Makeup Tutorials Tips & Tricks

Makeup Tutorial: How To Foil Eyeshadow

April 21, 2013

Looking for a way to REALLY make your eye makeup pop and last? Try foiling, a popular technique that involves applying eyeshadow wet to create a shiny, foil-like effect.

How To Foil Eyeshadow makeup tutorial

Foiled eyeshadow look

Applying Pigment Wet

Applying pigments dry vs wet with mixing medium

Foiling How To

Before you foil, check to see if your eyeshadow can be used wet. Foiling a shadow that cannot be used wet will ruin its texture and leave behind a hard spot. All pigments and loose eyeshadows can be used wet.

Step 1. Add a drop or two of mixing medium to your brush. I am a huge fan of MAC Water-based Mixing Medium but water, saline eye drops or even a makeup setting spray will work just as great. Make sure your brush is damp – not soaking wet.

Step 2. Dip the brush directly into the eyeshadow. If you are using a pigment or loose eyeshadow, pick up product that is stuck onto the inside of the lid to avoid getting too much product.

Step 3. Tap off excess and apply directly onto the eyes in a patting motion. Repeat this step until you have achieved the intensity you want.

Step 4. Once the color has dried off completely, blend off the edges. Feel free to add in other colors as desired.

Extra Tips On Foiling

• Don’t own any pigments or shadows that can be used wet? Just wet the brush after you have dipped it into the shadow.

• Foiling works under and over dry shadows. In the look above, I applied MAC Blonde’s Gold Pigment wet on the lid then blended MAC Sweet Sienna Pigment dry on the outer corner and up the crease before using MAC Deep Blue Green Pigment wet as a liner.

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  • Reply Kristen @ April 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    This looks amazing…absolutely stunning! How long is the wear typically?

    • Reply Phyllis Li April 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks Kristen =) I get at least a good 8 to 10 hours of wear whenever I foil. You can also use a primer underneath to help the colors last even longer (I love NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base)

  • Reply Jeannie April 22, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Wow that is gorgeous! Is the Deep Blue Green Pigment layered over a black liner?

    • Reply Phyllis Li April 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks Jeannie! I didn’t layer the pigment over anything but I did apply black liner in the inner rim of the eyes.

  • Reply Sammy Handley April 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I love this eye shadow on you Phyllis! How long did it take you to do?

    • Reply Phyllis Li April 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks! It didn’t take long at all. Maybe 5-10 minutes max?

  • Reply Katie R April 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I love the look of this!

  • Reply Peggy M. Navarro April 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Great tutorial! thanks for this!

  • Reply Michelle April 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips on foiling. I always wondered how you could get that great look! I like the color you used. Thanks for the tips and the great post.

  • Reply Suzanne Minskey April 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Have you tried the Graftobian mixing medium? It’s really fantastic and super inexpensive.

    • Reply Phyllis Li April 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks so much for the recommendation! I haven’t tried the Graftobian mixing medium but LOVE their HD creme foundations. Will definitely pick one up at The Makeup Show =)

  • Reply Carrie N May 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Love this look! Dramatic but not over the top!

    • Reply Phyllis Li June 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Carrie 🙂

  • Reply Janice July 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    This is amazing!! What eyeshadow do you recommend for foiling? Mainly MAC pigments?

    • Reply Phyllis Li July 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Janice, you can foil with both loose and pressed eyeshadows. Just make sure your shadows can be used wet or you risk damaging the texture.

  • Reply Zulekha May 20, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    This is great!!!! Can you use your fingers with eyedrops? If so how?

    • Reply Phyllis May 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      You would apply it the same way – dampen the finger then pat directly onto skin.

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