What is the Best Way to Apply Eyeshadow?

Kerrie Main

Eye makeup has been worn for centuries, with ancient Egyptians as some of the most famous users. Eyeshadow application trends change over time, and many colors and styles have been utilized. There always will be a popular fad to follow, but the best way to apply eyeshadow is by working with the individual’s eye color, shape and eye positions. There are different application techniques appropriate for daytime and evening occasions as well.

Grays are the best eyeshadow for blue eyes.
Grays are the best eyeshadow for blue eyes.

One of the first steps in eyeshadow application is choosing the right shades to go with the individual’s eye color. For example, women with blue eyes should apply eyeshadow that is gray, violet, purple or taupe. Women with green or hazel eyes should use shades of brown, purple, plum and green. Brown-eyed women should apply shades of copper, champagne and dark green. Light-colored eyeshadows, such as beige, go well with all eye colors.

After applying eyeshadow, mascara helps to set the look.
After applying eyeshadow, mascara helps to set the look.

The shape and position of the eyes will determine the best way to apply eyeshadow. Round eyes, oval eyes and almond-shaped eyes are the most common types of eye shapes. Round eyes often are large and open-looking, and many women use eyeshadow to elongate them. For these types of eyes, one should extend eyeliner slightly beyond the outer corners of the eyelid and apply eyeshadow from the eyelid to the crease.

Oval eyes typically use the same eyeshadow technique, but the eyeliner is applied in a thicker line toward the middle of the eye. Almond-shaped eyes are the most common eye shape and have upswept outer corners. To create more depth, many women apply darker eyeshadow from the inner eyelid to the middle portion and then use a lighter shade extending from the middle to the outer corner.

Wide-set eyes can be made to appear closer together by applying darker eyeshadow from the middle of the eye to the outer corner and by using lighter colors from the middle to the inner corner. Close-set eyes can appear farther apart by doing the opposite — applying darker shades from the middle to the outer corner and lighter shades from the inner corner to the middle.

When a woman wants to apply eyeshadow for a daytime look, she should use light, natural colors. The lightest color is applied over the entire eyelid, and a darker eyeshadow is applied to the eye crease. Both shades are then blended together. Eyeliner is applied only to the top eyelid. The look is completed with one or two coats of mascara.

Evening eyeshadow application is more dramatic and utilizes darker colors, such as metallics. The medium color is applied to the corner of the eyes and eye crease. The darkest color is applied to the eyelids. The look is completed with heavy eyeliner and mascara, and the eyeshadows are blended only slightly.

Hazel eyes can benefit from brown, plum, green and purple eyeshadow.
Hazel eyes can benefit from brown, plum, green and purple eyeshadow.

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