- Eye cream, moisturiser or serum;
- Loose powder;
- Flat, eye shadow brush;
- Medium-sized smudging, blending or sponge brush;
- Sponge brush;
- Highlighter eye shadow;
- Kohl pencil;
- Large fluffy make-up brush;
- A tonal eye shadow compact (in your choice of colours - see Step 2 and 3 for more);
- A base shade and complementary darker shade - cream or powder eye shadow..
Prime your lids
Before you start making up your eyes, it's a good idea to moisturise the skin around them, in order to plump up any fine lines. Once the cream or serum has penetrated your skin, it's time to prime the eyelids. The eyelids tend to collect oil, which can cause unsightly creases in the pigment, so it's a good idea to use primer to even out the skin before applying shadow . Alternatively, simply dust a light veil of loose powder over the eyelids, before you apply the eye shadow, to set the make-up. Some women like to apply a dab of foundation to the lids in place of a primer. This can also work, but avoid using concealer as this will be too heavy, look gunky and crease the pigments in the shadow.
Get your base right
Unlike lipstick or blush, eye shadow isn't about turning up the volume on the underlying tones in your skin; it's about shaping you eyes, which is why it requires some mastery to make it work. You can't reshape but you can enhance them! Most make-up artists apply a medium tone, such as bronze, eggshell, light brown or autumn as a base. Alternatively, add a splash of colour with a medium-blue or green tone. This base shade can be worn on its own, subtly swept over the eye from the lid to the brow bone. However if you're going for a more dramatic effect, this base shade could 'anchor' the other tones and contour the eye socket. And note that powder shadows are much better options if you want to blend colours.
Shade for depth and contrast
Pick a darker shade from your compact and apply it with a medium-sized smudging or blending brush (or use a sponge) over the eye socket. Don't cover the entire eye lid with a dark shade, as this will make your eyes recede and look bruised. Go for a shade within the same tonal range as the base shade but make sure it's richer, more pigment-packed hue. Bronze, chocolate, slate grey, dark blue and olive green are good safe options; bear in mind that choosing a shade that contrast with your eye colour will make them really stand out. This step is about defining the eyes and making them appear larger and more seductive.
Highlight and finish
Use a clean sponge or brush to apply a highlighter (a light, fresh shade such as a shimmering white, cream, pearly pink or dusky apricot) to the brow bone, along with a tiny dab on the centre of the eyelid. This really brings out the eyes and makes them look sparkly; highlighter accentuates the whites of the eyes. Blend it well and remove any excess owder that has scattered over the darker shades. To finish, use a kohl pencil to apply a soft line along the outer edges of the upper and lower lashes. (If you feel really confident you can line your eyes with shadow, using a dampened brush dipped in pigment, to give you an expert-looking finish). Finally, use a large, fluffy brush to sweep away any excess powder that may have strayed on to your cheeks then polish off the look with two coats of mascara.