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Basic Eyeshadow Application for Makeup Beginners Tutorial

posted in: Makeup
June 8, 2021

One makeup technique that can be overwhelming to learn as a beginner: eyeshadow application. What colors do you use, where do you put them, how do you make them look cohesive? Luckily, there’s a pretty simple formula that you can use with most eyeshadow palettes to put together a basic look. Follow this easy eyeshadow tutorial for beginners to get started.

I’m using the NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Neutrals ($18), which is a great eyeshadow palette for everyday wear and easy to navigate for beginners. Be sure to prep your lids with eyeshadow primer first, which will enhance your shadow and keep it in place all day.

Basic Eyeshadow Application Technique:

  1. Apply a base shade— a light neutral shade— all over the lid and up to the brow bone. This will set your primer and even out your eyelid for an even starting point. It will also help subsequent shadows blend together more easily.
  2. Using a fluffy blending brush, apply a medium-toned shade above the crease of your eye, and blend softly upward to reduce harsh edges. This is called your transition shade.
  3. With a crease brush, apply your darkest shade to the outer corner of your eye, sweeping into the crease.
  4. Blend the crease and transition shade together with the same brush from step 2 to create a smooth gradient between the two shades.
  5. Pat your lid shade on the center of your lid moving toward the inner corner. Have fun with this one— it’s the perfect spot for shimmer shades! If needed, blend the line where your lid and outer corner shades meet to create another smooth gradient.
  6. You’re done! Follow up with liner or mascara to finish the eye look.

See the steps in action:

More Eyeshadow Tips:

  • Blending is key. Make sure you’re using the right brushes and blend in soft, circular motions.
  • Start light with the amount of shadow you apply. It’s harder to blend excess product, but you can always add more.
  • Using matte (non-shimmer) shades for your transition and outer corner add more definition to the look.
  • Take your look a step further by applying a light shimmer shade in your tear duct and just under your brow to create highlight.

This is a great starting point for eyeshadow beginners, and will help you get used to shadow placement and blending before moving on to using more shades and other techniques. Paying attention to the tones of the shadow, you can replicate this look with any eyeshadow palette.

– Miranda

22 Responses

  1. Chloë
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for this. It’s a great tutorial.

  2. Todd
    | Reply

    I tried this look and love it! I also love how your tutorial tells me which kind of brush to use too. Now if only I could apply eyeliner without ruining the whole look.

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      I have a winged liner tutorial here if you’d like: https://slashedbeauty.com/eyeliner-guide-makeup-beginners/

  3. Michelle
    | Reply

    I clicked on the eyeshadow pallet link, but there are a bunch of different combinations. Can you tell me which on the model in the pictures is wearing please.

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      Warm Neutrals!

  4. Shannon Williams
    | Reply

    Hello I had a question and I’m not sure if this is the correct place to ask but here goes anyway. I look sick if I’m not wearing eyeliner so I used to live wearing it on the top and bottom but when I wear it on top it always smears to the top of my eyelids so my question is how do I keep that from happening? Thank you

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      I wonder if you might have hooded eyes then, this is very common! Using an eye primer beforehand should help with this, as well as waterproof formulas.

  5. Dimpy Modi
    | Reply

    Wow glad to have found this post!!

  6. Amelie Bill
    | Reply

    it really was interesting and informative. you explained it in extraordinary way. Totally agreed with you on this.

  7. Judy
    | Reply

    Not just for beginners even old ladies like me need some help doing this look..Thank you for sharing this!

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      Thanks Judy! Hope it helps.

  8. Hair Salon
    | Reply

    Thanks for this! I’ve been doing it wrong I thought the eyelids should be first to work on!

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      I find that this way gives me a better blend/gradient otherwise the darker crease shade can get overpowering!

  9. Kimmi @ The Plastic Diaries
    | Reply

    Brilliant guide!! Well done.

  10. Margo @ PrettyPandaMakeup
    | Reply

    This was great!!!!! I love that palette!

  11. Sheila Arkee
    | Reply

    Great job on the tutorial! That’s one of my favorite palettes, as well.

  12. Harshleen
    | Reply

    That’s such a useful post! Love the look you created…

  13. Phyrra
    | Reply

    What a cute tutorial!

  14. Brooke @ Blushing Noir
    | Reply

    Such a beautiful, neutral look!

  15. Lisa Marie Heath
    | Reply

    bookmarking this! Awesome tutorial!

  16. Ingénue Coquette
    | Reply

    lovely eyeshadow, and your tutorial was so easy to follow!

  17. Kim Porter
    | Reply

    Great pictorial.

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