How to Apply Eyeshadow the Makeup Artist Way

Model showing how to apply eyeshadow

Ever wondered how to apply eyeshadow like a makeup artist? Whether you love sultry, smokey shades or a glitter cut crease, eyeshadow has the power to transform your look in one sweep.

So, pick up your favourite eyeshadow palette, grab a blending brush or two, and follow our makeup masterclass to achieve the most flattering eye looks in a flash.

Max Factor Miracle Prep Eyeshadow Primer

Put in the Prep

The most underrated product to add to your makeup bag? Eyeshadow primer. The answer to a velvety-textured eyeshadow look comes in the form of this lid-smoothing formula.

Start by dotting and blending Miracle Prep Eyeshadow Primer onto eyelids for a silky-smooth canvas, allowing eyeshadow to glide on easily. This multi-tasker also holds on to the pigment in your chosen eyeshadow shade, boosting the intensity of the hue and increasing your shadow’s staying powder from day to night.

Max Factor Masterpiece Nude Eyeshadow Palette

For an Everyday Eye-Awakening Look

If you’re going for a subtle smokey eye look using your favourite eyeshadow palette, try applying the darkest shade first. Yes, we said the darkest shade in your Masterpiece Nude Palette. While some believe that starting with the lightest shade is best, it can actually result in a heavier, flatter finish, as you later end up layering dark pigments on top of the light base colour.

By shading the crease at the outer corner of your eye first, you create a ‘frame’ for your lighter shades, preventing you from going over areas and piling on too much eyeshadow.

Once you’ve defined the crease and smoked shadow up to the brow bone, use a clean eyeshadow brush to tap a lighter shade in the palette from the inner corner of the eye to the centre of the lid. Buff upwards to the crease and brow bone to meet the darker shade and leave a seamless, flawless finish.

Max Factor Wild Shadow Pot in Burnt Bark

For a Dramatic Evening Look

To take your eyeshadow look to the next level, you don’t need to wear a multitude of shades. Instead, choose one statement colour of Wild Shadow Pot and intensify it with a wet eyeshadow brush. Warm tones, like Burnt Bark or Auburn Envy, are perfect if you want to stay on the smokey spectrum, while Turquoise Fury and Sapphire Rage (left) help you achieve the colour block trend.

For an even richer finish, swap out your brush and wet your eyeshadow with your index finger. Then, use it to press on the pigment in a solid, bold rectangular shape or a floating glitter cut crease.

Model wearing smokey eyeshadow

It Takes Two

If you want to perfect your eyeshadow look, have two brushes to hand: one for colour, one for blending. Apply your eyeshadow shade with the first brush, tapping across the lid and into the crease. Try to sweep it on in the shape you’re looking to create, like a rounded ‘cloud’ or - for more dramatic, smokey looks - a slight wing.

Then, take a clean, fluffy eyeshadow brush to buff and gently smoke out the colour. Some makeup artists also use fingertips to pat on shimmer shadows when highlighting the centre of the lid.

Max Factor Lasting Performance Setting Spray

MUA Quick Tips

Looking to perfect your eyeshadow in a hurry? Follow these quick tips for a flawless look in no time…

Apply foundation after eyeshadow: For smokey looks, apply foundation after you’ve cleaned up any drop-down shadow. This ensures your eyes and base will both look completely flawless.

Dust powder under eyes: If you’re in a rush, dust Miracle Veil Loose Powder beneath your eyes before applying eyeshadow to catch any drop-down. Once the eyeshadow is on, sweep under-eye powder away with a big, fluffy brush.

Enhance with highlighter: Add a dot of highlighter, like Colour Corrector Stick: The Illuminator, to the inner corner of the eye and eyebrow arch to lift and illuminate any eyeshadow look.

Spritz, spritz, spritz: The finishing touch? Mist Lasting Performance Setting Spray onto face and eyelids to set eyeshadow and makeup into place.

Want more eye makeup inspiration?

Want more tips for the perfect eyeshadow look? Read our guide on how to apply a smokey eye or, if you have blue eyes, discover your perfect shades.