Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.
Q: Can you tell me step-by-step how to apply eyeshadow?
A: With so many colors to choose from, and so many different philosophies about makeup these days, there really aren't any hard and fast rules for how your eye shadow should look. It is handy to have some pointers, though, so here are a few looks to try. Remember, above all, makeup should be fun!
For what I would consider a "traditional" eye makeup look, you would apply a base shadow like a light beige, pale yellow, or light tan color to the eye lid all the way up to the browbone. Apply a medium shade, like a light plum, gray, taupe or brown to the crease, extending slightly to the outside corner of the eye like a "V". Use either a dark neutral shadow, like gray or brown, or an eye liner pencil in a neutral shade to line your eyes. Apply a coat or two of mascara and you are done.
Now, there are quite a few variations on this look, like:
Choose colors from the same family, just in different hues, like light plum all-over shadow, darker plum in the crease, and a brown-plum liner for a wash of one similar color.
Sweep your light beige base color all over the eye area and then the darker shade on the lid rather than just in the crease. This works well if you have large eyes because the dark shadow on the lid makes the eye appear smaller. If you have small eyes, you'd want to stick with pale colors on the lid to attract light and make your eyes stand out more. Follow with liner if you want more definition.
If you prefer using fewer colors, you can always use one color on the lid alone, with or without liner. I like this approach for pastels or cream shadows that stand up well on their own. I like to smudge the shadow lightly up into the crease a bit, just to eliminate any obvious lines. This technique is great with the new sheer eye colors and "greases" from lines like Calvin Klein or Club Monaco.
Last but not least, one of my favorite very simple eye looks is eye liner in chocolate brown, deep plum, or, for very fair skin, brownish taupe, applied to the upper lid only. Add a coat of mascara and that's it! This minimalist look works if you like more dramatic lips, or if you want some definition to your eyes but don't have time for shadow.
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