Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Blend Your Eyeshadow

Share your best tips and tricks for blending your eyeshadow to perfection!  Feel free to share your first experiences, how you’ve grown, what you’ve learned, and what, ultimately, you found most helpful in learning how to blend your eyeshadow.  (And if you haven’t conquered it, hopefully some of these tips will help you get there!)

Temptalia’s Tips

  1. Always take a step back! It’s all well and good to have your nose to the mirror, but make sure you’re also stepping back throughout the application to see how everything is looking from a “normal viewing distance” as I like to call it.
  2. Pull or push colors into the neighboring color.  Depending on the finish, blendability, and lightness/darkness of a shade, I’ll either lightly pull a lighter color onto a darker one, or lightly push the more matte shade over a more shimmery one.
  3. Soft, feathery strokes are better!  Use a very light hand with soft, quick strokes to diffuse color.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

21 thoughts on “How to Blend Your Eyeshadow – Tips & Tricks

  1. Ashley

    The number one thing anyone ever taught me was to let the tools do the work. They’re made for their specific jobs, so just let it happen naturally instead of trying to force a blend!

    • I agree with you completely!

      Hold the brush closer to the top of the handle to let the rush do the work for you in order to get a more natural blend as opposed to holding it near the ferral.

  2. Using a decent blending brush (made for this specific purpose) is also useful. I love the Sephora Blending Brush. I typically blend only in the spot where the two colors meet (instead of all over).

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lauren Lauren

    Have the right tools. At a minimum, you need a flat brush and a fluffy blending brush for your crease. My favorites are the MAC 217 and 239. I find that those are the ONLY 2 brushes I use most of the time. Also, watch some youtube videos to see different techniques. My favorite videos for techniques are by “The Makeup Chair.” She does some easy to follow, step by step tutorials on doing your eye makeup – the specific products are not important. This is the best one by her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1-Wel076ik&feature=relmfu But try a few techniques from other gurus too to get a sense of what works for you.

  4. Jen

    Add a neutral powder base for easy blending

  5. I use a magnifying mirror (but also do the step back, like Christine mentioned).
    Check the look under different lighting before you leave.

  6. Great tips, exactly what I would give as advice :-D

  7. Yellowlantern

    If I’m say blending a darker color with a lighter color I like to reuse the brush I used to apply the lighter color to blend the dark and light color together. Make sure to be light with the brush so the colors don’t get muddy or lose their gradient effect and just become a block of blended color.

    I don’t have any good brushes designed specifically for blending so that’s what I do and it works pretty well for me though I don’t do very complex looks so YMMV.

  8. A good assortment of brushes! What I think is missing from most ready to buy smaller makeup sets: densely packed shorter bristled brushes. The sets tend to include fluffier brushes which are great for light softly filtered washes of colour, but lousy for packing it on. Think of the difference in applying crease colour with a pencil brush versus a soft long fiber blending brush and how that would completely change the look. I think there are many great tools to help people explore and find the right choice for them to get the job done. It’s always nice to have options.

    I also find I do far better with a wet neutral base than I do with a powder base. MAC paint pots rule.

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    I don’t use a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to brushes. Some brushes work very well with certain brands/formulations, but they don’t always play well with others. I also “repurpose” brushes. I’ve found that lip brushes work well for blending in smaller areas, as well as with softer shadows. A stiffer brush tends to diffuse too much.

    Also, especially when using darker shadows, don’t try to blend two shades that don’t have much contrast, as that’s just asking for a big, muddy mess.

    Most glittery formulas aren’t designed for heavy blending, either, unless you want an avalanche of glitter everywhere but your eye. This transcends all brands/pricepoints, and should never factor into quality. Blending the edges is fine, but never use a glitter shadow for blending.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

      Also, don’t be so quick to throw out those tiny brushes that come with palettes. They may too small for all-over eye looks, but I’ve found they come in handy for detail and/or crease work. While many reviewers bemoaned the itty-bitty brushes that came with the Kat von D palettes, I’ve come to love them for lining and adding a bit more dimension in the crease, without disturbing the entire surface.

      Although not completely related to blending, I’ve found flat concealer brushes to be useful when laying down glittery shadows; just be sure to go along the grain of the brush, and never in a back-and-forth motion.

      • I use the same method for glitter shadows.. flat concealer style brush is perfect. I know exactly what you mean about using different brushes for different brands due to textural differences. I never throw brushes away because I seem to always find a purpose. I also use a toothbrush for my eyebrows because brow brushes don’t work so well on my crazy arsed stubborn sob’s.

  10. Amberly

    Do you have a video posted for eyeshadow application? Your eyeshadow always looks beautiful in your photos. I think you would be the perfect person to post an awesome tutorial on eyeshadow application.

  11. Leeza

    Softer, less dense brushes do better subtle blending, while stiffer, denser brushes blend more thoroughly.
    I use a matte, skin toned blending shade (naked from the UD Naked Palette) in my crease and all over to help the other colors blend later. Also, I’ve found that blending is harder over a primer, so if I need a well blended look but don’t necessarily need it to stay as long, I don’t prime and instead just use a setting spray when I’ve finished.
    Glitter is not blendable, and on a different subject if you’re working with glitter do your face makeup AFTER so you can first clean up the inevitable fallout. Patting with a thick brush works well to reduce fallout.
    Lastly, and this seems pretty obvious but I want to mention it anyway, is start with a lot less of a dark color than you plan on using. It’s not always easy to eyeball how much pigment is on your brush, so if you use a lot less you can add as you need to without unintentionally raccooning yourself.

  12. My secret is EcoTools blending brush. I never fail to get compliments about how smokey the eye look is every time I use it. EcoTools brush does the blending without taking away colour. It’s just insanely effective.

    Like many others, I highly recommend owning an arsenal of blending brushes too. EcoTools is a must-have, but there are other blending brushes that do different kinds of blending.

    A few good choices are definitely M.A.C 217, Le Metier de Beaute Eye Crease brush, Illamasqua medium blending brush, Urban Decay (the one that comes with Vice Palette), Sephora blue ultra pointed one.

    M.A.C 217 is so good it can do a cut crease yet work as a blending brush. By far the only blending brush that can do the job of a shader brush, an inner corner highlight, and I can live on just one 217 alone. However, Jack of all trades, master of none, so 217 just can’t compare to EcoTools in terms of smoking out the look.

    • I’ve got to agree with you about EcoTools. These are amazing at probably 1/4 the cost of other brushes (such as MAC). I really love their foundation brush. Best one I’ve ever used.

    • Mona

      I’ve never used EcoTools. Which blending brush do you use? Thanks in advance!

      • not to stick my nose in, but the Eco Tools Bamboo Smudge Eyeliner Brush is so amazing and versatile, plus it has a pencil sharpener right on the end. Love it so much! *steps back quietly*

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Renee Renee

    OOOOHHHH, this is a good one. I have no tips, but will be trying everyone’s!

  14. i find if i work from the browbone down rather than the lid up, my eyeshadows blend much much easier because they already have a background color to blend against. also, a matte light brown such as urban decay naked is indispensable when trying to diffuse darker colors. it’s the type of color you can never really see in your finished look, but i can always tell when i’ve forgotten it.