Great looking eye makeup is all about creating light and shadow and drawing attention to the eyes. Too often however it’s easy to end up looking like a raccoon. This eyeshadow tutorial is a step by step guide to creating unforgettable eyes – for all the right reasons.
Throughout this tutorial we will be using Tints (highlights), Tones (mid tones) and Shades (contour/shadows) to create the complete look. Although this tutorial can be applied to whatever colour set you choose, the more contrast between your tints, tones and shades the more dramatic the finished look will be. For a more natural look stick with colours in same colour family (browns/neutrals), for a more dramatic look mix it up with richer jewel tones and blacks.
Step 1 – Prime the eyes
Before applying any eyeshadow start with a primer (try Laura Mercier Eye Basics) to get rid of discolouration in the eyelid and give the eyeshadow something to grip to.
Although you might be tempted to skip primer, it’s worth doing for a more vibrant end result and to help keep your eyeshadow looking good all day – especially if you get oily eyelids.
Apply the primer by dotting it on your eyelid, then smoothing it evenly across your eyelid, the inner corner of your eye and brow bone with your finger.
Step 2 – Tints
Tints are the lightest shade and used to create highlights around the eye. Using an Angled Eyeshadow Brush apply the eyeshadow across the visible part of your eyelid when its open – from the very inner corner of your eye (where your tear duct is) to the outer corner (the edge of your eye socket). Then apply the eyeshadow in a line along the top of your brow bone tracing along the brow from its highest point (where it arches up) to its outer most point. Do not go past the outer tip of your brow, this will look unnatural.
Resist the urge to blend the eyeshadow at this point – we’ll do that in the next step.
Step 3 – Tones
Tones are the mid colour and there to create depth and balance the highlights and shadows. Using a Crease Brush apply the colour to the crease of the eye, in the socket. This will create contrast with lighter colour on the lid of the eye and add definition. Brush the mid tone along the inner crease from the outer corner of the eyelid to the inside not going past the outer tip of the eyebrow or over the tear duct.
Using a clean Blending Brush start blending the tint and tone together. Start with the tone in the crease and gently brush back and forth along the crease until the tone colour is softened off and the edges diffuse. When you are happy with how it looks, blend the highlight tint at the top of your brow bone down into the tone using the same brush. Blend gently using a soft sweeping motion, brushing until the two colours look evenly blended and you can’t see a definite line where one begins and the other ends.
Do not blend the highlight on your eyelid just yet, we’ll save that for when we add the shade in the next step.
Step 4 – Shades
Shades are the darkest colour and help to contour the eye and give it extra pop. Use a Small Eyeshadow Brush and apply the shade to the outer corner of your eye to one third of the way across your eyelid using a gentle patting motion so as not to disturb the tint underneath.
Once the colour is on, use the Blending Brush from the previous step and begin blending the shade into the highlight on the eyelid, so that shade goes about half to one third of the way across the eyelid with the darkest point at the outer corner. If you have large eyes, you might extend this so it goes a little beneath the eye as well along the lash line (but be careful not to go too dark or your eyes will look heavy).
Don’t blend the highlight in the inner corner of your eyelid too much. Overall it should be less diffuse and pop more than the highlight on your brow bone to make the eyes look brighter and more wide set.
Once the eyelid is properly blended repeat the process this time blending the shade up into the tone in the crease to create more definition.
Step 5 – Eyeliner and Mascara
Once you’ve finished blending your tints, tones and shades together all that’s left is to add extra definition with some eyeliner and mascara. For a softer smokier look try Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil, if you get oily eyelids and are worried about smudging we recommend Laura Mercier’s Longwear Eye Pencil. Start by dotting the eyeliner on the outer corner of your eye then up in a diagonal along the edge of your eyelid close to your lashline. To give the illusion of wider eyes sweep out and up with the eyeliner just past the outer corner of your eye (don’t go too wide, subtlety is key). If you have large eyes you might like to also apply some eyeliner along the bottom of your eye along your lower lashes and then soften this off with a small blender. If you have smaller eyes keep the eyeliner to the top lid only to stop the eye from looking smaller.
Lastly, curl your eyelashes then apply a couple of coats of mascara.