Eye shadow is a type of cosmetic product that is applied to the eyelids and the area underneath the eyebrows. Its purpose is to brighten the eyes, and make them more prominent and feminine in appearance, as well as to add color and interest to the face. Eye shadow comes in thousands of colors to suit every appearance, skin tone, and eye color, and is typically inexpensive compared to other cosmetics.
Eye shadow is sold in a number of different forms, including powder, cream, pencil, and even liquid. Some of the most common types of eye shadows are those sold in powder form, in small compact-type cases. Many of these come with an included applicator brush; however, eye shadow may also be applied with the fingers, a cotton swab, or a small makeup sponge. Those with a warm skin tone should choose eye shadows with a yellow or pinkish undertone, while those with a cool skin tone should choose eye shadows with a bluish undertone.
Some eye shadows are sold singly, with one color per compact, or it may be sold in a compact with two, three, or more complementary colors included. These colors will be designed to work together on the eyes, and take the guesswork out of purchasing a number of different colors, hoping they will look nice together. The colors in a compact such as this will often range from light to dark, and are meant to be applied to different areas of the eyes.
Though everyone may apply eye shadow differently, one common method of application is to apply the lightest color to the brow bone and to the inner corner of the eye, as a highlight. The middle color is swept over most of the eyelid, and the darkest color is applied to the crease and outer corner of the eye. These last two colors may then be blended slightly to create a more uniform appearance. Some eye shadows are matte in appearance, while others have more shine. In addition, some eye shadows contain ingredients meant to sparkle in the light; these may be pretty for fancy occasions, but should generally be avoided during the day to avoid looking too youthful.
Some people choose to apply an eye shadow primer before applying the actual shadow. This primer acts as a base, and is a neutral, skin-matching tone applied over the eyelid to smooth the appearance of the shadow, and to prevent it from smudging later in the day. Eye shadow is also commonly used in conjunction with other cosmetic products such as eyeliner and mascara. At the end of the day, all eye makeup should be removed with eye makeup remover.