How to Make Eyeshadow Less Chalky

Why are you not applying your eyeshadow properly?

If you're not sure how to apply eyeshadow, you've arrived at the perfect destination. If you want new techniques, we have these too. First you need to choose the right eyeshadow palette for your eye color, then you need to figure out how to use all of the different shades on your lid. This basic application is all you need to know about how to apply eyeshadow. Use more dramatic shades for the evening, lighter shades for the day.


Step 1: fill up your lid

Always sweep a primer over your eyelids before applying the eyeshadow you plan to use all day long. We swear by Urban Decay's Primer Potion, but there are all kinds of primers out there (we also like the shimmery MAC paints).

Why this step is important: If you have greasy eyelids, or if summer hits, the primer will hold the eyeshadow in place. You will find that your shadow won't move even if you run the New York City Marathon.

Tools: You can use your finger to apply primer, but a q-tip works and some people who are really into makeup use a brush for this. You can literally have a makeup brush for every step of your makeup process.

Step 2: sweep a neutral color over your lid

All eyeshadow palettes are available in different colors. You should choose a neutral shade for your lid: not the darkest, not the lightest. Sweep this color all over the lid down to the crease. You can go darker for a more dramatic look, but if you have fair skin and eyes the look can be too harsh.

You are better off with a lighter shade. The shimmer is fun for the evening, but can make mature skin look wrinkled.

Why this step is important: The neutral cast of shadows is the main base of shadows that you will use to build the rest of your look. Even if you just have a simple look for the day of the week or the weekend, a neutral color will pop your eyes and hide any discoloration on the lid.

Tools: Throw in the freebie foam applicator that comes with some drug store pallets. The best tool for eyeshadow application is a medium eyeshadow brush. You can get one at any pharmacy, Sephora, or department store. Some beauty experts like it edgy and recommend applying eyeshadow with your fingers. That never worked for me.

Step 3: blend a darker color to your crease

For the next step, blend a darker shade into your crease, starting from the inside of the eye with a thinner line that gets thicker as it extends to the outside of the crease. Make sure the lids fit and mix, mix, mix.

If you have a 3 color palette, go for the darkest color. If you have a 4 color palette, choose the 3rd darkest. If you're not using a palette, use a color that goes with your neutral color.

Why is this step important? This step will add drama and definition to your eyes.

Tools: Use a brush designed for the crease and apply it to the crease.

Step 4: add highlighter above the fold

If you think your eyes need even more color, you can use the lightest color in your palette and paste it just above your crease. Try to keep the color out of the eyebrow (sweep color to the eyebrow) and lighter shades are always better.

Stay away from dark shadows here.

Think of your lids like a rainbow blending seamlessly from light to dark and back to light. If you watch videos of makeup applications, you'll see the importance of blending when it comes to eyeshadow. Both lids need to match and you want the colors to look like a rainbow, transitioning seamlessly from light to dark to light.

Step 5: Press a light shade into the inner corner of the eye

To open your eyes, press your pinky finger into the lightest color on the palette, then press your pinky finger into the inner corner of your eye. This is the makeup artist's secret to making the eyes appear wider and more alert.

Why this step is important: Nothing will make your eyes look as alert as this trick. Don't use it most days, but it's amazing for special events, appointments, or for evenings.

Tools: Always use your pinky finger here. You don't want to squeeze too much color into your eye or it will be obvious.