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The Beginner’s Guide To Wearing Colourful Eye Shadow

Fri, 22 June 2012 1:42PM

I have some brightly-coloured, sparkly MAC pressed powder eye shadows (my favourite shade is Aquadisiac), but how do I wear them without looking ridiculous?

If you’re usually a less-is-more sort of girl, wearing colour, be it an acid-blue t-shirt, yellow nail polish, or a slick of coral on your pucker can be particularly daunting. The good news is, once you break the ice and learn how to apply the product correctly and wear it with confidence, there’s no looking back.

The fact that you have headed out and invested in some brightly-coloured shades of shadows means you’re already half way there. Although pastels will forever be a hit, right now, wearing pops of colour, such as neon accents or colour blocking has never been cooler, so here are a few helpful hints to help you work the trend into your everyday makeup.

Options 1: Try a soft wash.


The beauty of a pressed powder is that they’re brilliantly buildable. You can take baby steps, by starting with a faint wash of one single colour across the eyelids. When it comes to keeping the colour looking subtle, using the correct eye shadow brush is key. As a general guide, the fluffier, fuller the brush, the softer the finish. All you need to do is gently dust the powder working it from the inner corner of the eye so that the product gradually fades as it reaches the crease line toward the outer corner. Then, if you’re keen to amp up the drama, you can continue layering the shadow, or try working a deeper shade of the same colour on to the outer corners of the eyes for a more contoured-looking finish that’s ripe for the PM. To complete the look, keep it simple with a coat or two of mascara and a soft, almost-nude gloss on the lips for shine that won’t compete with the shadow.

Option 2: Coloured liner

Wearing eye shadow as a liner is one of the fastest ways to dabble in the colour trend and can easily be adapted for both day and night. When it comes to applying the shadow as liner, you can use a short, rounded brush, like MAC Brush 215, $45,, to gently dust the powder along the lower lash line for a soft, almost-cloudy-like finish. Or, for a sharper, more defined-looking hit of colour, use a flat, eye liner brush to create a clean sweep of shadow which will also help to play up the sparkle.

Hot tip: dampening the brush with a bit of water will make the shadow appear more punchy. Plus, it also helps to keep fallout on the low down.

Now, go forth and colour, colour, colour!

Got a burning beauty questions? Make sure you drop it in the comment section below with your name.


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  • Posted by: Jaz // Fri, 22 June 2012 03:19pm

    I put on brown/black eyeliner along the top lash line, then use a small rounded brush or my pinkie finger to add colour right over the liner. If the coloured eyeshadow is dark, e.g. teal or purple, it looks great. The stickiness of the eyeliner means the colour goes on thick, and you get a punch of colour right on the lash line, but a smudgy effect above that, where there wasn’t any liner.

    Haha.. hope that makes sense!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sat, 23 June 2012 02:02pm

    How can you get the intensity of a ring of eyeliner with small eyes? Everytime ive tried, it goes horribly wrong. Help eliza!

  • Posted by: Knyholm Master Fan // Mon, 25 June 2012 08:39am

    Great tips, especially for someone like me who is a bit conservative and usually use nudes and browns only…..really must try to use a bit of colour!!!

  • Posted by: Ashlee Enthusiast // Mon, 25 June 2012 12:59pm

    Great tips! Feeling inspired to get out my bright blue that’s been shelved for the past few months this weekend

  • Posted by: bluebird Master Fan // Wed, 27 June 2012 12:12pm

    I love wearing coloured liner above my lashes for a minimal pop of colour.

  • Posted by: Coconal Master Fan // Sun, 8 July 2012 01:32am

    Great tips! Another thing I do when I want to wear some colour shadows without looking over the top is ‘tone’ it down with a darker shade on the outer eye…it really does tone down the whole look a little bit so you still get the bright pop of colour on the inner eye.

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Fri, 30 November 2012 10:33am

    I always wear shadow as a liner. Its how i achieve my smokeye eyes. I struggle with using loose shadows because of the fall onto my cheeks. Ill remember to dampen my brush to try and prevent that. Lots of great tips here.

  • Posted by: catn2kittens Master Fan // Sun, 21 April 2013 03:42pm

    I love smoking out a green or purple shadow around my eyes, it’s such a fun look and with black liner it tones it down and gives extra definition.

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Fri, 14 June 2013 09:09pm

    Adore soft wash colour

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 30 June 2013 06:30pm

    I like wearing dark purple and navy blue too :)

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 5 August 2013 03:33pm

    Fantastic idea with the eye shadow as liner, I actually have several brands that this would work well with using as a liner. The colour choice is fantastic.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 15 September 2013 07:23pm

    great tips

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