How To Apply Eyeshadow Like A Pro: Tutorial With Pictures

Follow along as we take you through a masterclass to nail the perfect eyeshadow look.

Reviewed by Shelly Shimoni, Hair & Makeup Artist Shelly Shimoni Shelly ShimoniHair & Makeup Artist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Shalini Roy MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

Eyeshadows can be a game-changer when it comes to makeup. But you need to know how to apply it correctly to lift and define your eyes. You must trace the right shape, add crease color, highlight the inner eye corner, and blend it well. Check out the step-by-step illustrated tutorial in this article to amp up your eyeshadow game from novice to pro. Keep scrolling for the step-by-step eye makeup tutorial!

protip_icon Keep in Mind
  • Pick The Brushes: Pick The Brushes Besides the basic eyeshadow brush, consider adding an angled brush, a blending brush, and a crease brush to get the perfect eyeshadow application.
  • Pick The Colors: Pick The Brushes Whatever the look, make sure you pick up 3 colors– A mid-tone lighter shade, a darker color for contouring, and the color closest to your skin tone for highlighting.
  • Mirror Placement: Pick The Brushes Hold a pocket mirror below the chin level to be able to view the whole eyelid canvas while applying eye shadow. Look down at the mirror.
  • Holding The Brush: Pick The Brushes Use the brush with a soft hold and try holding it near the end of the brush or in the middle. Holding it close to the tip will create harsh pigmentation on the eyelid.

How To Apply Eyeshadow – Tutorial With Pictures

Eyeshadow can add a ton of depth and dimension to your eyes. The key to proper eyeshadow application lies in blending the colors well. Once you get the basics right, you can experiment with whatever look you fancy – be it smokey eye, cut crease, or glitter halo! Scroll below for a sharp eye makeup step-by-step tutorial.

What You Need
  • Eyeshadow primer
  • A nude eyeshadow
  • Medium brown eyeshadow
  • Burgundy eyeshadow
  • Fluffy blending eyeshadow brush
  • Brown kohl liner
  • False eyelashes
  • Mascara

Step 1: Apply Eyeshadow Primer

Apply Eyeshadow Primer

To start off with a fresh and clean base, the first thing you need to do is apply an eyeshadow primer to your lids. Prepping your lids is a must if you want your eye makeup to stay in place and last through the day.

Pro Tip: If you don’t own an eyeshadow primer, apply a concealer. Top that up with some translucent powder to create your own makeshift eye makeup primer.

Step 2: Apply A Nude Base

Apply A Nude Base
Using a fluffy blending eyeshadow brush, apply a nude shadow that complements your skin tone and blend it in thoroughly. Tap some of the excess product off before applying on the eye. This step helps maximize the longevity and intensity of the colors you use in just about any look.

Step 3: Enhance The Crease

Enhance The Crease
Apply a medium brown-toned eyeshadow to your crease using a fluffy blending brush. Add some color to your lower lash line and blend out the pigments well, especially towards the outer corners.

Pro Tip: To contour your eyes at the crease, always use a darker shade of eyeshadow.

Step 4: Add Some Color

Add Some Color

Apply a dark burgundy eyeshadow, focusing the color just on the outer corners. Gently extend it past your crease for a smokey effect. Use the same color on your lower lash line as well. A fluffy brush is your best bet to smoke out the color while blending the shadow beautifully.

Step 5: Create A Gradient

Create A Gradient

Apply the nude eyeshadow that you used in the second step to your lids. Also, use the nude shadow to blend out the edges of the burgundy eyeshadow for a softer effect.

Pro Tip: Using a nude shadow is the easiest way to make your eyeshadow look super blended and clean.

Step 6: Define Your Lower Lashline

Define Your Lower Lashline

Apply brown kohl to your waterline. Make sure to really smudge it in to achieve that gorgeous smokey effect.

Step 7: Amp Up Your Lashes

Amp Up Your Lashes

You can add a pair of falsies for a more glamorous effect. Apply a heavy coat of mascara on your lower lashes to balance the top and the bottom.

Now, bring out your other cosmetics to finish the rest of your makeup! Do your base, add some bronzer, highlighter, and nude lip color to complete the look.

The Final Look

Final look after applying eyeshadow
Image: YouTube @EmanMakeup

And that’s how to do eyeshadow on your own. Stunning, right? This simple eyeshadow application technique works for all kinds of looks – a fun and bold look, a party glitter eyeshadow look, or an everyday muted look. The only difference in the application of light and dark eyeshadows depends on your eye shape, crease, and whether you have low or high eyebrows. It also depends on your skin tone and the color of your eyes.

Molly Kauper, a blogger, shares her experience of the ideal way of applying eyeshadow as well as simple tricks she likes to follow on her personal blog. She has outlined the importance of a quality palette: “In general, I’d recommend going with a palette with like 10-20 shades, and something with a good range of lighter to darker shades.” She has also shared a tip about the base of the eyeshadow, saying, “You can start on a damp base if you want the shadows to really stick, or you can start on a dry base to allow the shadows to blend easier. I like starting on a more dry, powdery base, because the shadows will blend faster and drag less (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Consider utilizing light shades rather than dark ones if you have small eyes. Lighter colors will make the gap between the eyebrows and the eyelids appear bigger.

If you have hooded eyes (the eyelids get hidden when you open your eyes), you may need to create an illusion of a larger eyelid with a higher crease. Here’s a video on how to apply eyeshadow if you have hooded eyes. Take a look!

How To Apply Eyeshadow For Hooded Eyes (Video)

The best way to apply eyeshadow for hooded eyes is the famous “cut crease” technique. It helps create an illusion of a higher crease and a larger eyelid area. Check out this video to learn how to put on eyeshadow. It shows a fun glitter eyeshadow look with pro tips on creating a cut crease.

Since we are on it, we must look at one more thing – a halo eyeshadow look. Check it out below!

Halo Eyeshadow Looks

Creating a halo eyeshadow look involves the following steps.

  1. Use A Base Shadow: Apply a neutral shade across the eyelids as a base.
  2. Use A Transitional Shade: Use a mid-tone color in the crease to create depth.
  3. Darken The Outer And Inner Corners: Apply a darker shade to the outer and inner corners of the eyelids, leaving the center bare.
  4. Add Shimmer To The Center: Pat it onto the center of the lids to create a halo effect.
  5. Highlight: Apply a light shade to the brow bone for a brightening effect.
  6. Finish With Eyeliner And Mascara: Line the eyes and apply mascara to complete the look.

The right eyeshadow plays a significant role in achieving the look you desire. Scroll down to know how to choose the right eyeshadow.

How To Choose The Right Eyeshadow

Choosing the right eyeshadow can be confusing, especially when several textures and shades like powder, creme, liquid, putty, jelly, and pastel colors are available on the market. Before you buy any of these on a whim, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your eyelid oily? If yes, it is best to avoid cream and jelly eyeshadows.
  • Do you have sensitive skin around the eyes? If your eyes tend to itch, become red, or water quickly, do not apply chunky glitter and neon eyeshadows.
  • Do you have a few basic shades? It is a good idea to start with a few basic shades. Black, brown, burgundy, base shade (matte pink and yellow, camel-toned colors), and a highlighter color (gold, champagne, and pearl) can help achieve various looks like smokey eyes, cut crease, and party pop.
  • Do pastel shades look chalky? Like it or not, pastel shades do not look flattering on all skin tones. They can appear chalky, and the color may not be visible at all. The trick is going from mid-range to higher-end pastel eyeshadows. You consult a makeup advisor to find the pastel shades that best suit your skin tone.
  • Cool or warm tones – what looks better? What’s your undertone – cool, warm, or neutral? If you have a warm undertone, go for warm eyeshadows with yellow, orange, warm-toned pink, green, and brown hues. For a cool undertone, eyeshadows with blue undertones are ideal. Neutral undertone eyeshadows can be worn by everybody.
  • What’s the occasion? For parties, choose glitter, shimmer, or bold/neon colors. For work or school, pastels and muted neutral shades look better.

Quick Tips to Apply Eyeshadow Perfectly

  1. To define the crease area, use a pencil brush and blend it with a fluffy brush.
  2. You can use cream eyeshadows as a base for powder eyeshadows.
  3. Apply eyeliner to your eyelids to create a base for green, blue, and gold eyeshadows to pop more.
  4. Use a setting spray to wet your eyeshadow brush if you are working with metallic eyeshadows.
  5. Apply glitter eyeshadows with your fingers for a better payoff.
  6. If you have trouble drawing the ‘V’ on the outer corner of your eyes, draw a ‘#’ with an eye pencil instead and blend it immediately to avoid stark edges.
  7. To avoid eyeshadow fallout, powder the area under your eyes with a transparent or translucent powder before beginning the eye makeup. Once you are done, simply sweep off the powder.
  8. You can also conceal your under-eyes after doing your eye makeup.
  9. Use clean brushes to blend two colors for the best transition effect.
  10. It is always good to finish your eye makeup first and then move on to your base makeup. That way, if there is any eyeshadow fallout under or around your eyes, you can quickly clean it up without spoiling your base makeup.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Do not rub the eyeshadow with the brush as this may cause irritation and give an uneven finish. Instead, gently dab the brush onto the eyelids for a uniform application.

Infographic: 7-Step Tutorial To Apply Eyeshadow The Right Way

Learning how to apply eyeshadow the right way can define your eyes and elevate your look. It can add a lot of depth to your eyes, and the magic lies in getting the basics right. In the infographic below, we have listed down the steps to apply your eyeshadow like a professional. Take a look.

how to apply eyeshadow with a sponge (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Eyeshadows are an essential part of eye makeup. They tell a lot about your personality and moods. No matter the shape, size, and type of your lids, as you keep experimenting with the art of shading your lids, you will learn to recognize which techniques work best for your eyes. So, why delay any further? Go! Get yourself a palette, and some eyeshadow brushes, and get down to business with this simple eyeshadow tutorial. Flaunt your skills and stunning eyes the next time you and your friends meet up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to wear eyeshadow without eyeliner?

Yes, it is okay and even trendy these days to wear eyeshadow without eyeliner. However, eyeliners can help the eyes and the eye makeup pop better. Whether you choose to wear it or not may depend on the kind of look you want to achieve.

Can you use Vaseline as eyeshadow primer?

Yes, you can use Vaseline as an eyeshadow primer. It particularly works well with eyeshadow palettes which have low pigmentation.

Can I use red lipstick as eyeshadow?

Yes, red lipstick can be used as eyeshadow. It not only goes well with all skin types but can help you achieve a high-fashion and glamorous look if done well. You can dab lipstick on your finger and apply it on your eyelids in circular motions and blend it out well. However, it can transfer and smudge.

Is it weird to wear eyeshadow without mascara?

No, it is not weird to avoid mascara after wearing eyeshadow. However, putting on mascara at the end helps lift up the lashes and make them look prominent, giving a more defined look to your eye makeup. Otherwise, the eyelashes may look a little lifeless and dull.

Should you apply eyeshadow before foundation?

Yes, most makeup artists recommend completing eye makeup first and then moving on to foundation and lastly, the lips. However, do not forget to apply a primer on the eyelids before you start your eye makeup with eyeshadows.

Key Takeaways

  • An eyeshadow can turn up the heat in your makeup game.
  • To achieve the desired results, you will need some primer, different eyeshadow colors, a brush, a liner, false eyelashes, and mascara.
  • You can also learn to apply eyeshadow on hooded eyes using the cut crease technique.
  • You need to consider a few factors when choosing an eyeshadow, like your eyeshadow consistency, finish, colors, and skin tone and type.

Do you want to know, how to apply eyeshadow perfectly? Watch this video if you are a beginner to learn how to create beautiful eyeshadow looks easily.

Personal Experience: Source

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Shelly Shimoni

Shelly ShimoniHair & Makeup Artist

Shelly's journey within the makeup and beauty industry started at one of London's leading colleges, LCBT. She then furthered her training at LSMM, where she was trained by some of the leading names in the makeup industry. She has since gained 12 years of experience working within the media, fashion, and bridal sectors in the UK and abroad. Her full bio

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