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Makeup palettes always seem like they offer so much bang for your buck—but how often do you actually use all of the colors included? If you find that you’re not sure how to use all the shades in your eye shadow, lipstick, or contour palettes, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we dive into every makeup palette type and explain exactly how to use each one.
The first step to knowing how to utilize your entire eye shadow palette or quad is to understand the diagram of your eye and your eye shape. From there you can layer accordingly to create the look you’re aiming for without fear of going too dark or potentially looking like a clown.
Here’s the breakdown from top to bottom, outer to inner: your eye consists of your browbone, above the crease, your outer crease, outer lid, middle lid, inner lid, lower waterline, outer lower lash line, and inner lower lash line. Sounds like a lot but take a look in the mirror and it will all make sense.
Now that you understand the different areas of your eye that are just waiting to be covered in pretty eye shadow, it’s time find your eye shape so that you can apply your eye makeup in a flattering way.
You have close set eyes if…your eyes are narrower that one eye width apart. To best complement this shape, use light colors on the inner corners of your eyes and extend dark colors along the outer corners. Finish off by lining the outer corners and using mascara on the outer corners to mimic the appearance of eyes that are farther apart.
You have almond eyes if…they’re perfectly proportioned. Lucky you—any shadowing technique will look gorgeous paired with your eye shape.
You have deep set eyes if…your eye appears sunken. Apply light colors on your entire lid, followed by a slightly deeper color in your crease. If you want to create extra depth, use an even darker color along the outer lid, just be sure to blend it all together.
You have down-turned eyes if…the outer corners of your eyes turn downwards. To create a more upturned look, blend shadow up and out, focusing color along the entire lid and the outer crease. Top it off with liner tightlined on the upper lid with a small upturned flick at the end for an eye-opening appeal.
You have hooded eyes if…a fold of skin hangs over your crease. The best way to complement this eye shape is to work with matte colors. Remember to keep it light along your lid and gradually darker along your crease.
You have protruding eyes if…they seem to bulge out a bit. This eye type looks best with darker matte colors because this can help give the appearance of more sunken in eyes.
Whichever eye type you have, you can work a full palette to your advantage. If you want to try a two-toned eye makeup look, apply a lighter color along your lid and darker color along your crease. If you want to create a smoky eye, use lighter colors along your lid followed by a medium color along your crease, a darker color in the outer crease, and a blending shadow lightly over top. You can follow it up with a medium or dark color buffed along your lower lash line and a touch of highlight along your brow bone with the lightest shade in your palette.
Product picks: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Nude Intense, or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow
Where using eye shadow palettes require quite a bit of knowledge about your specific facial features, contour palettes are much easier to figure out. These palettes typically come with a light, medium, and dark shade, though some come with two slightly varied shades of each. The trick to using all shades is to blend the darkest shades along the upper edge of your forehead, down the edges of the bridge of your nose, into the contour of your cheeks and along the bottom edge of your jawbone. This will help give the appearance of a sculpted bone structure. Top it off with the lighter colors in an upside-down triangle on your forehead extend down between your brows, down the center of your nose and along your cheekbones. Use the lightest color to conceal and brighten under your eyes.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit
Instead of buying individual color correcting concealers, a color correcting palette offers every color of the rainbow needed to neutralized the look of unwanted tones. Use a peach shade to conceal dark circles, use a green shade to neutralize the appearance of redness, use a lavender shade to counteract the look of dullness, and use a yellow shade to hide discolorations. Just remember that the key to working with color correcting concealers is to apply them underneath your foundation so that together the color and your foundation can work together.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Color Correcting Kit
One of the best ways to instantly perk up your overall appearance is to dab on some blush. Now, while blush palettes have a whole range of colors, you don’t have to use all of them at once. Rather, switch between the colors depending on how you’re doing your makeup on a given day. Where no-makeup, makeup calls for slightly lighter hues, go all out for a night out with the girls with a bright pink pop of color.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Blush
Who doesn’t love having a whole slew of lip colors on hand? With so many hues to choose from, there are multiple ways you can get the most out of your lip palette. First, you can create an allover wash of color. If you’re looking for a slightly more eye-catching look, do an ombré lip by lining the outside of your lips with one of the darker colors and the center of your pout with a bright light color to create the illusion of a pillowy-looking pout. If you don’t see a color that just screams at you, mix a few to create your own signature shade.
Product pick: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lip