Eyeshadow School, the basics

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First things first, I’m wearing the always perfect Arbonne Perfecting Foundation on my face. I’ve loved this foundation for years and YEARS. It’s unbeatable. I did zero editing to these photos other than brightening up the light. That’s how good that foundation is. It helps that I was in the sweet spot of my office, too, where the light pours in just right, but still. If you are a new reader, this is the foundation I wear the most, especially if I know I’m going to be filming!

Okay, let’s talk about eyeshadow. I’ve had too many moments in the last few months whereΒ a friend isΒ asking me question about eyeshadow that made me think about revisiting the basics. I covered this years ago, but I wanted to refilm a video going over the very, very basics to help those of you who have never learned or just want to perfect your skill.

I’ll cover brush choice, where to apply, and the importance of blending!

Products I used, in order of use: Mac paint pot in Soft Ochre, similar double ended eyeshadow brush, Nars Ashes to Ashes, Charlotte Tillbury Instant Look in a Palette Seductive BeautyΒ (similar single eyeshadow option “Twice Baked”!), Sephora blending brush, similar lighter eyeshadow single option “Virgin”

My all time favorite eyeshadow brush is this duo brush from the Bare Minerals outlet store that I purchased over 7 years ago. I can’t find it online, but this brush is the very closest I can find to match it!

The takeaway that I’d emphasize to you is to focus on sweeping your brushes back and forth to both deposit the product evenly, and then to blend it out so you get a soft finish!

If you have any questions, will you leave them in the comments below? I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can!

In this post:

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Comments (74)

  1. Marie says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    How do you store double ended brushes?

  2. Kelly says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Can you recommend a good drugstore primer?

    • Robin Waibel says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      I often use Wet n Wild Photofocus eye shadow primer. I think it is just as good as the Tarte one!

    • Krista says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      There is an amazing drugstore dupe for the Mac Paint Pot she used. It’s Maybelline Color tattoo in Creme de Rose. It’s an exact match and a perfect primer

    • amanda says
      Posted January 17, 2017

      Wet n wilds eyeshadow primer works just as well as Urban Decays but for a fraction of the price!

  3. Lori Ludlum says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Where do you get your Argonne Perfecting Foundation?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      from the website πŸ™‚

      • Lori says
        Posted January 13, 2017

        Kate, how do you determine the color of foundation to choose?

    • Katie says
      Posted January 23, 2017

      Lori, (I’m an Arbonne consultant) my advice is to go to Arbonne.com and search for a consultant near you. A lot of consultants have foundation matching cards or have access to information on how to best match your current foundation. If you can’t find anyone or they can’t help you match, Arbonne has a great return policy. If you aren’t happy with the color you choose you’ll be able to easily return it for a different shade.

  4. Megan says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Timely post. My MIL just had me give her a shadow tutorial last weekend. I will be forwarding this post on to her. Thanks!

    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

  5. elizabeth says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    what are you wearing on your lips?

  6. Laura says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    If you only knew the number of times I have wished you’d do makeup school, and here it is!!! Yay!!! Thanks so much!

  7. Michelle says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    What shade do you use in the Arbonne foundation?

  8. Misty says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Whats your lip color please ?

  9. Ashley says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I also wear Arbonne Perfecting Foundation…I love the coverage and it has never irritated my sensitive skin! However, it settles into my fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes. Do you have a solution? I didn’t know I was aging until I started wearing liquid foundation πŸ™‚

  10. Kristen B. says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Great Post!!!!!! Your eye shadow always inspires me! So I was so excited to see a new tutorial! Your blog is the first thing I check while enjoying my morning coffee! And I have looked forward to it for years now! Thank you!

    • Karly says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      Likewise! πŸ™‚

  11. Joanna says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I love your nail color! Would you mind saying what it is? You have me hooked on the Essie Gel Couture ever since your maincure post a couple months back. I have even gotten compliments because people thought I went to the salon!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      IT’s Essie Gel Couture in Take me to Thread!

      • Sherry says
        Posted January 13, 2017

        Take me to thread in this tutorial? It looks like Lincoln park after dark or something? I have take me to thread and it doesn’t look like this? Not coming off as smart, just curious. πŸ™‚

        • Sherry says
          Posted January 13, 2017

          Sorry – wrong tutorial…it was the one from a few days ago that looked like Lincoln park after dark!

        • Kate says
          Posted January 13, 2017

          Oh shoot, this may have been London Town Lakur shade!

          • Jen says
            Posted January 17, 2017

            Which shade of London Town please! Lakur doesn’t seem to refer to a color.

  12. Posted January 13, 2017

    Thanks for the tutorial! Also interested to learn about the Arbonne Foundation. I’ve read tons of foundation reviews but haven’t come across this brand before. You’ve piqued my curiosity…

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  13. Kristy says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    You should try SeneGence products, our ShadowSense is a cream to powder and goes on beautifully. It’s water resistant, budge proof, has our skin care In the product. We also have lipsense which is budge proof, water proof, no wax or lead.

  14. Steph says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I like to use cream eyeshadow as the all over color, and using cream over the primer makes blending even easier. This video is excellent for beginners!

  15. Jamie says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    This video was great, I always struggle with eyeshadow. Can you tell us your lip color? So pretty!

  16. Allison says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I want to take my tween to get a professional makeup artist to show her how to properly apply makeup, once she turns 12 or 13. Where do you suggest we go? We have Nordstrom, MAC, Sephora, etc. We are outside of Denver, so most major stores.

  17. Kayla Moberg says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Love this tutorial! What mascara and eye liner do you use? Also, what was the primer called again? Thank you!

  18. Teresa says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Can you please do a tutorial showing how to put your foundation on after doing your eyes. Thanks Love this video!!

  19. Jen says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Unrelated but could you offer any tips on dealing with a cowlick. Lately it’s been horrible. It sticks up and makes it super difficult to part my hair.

  20. Mollie Talmanson says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Hi Kate – do you think there is a difference between overall/foundation primer and eyeshadow primer? Do you need a specific one for eyeshadow rather than using the foundation primer as an allover primer? Thanks so much – love your blog!!!!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      YES YES YES! Huge differences!

  21. Heather White says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Your brows look great! What product do you use on them?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      I typically use Hourglass Arch brow pencil but I think I used an Anastasia product on this day

  22. Betty says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    When you say “getting the color on your lid, all over your lid” in the first shadow step (after the primer), what is considered the lid? Is the lid only to the crease? Or up to the eyebrow?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      To me, the lid ends at the crease area. The area under your brow bone would just be called your browbone area.

      • Betty says
        Posted January 22, 2017

        Thank you! πŸ™‚

  23. Lauren says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Hi Kate- how do you decide what shadows to pair together? I have all these beautiful colors I’ve purchased, but then find myself not knowing how to pair them.
    Thanks!

  24. Amy says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Hi Kate! In the video you mentioned drugstore primers – are there any good ones that you would recommend? Thanks!

    • Teresa says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      Yes Ideas for Drugstore Primer?

      • Krista says
        Posted January 13, 2017

        There is an amazing drugstore dupe for the Mac Paint Pot she used. It’s Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creme de Rose. It’s a perfect match πŸ™‚

  25. Kali says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Hi Kate! What color Arbonne foundation do you use?? I have a very similar complexion and just buy whatever color you recommend and so far they have all worked! (added bonus…my sister sells Arbonne!)

    Thanks!

    • Sydni says
      Posted February 8, 2017

      Hey, I use Arbonne and have a similar complexion to Kate. I like Soft Blush and Honey Beige depending on the season (I go for a little darker in the summer when my face has more sun). But you should def ask your sister if you can try them out πŸ˜€

  26. Posted January 13, 2017

    I’ve been scouring YouTube for hooded lid eye makeup tutorials and it’s been fascinating. My itty bitty deep set hooded lid eyes need help! Thanks for this refresher.
    And your eyes without any makeup totally equals David! I’m not sure I realized how much he looks like you until you are makeup-free. Love it.

  27. Emily says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I’d love some reccos for products for people with dry/sensitive eyes! I don’t know if it’s because I work on a computer all day, don’t get much sleep due to having a toddler or maybe it’s just how I’m made, but any time I wear ANY eye makeup — mascara, eye shadow, liner, even highlighter or under-eye concealer — the whites of my eyes turn bright red within an hour or two and everyone’s asking me what’s the matter. And I have green eyes, so the red is really jarring; I’m super self-conscious about it. I’ve tried all types of quality products, but seem to keep coming back to the same problem. Wondering if this is common and are other people in the same boat? And if they are, what products work for them?

  28. Patti says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Thank you SO much for this video! I haven’t really “learned” about makeup application since reading magazines in high school. I’m a mom in my early 30s who just found your blog as I am fighting the slide into the “frumpy mom look.” So much out there is overdone or just weird, but your looks are natural and attainable . Please do more videos like this!

  29. Pamela C. says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Several of us are curious about your lip color. Would you mind divulging? Thank you!

  30. Rachel says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Thank you for doing this tutorial! I was wondering if there are any makeup brush sets you would recommend for someone that is really starting from the basics regarding makeup application, or is it better to buy them individually. Unfortunately I am not in the States, so can’t always access the brands you mention.
    Also, as someone else asked above, how do you determine which colours go together, are there any tricks to it? And how to clean brushes!

  31. Michele says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Thanks for this tutorial. Next, a blush one? Both powder and cream? And come to my house to do it for me? Please? ThanksπŸ˜‰

  32. Cailee says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Those earrings are stunning! Where are they from?! I checked the post so I’m sorry if I missed the link!

    • Krista says
      Posted January 14, 2017

      They are Jcrew factory

  33. Cynthia says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    In the video you mentioned drugstore primers – are there any good ones that you would recommend? Thanks!

  34. Martha Evans says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    You are such a pretty girl! Thank you for a great post.

  35. Mia says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Can you do a tutorial on eyeliner application? Particularly the powder shadowy eyeliner you need a brush to apply as opposed to a pencil. I think the softer look of the shadowy eyeliner is more appropriate for everyday make up

  36. Andrea says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    What do you recommend for lower lash line? Sometimes when I use a liner I feel it is too “harsh”. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Kshaff says
      Posted January 14, 2017

      I think she uses a tiny angled brush and puts a dark/bronzy brown on. But stop about the middle of your eye and blend.

  37. Katharine says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    Thank you so much for this post. This was so helpful!!! I used this technique for the last two days and was so pleased with the outcome. Now I’m just playing with color combinations to find that nice everyday look. Keep these coming, I need help with all the basics!

  38. Katie says
    Posted January 15, 2017

    I really like the school/class on eyeshadow. I hope you have some more Basics 101 coming up! Someone asked about how to color match what shades go together, that would be very helpful! – Love your blog and the new design!

  39. Amanda Scheel says
    Posted January 16, 2017

    Hi Kate!

    I would love to see how you finish your look especially the rest of your eyes, eyebrows and lips. You are so gorgeous especially as a mom of Little’s. I have 4 with one on the way and would love to master my make up before I’m 35! Thanks for helping…

    Amanda

  40. Jenna says
    Posted January 16, 2017

    😘😘😘

  41. Kendra says
    Posted January 16, 2017

    This was INCREDIBLY helpful!! Thank you so much! I’ve been thinking about leaving you a comment for a few weeks just saying thank you in general for being so excellent at what you do (running this thing – you’re killing it!) I am a girl (can I still say that at 37? lol) who never really learned how to do her make-up but I have learned so much from you over the last couple of years. So, I just wanted to stop real quick and say thank you.

  42. Erin says
    Posted January 17, 2017

    Any ideas to keep mascara from fading during the day?
    I bought your favorite cherry blossoms fibers they work , but a product or technique for just mascara days? Thanks!

  43. Leigh says
    Posted January 17, 2017

    I’d also love to see how you finish your eyes with liner on the upper lid, or at the very least the lower lid. I’m so fair that I have to have something there.

    Thank you for this post. It’s very helpful! πŸ™‚

  44. Posted January 18, 2017

    Just wanted to say that the e.l.f. smudge pot cream eyeshadow works great as a primer also! Especially the “ain’t it sweet” shade. πŸ™‚ Discovered this on accident!

  45. Carla says
    Posted January 29, 2017

    Would you consider this foundation full coverage? Thanks!

  46. Carla says
    Posted January 29, 2017

    Would you consider this foundation full coverage? Thanks you!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 30, 2017

      yep!

  47. Megan says
    Posted January 31, 2017

    Can you do a video like this but how to do eye liner?

  48. Megan Walsh says
    Posted February 2, 2017

    You are so naturally pretty. Can you share the lip color you have on in this post? I see others asked but no answer, thanks!

  49. Sydni says
    Posted February 8, 2017

    So so helpful! Would love more eye shadow schools using different colors & techniques πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  50. kathryn bryant says
    Posted March 6, 2017

    I love that eyeshadow, but I can’t spend 75 dollars. Does anyone have any drugstore dup ideas that would match the colors?

  51. Samantha says
    Posted December 1, 2017

    I would love to know what lip color you have on here. I have similar coloring and I always find your product recommendations super helpful πŸ™‚ love this look!

  52. Posted March 30, 2018

    Really a good video. I was struggling with the brushes. but after seeing this tutorial I am very clear about that. can you please tell me which foundation I should use on my face as my skin tone is fair??