Blend Your Shadow Like a Pro
“When in doubt, keep blending” - Unknown
A perfectly blended eyeshadow gives you the confidence to take on the world. However, a muddy and caked eyeshadow look does quite the opposite.
Learning how to blend eyeshadow is one of the key rules to makeup, but it’s something that few people can do well. That’s not going to be you - the tips below will have you blending like a pro, creating looks that Lady Gaga would be envious of.
First things first, if you’re new to blending or you’re not so confident, start off with natural colours. Yes, those colourful looks you see on Instagram are impressive, but blending bright colours takes practice and when you get it wrong, the look is less ‘wow’ and more ‘urgh’. Nobody wants to be ‘urgh’.
Blending your eyeshadow properly will:
- Help you to create top quality looks
- Give depth and texture to your eyeshadow
- Help you to sculpt your eye shape, making your eye look more awake
Let’s work through this one in steps.
Step 1 - Prime Like You Mean It
Eyeshadow primer is the secret that will keep your shadow in place for the whole day. Eyelids are oily things and as we all know, oil breaks makeup down over time. By using a good quality makeup primer, you’re creating a barrier between your eyelid and the product itself, keeping it where it’s supposed to be for longer.
A good tip is to use an actual eyeshadow primer product and not a concealer. Many people do use concealers and they work fine for a while but obviously aren’t designed to work with oil. For that reason, they do tend to breakdown sooner than a primer. If you’re going to use a concealer, make sure it’s a thick, matte consistency. Apply your product and wait for around 10 seconds for it to dry and set.
If you have some translucence powder, a quick dab over the top will keep the primer in place.
Step 2 - Take Your Brushes And Choose Your Colours
Professional MUAs have countless brushes but you can make your life easier by just using two. Use a dense blending brush for laying down the colour and applying it where you want it to go, and a fluffy blending brush to make the look softer and diffuse any harsh edges.
Colour-wise, you need to build up the drama, so start with a lighter shade towards the inner corner of your eye, building up to a darker look towards the outside. Pick your colours at this stage and you’ll find it easier to match your eyes and create that all-important symmetry. There is nothing worse than mismatching eyes!
Step 3 - Take Your Lightest Shade
First you need to pick up the lightest shade you’re going to use and apply it to the inner half of your lid. Use that dense brush, holding it loosely in your hand, towards the middle to outer edge of the brush handle. If you hold it too close to the actual bristles, you’re going to have a firmer hold and a much more heavy application. We’re going for light and breezy here.
Use a light windscreen wiper movement movement to lay down the first light shade, making sure that it’s even all the way across.
Step 4 - Build up The Darker Colours
The darkest shade will go towards the outer corner of your eyes, but next you need to choose your second darkest shade and again, use that dense brush. Along the crease of your eye, use that windscreen wiper movement again to lay down the colour into the crease. Keep your eye open! If you close it, you won’t get the placement right.
Once you’d laid down th colour, take your fluffy brush and buff the shade using that same back and forth movement, without adding anymore product. This will diffuse any sharp edges.
Repeat the process with the other shades, except for the one you want to place on the outer corner. Keep using the dense brush to place the shadow and the fluffy brush to move it around to where you want it, keeping it light and blended to perfection.
Step 5 - Create a Darker Wing
The outer edge of your eye is where you want the darkest shade, to create that depth and professional look. Gently dip your dense brush into the darkest shade and dab a small amount of the shadow onto the outer corner of your eye. It’s better to go for less at this point and build it up, rather than having a ton of shadow to work with at one time.
Holding your brush further up the handle is vital when working with darker shades, to get that blended look right. When blending the outer corner however, you need to avoid those windscreen wiper moves and instead go for small circles, working from the outer corner in, blending it with the other colours. If you want to create that darker wing from the outer corner, extended slightly out, go back to that windscreen wiper movement but instead keep it light and move outwards as far as you want to go. Once you’ve placed the colour, take your fluffy brush and buff over everything to get rid of any harsh edges.
Step 6 - One Final Buff
Once you’ve got your look how you want it, give your fluffy blending brush a quick wipe to get rid of any excess darker shade and buff over your entire eye lightly, especially the top of the crease. This will even out the blending and give you that pro look you’re craving.
And that’s it! That’s how easy it can be to blend your eyeshadow without looking like you’ve applied it with your finger in the most haphazard of ways. Make sure you choose colours which compliment each other, and if you want to take your look to another level, you can use a very thin brush and have a light sweep of the darker shade along the lash line, adding extra drama to your eye makeup.
With blending, practice makes perfect so make sure you try plenty of times and work your way up to using brighter colours in time. Everyone can learn to blend, you just need to go slow.
Points to Remember:
- Clean your beauty blenders and brushes once a week
- Use dish soap or specific brush cleanser
- Use lukewarm water
- Allow your brushes and sponges to dry naturally in fresh air