Has your application method for eyeshadow changed over time? How?

I definitely spend more time blending out products, and I’m more careful to use separate brushes (or clean them in-between) to avoid muddying gradients or mixing up textures. I am better about using more mattes in the crease (look, shimmers have my heart) than I did many years ago!

— Christine
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I started wearing eyeshadow when I was 14. Now I’m 50. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but for once I’ll try to be succinct. Through the years, styles changed, my lifestyle changed, and my application changed many times to suit. I started when there were no eye primers and eye brushes were virtually non-existent. We learned application from magazines, for 3 shade looks. As the years went on, I got better at blending, mastered a smokey eye, got better products, and adopted eye brushes and then eye primer as they became available. In the last 10 years, I’ve learned better techniques for my partially hooded eyes (which are starting to get droopier), adopted an inner corner highlight, and learned how to make looks using 4+ shadows. I bring my eyeshadow out further on the outer edges, which is so much more flattering look so much better. I now do things like foiling shadows and using glitter primer to make my duo-chromes actually work. I use eyeshadow on my lower lid, whereas I used to only use liner on my lower lash line. In short, now I like to use all the colors and products and do all the techniques.

The no eyeshadow primer era… I remember the days I couldn’t even get 4 hours without creasing or colors fading… now I’m wearing a primer even if I do the fastest easiest look or I’m rocking th make-up for just 2-3 hours. 😆

I have really oily, somewhat hooded eyes, so I always wear primer. Creasing within half an hour, otherwise. The first time in my life I got 6-8 hours of non-creasing wear was when BareMinerals came out. I’d dust my lids with the Original Foundation, then the Mineral Veil, then their Eye Colors. No setting sprays to help back then, either!

Wearing makeup for 48 years, you can best believe that my application methods and techniques have evolved over time! And in so many directions, too.
But because it would be like writing a novel to explain it all, I’ll just stick with the past 11 or so years. Up until only 11 or 12 years ago, I very happily and oddly successfully used the frowned upon…SPONGETIPS to apply all my eyeshadow. And would still use shimmery shades in the crease and browbone. Having hooded eyes, the shimmers placed there always made the hoods even more prominent than they already were, but I seriously didn’t get *why*! Not until I started watching YT tutorials did I understand that the one sure way to make my very hooded lids appear less so was to use only mattes or semi-matte satins on the browbone and crease. Oh, and using a transition shade became another game changer! No more blending out my crease shade edges into oblivion.

Nancy T,
About the sponge tips??? Me too! Actually with great success. I probably only started using brushes about a decade or so back. I had a major learning curve with brushes. Maybe because I learned to apply eye shadow with sponge tips. I actually still have about half a bag full of em too! I was thinking of trying them out with CP’s Super Shock eye shadows. I have hooded eyes also. I never knew that mattes in the crease can make hooded lids look less prominent. Brow bone yes but not the crease. I’ll definitely be trying that out. Anyways, nice to read that someone else had a good turnout using sponge tips. Every now and then I cheat on my brushes with them!!!

It’s as Rachel R. says. So many new products over the years to play with. I spent most of my time in corporate America and stuck with a simple three shadow eye in browns until I stopped working at age 67. Then I went right to brighter shades but also had to contend with drooping corners plus I gave up contacts for glasses. In the end, though, I have not had to make much of a change in eyeshadow application. The changes have been in eyeliner technique.

I’d love to hear more about how your eyeliner technique has evolved. Dealing with changing eye shape over the decades myself and curious about what the rest of my peers 🙂 are doing!

I recently fell into a rabbithole of your older posts when looking for some MAC swatches. Your style has changed but I swear you haven’t aged a day.

I think you are an absolute genius at applying/blending colors. From your photos, I’ve learned how to work with palettes in a way I had not before. It’s hard to imagine you could get any better…

For me, there are two distinct eyeshadow era, separated by that iconic moment I discovered blending. 😅
Otherwise, to this day I like simple looks, I rarely use more than 3 colors. I have always been a classic one shadow in the crease, one on the lid, maybe something deepening when I go out.
I love my brushes and if I could do it all with a good blending brush, I’m a happy woman. No fancy application techniques here. That’s why although I love my MAC 217 to death, my go to is still a limited edition double sided (not double ended) one.

When I started wearing make-up there were no brushes or primer (which I still dont use). I used to apply foundation with my fingers also. Now I use sponges and brushes and I line my eyes with eyeshadow everyday. Looks better on me than pencil or liquid which I used to wear. I use brighter dark colors to line my eyes which I like and usually only wear one eyeshadow in the crease and above due to my hooded eyes. Usually a brown color, I do not look good in bright colors on the lid but love to line with them. I still love the look of heavy makeup on the eyes but done so much softer than my youth!!

Far less in terms of number of shades used, less dark, less colourful, and waaaay more blended. Shimmers are not out of the question, but I’m finding myself using them much less as well. Like other posts here, age is a factor with hooded eyes now to my eyelash base and outer lid droopy corners. I focus on defining the lashline itself and creating visual strategic lift at outer corner. Too heavy an application or harsh lines instantly adds years so I err on the side of blending too much.

I take the transition higher up, it’s almost in my brow arch but now I don’t have to always have my eyebrows raised when I look up or around to look friendly. My transition colors are a lighter neutral to cool now instead of the warm peaches and rusts that they used to be.

I have been building in sheer layers and like the way it looks blended as I go rather than slapping on my racing stripes and then trying to blend everything. It would end up muddy rather than blended if I was really in a hurry. I’ve been enjoying really being able to take my time with my eye looks lately.

I don’t shimmer my whole mobile lid anymore, just a dot on the center and sheered out toward the inner corner. I have also been using “my lid but better” satin or matte colors for the mobile lid, lately and I like it.

I’ve never done an inner corner highlight. It just doesn’t look good on me.

I don’t wear eyeliner anymore really, unless it’s a shimmer. If I use an eyeliner (one I’m trying to finish up), I layer a light to midtone shimmer over it on my lower lashline. Otherwise I’ll just use eyeshadow on my lower lashline.

Yes, my application of eyeshadows has dramatically changed over time. Firstly, I have expanded the range of eyeshadows and colours that I now use. I have invested in a range of different brushes to help with the application of those eyeshadows where I want them.
I have learnt about blending – a fluffy brush really comes to the fore here.
I don’t necessarily use more eyeshadows than before, but I have learnt where to place them on my eye for maximum value. It’s been a long journey.

Actually this is what I’m starting to learn now. I only got into makeup within the last few years and I have thick framed glasses so my go to eye look is usually limited to liner, mascara and brows. I might use one or two shades for a touch of color if I was feeling fancy, but I’m such a palette magpie I need to start learning how to use shadows to justify my shopping.

I use more shades than I did at my childhood and teenage dance recitals, I use more brushes–but still sometimes use non-brush applicators, although they tend to be the cotton-tipped ones from Sally Beauty rather than sponge-tips–and I sometimes use eye primers (although I use setting spray much more often now, so I won’t get a ton of transfer on my face masks).

The older I get, the more hooded my eyes become. While I enjoy seeing cut crease and more artistic work done on other’s eyes, it’s not worth the trouble for mine. I found it’s best to have a good eyeliner and maybe a single color on the lids with some mascara. Even when I blink you cannot see a good 50% of the skin on my eyelids due to how heavy/hooded they are.

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