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How to Apply Eye Shadow

Applying eye shadow seems simple, but it can be tricky. If you don't do it correctly, you may end up with crooked or mismatched eyes, blotchy colors, or eye shadow that extends too far, or doesn't extend far enough to the corners of the eyes. Eye shadow should be applied using specific tools, and in a certain order, to get the best results.

The first thing you need to do is choose high-quality brushes. Eye shadow needs to go on smoothly, and that is best done with a small eye shadow brush. These look similar to paintbrushes. The higher quality the brush, the better your eye shadow will look. This goes for the rest of your makeup as well—the better tools you have, the better your face will look.

Second, choose an eye shadow that will enhance your eye color. This is often, but not entirely, a color that is the opposite of your eye color. For example, dark blue eyes really pop against brown eye shadows, but they pop even more with brown eye shadow on the lid and a dark blue shadow across the crease of the eye. Brown eyes look great against gray eye shadow and brown across the crease of the eye.

Begin by applying a shadow base, or primer, to your eyelids. This will set your shadow and make it last for hours. It will also help the eye shadow go on smoothly. Next, select the lightest color, and sweep it across your brow bone, under your eyebrows. This is often a color that is almost white. It will highlight your eyes and make them appear wider and more open.

Next, choose another light color to use as your first shadow. Brush the light color gently across your lid, from the inner corner to the outer. To determine how far out the eye shadow should go, draw an imaginary line from the outer corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow. This is where the eye shadow should end. In addition, make sure these two colors are not very dark. Neutrals are best. Use your finger to blend the two colors together where they meet.

Next, use a different brush to apply a darker color to the crease of your eyelid. Again, be sure to start at the inner corner and continue to the outer corner of your eyes. Blend the color. You can also use the brush to dab a bit of the color along your upper lash line. Be sure to blend this color in as well.

Note that Asian eyes have a different lid structure, and thus a different technique should be used when applying eye shadow. A deeper shade should be used for the entire upper lid, rather than the crease. In addition, a darker color can be used on the brow bone as well, such as a warm coral, a color that really makes brown eyes sparkle.

If you are using dramatic colors, perhaps for a night out on the town, finish off with a light dusting of translucent powder. This will give your eyelids a light but glamorous shimmer.

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