike, strokes. This can look very good or very bad..brow powders are much easier if you are new to this.
16. Finally, apply mascara. If you are a blonde or red head you might want to first try out a brown/dark brown mascara. Brunette’s and darker hair can easily wear black mascara. All hair colors can usually wear black at night and depending on your look, (say black smokey eye) you should wear black. I apply mascara two coats down covering the entire top lash and two coats back up covering the bottom of the upper lash. You don’t have to apply mascara to the bottom lashes, some people say it ages you, and some people do not have the eyeshape to wear mascara on the bottom lashes (sometimes it causes a droopy eye look).
17. Curling your eyelashes. Your eye look is now coming together. You can either curl your lashes before or after the mascara. If you curl after your mascara, it will stay longer. Curling your lashes really opens up your eyes, making you look very fresh faced. To curl, start at the base of your upper lashes. Gently pump the brush a few times, move a little farther out, pump a few more times and keep doing this until you get to the end of your lashes. If needed use a small eyelash comb to seperate your lashes.
18. Your eyes should look very finished by now, mascara and brows really finish your eye makeup. If you got any eyeshadow fallout take a large fluffy powder brush and lightly sweep off any extra color under your eyes.
19. Removing eye makeup. It’s important to take off your eyemakeup before you sleep. Makeup left on the eyes continuously can cause clogged tearducts, eye irritations an even sinus infections! Use a gently cream and a cotton pad an wipe off your eyes gently. Wash your eyes with a mild soap and your finger. Don’t exfoliate your eye area, it’s too delicate. Rinse well. Apply an eye moisturizing cream.. you are never too young to get into this habit, trust me.
Note: For daytime looks, generally you either play up your lips or eyes. If you are wearing colorful or dark eyemakeup, use a neutral color on your lips and vice versa. You can go bold on both features, but this takes some skill with color and the correct application on both features.
Practice! BLENDING! Practice! BLENDING! Practice! If you don’t know where to look, find a picture you like, study it, try and recreate it. It won’t look exactly the same, but you’ll learn the curves of your face and what shape looks good on your eye. I like the brands of eyeshadow from m.a.c., coastal scents, yaby, urban decay, some of l’oreal h.i.p brand, and a few other drugstore gems. I still am not all impressed with Revlon, Covergirl or Maybelline Eyeshadows. Milani had some good shades that were replaced with baked shadows.. I’m not a fan, but alot of people do like them. It’s very light and doesn’t stick as well as other shadows. I think it works better with a mixing medium or wet(scrape some off your eyeshadow so you don’t ruin it and then wet it on a clean plate or your wet your brush). You can make any eyeshadow more vibrant by getting it wet. Only use eye mixing mediums or clean water. With water, when the shadow dries back into a powder it will flake off much easier than with an eye safe mixing medium which has an ingredient to help it stick.
Overall have fun with your work and don’t ever be scared to try different color combinations and finishes from sparkly/shiny to matte or satin. Wrinkles show up more when you use shiny colors so if they bother you alot try out matte colors, which are equally beautiful. You can think of more looks if you consider your eye color. Play with your shadows and placement of them. Experiment with 6 colors or just 2. Neutral or colorful or a combination. Your skills will develop faster than you think!