Diana Crisan Jan 22, 2015

So, you own a dozen eye shadow quads and don’t know what to do with them. Or, maybe you don’t own a single shadow palette and want to up your smoky eye game — who doesn’t? Thanks to the color and texture combinations (and illustrated how-tos!) shadow quads are the perfect little packages for makeup beginners and pros looking to add ease and versatility to their beauty arsenal. Take your shadow skills (or lack thereof!) to the next level with these tricks and go from simple to sultry — it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

From Light

Shadow quads give you the option to go from daytime natural to a smoldering nighttime smoky eye in just a few easy steps! For a work-appropriate or everyday look, just sweep the (1.) base color/lightest color in your palette over your entire lid, up to your brow using a natural-bristled brush like Lancôme All-Over Shadow Brush #22.

You’ll notice that many palettes come with a contrast color, one that almost doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the shades. For a light and effortless look, you can skip this bold hue and choose the (3.) shade that is used in the crease to create some dimension using a smaller eye shadow brush and blending it in to the outer corner of your lid in gentle, short strokes.

To Night

Once you’ve applied your (1.) base, use the (2.) medium color to cover the entire eyelid, but do NOT bring the color up to your brow. Make sure that your edges are blended well, so that there are no hard lines differentiating the colors. Using a smaller brush like the NYX Crease Brush, blend the (3.) crease color in a subtle “V” shape to the most outer edge of your eyelid.

For more impact, take the (4.) darkest shade in the palette and line your upper lash line and lower waterline before coating your lashes with a lengthening and volumizing mascara like Urban Decay Perversion.


For a super simple way to make your eyes pop on one of those days, use the lightest color in the palette to highlight your brow bone and make your perfect eyebrows stand out! If you have a shimmery palette, add a dab of color to the inner corners of your eyes and right in the center or your eyelid to give the appearance of big and bright eyes! 

Lots of Liner

A quad means four different color options that you can use as eyeliners! Just dip a liner brush in water and use the lightest color to trace your lower waterline for the appearance of a full-night’s-sleep or experiment and use that bright blue hue or purple shade to line your lids for the perfect pop of color!

MDC Faves: Maybelline ExpertWear Eye Shadow Quads, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Dual Effects, YSL Pure Chromatics, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Quad

What are some of your favorite eye shadow looks to create with a quad? Let us know in the comments below! 



About the Author:Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.

Let's Stay in Touch

Get our top stories straight to your inbox!