From the “cut crease” to the “halo eye.”
The art of applying eyeshadow is one that, like most things, requires practice to perfect. Fortunately, if you’re looking to up your glam game, the internet is brimming with in-depth eyeshadow tutorials designed to guide us through the process of pulling off intricate lid looks like a professional.
So whether you’re an amateur artist or you actually are a pro looking to polish your craft and get some inspo for new looks, we’ve sourced five easy-to-follow tutorials that detail the coolest techniques to try out there. From the cut crease to the halo eye, here are the eyeshadow looks we’ve been loving, and the products you’ll need to replicate them.
Try halo eyes
The “halo eye” technique gives off an ethereal aura that professional makeup artists turn to often, and for good reason. Though it’s fairly simple to accomplish, the result is a mesmerizing ombré effect of matte and glitter shades. And it looks masterfully crafted every time.
On TikTok, makeup artist Jonathon Thorpe walks us through his take on the halo eye technique. For the base of the look, Thorpe recommends laying down either a dark-coloured liquid, pencil, or cream matte shade to the inner and outer corners of the eye in a dome-like shape—avoiding the centre of the lid. “This works well in two ways,” he explains. “One is that it’s gonna create something slightly tacky on the lid that the eyeshadow is going to stick to, and it also puts down a lot of pigment quite quickly so you don’t need to blend and add as much eyeshadow.” Next, buff out your base with a fluffy brush and apply a similarly shaded eyeshadow over top of the outer and inner corners.
When you’re ready to incorporate your middle shade—which is typically a glitter but can also just be a much lighter colour—dip into your desired pigment with your finger and apply to the centre of the lid. Follow up with an eyeshadow a few shades lighter than your base colour along the inner and outer corners of the eye for a seamless finish. If you’re prone to swiping one glittery shade all across your lids, this look will take your artistry to the next step.
Going for a glittery halo eye like Thorpe? Infused with light-reflecting pearls and refined micro-glitter, Hourglass’ Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in the shade “Vivid” was made for this technique.
Wear a soft cut crease
If you’ve been exposed to the world of glam for long enough, you’ve probably heard the term “cut crease” being thrown around here and there. With its sharp “cut” of light-coloured eyeshadow over the lid contrasted by a darker, flared-out shade in the crease, we’ve all been intimidated by this striking eye look. The good news? It’s not just reserved for the pros. With a little bit of eyeshadow and concealer you can pull off this optical illusion eye.
Sephora Squad 2023 inductee and TikTok influencer @aminaplease is known on the app for her dramatic cut crease and flawless glam, so we knew we could rely on her beginner-friendly eyeshadow tutorial for this technique. Start off by reaching for a neutral-toned eyeshadow palette, and pick up a shade that isn’t quite as dark as black, but still contrasts against your skin tone. Buff this out all over the lid and work it up to your eye socket.
For the pièce de résistance, take one of your lightest shades of concealer and begin to apply a small amount of the product over the lid to start creating that “cut” effect. “The key is not to pack on the product. I’m really trying to dispense it as much as I can using as little product as possible so it doesn’t get cakey,” the influencer explains in her video. Reaching for your eyeshadow palette once more, opt for an off-white shade mixed with a dab of your concealer and pack it onto the lid over your base. As you work the shadow in, you’ll begin to see that dramatic “cut” in your crease take shape. Lastly, use a mid-brown toned eyeshadow as a transitional shade to diffuse the outer corner and refine the dark edge of your crease. Congratulations, you’ve officially cut your crease like a pro!
Though you can complete a cut crease usually virtually any eyeshadow shades you’d like, neutrals are always a safe bet. The newly reformulated NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette in “Warm Neutrals” boasts 16 easy-to-wear shades you’re bound to reach for when recreating this look.
Experiment with abstract artwork
The most intricate eyeshadow looks out there may require the use of precisely shaped brushes, but some of the coolest ones can be created using only your hands. Take Toronto-based makeup mastermind Mei Pang, for example, who created this shimmering swirl of abstract art on her eyelids using her fingertips as the main tool.
To recreate Pang’s look, begin by picking up a light shimmery shade on the tip of your finger. The warmth of your finger will allow for the pigment to be easily dispersed over your lids, and can also allow for more unique placement and shapes to be formed on the eye. Dive right in and begin to swipe your glitter over the lid, near the inner corner, and beneath your brow bone. Then, going in with a makeup brush, trace the outer edges of your shimmer shades with a darker eyeshadow to add depth and dimension.
If you’re looking to get even more experimental, you can take these shadows beyond the limitations of your eyelid, extending them above your brow, down your nose, and underneath the eye. What we love about looks like this is that you can truly rely on your own creativity to inform the look, making it fully foolproof.
When Danessa Myricks launched the Lightwork V: I Am Palette for Eyes and Face earlier this year, we knew it’d be one glitter lovers couldn’t live without. Aquatic blue shades “Strong” and “Brave” will be your go-tos as you follow along Pang’s eyeshadow tutorial.
How to: eyeshadow for hooded eyes
Having hooded eyelids means getting creative with how you apply shadow. Don’t just take our word for it, BeautyToker Elena Rachitskaya’s hooded eyeshadow tutorial went viral reaching over one million views—with a comment section full of satisfied viewers with hooded lids.
First, Rachitskaya recommends taking a warm, mid-toned eyeshadow shade on a fluffy brush that is the right size for your eyes over your lids as you look straight into the mirror. This way, you can see whether or not the shadow is visible from a head-on view, or if you need to bring it up higher. Continuing on, you can add depth to the look using darker shades and smaller brushes along the outer corner, undereye, and lash line.
For the final eyeshadow step, use a darker eyeshadow to create a softly diffused “new crease” slightly above where your natural crease is, and apply a light shadow to the inner corner of the lid where it’s visible. If you’re feeling fancy, pop a glittery shade onto the inner corners. The before and after results of Rachitskaya’s left us stunned and assured that having hooded eyes is not the problem. It’s all about application, and being sure to check how things are looking straight on as you move forward with your routine.
To ensure you’re all equipped for an eyeshadow look that requires the use of multiple brushes, you should always have your own collection on hand. From angled shapes for sharp lines and fluffy blushes to help blend products all over the lid, this 5-piece Ultimate Eyes set by e.l.f Cosmetics has got you covered.
Lift your look with a light-coloured eyeshadow
One of our favourite eyeshadow techniques doesn’t involve a wash of glitter on the eyelids or a cut crease, rather, it’s all about what happens when you’ve completed the main look. This eyeshadow tutorial, posted Painted by Spencer on TikTok, has garnered over 10 million views since it was posted earlier this year, and it’s the finishing touch you didn’t know your glam has been missing all this while. In just a few seconds, this method creates the illusion of lifted cheekbones and pulls everything together with a more polished finish.
Taking an eyeshadow several shades lighter than your natural skin tone on a flat-ended brow brush, you’ll want to stamp it just beneath your winged liner (if you’re wearing it) or the outer edge of your eyeshadow look. “You’ll notice I’m taking that lower lash line and following it straight outwards,” says Spencer in his post. “I really like doing this because it lifts the cheekbone and highlights it but also cleans up the eye makeup.” Use your fingertips to soften up the edges to make sure its all blended out smoothly, and you’re all set.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam palette is one every glam gal should have on deck. Whether you’re a newbie looking to start easy or a pro who needs to travel light, this half-size Soft Glam II palette will make a divine addition to your collection. Plus, the shade “Tempura” is exactly what this lifting technique calls for.
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