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Eye Shadow 101: Application Styles

Posted Jan 19 2009 12:00am
I know it seems like forever since I've updated for this series. Although it's easy for me to do tutorials, it's apparently a lot harder to compile all the information into some sort of manual. Especially when there are so many techniques and styles that you can use to apply eyeshadow.

This is just a rough guide on the techniques that you can use to apply eyeshadow. Some may work for you, some may not. Thus, trying out new ways and practicing helps in figuring out what kind of styles will look best for you but I do hope that this guide would be helpful. I've personally gone through many styles before I settled for one that flatters my eyes the most. Usually when you've gotten your own style down, applying eyeshadow can be easy peasy business.

Do you already have a favorite eyeshadow technique? Do share!

Read on for the tips and techniques.

The One-Wash

(Click to see products used for this look!)

Indeed a very popular method for beginners but nowadays you really can't get away with just ONE color eyeshadow on your lids unless you're five. But if time is your issue and one-wash is really all you have time for, try keeping the color on the lids nude. Use skin-like color with a hint of shimmer to brighten up the eye area. It'd look weird to have blue all the way up to the brows and stopping right at the crease leaving a bare patch is just wrong. For more dimension, add a very define eyeliner with generous amount of mascara. This technique would suit those with deep set eyes since they already have a lot of depth.

Version 2.0

(Click to see products used for this look!)

An upgrade to The One-Wash, even with two colors (excluding highlight), you can create quite a cool effect. Just like The One-Wash, a single color is applied on the lid (unless it's nude, don't go too far past the crease) and a darker shade is used to accent the outer corner of the eyes. Similarly, to add more dimension, go for a defined line and full lashes.

The Graduation

(Like this look? Click for the tutorial!)

This is another basic technique that is usually taught in eyeshadow palette pamphlets. Most people can easily achieve this effect using 2 to 3 colors (excluding highlight). Apply the lightest color on the inner 1/3 of the lid followed by a medium shade on the middle lid and finally, a darker on the outer corner. You will then get a graduation of colors. Keep the colors only slightly above the crease and apply a highlight shade below the brow bone to join with the colors on the lid. This style is best used for Asian eyes and almond-shaped eyes.


(Click to see products used for this look!)

This style is easy to blend and has a low chance of looking hideous. Apply the first shade all over the lid beneath the crease. Then, blend the second color (usually lighter) directly into the crease. This helps to make the crease look more defined. To add depth, apply a darker shade into the outer corner of the lid. Highlight should be applied as usual. This technique would look good on eyes without a very defined crease but still with some double-eyelid.


(Like this look? Click for the tutorial!)

This is how you fake deep set eyes with a very defined crease. You cut the crease -- not literally of course. The technique is quite similar to Layering but somewhat reversed. Apply a very light/bright (lighter than your lid color) on the lid. Then, blend a contrastingly darker shade into the crease. This gives and illusion of deep-set eyes. Suitable for basically any eyes except for deep-sets (it may look too deep!). Even monolids can pull off this style but the technique is a little different. The lighter shade should be pulled over the crease and the darker shade is shaped on top of the "crease" line. However, for monolids, the darker shade should not be too contrasting. [Click for eye make-up tips for monolids!]

The Smoker

(Like this look? Click for the tutorial!)

After trying out so many styles of eyeshadow application techniques (there's a lot more than what I've stated above!), I found out that this style works the best for me. I combine The Graduation technique with the Layering technique. I first apply my light colors using the layering technique then to add in depth and bring in more emphasis, I "smoke" the outer corner with a dark color and pull the color slightly into the crease. Using this technique you can smoke any colors so smokey eyes won't just be limited to black and dark brown. So, now I just smoke everything and it's a foolproof technique for me.

Click here for the first part of the Eyeshadow 101 series -- Eye Shapes

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