How To Foil Eyeshadow Makeup Tutorial

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

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.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is the beauty editor for Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

15 COMMENTS

    • 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)

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

  1. 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.

    • 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 =)

    • 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.

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