Makeup Must-Haves: How to Apply Eyeshadow and Choose Palettes

Eyeshadows are a great way to enhance your eyes, but getting your eye makeup on-point can be tough. Questions such as which colors suit my complexion, how do I ...

10 min read

eyeshadow palettes and brushes

Eyeshadows are a great way to enhance your eyes, but getting your eye makeup on-point can be tough. Questions such as which colors suit my complexion, how do I pair eyeshadows and lipsticks, which are good eye shadow brands,  how to apply eyeshadow, probably keep you away from getting experimental with eye makeup. Which is why we have put together this article to help you learn everything you need to know about eyeshadows.

In this post, we will cover:

  • How to choose the right eyeshadow for your skin color
  • How to choose the right eyeshadow for your eye colour
  • A step-by-step guide on how to apply eyeshadow (with video)
  • How to pair eyeshadows and the best eyeshadow combinations
  • Step-by-step guide to apply eyeshadow for the smokey eye look (with video)

How to Choose the Right EyeShadow for Your Skin Color

Here is a list of eye shadows for different complexions, which UrbanClap’s makeup gurus swear by:

Eyeshadow Colour Combinations for Light Skin

For fair skins with a warm undertone, earthy colors like cream, bronze and copper bring out the best of your complexion. For those with a cool undertone, jewel colours like emerald green and sapphire blue would make your complexion pop. Pastels would look good on both undertones.

Eyeshadow Colour Combinations for Wheatish/Light Brown Skin

Most people with wheatish or light brown complexions have warm undertones. Gold, cinnamon and rust complement this skin tone the best. You could even use darker browns to create a bold smokey eye makeup.

There are some BASIC EYE MAKEUP STEPS every girl should know. Read our to find out what they are.

Eyeshadow Colour Combinations for Olive Skin

Ladies with this skin tone can opt for cool shades of eye shadows like the teal and different other shades of blue. The teal color helps accentuate this undertone making you look fresh and not washed out.

Eyeshadow Colour Combinations for Dark Tan/Brown Skin

This complexion has a neutral undertone, which means it is neither warm nor cool. If you have dark brown skin, every eyeshadow palette looks flattering on you. Go ahead and try them all!

Eyeshadow Colour Combinations for Dark Skin

Metallics and bright colours look fantastic on dark skin, particularly purples, teals, and midnight blue. With cool tones, though, women with dark complexion need to be careful about the quality of the pigments so that the colour comes out well.  On the warmer side of the colour palette, our experts recommend rose gold and coral.


A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply Eyeshadow Correctly (with video)

Bad eye makeup can ruin your look. On the other hand, good eye makeup can add oomph to the simplest outfit. Which is why we put together this simple step-by-step guide on how to apply eyeshadow the right way.

Step 1: Cleanse and Moisturise

It is important to learn how to prep your skin before putting on any makeup. First things first, always cleanse and moisturise so that the makeup has an even base to sit on. Cleansing your skin would remove any excess oils while moisturise will prevent your skin from drying out. Start by washing your face, applying moisturiser after. You could apply some eye cream on the lids and around the eyes

Eye shadow base

Step 2: Apply a Primer

Applying primers are a must-do step for any kind of eye makeup, from simple single-eye shadow to a dramatic smokey eye. Not only does a primer act as a base that holds all your makeup together, but also as a protective layer between the makeup and the delicate skin of your eyelids. Next, use a concealer to cover up dark circles or any marks around your eyes.

Always use a primer before a concealer! Read more to know about BASIC BEAUTY MISTAKES you might be making.


Step 3: Start Neutral, End Dark

Apply a neutral shade all over your eyelid. Next, apply a light shade to the area starting at your lash line and move to just above the crease. Don’t apply the eyeshadow to the brow bone. Start at the centre and move inwards.

coloring the crease

Run a flat eye shadow brush over the dark eye shadow and tap off the excess. Apply the colour in gentle pats starting at the outer corner and slowly move inwards. You need to make a V-shape following the natural outlines of your eye. One line should extend towards where the crease meets your brow bone, while the other stays close the lash line. Move towards the middle of your eyelid.

The key to eyeshadow application is blending. Read this Step-By-Step Guide On HOW TO BLEND EYE SHADOWS PERFECTLY

Step 4: Line your eyes

Line your lower lash line with an eye pencil or kohl. Next, use a liquid eyeliner to line the upper eyelid. You could go with a simple line or try any of the latest eyeliner trends.

kohl rimmed eyes

Step 5: Finish Off With Mascara

Apply some clear mascara on your eyelashes and…you’re done!

To make things clearer check out this video where makeup icon and famous Youtuber An Knook shows how to apply eyeshadow perfectly! You can read the video transcript below.

  • To start with she uses ivory pink eye shadow and a Morphe brush (M504) to blend it into her crease.
  • Next, she uses a soft medium sand color eye shadow and using the same brush, blends it on her eyelid. She uses this shade as the first one is a light color.
  • In the next step, she opts for a burnt orange eye shadow to give her eyes that matte finished look. She uses a Sigma beauty brush for blending this shade.
  • For the final shade, she uses a pink shade (Red Ochre) and using a blending brush, blends the eye shadow until she gets a finished smooth look.
  • She uses a MAC brush and the same pink shade (Red Ochre) to color the inner crease of her eyes
  • Again, using the same shade, she uses a Sigma E20 brush to color the underline of her eye.
  • Using another blending brush and the burnt orange eye shadow color, she colors the underline of her eye.
  • She uses a mascara and kohl to define her eyes and finish her look.

For the perfect eye makeup, you would need the perfect tools. Read our post on EYE MAKEUP BRUSH GUIDE for Beginners

How To Choose Best EyeShadow Palette Based on Your Eye Color

Just like the undertone of your skin, the color of your eyes also brings out the best of your eye shadow. When we look at the makeup commercials and fashion blogs, the superstar in us wants to try out all those cool shades of eye shadows in the market. Don’t we? Wish shopping for eye shadows were that easy! But to sort out your worry of finding out the best eyeshadow palette depending on your eye color, read this list!

1. For Brown Eyes

girl with brown eyes

Most commonly found eye color in India. You can opt for easy soft nudes or shades of browns and for a funkier look, you can finish it off using a pinch of glitter and add a touch of smokey eye makeup to it. These shades will deepen your eyes and will surely bring out the best of every makeup and outfit.

2. For Grey Eyes

girl with grey eyes

Our makeup experts at UrbanClap suggest you go for eye shadows in similar lines as your eye color. For shades of grey look fabulous on women with grey eyes. You can opt for shades of black for a smoky eye effect.

3. For Black Eyes

girl with black eye color

Blessed are women who have black eyes! You can flaunt any eye shadow to bring out its brilliance. Trust us when we say this, starting with shades of nudes, to pinks and reds you can even opt for pantone color of the year 2018 which is ultraviolet. Go ahead, give each eye shadow a try!

4. For Brown Eyes

girl with brown eyes

Similar to black eyes, women with brown eyes have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing eye shadow colors. We suggest you try out shades of navy, bronze, purple, teal, golden browns, burgundy, pink. Because of the earthy hue of the eye color, women with brown eyes can easily pull off these colors.

5. For Blue Eyes

girl with blue eyes

This eye color is rare in India. Women with blue eyes generally have a very cool undertone and we suggest you steer away from any shades of blue as it would only make your eyes look washed out. You can opt for rich browns, gold, peach, coral, champagne, beige and copper eye shadow palettes.

6. For Green Eyes

girl with green eyes

Women with green eyes can opt for taupe eye shadow. This is a shade of grey with a tinge of brown. This shade of eye shadow can make your eye look very appealing and beautiful. If you want to play around with more shades, you can also try out brighter shades of purple, red, plum and golden to brighten your eyes.

7. For Hazel Eyes

girl with hazel eyes


If you have hazel eyes, you can play with so many different eye shadow colors. You can opt for a palette that has hues of gold, cream, dark green, brown and even light pink in them. Using a pale pink highlighter, you can blend the eye shadow with the inner corners of your eyes to bring out a wide-eyed effect.

To help you further in choosing the best eyeshadow palette, we have a compiled a list of eye shadow combinations that you can try.


Best EyeShadow Color Combinations You Must Try

1. Gold and Nude

gold and nude eyeshadow combination

This is the best eyeshadow palette combination for a subtle eye effect. While shades of nudes keep your look effortless, a touch of gold works magic to add that extra shimmer to your eyes. Overall this combination gives you an understated yet elegant look.

2. Burnt Orange and Navy

burnt orange and navy eyeshadow

For women who love it bold and beautiful, this eye shadow palette combination works the best! The combination of burnt orange and navy is an old classic and can be used for a light day makeup and evening party makeup as well. The trick to applying a perfect eye shadow is to blend it well. So, keep blending until you get that smooth matte finish.

3. Rose and Champagne

pink and champagne eyeshadow

This combination is L-O-V-E! It is subtle, fresh and accentuates the feminine charm of your face. It is a perfect pick for workplaces and parties alike.

4. Cream and Taupe

cream and taupe shades

As mentioned above, taupe eye shadow works best on olive skin tone. This shade combined with cream is exactly what you need for a day out. Works great with any outfit.

5. Beige and grey

grey and beige eyeshadow

Beige and grey combo makes for another eyeshadow palette that works well with any outfit and occasion.

6. Coral and Blue


coral and blue eyeshadow

Coral, a soft pink color, are blue form one of the best eyeshadow palette combinations that brighten up your eyes.


Step-by-Step Guide to Smokey Eyes for Beginners (with video)

No matter what your eye color, complexion or skin undertone, the smokey eye look is one eye makeup style you can never go wrong with. The trick, though, it it to get it right. Or you could end up looking like a panda.

Watch this video by blogger Roxette Arisa on how to get the perfect smokey eye in 5 steps, for beginners.


Step 1: Apply a base colour or a transition shade

The trick of the smokey eye look is to go gradually go from a light shade to a dark one. The base eye shadow plays the role of a transition shade and prevents the two main eyes hadow colours from sticking out as two different shades, particularly the darker shade.

Nude colours like beige, taupe, peach, browns tints, and flesh tones make for good transition shades and base colours.

Step 2: Deepen and define the crease

Next, she applies the lighter of the two selected shades (the other being black), along and below the crease line, to deepen the colour and define the crease. In the video, she uses a deep plum colour which will dissolve into the black and give a rich gradient.

Step 3: Fill in with an eye pencil

She then uses a black eye pencil colour the area closest to the lash line and blends it with an eye shadow brush. The eye pencil acts as a sticky base for the black eye shadow, making it last long. When blending this area, start from the lash line and work your way up towards the middle shade (the plum colour in the video)

Your blending skills can make or break your eye makeup. Read our post on the trick to BLENDING EYE SHADOWS PERFECTLY.

Step 4: Apply the black eye shadow

Apply the eye shadow over the area coloured in with the eye liner. Just like in the last step, start at the lash line and continue upward towards the crease.

Step 5: Repeat the steps on the lower lash line

Use a very thin brush to apply the eye shadow to your lower lash line. Start with the neutral, then the medium shade, and finally, the black.

Finish off with eyeliner and mascara.

If all this seems like too much work, you can always book a party makeup artist from Urban Company for the weekend, and get 4 plus star rated makeup artists at your doorstep.

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