Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Apply Dark Eyeshadows

Share your best tips and tricks for applying your favorite dark eyeshadows! Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

My Tips

  1. I like to apply the darkest eyeshadows with a fluffier brush, because it helps with blending from the get-go — it’s easier for me to lay down a softer, sheerer application and then build up in the places you need it than having a super intense, dark area that needs to be blended out a lot!
  2. Use a lot less than you think! Unless it’s a really poorly pigmented eyeshadow, even moderately pigmented eyeshadows can go on too dark too quickly, so don’t be afraid to go back to the pan a few times to achieve the right darkness for a shade you’re not familiar with yet!
  3. Soft, feathery, circular strokes–like you’re ice skating across the lid–super light-handed movements will do more for blending than more heavy handed, quicker movements.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use a lighter color to blend out the edges; you may want to use a separate blending brush for this purpose, too!

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13 thoughts on “How to Apply Dark Eyeshadows – Tips & Tricks

  1. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pad them on instead of sweeping them on. Helps a lot with fall out issues. And make sure to blend the edges really well.

  3. AudreyNZ

    Thanks for this great tip. I was about to give up hope on dark eyeshadows. I’ve been using my one and only vegan contouring brush from Inika which I got free when I purchased their Face in a Box, for everything. I have placed an order for Real Technique brushes which is being shipped from US. Since it’s the busy holiday season, they won’t arrive until after Christmas. Looking forward to trying out your tip, Christine:)

  4. Madelyn

    I love all your tips. Also, just for me, I also like to use a tissue as a shadow shield, or better yet, do my eyes first, and foundation second. Even small amounts of fallout can settle into my fine lines and make me look like Uncle Fester from the Addams Family! :>

    If I want sharp edges, I love to use tape, because trying to use a makeup wipe to create sharp edges can still leave a shadow on my face with very dark colors.

  5. This is a great post. I pinned it so other’s can hopefully learn from this. I used to be afraid of dark looks…but then I learned the best way to apply those shadows and oh I wish I had this back then. I could have saved people a lot of horror from having to witness my eyes as I got through the learning curve…haha

  6. haha i feel like my method is so weird!
    i usually do my dark colors first, to map out where i want it without messing up the other colors, and that way i can go back over it to deepen the color and what not. and i usually have a couple brushes dedicated to dark shadows.. my favorite is this small concealer brush from sephora.
    if i want my look to be super drastic, i’ll use a dark base all over the lid or use a black eyeshadow cream where i want it to be smokey.

  7. I try to be very careful in dark colour placement. I have downturned, small hooded asian eyes. I usually just use a bit of dark colour to add dimension to my eyes. Anything that is too dark or too smoky makes my eyes looks smaller or it makes me look like I have a black, bruised eyes. Another tip is that if you are going to use a dark colour, to use a nude colour in the waterline and use a lot of highlighter in the inner tear duct to make your eyes open up a bit.

    • AudreyNZ

      Haha…”bruised eyes”… That’s exactly the words both my husband and son used when I tried creating a smoky look with a dark plummy brown color eyeshadow:D

  8. xamyx

    If I’m putting a dark shade in the crease, I’ll use my “transition” shade first, then blend in the crease shadow, and build it up while blending it in. It may take a few moments longer, but it’s still a lot less time trying to “fix” it. Besides, wearing makeup is a pleasure, and if I feel I need to rush, I’ll forgo anything dramatic.

    I never use a fluffy brush to apply dark shades, unless it has a “creamier” texture, as to avoid kicking up any stray eyeshadow dust. I also use a brush that is not too large for the area I want to apply color. I also never “swirl” my brush into the product, again to avoid kicking up product, or putting too much on the brush; instead, I tap/stipple/glide the brush lightly onto the product, and do the same on the eye. A primer/cream base is also very helpful, and not just a way for companies to get you to buy “extra” products, since these can help the pigment to adhere to the skin, particularly for those with drier lids. Before the days of primers, I always used concealer/foundation on my lids and found it , ade all the difference.

    Make sure the undereye is concealed as well as possible, as darker shadows can tend to emphasize any discoloration. As for lips, don’t be afraid to go bold, as long as it’s in a complentary shade.

  9. Denise S.

    Thanks for the tips! I tend to be a little heavy handed with dark shadows sometimes. Will definitely apply as you described. Should help me to have a softer look.

  10. Before using dark shadows I use a fluffy brush to put a heavy layer of translucent powder under each eye – all the way down to the cheekbone. After I’m done with the shadows, I sweep away the powder and any fallout. No streaks! Works with glitters and shimmers, too.

  11. Celine

    This really helps, thanks!