The Minimal Trick To Apply Eyeshadow For An Elevated, Expert-Level Look

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
The Minimal Trick To Apply Eyeshadow For An Elevated, Expert-Level Look
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Even if you're not usually one to reach for a bold, metallic eyeshadow, a swirl of intense pigment just carries a certain allure. Soft, muted shadows do have their time and place, of course, but when you're itching to make a beauty statement (especially while wearing a mask)? Shimmer me, please. 

But, alas, there's one common gripe with said shimmers. See, the color payoff may look dense and opaque in the pan, but the transfer onto your lids may appear a bit blah. With achromatic lids, we wonder: How do the experts master such a megawatt finish? 

Well, one of the pros lets us in on her secret: "You absolutely must try this trick with your shimmery or your metallic eyeshadows. It's amazing," says celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes in a recent TikTok video.

A makeup artist's trick to enhance your shimmery eyeshadow. 

To start, Hughes takes a shimmery, electric blue number and sweeps it over her lid. The result? Pretty, but sort of faded—not the expected result from this metallic dream of a shadow. "It goes on really beautiful and soft," she notes. "However, I want it to be really intense."

Here comes the simple hack: She sprays the eyeshadow brush with a makeup setting spray (this Glass Skin Veil Mist is a personal favorite) before dipping it into the shadow. Then, when she presses it onto her lid, the pigment is much more striking—a dense, look-at-me shade of aqua. 

You can either stop there, or you can do like Hughes and buff the shadow into your crease with a dry, fluffy brush—this creates a diffused look with most of the pigment concentrated in the center (a nifty trick that actually helps your eyes look bigger). She then adds "a little bit more intensity" by pressing some extra shadow into the outer corner of her eye with a dry brush. "I like to only wet one corner," she notes, as it gives the entire look more dimension. 

Finally, she cleans up the fallout with concealer and finishes off her lashes with a few coats of mascara. And there you have it: A high-impact makeup look that's (surprisingly) minimal.  

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The takeaway.

Shimmery eyeshadows tend to look opaque in the pan yet have a much softer payoff on the skin. The muted hue is an elevated look in and of itself—so feel free to swipe on without a second thought—but you can always reach for the setting spray if you're looking for a touch more intensity. Easy!

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