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Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Your eyes are the most mysterious part of your face as they are often referred to as the windows of the soul. Eye makeup can enhance your eyes and eye color. But, with so many color choices, brands, and eye makeup application styles,-where does one start?

Why does makeup seem so complicated? It doesn't have to if you take it one step at a time. Read on to learn more, with tips and tricks throughout the post.

A close up of a gorgeous green eye with gold flecks. Super clean and simple makeup with top lashes.
Green-Eyed Beauty

Eyeshadow Woes

Learning how to do a basic makeup application step by step will help you from getting overwhelmed. One of the first steps is finding an eyeshadow or a palette of colors that compliment your skin tone and enhance your eye color.

Selecting eyeshadow is like going through a colorful maze with endless choices made in countless shades and various pigments. Imagine a color wheel with all the standard "starter" colors. Makeup takes that to the next level by offering a wide range of shades in any given color, like green. If you lined up all the beauty brands around the world you would see thousands of shades of green. Plus, brands alter their shades every season. An eyeshadows pigment is what gives the product the color’s intensity. The higher the pigment the more saturated the color will appear on the skin. In addition, it can be more confusing to make a choice since there are different eyeshadow finishes with a range of mattes, shimmer, and glitter products. Eyeshadow come in formulas like creams, sticks, and loose or pressed powders. Also, there are endless stream of brands to choose from; celebrity startups to cosmetic brands that have stood the test of time. You may be asking yourself, is it better to go for an expensive top-of-line or drugstore brand? How do I budget for and enhance my makeup kit?

Here are a few easy to use single eyeshadow products to get you started. For your convenience, you can click on the photo and the link will take you to Macy's online shopping.

This extremely versatile cream eyeshadow stick, by Laura Mercier, delivers effortless application, intense, buildable color and up to 12-hour wear. Pigment-rich shades in creamy shimmer and matte finishes glide seamlessly onto the lids, staying crease and transfer-resistant. The luxe formulation gives you plenty of time to smudge, blend, line, fill or define, so you can effortlessly create any look. Don't be afraid to be playful! Caviar Stick Eye color layers easily over or under other eyeshadows, including powder." #BeautyMakeup #Makeup #MoreWaystoShop

Clinique's easily blendable eyeshadow that comes in various subtle shades. This is great as a stand alone color or combined with eyeliner and darker shadows for an evening look. For your convenience, you can click on the photo and the link with take you to shopping online at Macy's. #BeautyMakeup #Blendable #MoreWaystoShop

NARS collection of single eyeshadows in a new formula that deliver high-impact color in a single stroke. A range of eyeshadows to express yourself and your artistry without limits. From buttery mattes and lustrous satins, to electric pops of color and glittering metallics-each finish stays soft with a vibrant effect. Pure pigments suspended in an innovative liquid binding system create rich, high-impact color in just one stroke. #StandOut #BoldExpressiveColor

Your head may be spinning trying to learn how to apply the latest eyeshadow trend. But, focus on the basics first. Once you get that down, you can confidently move on to more intricate next steps.

So, where do you start?

You don't need to tackle the skills all at once. A simple approach is the best place to start. It is okay to start small and build your skillset one step at a time.

Makeup Budget

Depending on your makeup budget, you can start with one quality eyeshadow. Or, take a look at eyeshadow duo's, quads, or full palette that are beautiful colors and compliment your skin tone and eye color. Tip: Think seasonally by adding to your makeup kit as new colors come to the market. If you take care of your makeup products by keeping them clean and stored in a cool, dry place, they will last longer. Check out this short YouTube video I did on how to clean your eyeshadow to maintain its quality and longevity.

Here are a few of my favorite eyeshadow palettes this season. Click on the photo link to shop online at Macy's.

Lune & Aster Weekday Chic Eyeshadow Palette features four go-to neutral shades that simplify and polish your weekday look with one low shimmer and three matte finishes for a gorgeous gaze. This quad can easily go from summer into fall. You can use one or two colors during the day and add one of the darker shades on the lower lid of the eye for a soft smokey look.

Budget friendly eyeshadow by Pur On Point. These are great colors to use as stand alone or add a second or third color for more dimension. For you convenience you can click on the photo and the link will take you to online shopping with Macy's.

This is an definite must have for Wedding Season. Naked 2 Urban Decay Basics gives you six matte colors that create a natural finish to enhance your wedding day beauty. The eyeshadow shades gradually get darker until you get to black. The light pinkish tones, the various shades of blue-grey and light grey tones would compliment any dress color or style.

Lancome's Hypnose 5-Color Eyeshadow Palettes are expertly put together to offer makeup lovers a complete day-to-night eye color wardrobe. Each palette features 5 shades that range from matte to metallic, all intensely pigmented and longwear, to create both classic and playful eyeshadow looks that are easy to apply on the go.

Many high-end beauty brands periodically offer “gift with purchase,” including deluxe sample size skincare options, mascara, sometimes a lipstick, and an eyeshadow set. You can usually choose either warm or cool colors. You can check the brand or retail websites to see when those offers come up or get to know your local counter beauty advisor and ask to be included on their call list for a heads up on what gift with purchase is coming next. A gift with purchase does require you to spend a set dollar about, usually around $40. Still, it is a great way to buy a product you need, like a cleanser or moisturizer and receive a gift where you can try other skincare products and get some new eyeshadow colors before you buy a larger version. Gifts with purchase are a brand’s way to customer loyalty, which benefits you too.

First Things First

Before applying makeup, you want to cleanse and moisturize your face. Avoid putting makeup on unwashed skin. You risk contaminating your makeup products and developing or worsening skin issues. Your makeup application will also be smoother when you work on well-prepped skin. Plus, always have clean hands when using your makeup products and cosmetic tools. Keeping your products and tools fresh and clean will minimize skin problems caused by germs/bacteria.

This is a young model cleansing her face.
Clean Skin, Clean Hands, Smoother Makeup Finish

Since there are many versions of all eyeshadow colors, a good rule of thumb for picking out an eyeshadow that accentuates your eye color is to hold the eyeshadow up to your eye as you look in the mirror. Natural or ambient light is always the best light source when accurately reading any makeup color. The eyeshadow color that makes the whites of your eyes look whiter is the one you should choose.

Start at the Beginning

First, when applying any makeup products to your eyelids, you want to create the smoothest surface possible, which will help you create a refined finish. Lift your eyebrows upward just enough to spread the eyelid skin, this will allow you to brush the eyeshadow across the skin’s surface with limited movement of the skin. If lifting your eyebrows is limited by Botox injections, use your finger to raise the eyebrow. Always gently use your makeup brushes or finger to avoid stretching the skin. Think of your makeup brush like a feather-duster; let the soft bristles of the brush float over the skin as it releases the powdered eyeshadow in a thin layer. Getting the right amount of product on the brush is also essential. Remove excess powder, gently tap the brush, or run the brush over the top of your hand once before applying the eyeshadow to the eye. This technique will keep you from having eyeshadow fallout, which is the excess product that drops from the brush and lands underneath your eye. Also, avoid blowing on your makeup brushes, because it is not sanitary.

Start by using one matte eyeshadow color. Matte eyeshadow makes a great base. On more mature skin, a matte eyeshadow is preferable to any eyeshadows with shimmer or glitter, which tends to make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. You can also keep your makeup look simple during the summer months by using a single eyeshadow color.

The lighter and softer shades of eyeshadow color, the easier it is to use and forgiving if not perfectly applied.

This is a photo of a large eyeshadow palette with multiple shades of color.
Large Eyeshadow Palette

When to Use Undereye Concealer

For a more attractive and longer-lasting eye makeup result, use a makeup brush or ring finger, gently swipe or pat on a thin layer of undereye concealer on your top lid and under your eye. You can add additional layers of concealer to cover darker circles or use a color corrector before you apply the undereye concealer. If your eyeshadow tends to crease, you can set your undereye concealer with a bit of translucent powder or use an eyeshadow primer.

You want to use an undereye concealer one to two shades lighter than your skin color. Using an undereye concealer hides dark circles and gives a lifting effect. It also bounces light bringing more attention and focus to the center of your eye.

Suggested products- click on the image to shop at Macy'

This waterproof undereye concealer has an easy-to-blend consistency with excellent coverage. It has great staying power and wears throughout the day. It may pull in the creases a little if you don’t set it with translucent powder. To remedy this, gently pat the area with your clean ring finer or use a sponge to blend. Blending with a moist sponge or finger for more mature skin will also smooth out the product. When setting the undereye concealer with translucent powder, use a light layer and the moist sponge trick again to soften.

This product is a stick foundation but works well as an undereye concealer, especially on more mature skin. The lightweight formula provides a smooth finish and is easy to apply under and on top of the eyes. I recommend using your ring finger instead of a sponge or brush. The warmth of your finger warms up the product and allows for a more refined finish. Feel free to test using a sponge, a brush, and a ring finger to see what works best for you. Again, use a shade or two lighter than your skin color for best results. The end applicator brushes’ on this product is intended for applying as a foundation.

Base Color Choices

An ivory, light pink, peach, taupe, light shade of grey, or light brown are all excellent choices to get you started. If you are short on time, you can even do a quick swipe over your eyelids with your blush brush using your matte blush or bronzer color instead of eyeshadow.

For darker skin, you can use shadows with more depth of color for a base eyeshadow; darker ivory or taupe, a more pigmented pink or peach, a medium grey, brown, or mauve.

You can apply your base eyeshadow color using your ring finger or an eyeshadow brush. The brush should be small and slightly fluffy for the most natural application. You can add one or two layers depending on how pronounced you would like the color to look.

Suppose you have an eyeshadow product with multiple shades; you want to start with the lightest one. Gently apply all over the eyelid and blend outward toward the brow bone. You want to fade it out as you get to the brow bone, so your whole lid and brow bone are not the same intensity unless you are specifically going for that look.

The lighter and softer shades of eyeshadow color, the easier it is to use and forgiving if not perfectly applied.

The great thing about makeup is you can keep it as simple as you choose. Makeup should be enjoyable and bring out your best feature. Sometimes less is more. It is all about your comfort level and building your makeup skills one step at a time.

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I offer on-line consultations if you need personalized guidance with your makeup and skincare.


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