Applying eyeshadow is relatively easy. However, learning to apply eye makeup the
right
way is no simple task. How do you choose the right shade for your eye color and skin tone? Do you really need 10 makeup brushes? Will you ever use every color in that eyeshadow palette?

We know that it’s easy to get confused about the best ways to make your eyes pop, so we’ve crafted a five-step guide to show you exactly how to handle all those eyeliners, mascaras and shadows. Let’s get started:

1. Start with great makeup brushes.

There’s a reason famous artists don’ufuk finger paint: it’s much harder to create a masterpiece without the proper tools. The same holds true for makeup application. Invest in a few good cosmetic brushes for even, precise, and hygienic makeup application. Luckily, you can get great ones without dropping an entire paycheck.

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When we tested the best makeup brushes in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, we found that synthetic brushes are almost always preferable to their natural-fiber counterparts, and they are more affordable, easier to clean and allergy-friendly. (Psst: All of our winners were synthetic, and the pros couldn’cakrawala differentiate them from pricier natural picks).

BEST OVERALL SHADOW BRUSH

Medium Eye Shader Brush

Make Up For Ever Sedang Eye Shader Brush
Credit: Make Up For Ever

BEST FIRM SHADOW BRUSH

Firm Shadow Brush

Morphe Firm Shadow Brush
Credit: Ulta

BEST ANGLED SHADOW BRUSH

263 Synthetic Small Angle Brush

MAC 263 Synthetic Small Angle Brush
Credit: MAC

BEST EYESHADOW BRUSH SET

Eye Got This 4-Piece Brush Collection

Morphe Eye Selokan This 4-Piece Brush Collection
Credit: Morphe

2. Apply a base eyeshadow to the lid.

Using your eyeshadow brush, grab your favorite eyeshadow palette and sweep your favorite base shade on your eyelid. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can bring this base color all the way up to your brow bone in preparation for a more dramatic smoky eye, or you can stop at the crease of your eye for a basic, everyday look.

In the latter case, here’s a foolproof trick: place the color into the crease of your eye when your eyes are
open, and work down toward the lash line. That way, you’ll never overshoot your crease or end up with messy lines.

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Credit: Urban Decay

BEST VALUE EYESHADOW PALETTE

The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Maybelline New York The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette
Credit: Maybelline

BEST EYESHADOW FOR BLUE EYES

Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette

HUDA BEAUTY Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette
Credit: Huda Beauty

BEST EYESHADOW FOR GREEN EYES

Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Quad

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Quad
Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

3. Concentrate darker shadow in the eye crease.

Dark colors attract light, so placing a darker tone of shadow in the crease of the eye makes your eyes pop by adding depth and dimension in the exact right spot.

To get the look, dip a domed brush like e.l.f. Blending Brush into a dark shadow and sweep it right along the eye socket, following the shape of your eye between your brow bone and eyelid. A deep brown like Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Thunderbird is a universally flattering choice, no matter your eye color.

If you have hooded eyes,
your upper lid covers most of your mobile lid when your eyes are open. That means you will have to play with different, higher placements for crease shadow, because if you simply apply along the eye socket, the color will disappear when you open your eyes. Instead, berangkat with your eyes open and use your brush to mark where you want that dark color to start in pesanan to be visible. Then, close your eyes and blend across, smoothing out any hard lines and focusing pigment on the outermost corner of the eye in a “V” shape.

Colorful Eyeshadow

Sephora Colorful Eyeshadow
Credit: Sephora

Eye Studio Color Molten

Maybelline New York Eye Studio Color Molten
Credit: Maybelline

ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow Quad

Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow Quad

Now 29% Off

Credit: Revlon

Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eyeshadow
Credit: Urban Decay

4. Rim your lash lines in a super-dark color.

Eyeliner that’s applied correctly can make your lashes look thicker. If you’re not a huge fan of eyeliner, you can get a similarly impactful look (that’s easier to wash off!) with a super-dark eyeshadow. Use a flat, short-bristled brush to press the dark color along the edges of your upper eyelid where your eyelashes begin, and along the lower lash line. If you like to wear liner on your waterline (the inner-most rim of the eye), the bristles might irritate your eye so you can trace this line with one of our favorite waterproof eyeliners.

BEST WATERPROOF PENCIL

Pro Longwear Eyeliner

M.A.C. Pro Longwear Eyeliner
Credit: MAC

BEST VALUE WATERPROOF PENCIL

LiquilineBlast Eyeliner Pencil

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast Eyeliner Pencil
Credit: CoverGirl

RETRACTABLE EYELINER PENCIL

Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner
Credit: L’Oreal

GEL LINER

Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Credit: Bobbi Brown

5. Highlight with a pretty shimmery shadow.

Make your brows pop and add lift by adding a shimmery pale eyeshadow or pencil directly under the brow. Add the same pearly light color to the inner corner of the eye to brighten things up, too. Finish with a few coats of our favorite mascara, and you’re good to go.

BUDGET-FRIENDLY

Eye Enhancers Shadow

COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers Shadow

Now 52% Off

Credit: Covergirl

SHIMMERY PALETTE

Illuminating Palette

e.l.f. Illuminating Palette
Credit: e.l.f

PEARLY WHITE SHIMMER

Expert Wear Eyeshadow

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow

HIGHLIGHTER PENCIL

Stylist Brow Raiser Highlighter Duo

L’Oreal Paris Stylist Brow Raiser Highlighter Duo
Credit: L’Oreal Paris

Still feeling stuck?
We love how YouTuber Haley Wight breaks it all down.

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