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When it comes to eye shadow, you don’t have to apply just one shade to your lids. You don’t even have to apply only two. Using not one, not two, but three shades of eye shadow is a great way to create a multidimensional eye makeup look. In fact, a beauty look featuring three shades of shadow as the star might be just what you’re looking for to turn heads. Below, we’re sharing which eye shadow shades go together best, plus offering eyeshadow tips on how to apply your three different shades to create a gorgeous makeup look. Okay, time to upgrade your eye shadow game in 3, 2, 1…
So, you want to wear three eye shadow colors together—but which shades should you choose? That can be a difficult question, but we have the answer. Look for shades that are in the same color family like lavender, violet, and plum or beige, soft brown, and deep brown. You also want to have a light, medium, and dark shade. These colors will complement each other while still offering enough variation for your eye makeup to really stand out. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, meaning that you can also pick colors that aren’t in the same family to create a bolder, brighter end result. Still not entirely sure how to choose your three shades? Here are some of our favorite three-color eye shadow looks.
For a romantic look…try a base shade that’s rose-colored, then layer on a light dusting of bronze shadow and accent with a bit of violet.
For a super on-trend look…try the gorgeous sunset eye, which involves layering shades of bright orange, yellow, and pink.
For a sleek look…try pairing dark and light shades of blue eye shadow with silver accents.
For an earthy look…try a base shade of neutral brown or mauve, then layer dark green accents onto your outer corners and a pop of light gold around your inner corners.
For a bold, statement look…try going all metallic! Swipe a rose gold shadow onto half of your lid and a dark gold one on the other half, then top things off with a metallic champagne shade.
Ready to get to work with your three eye shadow shades? Follow our eye makeup tutorial below.
Before reaching for your eye shadows, prep your lids for makeup application by dabbing an eye primer onto your lids. Eye primer will help ensure your eye shadow goes on smoothly and wears evenly. If you don’t have any eye primer on hand, pat on a tiny bit of foundation or concealer.
An easy way to use three eye shadows that look flattering when worn together, especially if it’s your first time rocking wearing three shadows together, is to grab an eye shadow palette. Depending on your color preferences, try one of the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Quads, which each come with four hues (you’ll use the top three) in a variety of colorways.
Use the second shade from the top in your palette (this will be the lightest shade), and brush it on over your entire lid, all the way up to your brow bone.
Next, use the palette’s top shade (this will be the medium shade), applying it over your lid. Build color until you achieve your desired intensity.
Finally, put the third shade from the top of your palette (this will be the second darkest shade) in your crease.
You could definitely stop here, but why not up the drama? Draw a thin line across your lids with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black, slightly flicking it out at the corners to create a small cat eye.
No eye makeup look would be complete without a touch of mascara. Use the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara, which has a black primer on one end a fiber mascara on the other. Prep your lashes with the primer, then glide on the mascara.
We suggest doing your eye makeup first—that way, if you have any eye shadow fallout, you can clean it up without having to redo your entire face. Once you’re done with your eye shadows, eyeliner, and mascara, apply your face makeup. Use a lightweight foundation, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight, then follow up with a concealer, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage, to hide imperfections such as dark circles and dark spots. Add a touch of a highlighter lotion, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer, to the high points of your face for an added glow. Finish your makeup look with a hue from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Shine Lipstick collection. That’s all there is to it!
In addition to the method explained above—starting with your lightest shade and then working up to the darkest—there are a few other ways you can apply multiple shades of eye shadow. The most important part here is to get creative and find what works for you! But if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some ideas.
If a palette feels limiting to you, pick your shades from single eye shadows instead. If you want to use colors that aren’t in the same color family, this is the best way to ensure you’re getting the shades you want. Best of all, single shadows come in a wide variety of hues, intensities, and finishes. The L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow is available in 21 different colors, and the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow comes in 20, so you have plenty of options!
The latest eye shadow trend involves applying three eye shadow shades vertically across your upper lid, like three different columns, for a super intense and colorful final look. You can wear your colors in whatever order you wish. Start by applying the first shade onto the inner corner of your upper eyelid, using a small eye shadow brush, then work your way out.
Alternatively, you can also stack your shades horizontally, one on top of the next. To do so, start with your darkest color as the base, applying it closest to your upper lash line. Then, simply work your way upward until you hit your brow bone.
Ready for another eye makeup tutorial? Upgrade your cat eye with a little help from our article, Anything But Ordinary: 7 Modern Takes on Winged Eyeliner.