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A good eyeshadow can make or break a look, in more ways than one – if it’s badly applied it can mean cleaning your whole face off and starting from scratch, and even if it’s not badly applied, the wrong colour or thickness can ruin your make-up.

With most cosmetics, less is more, and this is never truer than with eyeshadow, there is a big difference between a small streak of colour that highlights your eyes and skin tone, and an overpowering blotch of powder that’s likely to end up smothered all over your face at the end of the night anyway.

Eyeshadow colours

Different eye shadows work with different eye colours and a good option is to buy an eye shadow palette. here are a few tips to help you choose the right colour for your eyes.

Best Eye Shadow for Brown Eyes

The thing people with brown eyes can be smug about is that most eye shadow colours will work with them, and it’s especially fun to experiment with brighter colours or shimmering shades. Dark blues and purples will create a dramatic effect for a night out, whereas coffee or chocolate shadows are more natural looking for during the day.

Best Eye Shadow for Blue Eyes

The last thing you want to do if you have beautiful blue eyes is to wash them out with the wrong shade of eyeshadow. Pink or orange tones will do just that, and might even give the whites of your eyes a red tint. Stick to warm browns and golds that will bring out the blue and really make it sparkle, then add some slightly darker shades for the evening.

Best Eyeshadow for Green Eyes

Purples and violets have always combined well with green, to striking effect, and a rich colour blended to create a smoky look will make green eyes really stand out.

Best Eyeshadow for Hazel Eyes

It’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint the amount of green and the amount of brown in hazel eyes, it’s a much more personal colour than people realise. If you’re not sure whether you should be opting for purples to bring out the greens, or golds to bring out the brown, opt for black or charcoal, they’re suitable for most eye colours and can create a dramatic, sultry look.

Eyeshadow Application

Without practice, eyeshadow can seem to get all over the place, so take some time out to work on your look before you head out for the day/evening. A brush is infinitely more suited to the job of eyeshadow application than the little sponge pads you usually get with a compact, they’re just not up to the job. A small, domed make up brush with soft bristles will do the trick.

Firstly, you’re going for a build up of colour, resulting in shades that flatter the eyes and face, so don’t overload the brush. Apply your lightest colour first in a sweeping motion over your lid, this is a base for your other colours, so it’s ok to stray a little over the top of the lid up to the brow – use the natural arc of your wrist to make the movement smooth and even.

Next, go for your medium colour (you should have three colours or more, in order to build up some depth to the eyeshadow), and brush it over the lid itself. Be careful not to go beyond the crease of your eye here, if you keep trying to even it out from eye to eye, it inevitably gets higher and thicker until you look like a clown.

With the darkest colour, find a slightly smaller brush, as this is where it could go wrong and leave you reaching for the make-up remover. Remember to shake off the excess and gently sweep it over the deepest part of the eye lid, this will make your eyes look bigger and brighter. If you’ve applied the powder properly, the three colours should appear effortlessly blended together.

Tips for applying eye shadow

Here are a few extra things you might want to take note of when applying eyeshadow:

1.Avoid the browbone. This is a look reserved for high fashion models and drag queens, anyone else will just look overdone and not at all classy. Apply sparingly up to the browbone, but unless it’s a neutral colour, don’t brush onto it.

2.Blend, blend, blend! If you want to make your eyeshadow morph seamlessly from light to dark, it’s essential that you use your brushes correctly and gently blend the colours so there are no obvious lines.

3.Don’t overdo dark colours, your eyes will look small and beady, instead of bright and inviting.

4.Experiment with colour combinations to create your own personal look, mixing shades can also result in new colours that you can’t buy on the market. An eye shadow palette will give you lots of different colours to try.

5.Be prepared to splurge a little. A good quality eyeshadow will remain part of your make-up kit for years to come, so spend a bit extra and you’ll see the difference.