How To Apply Eyeshadow: From Choosing The Right Formula To Where Exactly It Should Go

April 11, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Few cosmetics can define your eyes, bring life to your face, and transform your entire look more effectively than eyeshadow. From neutral beiges that create a polished appearance to the on-trend navy and electric-blue shadows used to achieve the perfect smokey eye, we love eyeshadow. But let’s be honest: are you just winging it when you’re applying it?

If you’re nodding in agreement, don’t be ashamed–you’re not alone. Luckily, we enlisted Arianne Plehandzic, bridal hair and makeup artist at and beauty blogger at to review a few eyeshadow basics from the tools you should use to the application methods that work best for each formula. Here we go!

The Tools

– A tiny eyeshadow brush that allows you to go right up to the eyelash line for fine precision work.

– A medium eye shadow brush that will pick up a lot of color and wash it over the lid in a couple of swipes.

– A big diffuser brush to use for blending and applying your base color.

– A smudging brush is optimal for creating the smokey eye look.

– A foundation brush/sponge that can help prime your eye and apply your highlighter.

The Technique

1. Prime your eyelid. Eyeshadow will last longer if it’s not applied directly onto bare skin. Sweep foundation or concealer over the top the entire eye area with a foundation sponge or foundation brush before applying eyeshadow.

2. Choose the right eyeshadow color. Try ivory, gray, and charcoal on cool skin tones. Taupe, beige, and chocolate brown work better on warm skin tones. Another tip? Stick with powder shadows, as cream shadows tend to leave creases.

3. Start with the lightest shade. Dust the lightest eyeshadow color you’re using across your whole eyelid and eye socket with your diffuser brush or large eyeshadow brush.

4. Move on to the medium shade. Apply this color to the eye socket and outer corner. Blend well with your blending brush.

5. Apply the darkest shade. With your tiny eyeshadow brush, apply the darkest shade to the lid and around the bottom close to the lashes.

6. Highlight. Using a foundation sponge or foundation brush, add a dot of highlighting cream and apply just above the crease in the eyelid and go right up to the brow bone for highlighting. Blend well.

7. Do the finishing touches. Finish up by defining the eyes with eyeliner, curling the lashes, applying mascara, and shaping your eyebrows. This is also the time to apply under-eye concealer so you can clean up the mess that fell under the eye.

One last expert trick? Concentrate light shimmering shades around the inner corners of the eye and darker shades on the outer corners to open up the eyes.

For more beauty tips, check out the one thing you should never do when applying eyeshadow and the 8 best drugstore eyeshadows with the highest customer ratings.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.

[Photo: Imaxtree]


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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