Whatever palette you choose, here’s a guide to applying eyeshadow using three toning shades – highlight, mid, and defining color. This method applies whether you’re using neutral cream, taupe, and brown for a natural daytime look or a more dramatic combination of pale lilac, plum, and amethyst for nighttime glamour.
Choose good-quality brushes for dense application of color and smooth blending. Use a small brush for applying the color and a slightly larger, wider brush for blending it. Natural hair is best for applying powder shadow; a good brush with densely packed bristles can be washes frequently without shedding.
- Prep the eyes and create a neutral base. Using a firm synthetic brush or your finger tip, dot a little foundation/concealer over the eyelid and blend to the brow bone. This will camouflage any blue or red undertones and create a smooth surface. If you’re using powder eyeshadow, lightly dust the eyelid with translucent powder to absorb any surface oils and ensure smooth blending.
- Load a medium-sized natural hair eye brush with the mid color and tap off any excess. Starting at the outer corner of the eyelid, blend the shadow all over the eyelid from the lash line to the socket, creating a semi-circle of color.
- Use a smaller, rounder brush to add a little of the deeper defining color in the hollow of the socket, blending it out to the outer corner of the eye and blurring the edges for a soft, smoldering effect. Build up color gradually to the desired intensity.
- Use a small blending brush to sweep highlighter over the arch of the brow bone.
- Using a small pointed brush, define the upper lash line with the darker shadow, working the color between the roots of the lashes. (You can achieve a similar effect using an eyeliner pencil and softly blurring the line with a smudge.)
- Define the upper and lower lashes with mascara.