You’ve just picked up that face and eyeshadow palette you’ve been eyeing for weeks, and you’re excited to try it out. Maybe you’re exploring a bold new color family—or maybe it’s your first time using a palette. Whatever the reason, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed at first. How do you use an eyeshadow palette correctly, and what’s the best way to combine colors? We’ll guide you through the process and help you achieve instant glam.
How to Use a Face & Eyeshadow Palette
Makeup is all about creativity and self-expression, so there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules on how to do it “right.” But there are a few tricks to help you achieve a flawless look and long-lasting color.
Understand the Color Basics
It can be confusing figuring out which colors are meant to go where, but it helps if you divide and conquer. Typically, the lightest colors are highlighters, the medium tones are the transition shades, and the richer, more pigmented shades are for accents, lines, and contouring.
Palettes usually also have a mix of matte and shimmer shades to give your makeup more dimension.
Master Your Color Placement
Create a base by applying a light or medium transition color over your entire eyelid. This will prevent any harsh lines between your natural skin color and makeup and help your accent color pop. Apply a darker transition shade in the crease to create depth and blend outward using a thin, fluffy brush.
The secret to flawless eye makeup every time? A.B.B.: Always be blending.
Choose your fave accent color and blend it from the lash line up to the crease. At this point, you’re just creating the shape. You can always go back and add more of this color later.
Use a highlight color just under your brows to define them or in the inner corners of your eyes to brighten them.
With an angled brush, apply a dark contouring color along your top and bottom lash lines to bring attention to your eyes. Fill in your outer crease and corners to add dimension. You can also soften the lower lash line by mixing your contour shade with your transition shade.
With that, you’re done!
How to Choose Eyeshadow Color Combinations
Once you find your perfect palette, it’s up to you to build your color combos. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you. Here’s some inspiration for your desired makeup looks.
Neutral tones are perfect for work, school, or everyday use for a barely there look. Think baby pink, beige, brown, taupe, and rose. Our Greatest Hits Classics Eye and Face Palette is a great choice for beginners and those who prefer to go natural. Use Ethereal dusty blush for your highlighter, Fresca as your accent for a subtle sparkle, Divine for a smooth matte transition, and Venus or Botticelli to define your lids with a romantic touch.
When you’re ready to branch out and expand your color selection, the Venus XL palette features rosy hues and beautiful bronzes that coordinate with the colors found in the Greatest Hits lineup.
If you’re after a cool-toned look, Venus Immortalis is your girl, thanks to its sophisticated gray and taupe color story.
Bold & Beautiful
If you like to stand out from the crowd, you’ll fall in love with the Prelude Chroma Eye and Face Palette. It’s packed with deeply pigmented colors in sheer iridescent, matte, metallic, and foil finishes for out-of-this-world looks. Start with Olympia for a universally flattering transition shade, then layer on royal purple Cyprus as your base. Line your lashes with deep turquoise Genesis, highlight with iridescent blue-green Sea Foam, and top it off with a shimmery ocean-blue Saturn right over the center of your lid.
When you’re in an earthy mood, Venus XL 2 offers a dreamy array of soft pinks, greens, and browns in 6 different finishes.
Ready to be pretty in pink? The shades in the Venus 3 palette range from soft and romantic to cheerful and candy-colored.
How to Make Pigments Last
Your eyeshadow started on point—truly Instagram worthy—but by lunch, the look you meticulously crafted is dull and smudged to oblivion. At this point, you’re desperately wondering how to make eyeshadow more pigmented and last from morning through night. Fortunately, there’s a trick called foiling.
To foil eyeshadow, coat your brush with a little water or setting spray. Going into your eyeshadow with a wet brush thickens it to a creamy consistency. This helps the pigment adhere to the eyelid, look more vibrant, and last longer. It’s also an easy way to get the most impact out of your shimmer and metallic shades.
How do you make colors last when you’re not foiling? It’s simple: Swirl your brush in the palette, give it a few taps to knock off the excess, and gently tap it onto your lids. When you’re ready to blend, buff lightly in small circles using any pigment left on the brush. Pressing too hard and using dramatic sweeping motions can end up flicking away the color you just applied.
With a little practice, you’ll be slaying those beautifully blended looks in no time. Find even more inspiration on Instagram and TikTok!