Eyeshadow Basics 101 Feature

Eye Makeup 101: Eyeshadow Basics

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Eye Makeup Inspiration - Multicolored Rainbow EyeshadowEver heard the term “learn to walk before you can run”? There are many ladies out there (myself included) who could apply this lesson to makeup. We see some beautiful makeup, get starry-eyed (pun intended) and start painting on our own faces before we know what’s what. Then we end up looking less Botticelli and more Picasso, and tissue half of it away while we cry off the other half, bemoaning the extra thirty minutes we’ve just added to prep time before going out.

When it comes to eye shadow, everyone has to start somewhere. There are some foundations (again, pun intended) that non-makeup artists would do well to learn the same way that their professional counterparts do. For my fellow makeup laypersons, here’s a list of commonly used terms and some helpful tips on eyeshadow application.

Eyeshadow Lingo:

  • Frosted eyeshadow contains sparkle and is high-shine. Avoid these shadows on mature skin, as they draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Highlighters are used on the browbone and at the inner and outer corner to brighten and emphasize the eye.
  • Matte eye shadows contain no shine and look more natural. These are good for defining eyes and using as an underlying color.
  • Metallic eyeshadows are used shadows that have a metal finish. They create a more dramatic, nighttime look.
  • Midtones are natural colors that are swept over the eye for definition. Mid tones are usually close to your skin complexion.
  • Powder eye shadows either come pressed or loose and are good for blending and typically the eye shadow of choice.
  • Crème eyeshadow comes in both matte and shimmery finishes. If applied underneath a powder shadow, it can create a more intense color.
  • Liquid eyeshadows typically have a shimmery finish, and can be difficult to blend.
  • Shimmer eye shadows are great for mature skin because they’re subtle enough to not bring out fine lines and wrinkles. Shimmers are also useful for highlighting.
  • Satin eyeshadows have a finish that is in between a matte and shimmer shadow, and works well on all skin types.
Eyeshadow Application Tips:
  • Eyeshadow is either applied as a gentle light wash, or as a dramatic layering of color to bring emphasis to the eyes. Choose wisely, and be strategic.
  • For those of you who have deep-set eyes, it is best not to use a dark crease color, but to instead use a medium tone on your lid to add emphasis.
  • For small eyes, natural is better. Avoid dark colors or a lot of color period. It is best to use a more natural color to keep from closing the eye up.
  • For close-set eyes it is best to put a highlighter on the brow bone and inner crease of the eye.
  • For round eyes, avoid using eyeliner on the bottom lid. Also, use darker colors on the outside of your eye to make them appear longer.Also, use darker colors on the outside of the eye. This will help make eyes look wider.
  • Wide set eyes will be the total eyeshadow opposite of close set eyes. If you have these eyes, you should wear darker colors on the inner corners of the eye, which will help to make your eyes appear closer together. Read Cailin’s advice on balancing your eye shape.
  • It’s always best to start on a clean palette, so be sure to wash your face before applying anything. This helps in a smoother look, and will help the makeup stay put longer.
  • For even longer wear, it is good to use a primer before applying the shadow.
  • You don’t always have to match your eye makeup color to the color of your outfit. Doing this can sometimes actually make the two clash. Try to mix it up, or use complementary colors.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to eye shadow and eyeshadow techniques is that it’s all about experimenting. The only way to learn is by trial and error. So don’t be afraid to try something new or go a little crazy, because who knows? You could come up with a look you never knew you could pull off. Just make sure you’ve got some extra time, because we know your man’s already pacing outside the bathroom door.

27 thoughts on “Eye Makeup 101: Eyeshadow Basics”

  1. I actually pinned this to one of my Pinterest boards, because I am just the WORST at eyeshadow. I don’t bother with it most days, because all I ever really do is smear a color across my lids and call it a day.

    This should help a LOT!

  2. Such a great post!! I think that even experts can learn something from this – I feel like I’m still learning when it comes to eyeshadow, and advice is always welcome! <3

  3. These are some great tips; never heard these before. Explains alot of what happened. Here is the tip I am referring to :
    “Liquid eyeshadows typically have a shimmery finish, and can be difficult to blend”.

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