4 Celebrity Makeup Artists Tell Us How Exactly How to Apply Eye Shadow


When it comes to a mesmerizing makeup look, eye shadow often plays a quintessentialВ role and also happens to be totally versatile-especially this season with richly saturated pigments, metallics, and gorgeously glossed eyelids taking over runways and red carpets.

However, knowing how to apply eye shadow can also be one of the more intimidating aspects of ourВ makeup routine. While we have blush, highlighter, and lips down pat, one false step with ourВ go-to brushesВ andВ palettesВ can quickly lead to powder-ladenВ cheekbones or a muddled mess of color up to our brow bones.В

Luckily, makeup artists and their celebrity clientele constantly dish up plenty of inspiration. So as a helpful how-to, we talked to four different celebrity makeup artists to get up close and personal with their favorite eye shadow looks. Plus, they even shared their must-have products.В Keep reading to learn how to apply eye shadow exactly like a celebrity makeup artist.В

Tip #1: Swap Black for Brown

Charlotte Tilbury 'Rock 'N' Kohl' Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil $27Shop

"I prefer chocolate brown to black because it's a bit more subtle," says celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder. "First, I start byВ applying ChanelВ Longwear Cream Eyeshadow in Terre BruleeВ ($36)В all over the lid and then use a brown eyeliner pencil (like Charlotte TilburyВ 'Rock 'n' Kohl' Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil in Barbarella Brown, $27) on the upper lash line. This gives lashes an extra-full look while adding a nice dose of drama to the eyes."

To take the look further, Blunder recommends layering a small dose of black eyeshadow: "I also love to take ChanelВ Longwear Cream Eyeshadow in Noir PetroleВ ($36) on top of the brown pencil just on the outer corner of the eye to intensify the color and make it a bit more smudgy."В

Tip #2: Embrace Metallics

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette $49Shop

"My go-to eye shadow look always combines both cream and powder shadows," celebrity makeup artistВ Tobi Henney explains. "I always start an eye look with aВ cream base reflecting the overall look I want to create." She tells us that typically, she'll start with one of her two must-have shadows on the lid: MAC CosmeticsВ Pro Longwear Paint Pot in GroundworkВ ($22) or for a golden-hued eye, the Tom FordВ Cream Color for Eyes in PlatinumВ ($46).

From there, she layers on the sparkle: "Marc Jacobs has the most amazing eye shadows, and I am loving theВ Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow PalettesВ ($49).В They have a combination of matte and metallic shades in each. I always use a matte tone in the crease to build the shape of the eye, and then I'll choose a color for the lid-I am currently loving metallic tones."


Tip #3: Find a day-to-night eye shadow palette

Dior Designer 5-Colour Palette $62Shop

Celebrity makeup artistВ Sabrina BedraniВ tell us that for her, it's all about having the ability toВ achieve multiple makeup aesthetics using a minimal number of products. "When it comes toВ eye shadow, I love the DiorВ 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow PalettesВ ($62). The color variety in the palette allows you to achieve multiple looks-either for a soft, bright open eye or a darker smoky one. I usually use a lighter color in the Dior palette as a base and then apply it in the tear duct, as well, to add brightness."

Then, if she's creating a smokey eye for night, she'll opt for a light gold color all over the lid as a base, a shade of copper in the middle of the lid, and then blends it all outward before using a darker brown on the outer corner. The reason? Bedrani tells us it opens up the eye and adds dimension.В

Tip #4: Keep it monochromatic

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base $26Shop

"First of all, for any of myВ eye shadowВ looks I always keep it monochromatic-whether I'm doing bronze, shades of plum, aubergines, or navy," saysВ Sir John, celebrity makeup artist and American Beauty Star series mentor.

To create an easy eye shadow look for the daytime, he tells us he starts with the NarsВ Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow BaseВ ($26) to prep the lid and then likes to top it with a beautiful matte shadow. To make sure the end result is clean and put-together, he recommends cleaning up any lingering, fallen pigment beneath the eye with a brush dipped in water-based makeup remover.

Tip #5: Make it waterproof

L'OrГ©al Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner $9Shop

"When it comes to eye shadow, I make sure the look is waterproof so that it will last through tours, a night of dancing, anything."

ForВ night, Sir John prefers to use a waterproof kohl liner in place of anВ eye shadow:В "I'll take the L'OrГ©alВ Infallible Silkissime EyelinerВ ($9) and then-with speed-smudge it along the lid since it dries very quickly." After the eyeliner sets, he'llВ go in with a shimmery shadow (he says he can't pick a favorite) and layers it on top of the kohl liner base for an extra hit of staying power.

Tip #6: Add some gloss

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant $22Shop

"This looks great in the evening and photographs gorgeously. The flash of gloss on the lid is unexpected, cool, and modern," says Blunder.В

Sir John agrees, explaining that a light dab of gloss adds something extra-special to any look. Plus, it can even help your eye shadow last longer: "I use the Elizabeth ArdenВ Eight Hour Cream Skin ProtectantВ ($22) on the ball of the eyelid-you only need a little bit. But, if you do the glossy eye, be sure to use a waterproof mascara so it stays in place all night."

Next up:В the fall makeup wedding looks makeup artists love.