How to Apply Eyeshadow PERFECTLY for Beginners

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to makeup or have been doing it for a long time. When it comes to applying eyeshadow, there is always room for improvement. And who knows what else?

This article may even change the way you apply eyeshadow for the rest of your life! It may sound exaggerated, but the average girl doesn’t really know all the tricks in the bag when it comes to makeup tricks, does she?

How to Apply Eyeshadow – The Basic Steps

1. A primer is required.

Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin, a primer not only ensures the longevity of your eye makeup, but it also smoothes out any creases or fine lines in your eyes, making application and blending of eyeshadows that much easier. You don’t need a “eye” primer; just use your regular primer. If you have oily skin, make sure to use a primer designed specifically for your skin type. Allow the primer to dry for about 2-3 minutes.

2. Make an eyeshadow base.

If you don’t have one, concealer or foundation will suffice. Allow it to dry for 2 minutes. Here’s a handy tip: If you want to make bright or pastel colors stand out, use a foundation or concealer that is at least 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone. All over your eyelid, apply a nude shade that is closest to your skin tone. This will make blending your eyeshadow shades much easier.

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3. Select your eyeshadow colors.

Collect all of the brushes you’ll need for your eye look. Select the three basic colors you want to work with from your quad or eyeshadow palette. Keep in mind that the colors must be dark, medium, and light from the same shade. Unless you’re going for a very dramatic look, which isn’t recommended if this is your first time.

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4. First, apply the light color.

When learning how to apply eyeshadow, always start with the lightest shade and tap your brush so that any excess eyeshadow falls off rather than under your eye. Apply this to the inner corner of your eyes and then to one-third of your eyelid. Don’t worry about making mistakes because the darker colors will cover them up.

If the shade is too light or too dry, simply dampen your brush with water and run it through the eyeshadow. Highlight the arch of your brows with the same color (or a highlighter, if you have one).

5. Put on the middle layer.

Choose a mid-tone color and place it in the center of your eyelid. One-third of the area on the outer corner side should be reserved for the darkest shade. Now, take a new blending brush and blend the dark and light shades together.

Make sure not to over-blend because this will result in a muddle of the light and mid-tone shades. Remember that we want them to stand out as distinct colors. The blending serves only to soften the contrast between the two tones.

6. Use a dark eyeshadow shade.

Apply the darkest tone to the outer corner of your eye. Go beyond the 1/3rd portion of the eyelid for a more dramatic look, and just a hint of the shade on the outer corners for a more daytime look. After that, blend, blend, blend!

7. Take care of the lower half of your eyes.

You can, of course, use pencils or liners. If you want to use eyeshadows, you can either use the darkest tone to line your eyes for a dramatic look or the mid-tone for a more casual look.

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8. Don’t dismiss the final touch.

Check that the lines of your dark-tone eyeshadow on your upper eyelids meet the lines of your eyeshadow on the bottom half of your eyes. The blending should be completely seamless. If you have a highlighter, use it to draw attention to the center of your light. If it’s light and/or sparkly enough, the lightest tone will work just as well.

Apply Eyeshadow to Your Lids and Eye Shape

Understand your eye shape.

Knowing your eye shape is critical when it comes to applying eyeshadow correctly. But first, do you even know what shape your eyes are? If not, take a look at this video:

Lids with hoods

In addition to highlighting your lids with the extra pop of highlighter mentioned above, you can apply the dark toned shade to your eyelid crease to give the appearance of a lid. This will add depth to your eyes. Smudge-prone cream and pencil liners should be avoided. Also, keep your eyeliner close to the lash line.


Smoky eyes are the best option for you because they add depth to your lids. Choose light browns for the day and deep browns, greys, and blacks for the night. Applying kohl or eyeliner to your waterline will make your eyes appear smaller. Use false lashes to make your eyes appear larger.

Eyes with a wide set

In your inner corners, avoid using light colors. Always choose darker colors. You can also extend the length of your brows from where they start. Both of these techniques will create the illusion of a shorter distance between your eyes.

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Close set eyes

Follow the instructions in Part 1 for how to apply eyeshadow for close set eyes. And always apply eyeliner to only two-thirds of your bottom eye – this will draw attention to your close-set eyes, making them appear wider. Line your lower waterlines with nude or peach liners. Deeply colored tightlining is also a no-no.

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A version of this article originally appeared on


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