A pop of colourful eye makeup—whether a big burst or a smidge—could be just the thing you need to jolt yourself out of the makeup blahs. Follow along with these eight easy eyeshadow hacks and you’ll find that bright hues can be flattering, wearable (even for day!) and a cinch to apply.
- Choose a formula.
Look for an eyeshadow with intense pigment and major staying power like L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Eyeshadow. It’s available in 12 flattering shades, from neutrals such as Eternal Sunshine, Sahara Treasure and Amber Rush to vibrant hits like Always Pearly Pink, Magnetic Coral, Silver Sky and Glistening Garnet. It has a powder-to-cream texture with intense, long-wearing pigments and won’t crease or fade over 24 hours. Sweat, party or snooze and your makeup won’t budge.
- When in doubt, try jewel tones.
Matte neon reds, fuchsias, yellows and greens are eye-catching, but you can still have fun with colourful eye makeup even if neon hues aren’t your thing. Jewel tones like amethyst and emerald are rich and colourful and much more wearable than neons for the average person, regardless of eye colour or skin tone. Creamy, satin textures are also a foolproof bet.
- Prep that base.
Even if you’ve chosen a long-wearing eyeshadow, priming the eyelids is always a smart first step. A primer or concealer smoothed across the entire lid from brow to lash will create an even canvas for your eyeshadow, enhance the colour (especially if you blend a light concealer onto a darker skin tone) and even improve longevity. Wait for the primer or concealer to set before applying shadow on top.
- Pick your colourful eye makeup placement.
Wearing a bright colour from lash line to brow bone is a no-no. Instead, get strategic about the placement of your pop of colour. Colourful eyeshadow trends include dusting a bright hue straight across the lid, adding a hit just in the tear duct or patting it into the crease. You can even try smudging colourful eyeshadow along your top lash line like eyeliner or tracing only your bottom lash line for an unexpected twist. Keep the rest of your eyeshadow neutral to allow the bright patch of colour to take centre stage.
- Pat the colour—don’t drag.
Brushing eyeshadow on your eyelids is fine if you’re going for a subtle, natural look, but if you want to deposit a lot of pigment, it’s best to pat. Rub your brush into your eyeshadow pan until you have plenty of pigment and then pat the product in the exact spot where you want the colour to make its statement. If you’re applying colour across your whole eyelid, you’ll need to keep adding more shadow to your brush and patting it on until you’ve covered the entire lid.
- Blend it out.
Once you’ve deposited all of your pigment, it’s time to blend—especially along the edges. Use a fluffy blending brush for this step. If you’re less comfortable wearing bright tones, blend the colour out even more for the first few times you try it.
- Finish up with mascara and defined brows.
No one would ever call colourful eye makeup a “natural” look, and it’s most flattering when paired with well-groomed brows and a thick dose of mascara. To maintain a refined feel, comb through your eyebrows, fill holes with pencil or powder and finish off with a clear brow gel. Finally, layer on a few coats of black mascara to define your lashes and contrast with your vibrant eyeshadow.
- Go easy on the rest of the face.
Your eyes are done, but what about your blush and lips? It’s best to use a light hand so that your makeup doesn’t look garish—especially if you’re a newbie. Keep your application light and your colours neutral and even simplify your hair—say, by pulling it into a high pony or slicking it into a topknot—to maintain a polished, grown-up appearance.
Now the only thing left to work on is your confidence. Once your colourful eye makeup is on, it’s time to own it.