While applying eyeshadow is not ubiquitously known as a hard part of the makeup routine to complete, it can be a challenge finding the right colors that suit your skin tone, and outfit. Once you match your colors and try to add the shadow to your eyelid, it can be a balancing act of tools versus shadow versus using the highlighter and all the other contouring colors that come within one pack of shadow.
The question remains on how to use the colors together to create a great makeup look to go out, stay in, or just practice. Below are some great tips picked up from across the internet (from makeup artists), and put together in one place for you to read, reuse, and enjoy.
Get your Tools
Yes, when you purchase eyeshadow, it automatically comes with at little wand with a sponge at one end or both ends. You can use this tool without much thought, or you can see what works best for you. Sometimes the wands are too small for your fingers, or sometimes they have too many colors on them, and it’s nice to start fresh. There are a few different kinds of tools such as a q-tip, makeup brushes, or even makeup sponges. You can even just use your fingers. This list doesn’t count the tool that comes free with purchase in your eye shadow case.
Depending on what you are comfortable with will help you determine the right tools for your blending needs. Some tools listed below are your finger, makeup brushes, or makeup sponges.
If you choose to use your finger: While using your finger is an excellent option, make sure to wipe it clean before going to use another color. You are welcome to use all five fingers, of course, that will help you keep the colors separate and will also give you the option of only washing your hand once. Using your fingers works great for cream shadows in lieu of powder, but keeping your fingers clean is vital. The eyes are sensitive and can get infected easily.
The upside to using your fingers is that you can control how hard and how soft you press on your face without having to worry about dropping a brush or sponge. You also save a little extra money and won’t have to keep buying new brushes every few months.
If you choose to use a makeup brush: Make sure to have a few brushes for the number of colors you’ll be using. A clean brush is the best tool for some makeup artists and having one brush to lay the color down and using a second (or third) brush to blend the colors on your eyelid and with other colors will help the colors blend evenly.
Changing up brushes with each color you use will allow you to keep the colors separate and will help you avoid washing a darker color over the lighter colors, which may give the lighter color the illusion of disappearing.
The great thing about using makeup brushes for your shadow is that you only need two or three to start with—one for the base of your eye shadow, one for blending the colors together, and one for your highlights.
If you choose to use a makeup sponge: Depending on what type of sponge you get, you will have to decide which part of the sponge most sufficient. For example, if you get a triangle sponge, using the smallest part of the sponge is the best bet. As is the case with the brush, use one side of the sponge for the base part of your makeup, then use another side for blending and a third side for adding a new color. The beauty part of a triangle sponge is that there are many sides.
If you choose to get a sponge on a wand (bigger than those that are sold with the shadow but a similar concept), get different sizes for different types of shading on your eye. Use smaller sponges for the highlights (in the corner of your eye) and a wider sponge for the lid of your eye.
Be careful if you are using a sponge because it does take on a lot of powder at once and can pack a punch of color you aren’t looking for when blending colors together.
Start with the lightest color first and then move onto the darker shades. The only exception will be the final highlight in the corner of your eyes (closest to your nose) to finish off the shimmer off.
When you start with the lightest color, you can build onto the layers by lightly brushing the color on, then blending the darker shades into the lighter color for a smooth transition.
Create a Smooth Gradient
Creating a smoother gradient is more accessible than it sounds; the key is to use your tool to get the colors blended where they meet cleanly and softly. Leaving behind any harder lines allows the makeup you’ve worked so hard to put on look a little harsh. Unless that is the look you are going for, smoothing out your edges is your best bet for a beautiful gradient of color.
Blend in Small Circles
While adding your eyeshadow on in sideswipes may be the most natural habit to form, try a small circular motion instead. The difference can be that the shadow won’t cake into the creases of your eyelids and an overall effortless blend that looks fantastic.
Using small circles also allows you to control how much powder you are adding to your lids. There may be a time where you’ll need to go in a different direction with your colors, and the smaller strokes will help contain the area you are shading.
Use One Direction
Using one direction for all your makeup is good practice. However, using one direction for each color of eyeshadow will help make blending easier. Even if you don’t use one direction for all colors on your shadow, moving the light color to the right while the dark color goes to the left will help you keep the contouring and highlights incredibly seamless.