Tutorial - Rainbow Eye

From some requests, this is a tutorial to do a rainbow eye. Some people find that this is a very difficult look to master, but I thought it was pretty easy! Anyway, this took me foreverrr to take pictures of, and even longer to crop and all that jazz, so please, please, please! if you like it, let me know! Hate it, still let me know! Acknowledgment of any kind is greatly appreciated!

Skill Level: Moderate

Just a close-up shot of my two brushes that I use in just about 95% of all looks I ever do. The one on the left is my Philosophy blending brush, and the one on the right is a paintbrush I picked up a craft store that’s a little stiff, and I use that for applying my pigments.

For this look, you will need the following…

Brushes: Blending brush, pigment-applying brush, and paint-applying brush (I use a very small, flat, stiff brush from Sephora).

Shadows: Coppering, Pink Papillon, Rule, Goldmine, Lucky Green, Freshwater, Electric Eel, Stars ‘n Rockets, Tease ‘n Teal

Misc. eye stuff: Flammable paint, Melon & Violet pigments, black eyeliner

Face: Studio Fix Fluid, Foolish Me blush

Lips: Dejarose l/g (or Girl About Town l/s + Moonstone l/g)

Start with a clean eye. I have some blah eyeliner still, but ignore it!

Apply Melon pigment ALL over your lid using a fairly flat and stiff brush with just a touch of water-based mixing medium (put this on your brush first, only so it’s damp, not wet, use the back of your hand to get rid of any excess wetness, and then pick up the pigment). Don’t worry about neatness, who cares!

Looks like so.

Using a small, flat-bristled brush pick up a small amount of Flammable paint and apply to your innermost portion of your lid – kind of like your inner corner, but you want to go up and above your natural crease, because this look does not have much of a crease color, we don’t want to bring attention the crease in this instance, but rather gloss over it.

Like that!

See how it peeks out over my crease?

It wasn’t red enough, so I went back and added a little more Flammable. Remember, with any color I mention, you should always feel free to apply more or less than you feel is necessary for your look.

Pick up some Coppering e/s with your blending brush and apply over the Flammable paint.


See… (why do I have two identical pictures?!)

Take some Pink Papillon e/s and apply it over half of the red portion of your lid. Notice the positioning of the brush? You are using the narrow edge, because you need to have some precision in this look as far as you need to fit a ton of colors on whatever space your lid has to offer!

Don’t just harshly drag your brush downwards, you want a combination of drag and dabbing, almost. Be gentle and don’t worry about going quickly – just take your time.

So you get something like this.

Time to get some Rule e/s. Again, you start placing the eyeshadow slightly over the previously applied pink shadow. By overlapping from the get-go, you help create the gradient-effect we’re after, as well as sort of blending-as-you-go.

Here’s how it should look.

Repeating what you’ve been doing, only this time you’re taking Goldmine e/s. You should be at the middle of your lid at this point if you’ve spaced things right!

And this results in…

Lucky Green e/s time! Again, keep doing what you have been doing. Same technique, same results!

It’s starting to come together.

As we continue down the line, pick up Freshwater e/s and repeat the same steps as before.

Still use the same dab and drag method as I described earlier to achieve some accuracy. This isn’t quite blue enough, you see? It’s a little faded. I added some Electric Eel e/s on top of this in the same way.

Using my pigment brush, I once again use the water-based mixing medium and pick up some Violet pigment. This time while the brush is held vertically, I am going to apply by placing the color and slowly dabbing and dragging outwards, rather than up and down, to ensure complete coverage of my outer eye area, since this is the last color for your lid.

This is how it looks so far.

Any harsh lines can easily be eliminated by taking your brush and gently brushing one color into the other. I recommend brushing the color closest to your nose into the next color (so blue into purple, red into pink). Do not do this in a rush! You have to be very careful and constantly check to see how the blending is going, otherwise you might end up with a muddy mess.

I think the green got lost, so here I am adding some more Lucky Green e/s. Not everything comes out perfect in the first application!

Some people leave the rainbow as is, not worrying about the harsh line. Well, it’s a personal pet peeve. I like color to the brow, and thus, that’s what I’m going to attempt to do. My color of choice is Goldmine e/s. It’s bright enough where it will blend, but not muddy easily. I start underneath my inner brow, but right above the colors.

And I move upwards and outwards.

Continuing along my brow bone…

Pick up even more Goldmine e/s and start immediately underneath your brow.

Brush it outwards and upwards so you cover your entire brow area.

You don’t want to spend that much time trying to blend the colors into Goldmine e/s. You are, essentially, merely making the line between color and brow less noticeable.

If you noticed, there was plenty of color fall out throughout the application. You could leave it as is, because it almost looks like a rainbow anyway, so it’s not a big deal. However, I kind of want to get more color into the look. I pick up some Stars ‘n Rockets e/s and apply it by holding the brush horizontally and against my lower lash line. I drag the brush from my inner lower lash line to my outer lower lash line, re-applying color as needed.

Too much purple, and I’d love to get some teal in this look. With that in mind, I picked up some Tease ‘n Teal e/s with my blending brush and applied it to my inner half of my lower lash line. This would have been much better had I planned ahead, because then you would apply the purple only to the outer portion of your lash line, not the entire part.

So, this is what you get.

Read the tutorial for what I read (I listed it all in the first step!) when it comes to the eyes. I used Foolish Me blush on my cheeks, and just the ever-fabulous Dejarose l/g on my lips.

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That is an awesome look! I’ve never seen anything like it! And you can get away with all of the colours because of the way you’ve kept it toned down and not too over the top.
The tutorial is very, very helpful too and you explain it so well!
Ha ha, come and do my make-up! :p

I’ve tried posting on here, but I guess it didn’t work.
Anyway, awesome work! I went into MAC and asked about the mixing medium, and turns out they only sell it in Miami, California, and NY (in certain stores), and I just happened to be in Boca Raton (FL) at the only MAC store I know haha. You mentioned it’s merely 2 parts water and 1 part glycerine (or am I wrong?), so do you make your own?

Hey Maggie,

It’s three parts one and one part glycerin 🙂 Shake it up and there you go. A little goes a long way, so don’t make too much!

Yes, I make my own. I’m too lazy to drive to the nearest PRO store, so it’s the easiest way to get it instead!


That is gorgeous! I love all of your tutorials, but this is really pretty! If I did that, it would look so…obvious ha. Yours looks natural, if that is possible with rainbow colors heh. =]

Thanks so much, Melissa! LOL! I’m not much one for rainbow eyeshadow, just because there are so many things going on. Plus, it takes so much time, haha.

thanks! i`m going to be moving soon, and there are going to be NO pro stores by me!! i was wondering if you would reccomend any websites that i could go to, to purchase some of their products. i don`t like ebay.. and i don`t really like makeupalley.com either! so do you have any suggestions?

First, you can always buy MAC from maccosmetics.com! That’s the first source 🙂 You can also by it from nordstroms.com, macys.com, and gloss.com! Makeup.com occasionally has some MAC products at discounted prices, too!

for this tutorial, it says you used the shadow, pink papillion. was it a limited edition shadow…because i could not find it at the mac website..

Hi Breanna, yes, they were both limited. You can use Pink Venus instead of Pink Papillion, and for Tease ‘n Teal, you can use Shimmermoss or Aquadisiac. HTH!

Oh my God, I’ve been on your site almost all day. This is absolutely unbelievable, I’m going to try this out right now I think I have all the colors. 🙂 Thanks for posting this.

Hi again, Cheryl! Well, I am flattered that you’ve found so much to do at my site, lol!

Please tell me how it goes, I hope it works out well for you 🙂

Thanks for this tutorial! I’m on my way to a Pride event, and was looking for something festive. With your advice, the test run came out amazingly, and I can’t wait to see the reaction tomorrow!

This has to be my favorite thing I’ve ever seen! You know after seeing some of the multi-colored tutorials you put up I was thinking to myself I’d love to see a rainbow. And I scrolled down a bit and here it is! I’m totally in love with all things rainbow so this made my day.

I think you’re amazing for sharing all these tutorials with people! ♥

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