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Have you ever removed and reapplied your eye shadow over and over again until you got it looking just right? Applying eye shadow is right up there with winged eyeliner as one of the most difficult makeup skills to master—and it’s the worst feeling when you can’t get your eye makeup to look how you want it to. Thankfully, we have a few ideas that could make things a little easier when you’re trying to master those easy eye makeup looks. Hack your way to beautiful eye makeup with the ten tips below.
If you want your eye shadow to stay in place, using a primer first is a good bet. Apply a thin (less is more) layer of eye shadow primer to your eyelids and the area underneath your brows. This can help prevent your shadow from smearing or smudging throughout the day.
No one is saying learning to apply eye shadow is easy, but it can be a lot easier if you pick the right product. The best basic for a beginner is a neutral eye shadow quad. Quads—aka palettes containing four different shades—are typically designed so that each shadow has a purpose, cutting down on the guesswork. There should be shades for your lid, crease, liner, and highlight. For a complete look, swipe the lid shade across your lids before using the lightest shade to highlight under your brows and around your tear ducts. Follow up by contouring with the crease color to create depth. Lastly, smudge the darkest shade along your lash line for definition. Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Quads, which are available in 20 obsession-worthy color families. Just peep the back of the palette to learn exactly where to place each shade.
You can wear cream and powder shadows on their own or try layering them one over the other. Start with a cream shadow, then add a powder in a coordinating color on top.
If your shadows need a little more oomph, all it takes to get them there is a white pencil eyeliner. Layering a color over a white base acts as an instant enhancer. Just color your lid in completely white and add a shadow on top. Then, bam—pumped up pigment.
It’s time for a dip in the water. No, not for you—for your eye shadow brushes! Get your brush damp before using it to pick up shadow. This can make your shadows appear more vivid. Attempt this technique with a metallic shadow for a fun foiled look.
A good rule of thumb for eye shadow is to blend…then blend some more. A little extra blending can hide all sorts of shadow goofs to create a seamless eye look. For colors that just won’t blend together, use this hue-centric hack. Work a clean blending brush into a matte brown shadow, being careful not to pick up too much product. With the brush, make windshield wiper motions where you want to blend. The bit of brown on your brush can help achieve a more gradual fade.
For looks that require harsh lines and crisp edges, tape is the only extra tool you need. Using clear tape, place a piece on the back of your hand to lessen how sticky it is. You want the tape to stick to your skin but not tug too much. Then, reposition the tape where you want to make your line. Try angling it from the outer corner of your eye to the end of your brow for a fun winged-out look. Just apply your shadow with the tape in place, then pull away to reveal your sharp shape.
Instead of relying on eye shadow alone to get the perfect smoky eye, use liner too. After applying shadow to your lid, grab a creamy liner in a dark shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black. Instead of struggling to create the perfect outer V-shape, use your liner to draw a simple hashtag. Blend out—using your finger will work—for instant smokiness.
While you can help limit fallout by tapping excess product off your brushes, sometimes that isn’t enough to save your poor under-eye area. When working with dark shades or other shadows particularly prone to fallout, place tissues under your eyes as a makeshift shield. You may look slightly silly, but your fresh concealer won’t be decimated by loose pigment.
After you’ve completed one of your favorite easy eye makeup looks, make sure you set your makeup using a setting spray. This eye shadow hack will help keep not only your eye shadow looking its best all day and night, but the rest of your makeup as well. Spritz the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray or the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Shake & Glow Dew Mist over your face for a lasting finish.
Need easy eye makeup looks to try so that you put your new skills to use? Here’s The Easy Eye Shadow Tutorial for Beginners.