1. Keep it simple (at first)
Start with neutrals and work your way up to brights unless you’re feeling really adventurous.
But don’t worry – we’ll tell you how to step up your game as you keep clicking!
2. Go white or nude
3. Invest in some decent brushes
MAC, Bobbi Brown, and NARS are all known for making great eyeshadow brushes.
If you plan on experimenting with dramatic looks, get a short-haired, firm bristled brush with an angled flat edge. For those who intend to blend, go for a soft synthetic bristle.
4. Brown is your friend
Start with just your bottom crease and then increase the coverage area , adding layers to make it darker as you get more confident.
5. Invest in a good primer
Primer will be especially helpful for those with oily eyelids that cause shadows to smear or fade.
And the best part is that primers come in all price ranges. Urban Decay is a customer favorite if you’re willing to shell out over $20, but NYX is a drugstore brand that has diehard fans as well and runs for under $10.
6. Ran out of primer? Use foundation
Just keep in mind that you might need to blend out your eye crease a bit when you head to the ladies room.
7. For your first trick, try a cut crease
Then, you’ll take your firm, angled brush and swipe a concealer across your lid to create a line – or cut a crease – between your upper and lower lids.
You can add flair to this with eyeliner and more color, but the basic technique involves creating that line between your upper and lower lids.
8. Fix broken eyeshadow easily
Simply gather up the remnants, add a drop or two of rubbing alcohol, and use the back of a spoon to smash it down to mold it back together.
9. Know that not every trick will work for you
Make sure you study your shape and do your research on what’s best for your own eyes. For example, if you have very little lid and end up putting your eyeshadow too close to your eye, you won’t be able to see it until it ends up in the wrong place. In that case, you’ll want to focus on the area right under your eyebrow.
10. Use a template
After all, there are some places (like the corner of your eye) that dark shadow just don’t look good.
11. Use a white base to make bold colors pop
12. Know your most complimentary colors
13. How to deal with the fallout
14. Use a makeup remover pen to clean up the area
Just a quick swipe will wipe off what you need so you can start over or clean up just a simple squiggle.
15. Smear your shadow for a winged eyeliner hack
16. Use tape as a guide
17. Bring the under over
18. Use shadow to fill in brows
You can take some of your dark shadow and fill in brows as well. After all, we’ve all plucked a few too many hairs in the past and need a little extra coverage.
Using the same color as your darkest eyeshadow (as long as it compliments your hair color) is a great way to bring your entire look together.
19. Use darker shades with caution
20. The return of the white shadow
You’ll want to be sure to blend it well and make sure you don’t just have a weird white line beneath your brows, but the effort is worth it.
21. Blend, blend, and then blend some more
22. Add some tilt
When you’re looking in your makeup mirror, your best bet is to tilt your head back during application so you can get a good glimpse of the color at an angle. Looking at yourself head-on isn’t going to give you the perspective you need.
You’ll also get a better idea of whether you’re eyeshadow and eyeliner are symmetrical this way.
23. Lift your crease to make eyes look bigger
This photo gives you an indication of where you should be drawing the line if you want to increase your crease.
24. Don’t start with shimmer
25. Blue to counteract red
26. Get creative with bright eyeliner
However, since each eye is different, some placements may look better than others and you’re not going to know until you try them all out.
27. Try ombre shadow for a fun night out
It might not be right for the office, but it’s definitely a fun experiment for a night on the town!
28. Apply by dabbing
The key to streak-less-ness is to use your brush in a dabbing or dappling motion when first applying color. Then your blending brush can swoop in for the swiping action.
29. Try to walk the line
Just be sure not to try anything too complicated if you need to be out the door in the next 15 minutes.
The best way we’ve found so far to achieve the holy grail of eye makeup is to use the hashtag trick.
Like all the best tricks, it requires blending, but it’s actually pretty simple. Just draw a hashtag at the corner of your eye (usually with a pencil), then use a smudging brush (something more firm than a blender) to smudge it out.
You can even apply more hashtags to make it darker.
Need proof? Cosmopolitan Magazine’s YouTube series “Beauty or BullS%it” shows just how well it works.