When it comes to how to put on eyeshadow, 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 eyeshadow when you're working with multiple shades. Okay, time to upgrade your eye shadow game in 3, 2, 1…
THE BEST 3-COLOR EYE SHADOW LOOKS
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.
HOW TO APPLY EYE SHADOW USING THREE DIFFERENT SHADES
Ready to get to work with your three eye shadow colors? Learn how to put on multiple eyeshadow shades for a gorgeous look, below.
STEP 1: PRIME YOUR LIDS
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 an eye primer on hand, pat on a tiny bit of foundation or concealer.
STEP 2: PICK AN EYE SHADOW PALETTE
An easy way to find 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 eyeshadow palette. Depending on your color preferences, try one of the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow, each of which comes with four hues (you’ll use the top three) in a variety of colorways.
STEP 3: PAINT YOUR ENTIRE LID WITH THE LIGHTEST COLOR
Use the top left shadow 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.
STEP 4: APPLY THE MEDIUM SHADE
Next, use the palette’s top right shade or bottom left shade (these will be your medium shades), applying it over your lid. Build color until you achieve your desired intensity.
STEP 5: USE THE DARKEST SHADE IN YOUR CREASE
Finally, put the bottom right shadow in your palette (this will be the darkest shade) in your crease.
STEP 6: ADD EYELINER
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.
STEP 7: COAT YOUR LASHES WITH MASCARA
No eye makeup look would be complete without a touch of mascara. Use the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume, which volumizes and curls lash by lash for an instant eye-opening effect.
STEP 8: FINISH THE REST OF YOUR MAKEUP
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.
Step 1. Start with your base. 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.
Step 2. Amp up the glow. Add a touch of a highlighter, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shimmerista Highlighting Powder, to the high points of your face for an added glow.
Step 3. Color your pout. Finish your makeup look with a hue from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Shine Lipstick collection. That’s all there is to it!
3 OTHER WAYS TO PUT ON YOUR THREE SHADES OF EYE SHADOW
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.
TECHNIQUE #1: CHOOSE YOUR COLORS INDIVIDUALLY
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 Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup comes in 12 different hues, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR 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!
TECHNIQUE #2: APPLY YOUR COLORS VERTICALLY
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.
TECHNIQUE #3: STACK YOUR SHADES HORIZONTALLY
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.