What this post is about: Eye shadow hacks to help you work those shadows the right way. Simple secrets that will help you attain better results no matter what look you wish to create.
Learning to define the shape of your eyes
The most basic principle behind the perfect eye shadow look is to define the natural shape of your eyes – finding your ‘crease’ – the hollow between your lid and your brow bone – and accentuating it or rather, making it seem like a ‘shadow’ – darker than the rest of the lid. This makes your eyes stand out, and adds dimension to your features. Defining the outer corners, shaping them and blending out the edges is all you need to figure out when it comes to gambling on the shadow table. And the hacks below will make things seem less intimidating!
Hand-held or table-top mirrors
One of the biggest secrets of getting eye shadow right, is being able to view your eye lids at the right angle – especially, if you are an eye shadow virgin. Wall-mounted mirrors will require that you move very close to them, so close that the end of your brush constantly nudges against the mirror. This can be really annoying. A good quality hand-held mirror or better still, a table-top mirror with a swivel functionality is your ideal eye shadow prop. Placing it at an angle below you gives you the perfect view to find your crease and stay within it.
This one from Amazon Basics does my job for me.
Priming lids before using eye shadow is the absolute simplest way to get shadows to perform better during application. Lid primers help shadows sit tight on your lids for longer, improve their colour pay-off and aid in even application by evening out your skin tone – overall, providing a smoother canvas for your work.
A good lid primer is the Milani Eye Shadow Primer.
Setting concealer or lid primer down
It’s perfectly okay to skip the lid primer and choose to use your everyday concealer as an eye primer. Either way, whatever base product goes on the lids first needs to be set down with a translucent powder or a matte eye shadow that closely matches your skin tone. This is step 2, and equally crucial to have even application of colours that go on top of the setting shadow. This will also ensure that your concealer does not crease, budge or sink into the fine lines around your eyes.
Precise crease brush
The big fluffy brush is your staple companion for any eye shadow look. I often use several (at least 2) of these when I create looks with multiple shades. However, for application of darker colours in the crease, there is nothing as priceless as a precise crease brush. This is still a fluffy brush, but smaller. Some even come tapered, but I prefer the fluffy type as it helps me keep at my windshield wiper motion with better control.
I do not own any luxury brushes – I find that Real Techniques or BH cosmetics brushes are absolutely smashing in quality. BH Cosmetics makes some of the best eye brushes in the drugstore world.
Using Post-it Index notes
Every eye shadow junkie knows this trick. Use sticky notes to ensure that you stay within the lines. The rule of thumb is that the sticky note goes from the outer corner of your eye, oblique, to the outer corner of your eye brow. This way, even if your brush occasionally goes rogue, your sticky note protects the edges of your look. That being said, you will have to blend out the edges, right at the end, with your overall lid shade before your look is complete – basically, to avoid harsh eye shadow lines.
See YouTuber Amelia Liana demonstrate this in all her makeup tutorials.
Using translucent powder to mark the edges
If you can’t be bothered to use sticky notes, use a heap load of translucent powder to draw a line from the outer corner of your eye, oblique, to the outer corner of your eye brow. Once your look is complete, just brush away the excess powder. The advantage with this method is that it helps brush away any fall-out from eye shadows (especially glitters), keeping your base makeup looking flawless. Although, for heavy eye shadow looks, I prefer doing my base makeup after my eye makeup – but, that’s totally up to you.
This also happens to be YouTuber Jaclyn Hill’s favourite eye shadow trick.
Getting the most out of shimmers/glitters
Shimmers, glitters and foils are not the easiest to play with, especially for the newbies. They are difficult to pick-up on brushes, difficult to apply evenly, do not blend as easily as the mattes, tend to have greater fall-out, and tend to be better applied wet – which takes some extra time and effort. But, shimmers make the world go round. So, here’s how it’s done.
Use a glitter primer
For intense glitters, it is wise to use a good glitter primer – especially for loose glitters/pigments. Glitter is often used to highlight the inner corners of the eye – for this, you could dot the glitter primer right on to the inner corner of your eye and pick up the glitter with a tiny pencil brush. Any fall-out may be brushed away with translucent powder.
The NYX Glitter Glue (currently out of stock on Nykaa) is the best amongst all the ones I have used so far.
Use MAC Fix Plus to wet your brush
This is the oldest trick in the book – and MAC Fix Plus is the only one that gets the job done right. Spray some on your shader brush (ideally, a dense one), and dip the wet brush in the shadow. Now, apply to your lids, and see magical beginnings.
Use a makeup wipe to moisten your finger
The only other way to apply shimmers is with your finger. You may do this dry or wet. I always prefer keeping a fresh makeup wipe next to me, rubbing my finger on it and then dipping my finger in the eye shadow to get that intense colour pay-off or foiled effect. This is way more economical than MAC Fix Plus. But, Fix Plus is such a great makeup primer, and you can always count on it for its well-deserved fame in the beauty kingdom.
Keeping a makeup bud handy to correct small mistakes
A makeup bud dipped in some micellar water is such a handy hack for when you go slightly off-the-mark on your eye liner, or go a little bit overboard trying to smoke out those outer corners. Just clean up with precision using the bud, use your concealer brush with what’s left on it to touch up, and dab on some powder. Voila!
A gazillion YT videos will teach you how to blend-blend-blend. But, the basic rule, no matter what look you create, is this – you will start with a base colour for your entire lid (and keep one brush exclusively for it), and for every colour you put on top of it, you will go back into this base colour and rework the edges out – blend away the harsh lines. You will do this every time you pick up another brush, with another colour for your crease/outer corners. This will ensure that you stay within the lines, and keep smoothening out the edges. This is the only secret to absolute flawlessness – hard work – as with everything else in life.
The Lower Lash Line Rule
Eye shadow is not just for the lids. No look is complete until you finish with the lower lash line. The general rule of thumb is this – every colour that you put on your lids will go on the lower lash line in the same order – one on top of the other. However, for colourful/tropical looks, you may have to decide how far you wish to go with this rule. But, for the most part, using the same colours as on the upper lid has a magical effect on the final look – a sort of pulled-together effect. This tip also enhances the shape of your eyes.
Now, you may come at me protesting — what ground can a humble taupe hold over a dark brown, especially when the taupe is under the dark brown? But ladies, what you see on top is always a reflection of what’s within.
Moreover, a taupe is a taupe is a taupe. And there’s nothing like a taupe.
I am certain that no men folk will be reading this post, but just incase – this may be the right time to quickly Google ‘Taupe’.
I said ‘I like being on Taupe‘
For clarity, I added ‘No, it’s neither a position, nor a drug.’
PS: Talk about blog titles being click baits. Got you.