Your eyes are arguably one of your strongest assets. They're the "windows to your soul," after all. All the more reason you should brush up on your eye shadow skills and give your lids some extra attention. But applying eye shadow can be a tricky task. What are all those different sections of a palette for? What type of brush should I use? Luckily, the whole shadow game doesn't have to be a headache. So let's go back to the basics, shall we? Follow our ten golden rules and you’ll be, well, golden.
#1. Always use primer: An eye shadow primer creates a clean canvas for you to work with, and it acts as a barrier between your eye shadow and the natural oils in your skin. That way, your makeup stays put so you can keep touch-ups to a minimum. Try a formula like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Potion Primer
#2. Enhance your natural eye color: You want to choose an eye shadow shade that will intensify your natural eye color. Finding colors that complement your peepers the most takes experimenting, but here's a good place to start:
#3. Know your eye shape: Considering your eye color is a given, but also take into account your eye shape. Do you have deep-set eyes? Close-set? Hooded? Determining the shape of your eye helps you decide which shading technique is right for your specific features and plays up your natural beauty.
#4. Decode your palette: You might be tempted to open an eye shadow palette and just have at it, but it's important to know which sections correspond to each part of your eye. There's a method to all this palette madness! There's a variety of palettes out there, but here's a general breakdown of your basic eye shadow quad palette:
#5. Blend, blend, blend: We can't stress this enough! Blending your edges is the difference between your eye shadow looking flawless and looking like … well, a hot mess. Don't smear. Use a light touch and gently sweep your brush along your lid, blending harsh lines. To blend like a pro, you need the right brushes, which brings us to rule #6.
#6. Invest in the right brushes: There are so many eye shadow brushes out there in every shape and size, it can get confusing. But here are the 3 most important ones you should own:
#7. Take care of your tools: Cleaning your eye shadow brushes is probably at the very bottom of your to-do list, but it's very important. We're talking about your eyes here, so cleanliness is key. Run your brush under lukewarm water and then pour a nickel-sized amount of baby shampoo into your hand. Swirl the brush in the shampoo in your hand, rinse well and pat dry with a clean cloth.
#8. Choose your formula wisely: Pressed eye shadows are your basic, most common formula. They're a great, mess-free option. Cream shadows are perfect if you want a dewy sheen, but they can crease easily — especially if you have oily lids. Loose shadows usually come in a small pot, and you'll feel like a professional makeup artist using them. But they are definitely the messiest of the three.
#9. Avoid a monochrome look: A deep plum eye shadow looks gorgeous on its own, but once you add a plum lip and a purple sweater? Things get a little too matchy-matchy. Don't be afraid to go bold, but just make sure your overall look has balance.
#10. Keep it all in place with a setting spray: Get the most mileage out of your makeup by using a setting spray as your final step. Hold the bottle at arm's length from your face and spritz away.
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