Great Basic Eyeshadow Tips For Beginners

Buying new eyeshadow–or a whole new eyeshadow palette–is always super exciting. But if the thought of actually going in and applying that eyeshadow seems more daunting than delightful, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered, so you can show off those beautiful eyeshadow pigments and build the eyeshadow look you want.

Step 1. Prime Your Eyes

Do you need an eye primer? Well, it depends on your final look. “Primer aids in eyeshadow color opacity and staying power,” explains Young, who adds, “If you’re going for a light wash of the color, it’s not necessary.” In essence, eye primer helps your eyeshadow last longer by preventing it from sliding off your eyelids when faced with heat or moisture, the same way face primer works to keep your foundation in place. As a general rule, the more eye makeup you’re using, the more you’ll need to apply primer.

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Step 2. Build Your Base

Time to add your color. Most eyeshadow looks can easily be created with four shades: a neutral shade for your lid, a medium shade for your crease, a dark shade for your outer corner, and a light shade to highlight your inner corner and brow bone

You can also choose your colors by your eye color. Brown eyes look beautiful in green, gold, purple, and grey shades, while colors like red, yellow, orange, and purple make blue eyes pop. For green eyes, try playing around with red, yellow, purple, and grey shades.

Step 3. Define Your Crease

Now we’re going to define your crease to give your eye makeup more definition. This will also make your eyes look wider and bigger overall.

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“You can define your crease by going heavier with a contrasting color that’s darker than what you used on your lid,” explains Young. For a natural look, dip your fluffy or angled crease brush into your medium eyeshadow shade (fair and light skin tones might want to try Firm or Fit from the palette, while medium to darker skin tones can try colors.

Step 4. Blend & Define

Blending is one of the most important (and often overlooked) steps. The technique helps to “marry as many colors together without being able to see where they start or stop,” says Young. “Think of a watercolor painting, and how each color flows into the next.” If, at this point, your eyes are looking more painted-on than painterly, don’t worry: This is where those extra blending brushes come in.

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Step 5. Highlight Away

Almost done–now it’s time to use your lightest eyeshadow shade to make your eyes really pop. “A highlight under the brow is nice to pop the brows from the eyeshadow,” says Young. “Some people even place a little highlight in the inner corners to wake up a tired eye.”

In general, a light matte eyeshadow will give you a fresh, natural look perfect for daytime. For more drama, use a shade with some shimmer, like Fearless or Faithful from the palette. You can also use your regular face highlighter for optimal shine.

Whichever shade you decide to use, you’ll want to apply it along your brow bone (just below the arch of your eyebrow) to give your face a wide-awake and lifted look. To implement Young’s idea, you can also fake a full night’s rest by dotting it along with the inner corners of your eyes. Both of these techniques will make your eyes look bigger, brighter, and more alert.

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