How to Apply Eyeshadow: The Ultimate Guide

How to Apply Eyeshadow: The Ultimate Guide

Eye makeup is a valuable source of creativity + artistry without rules. You have the freedom to switch up your look on a daily basis, from subtle to bold and back again. Whether you’ve just begun to play around with makeup, or you’re the in-house MUA for all of your friends, HAUS LABS will let you in on application basics, look-saving tips, and even a few lesser-known tricks. Let’s get into it.

What You’ll Learn:

Beginner Eye Makeup Tips + Tricks

Before you do anything, prep your skin. Wash your face, use a good toner for your skin, moisturize and prime. While you skin soaks up all the pre-glam goodness, prime your eyelids with your favorite eyeshadow primer. This will keep your look smooth, pigmented, and creaseless.

Make sure you have the essential eye makeup brushes. This should include a small, flat brush that will be used for application, a small blending brush, and a small, dense smudging brush. Your collection will grow with time, but these three are a great starting point.

To up your pigment game, dip the tip of your brush in water to dampen, then glide it on your eyeshadow. This technique will give you a more pigmented payoff, and is especially great for the inner corners of your eye and to mimic eyeliner along your lash line.

If you’re looking for an extensive list that goes far beyond the basics, here are 101 more eye makeup hacks.

How to Apply Eyeshadow

If you're a beginner, start with 4 basic shades to pull off an everyday natural look. HAUS LABS FOUR-WAY SHADOW PALETTE in 4 EVERYDAY is a great first palette, because it has a shimmery highlighter, a matte mid-tone shade, a contour shade, and a beautiful matte dark brown. Having four pigments that work well together allows you to play around with blending and shading without much risk.

Glide your flat brush on the eyeshadow of your choice, tap your brush to remove excess product, and apply on the inner corner of the eyes, blending outwards. Play around with the area you’re applying pigment to, and how it works with or alters your eye shape. Once you’re comfortable, introduce a liquid eyeliner to practice your signature wing, a graphic look, or simply to add definition along your lash line.

The Age-Old Debate: Do You Apply Eye Makeup Before or After Foundation?

There are arguments for both, but if you're looking to avoid eyeshadow fallout (dusting and smudging on your cheeks from pigment falling off your brush or eyelid during application), it is recommended to wait until you've glammed-up your eyes before applying foundation and concealer. Additionally, your skin has more time to soak in its nourishing prep routine while you work on your eyes.

How to Apply Eyeshadow Using Different Shades

There are many techniques you can use when applying different shades of eyeshadow. You can blend colors together for a gradient effect, whether creating a rainbow look or keeping it low key with a classic smokey eye. You can also use strong contrasting colors next to each other for fearless pops of color. Try mixing a dramatic smokey eye with a bright, colorful pigment on the lid, or washes of color that go beyond the constraints of your eyelids. The possibilities are as endless as your own imagination.

A Smokey Eyeshadow Tutorial

GLAM ROOM PALETTE NO. 1: FAME—10 universal shades of matte, metallic, shimmer, and sparkle eyeshadow made to perform on every skin tone.

Apply a mid-tone shade (like Contort) along your crease, blending it out in circular motions. Use a deeper shade on your lid (like Slipper Room), starting on the outside, blending in towards your nose to smoke it out. Blend that same deeper shade along your lower lash line. Select your darkest shade (such as Top Hat) and apply it to the outer corner of your eye, blending it into your upper and lower lash lines.

Layer a light shimmer (like Applause) over the top of your smokey eye for a more dynamic finish. As a general rule, the gradient from inner corner to outer corner should go light to dark (but do know that with makeup, rules are begging to be broken, and you should do it however you want).

For extra intensity, try using HAUS LABS’ EYE-DENTIFY GEL KOHL EYELINER—apply along the lash line with creamy control, and use your smudging brush to blend it up and out before it sets.

How to Choose Shades that Complement Your Skin Tone

First, learn your undertones. If you don't know yours, read this. As far as skin color goes, metallics and bright teals, purples + midnight blues look incredible on dark skin with cool undertones, while coral and rose gold were made for dark warmth. People with olive skin should try cooler jewel tones, like teal. Gold and warm reds look gorgeous on medium skin with warm undertones, and dull warm metals (like bronze and copper) are foolproof on light skin with warm undertones. Play around with different shades to discover your favorites—this guide should in no way restrict your artistry.

Must-Have Eyeshadow Colors

Give yourself the endless freedom to create by keeping a few shades each of neutral, bright, and metallic pigments on hand. HAUS LABS has an extensive collection of shadows and liners that will let you play without constraint.