Tips & Tricks

How To: Apply Eyeshadow

November 20, 2009

In relation to the Q&A on the different ways to apply eyeshadow, here are some more of my favorites.

#1 Light color on the inner half of the eyelid + dark color on the outer half
A popular way to open up the eyes, this is also the most beneficial for those with close-set eyes, especially when the darkest color is applied at the very outer corner.

Start by applying a light color on the inner half of the eyelid and a darker color on the outer half. Using a fluffy brush like MAC #217, blend where the two colors meet until there is a gradation. Remember to blend in one direction to avoid a muddy look. I always blend the lighter color onto the darker one so in this case, you will be blending outwards. Finish with liner and mascara.

#2 Dark color on the inner half of the eyelid + light color on the outer half
This is the exact opposite of the above. It will draw the eyes closer together so if your eyes are relatively wide apart, this is the best method for you.

Start by applying a dark color on the inner half of the eyelid and a light color on the outer half. Using a fluffy brush like M·A·C 217 Blending Brush, blend where the two colors meet in an inward motion until there is a gradation. Finish with liner and mascara.

A couple more questions:

Question: Do I always have to do half and half?
Of course not! Depending on your eye shape and the look you are going for, you can put the lighter color only in the inner corner with the darker color all the way to the outer corner, vice versa. Just make sure the colors are well blended so there is a gradation.

Question: Can I use more than 2 colors?
Sure! It may take a bit of practice to blend everything together but feel free to use as many colors as you want! Below is a look I did with 3 colors:

Stay tuned for more!

* Please note that these are just some of the MANY ways you can apply eyeshadows. As I always say, there are no set rules when it comes to makeup. Just experiment with different methods, colors and textures to find out what works best for you.

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  • Reply Sharyn November 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Hey Phyllis, what eyeshadows are you using in that second picture? I love that dark purple.

  • Reply Lola November 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    it would be helpful if you added step by step pics so we know if we’re doing it right. thanks!

  • Reply AtelierGal November 21, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to the Outer-V tutorial 🙂

  • Reply Flininia November 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    The purple looks Amazing! ♥
    could you do a tutorial on contouring please?

  • Reply amy November 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    i have a habit of using lighter colours in the inner corners and gradually going darker in the outer corners, but one of these days I will try out a dark to light look.

  • Reply Phyllis November 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm


    Here’s a breakdown of the second look:

  • Reply Golden November 22, 2009 at 12:57 am

    This post (and your previous post regarding eyeshadow application) is so helpful. Thanks! I’m still struggling with my eyeshadow application. I can’t seem to get it right.

  • Reply Layla November 22, 2009 at 7:23 am

    i was going to ask u which color the 2nd pic used =) it looks great~ thanks i’ll want to buy that deep purple

  • Reply Jess November 22, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Cool Post. Thanks Phyllis!

  • Reply sunmom November 22, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    oooooooooh i love this post! i actually tried to follow some of your eotd’s but i always end up making a mess on my eyes!

  • Reply Phyllis November 23, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Yay I’m glad you guys find this useful 🙂 A 3rd post regarding this topic is on its way so stay tuned!

  • Reply Pauline March 8, 2010 at 12:16 am

    hello! i was just wondering what contacts your using in the first picture?

  • Reply Phyllis March 8, 2010 at 12:31 am


    That’s Freshlook Colorblends in Green =)

  • Reply Sarah January 2, 2011 at 4:26 am

    I just wanted to say that the way you apply your makeup is so gorgeous and helpful. I live in Lebanon, and the makeup here is too drastic for my taste. Could you post step by step pics on how you do the makeup?

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