Weekly Q&A: How To Apply Eyeshadow

November 16, 2009

The weekly Q&A section is finally back and this week!

Yael: “I want to try a different way of applying eyeshadows but have no idea how! I keep using a light color up to above the crease with something dark on the lid. Any suggestions?”

Of course there are many other ways to apply eyeshadows! The key is to experiment and find out what works for your eye shape. I will start a series of posts on this topic but first, let us look at three of the most common ways.

* A wash of color. This is definitely the fastest, easiest and most fool-proof way. It is perfect for beginners and teens and works best with light, shimmery colors.



Start by applying a sheer wash of eyeshadow from the lash line to the brow bone. Since you are using one color, don’t worry too much about blending. Finish with liner and extra coats of mascara.

* Light color on the eyelid + Dark color on the crease. By placing a darker color on the crease, you are creating the illusion of depth, which is what most of us are trying to achieve half of the time. This method works on anyone except those with extremely deep-set eyes (it can make your eyes look further sunken in).



To create this look, apply any color you like on the eyelid. Starting from the outer corner of the eye, blend a darker color onto your crease in a windshield motion . Place a highlighting color beneath the brow bone to give your eyes that extra pop. Finish with liner and mascara.

* Light color blended past the crease + Dark color on the eyelid. This is the method you mentioned. It is very common in Asia and works extremely well for those without a crease.



Start by applying a light color from the lash line all the way to the brow bone. Pat a darker color onto the eyelid, depositing more color on the area that is closest to the lash line. Using a fluffy brush like MAC #217, soften the edge between the two colors. Blend and blend some more until you see a gradation and no harsh line. Apply liner and mascara to finish the look.

Stay tuned for more ways you can use to apply eyeshadow!

Got a question? Leave a comment and I will get to it asap!

21 Comments

  • Reply Isabelle November 16, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Great tips! I was wondering if you could maybe diagram exactly where points of the eyes are (i.e, eyelid, crease, inner corner, outer v, etc) and how we could apply color there and what colors might work. Or maybe some eyebrow tips (how to pluck for perfect eyebrows (yours are SO nice, how to shade in eyebrows, what eyebrows work, etc) I hope I’m not asking for too much! thank you very much for these tips! Have a good day!

  • Reply AtelierGal November 16, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Phyllis, could you do a Outer-V tutorial? I can’t seem to get it right >.<

  • Reply yael November 16, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I was so anxious to hear back from you…and then i saw this! lol. Could you pls. tell me what colors/brands you used for the 3rd technique (the japanese smoky eye)

    off topic Q– i’m about to go crazy at yaby (hehe) and wanted to know how you compare it to coastal scents (the 88 palette)…let me know, i’m waiting your opinion before i click ‘Purchase’ 🙂

    ok…whenever u have the time i’m eagerly awaiting your other answers

  • Reply Jess November 16, 2009 at 6:41 am

    This is a great post! Can’t wait for the other posts on eyeshadow application!
    About the ‘wash of colour’ technique, you mentioned applying from the lash line to brow bone (top to bottom). How about sideways? Where to start and stop?
    Do you also pack on more colour on the lid and keep it washed out in other areas?
    Can it work with 2 or more colours too?
    Thanks Phyllis!

  • Reply Phyllis November 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Yael,

    For a breakdown of my Japanese-inspired smoky eye look, please refer to:

    http://makeupforlife.net/2009/11/fotd-japanese-inspired-smoky-eyes-and-nude-lips.html

    I’ve never tried the 88 palette but the Yaby eyeshadow are GREAT! You won’t regret buying them!

  • Reply Phyllis November 16, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks Isabelle! I don’t usually pluck my eyebrows. I just trim them with a pair of scissors or shave them with a razor. You can refer to the following entries for some eyebrow tips:

    http://makeupforlife.net/2006/03/eyebrows-101.html

    http://makeupforlife.net/2008/12/how-to-get-the-perfect-eyebrows-like-megan-fox.html

    http://makeupforlife.net/2006/03/eyebrow-product-reviews.html

  • Reply Phyllis November 16, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Sure AtelierGal! I will do a tutorial shortly.

  • Reply Samantha November 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Wow this is an amazing post! I can’t wait to see more waysss! I agree with the outer V lol.

  • Reply Phyllis November 17, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks Jess! For a wash of color, you can just apply on the entire upper lid area (inner corner to corner, lashline to brow bone).

    Normally, I would suggest that you do a sheer layer all over but if you want a bolder look, try patting the color on like I did in my Alexander McQueen FOTD (http://makeupforlife.net/wp-content/gallery/fotd/alexander-mcqueen-for-mac-inspired-turquoise-eye-makeup.jpg) or the look spotted at the Luella Spring 2010 show (http://makeupforlife.net/2009/09/runway-makeup-breakdown-luella-spring-2010-at-london-fashion-week.html).

  • Reply Bron November 27, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Hey

    these are awesome tips!

    I love the way the eyeliner has been applied in the pictures (thicker in the corners)

    I’ve become a pro at the smodgy black eyeliner but I always managed to mess up with brown. I’ve seen girls with almost a smokey brown eye but I always manage to make it look like my eyes are just dirty lol

    any tips?

  • Reply Jenny March 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Fantastic Tutorials!

    I always wondered how to put eyeshadow properly.

    But I was wondering where do you get your color contacts?
    Because the green ones that you are wearing look superbly natural!

    Thanks. 🙂

  • Reply Phyllis March 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Bron,

    The key is to pick the right brown. Cool-toned browns are fool-proof on all skintones.

  • Reply Phyllis March 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks Jenny! Those are Geo Tri-Color lenses.

  • Reply Aaria July 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Hmnm..nice..well my favourite out of these would be a wash of colours..and you are right..it’s good for teens.. [i am a teen myself] ..you know it looks really odd when teens over do their eye makeup..and wear it every single day…i am talking about the over done one.. :/ Well i don’t like over done eye makeup personally.. so thanks alot for sharing this.. 🙂

  • Reply kim September 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

    hi,

    these tutorials are very helpful.

    i also want to ask what if i have a wide space between my lid and brow bone? should there be a space without eyeshadow between the brow bone and crease? or do the colors have to meet?

    i also have hooded eyelids, what i do is to apply lid color all over the lid and a darker color for the contour / crease. upto where must i stop applying the lid color? is it upto where i feel my eye socket or just only upto the crease part(fold of my eye)? if this is the way to do it, it will only have a little color on the lid and a very wide space between the brow bone. is it okay to apply a bit higher upto the socket/bone and also apply the crease color in that area?

    hope this makes sense.

  • Reply Tura Satana October 10, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Great colors used! I’m curious about the exact eye shadow brands/colors used in the third pic…the black shadow with the multicolored glitter. Could you give us a run down? Thanks 🙂

  • Reply kim October 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    hi,

    these tutorials are very helpful.

    i also want to ask what if i have a wide space between my lid and brow bone? should there be a space without eyeshadow between the brow bone and crease? or do the colors have to meet?

    i also have hooded eyelids, what i do is to apply lid color all over the lid and a darker color for the contour / crease. upto where must i stop applying the lid color? is it upto where i feel my eye socket or just only upto the crease part(fold of my eye)? if this is the way to do it, it will only have a little color on the lid and a very wide space between the brow bone. is it okay to apply a bit higher upto the socket/bone and also apply the crease color in that area?

    hope this makes sense.

    • Reply Phyllis October 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Kim,

      Personally, I don’t think there are any “rules” when it comes to applying makeup. It all depends on what works for you and the look you are going after.

      Having said that, I don’t think you HAVE to make your brow bone color meet with your crease color at all. If you have a smaller eyelid area but want some color, I would apply the lid color past the crease but keep the darkest color (which is usually the crease color) closer to the lashline. If you apply your crease color way above your crease, it can look too dramatic (like you’re painting on a crease) and may make your eyes look puffy.

      Just look at the following pictures of Elva Xiao (prior to her eyelid surgery) and Barbie Xu. You will see that they both have a relatively wider gap between their crease and brow bone and tend to keep the darkest color closest to the lashline.

      http://makeupforlife.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/elva-barbie-xu-makeup.jpg
      http://makeupforlife.net/2007/01/how-to-apply-dark-eye-makeup-on-asians.html
      http://makeupforlife.net/2007/03/celebrity-makeup-breakdown-elva-xiao.html

      Hope this answers your question =)

  • Reply fariha May 6, 2012 at 5:08 am

    wow so pretty i just loved smokey makeup a lot
    thanks !!!!!:)

  • Reply grace June 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    what exact lashes are you wearing in the first smokey eye photo?

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