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How Do I Choose the Best Eyeshadow Look?

T. Webster
T. Webster

Your best eyeshadow look depends on the occasion, what look you are trying to create and whether you are trying to cosmetically change the appearance of your eye shape. The color and type of eyeshadow is another important consideration. A quality eyeshadow that blends easily and lasts a long time is ideal.

An eyeshadow look is usually classified as natural, dramatic or smoky. Natural looks use neutral colors such as browns or grays and are applied lightly and evenly. A dramatic look might utilize a blending of bright colors. A smoky eyeshadow look utilizes dark colors can be applied lightly or heavily.

A woman with dramatic eyeshadow.
A woman with dramatic eyeshadow.

Natural looks are generally the right choice for on-the-job and everyday wear. A dramatic or smoky eyeshadow look will often draw attention to your makeup and is often reserved for dressy or special occasions. Heavily applied eyeshadow is popular for professional photography, because it helps keep the features in focus.

Three different colors within the same color family are often used to create basic eyeshadow looks. This involves the use of a light, medium and dark color. The light color goes at the brow bone, followed by a medium shade on the eyelid and a darker shade in the eyelid crease. The secret to achieving this look is to make sure all of the colors are evenly blended.

Eyeshadow is sometimes used to create the illusion of a larger eye. It also can be used to hide flaws. For example, you can make your eyes look bigger, farther apart or upturned.

If you want to make eyes look bigger, then try using lighter shades. These tend to open up the eye area. In contrast, darker shades can make your eyes look smaller.

Mascara complements the appearance of eyeshadow.
Mascara complements the appearance of eyeshadow.

Eyes that are too close together can be made to look farther apart with the proper application of eyeshadow. Try applying a very light shadow to the inner corner of the eyelid. Keep dark colors away from this area, because they will make eyes look even closer together.

Eyeshadow can make eyes look less down-turned at the edges. This is usually done by extending color at the outer corner of the lid up and out into a shape that looks like a cat's eye. A light highlight on the brow bone also can open the eye and keep the focus away from the drooping outer corners.

An eyeshadow look is often complemented by eyeliner or mascara. The kind of look you are seeking also will influence your choices here. Go easy on the eyeliner and mascara and choose brown colors for natural looks. For dramatic or smoky looks, try black eyeliner and lots of black mascara.

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    • A woman with dramatic eyeshadow.
      By: Viktor Pravdica
      A woman with dramatic eyeshadow.
    • Mascara complements the appearance of eyeshadow.
      By: Tomislav Forgo
      Mascara complements the appearance of eyeshadow.