While eyeshadow is typically used to accentuate and enhance the eyes, by adding depth and dimension, but it can also be used to correct any negative aspects.
In this blog post, I’ll go over all the basic of eyeshadow, as well as:
The differences and benefits between highlight & shadow, as it applies to an eyeshadow application
How to apply eyeshadow in order to draw attention to the eyes
How to recognize and correct a variety of problematic areas of the eye
How to apply eyeshadow in order to create the illusion of ‘lift’ to the eye, which will give a more youthful appearance
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE EYE
The area directly above the eye and just under the eyebrow is where eyeshadow will be placed. If you're looking to achieve a more intense or dramatic look, you can also place the eyeshadow under and/or around the outer-corner of the eye.
The skin in this area may be tighter for some, while looser on others. Those with more youthful eyes tend to have a smoother and more taut area in which to apply eyeshadow, while those with more mature eyes may have an uneven surface on the upper-lid (generally referred to as a “crepey eyelid”.
It's also important to note that when it comes to width & height, this space can vary quite a bit for each individual.
FOLDS OF THE EYE
There are numerous different types of eye-shapes, as well as eye-folds. Eye-shapes tend to be round or oval, with varying types of folds. The area between the upper-lid line and just under the brow is the space where you should concentrate on, when applying eyeshadow.
The eye-folds are generally broken down into the following categories: the flat eye, the slight fold, the recessed eye, the heavy fold, the Asian slight fold, and the Asian heavy fold. It’s important to note that the eye-folds can either be one of, or a combination of, those categories.
Depending on the placement of the eyeshadow, it can either help lift-up or pull-down any of the eye shapes and/or folds, ultimately creating an illusion of something that doesn’t exist. For example, you can create the illusion that a ‘heavy fold’ is more like a ‘slight fold’, reducing the heaviness of the fold, thereby opening and lifting up the eye (this will help give lift to the entire face and, on a mature person, will create a more youthful look).
Below are illustrations of the various, common types of eye-folds. While some of you may have one of these exact eye-folds, others may have a combination.
While eyeshadow is often used to enhance the eyes by applying color, it can also be used to help bring balance to the eyes and, ultimately, the face.
Eyeshadow can be applied either before or after your base and eyebrows have been finished. However, some people prefer to do their eyebrows before applying eyeshadow, since the eyebrows will frame the eyes, thus helping to determine where the eyeshadow should be placed.
When applying eyeshadow, the most important thing to remember is where and how the eyeshadow is placed, as it can greatly affect the desired outcome.
Prepping the skin is an essential factor for a good eyeshadow application. To ensure a smooth eyeshadow application, be sure to cleanse and moisturize the eye area (if you have oily eyelids, avoid moisturizing this area—too much moisture can cause the eyeshadow to move).
Blending is the key to a flawless eyeshadow application. The goal is to have a smooth gradient of colors where one color transitions into another color, without any harsh edges. Having a proper blending brush will make a huge difference between a decent and an amazing eyeshadow application. I recommend using one brush for each color choice and a separate, clean brush for blending (if you mix brushes, it can cause the application to look muddy).
HIGHLIGHT & SHADOW
Highlight and shadow are the two key elements of the eyeshadow application. Each shade has a specific purpose: the highlight shade should be a much lighter shade of color than the shadow, while shadow should be a darker/deeper color than the highlight shade. The highlight shade draws attention to an area by pulling it forward, while the shadow shade will push an area backward, creating depth.
The placement of highlight and shadow is determined by the type of eye fold, since each fold has its own required needs. However, there are a few key elements that apply to most eye folds:
Keep the eye lifted
Eyeshadow should not exceed the outer-corner of the eye (if the shadow is placed past the outer-corner of the eye, it can cause the eye to droop, dragging it down)
Harsh edges should be well-blended and softened (an un-blended edge can appear harsh and messy)
Generally, the inside edge of the shadow (closest to the nose) should not exceed below the tear duct, since shadow below the tear duct can make the eye appear to droop (one exception to this rule is when working with Asian eyes, since it may be necessary to go slightly past the tear duct)
The following examples of eyeshadow placement are illustrations for corrective positions. However, with some eye folds, there may be one choice. For example, the Asian Slight Fold has three unique application choices, each with a different result. Furthermore, the Asian Heavy Fold may utilize elements taken from the three choices for the Asian Slight Fold.
This eye shape is slightly concave. It’s called the Flat Eye because it doesn’t have a fold or tissue that overhangs, nor is it recessed. Also known as the “perfect eye shape”, the Flat Eye is perfect for a wide-array of eyeshadow looks and applications.