By Devon Abelman. Photo: Getty Images
Picking the perfect eye-shadow palette is only half the battle. Mastering how to use the shades is a whole other struggle. We asked top makeup artists to share eye-shadow tips, from priming to blending, so you can use your new palette like a pro. With their advice, you won't have to worry about harsh lines, mudded shades, or dreaded fallout anymore. Spoiler: It all comes down to the right brushes. Here are some of their favorite eye-shadow tips.
"Apply cream shadows with a fingertip or a fluffy brush, then take another clean brush and gently buff and soften any harsh lines or edges. I love the It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe No-Tug Dual Eyeshadow Brush lately." —Suzy Gerstein, who's worked with St. Vincent and Camilla Belle
"One of the most important things for the best eye-shadow application is having the right tools. At minimum, you should have three brushes on hand: one for application and two clean brushes to finish off a seamless blend." —Robert Greene, who's worked with Tinashe and Samira Wiley
"Before applying an eye primer, I clean the eye area well with micellar water. Then, I add a de-puffing eye cream and let is absorb a bit." —Joseph Carrillo, who's worked with Alexa Chung, Portia Doubleday, and Lily Rabe
"My favorite blending brush is the M.A.C. 217 Blending Brush for its versatility and shape. It works really well with powder and cream eye shadows and fits comfortably in the eye crease for a great blend. Use it in soft, circular motions on the edges of your shadow for a perfect blend."—Greene
"Be sure to let primer dry first with your eyes closed for a few seconds before proceeding with the eye shadow." —Min Min Ma, who's worked with Zosia Mamet, Grimes, and Mia Wasikowska
"Lay down powder base shadows with a medium to large shadow brush. Sometimes, I even like to use a foundation brush for this because it is firm enough to give control yet soft enough to diffuse the color." —Gerstein
"For undereye smoky realness, use a flat brush to really pull and drag our the color." —Carrillo
"I generally like to do eye makeup first—before putting on foundation—especially when it comes to a smoky-eye look. In case the eye shadows used create messy droplets, you don’t have to apply and reapply your foundation work. Sometimes, I like to use disposable eye masks, such as Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask, while doing eye makeup. Once the makeup is done, I take off the mask and proceed with the remaining face." —Ma
"Pop a shimmery, mid-tone shade, like the M.A.C. Pigment in Tan onto the center of lids for a really pretty, light catching effect." —Gerstein
"I've been using the M.A.C. Paint Pot for the past couple of years because they are skin-like, non-greasy, and don't crease. My go-tos are Painterly (a nude beige), Soft Ochre (a yellow beige), Constructivist (a metallic brown with red pearl), and Quite Natural (a dirty chocolate brown). They really gets the shadow to stick, last long, and intensifies metallic shades. Use a shade of Paint Pot on the lid that matches the shadow you apply." —Carrillo
"Mix and match cream- and liquid-based eye shadow with powered ones. I recommend putting powder eye shadow last as it sets the whole eye makeup for longer-lasting wear." —Ma
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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