Ever step in the beauty store and become overwhelmed by the number of eyeshadows?

So many shades, so many combinations, so many options… If you’re new to makeup, you’ll want to start with a palette that’s versatile and flattering, and we’ve got the tips to help you make the most of it!

1. Be smart with picking your palette

The first step in maximizing a palette is picking out one that fits your preferences. Pay particular attention to your skin’s undertone, as well as your eye and hair color.

Most eyeshadow palettes have color stories that will follow certain themes, like summer or winter, fruits, flowers, and the like. If your skin’s undertone is warm, opt for palettes that have shades such as oranges, corals, and warm reds and browns.

If you have a cool undertone, opt for palettes that have shades like blues, greens, purples, and pinks. 

Another good rule of thumb to follow is not to directly match shades with your eye color. If your eye color is blue, mauve will do a better job at making it pop than shades like teal or cerulean.

Neutral eye colors like blacks and browns are versatile, so it’s typically up to what shades you match. If you need a quick starter, go for summer-toned corals, browns, and golds to accentuate.

If your eye color is green, shades like deep purples or lilacs will help your eyes stand out. To have a better idea of what shades will help your eyes stand out, check out the basic opposite shades in the color wheel.

2. Stick with a number of shades you can work with

Don’t go straight to palettes that have ten or twelve shades if you don’t know how to use all the shades, or if you already have a particular preference for your eyeshadow look. 

If you’re a beginner, go for no more than four shades to match the four areas of your eyelid.

You can also opt for just one or two shades if you want that simple wash of color – go for natural daytime shades of browns and pinks, or muted warm colors like mellow yellows or sunset oranges for a bright pop of color. 

If you like a natural eye look, opt for palettes that have flattering nudes. If you’d like to start experimenting more with color, look for palettes that include more than just browns, such as those with coral shades (warm tones) or evening blues (cool tones).

3. Learn where to apply the shades

Some palettes come with guides about how to recreate inspired eye looks, while some leave that freedom to its user. You can search palette tutorials on Youtube, although they usually create one look.

To maximize your eyeshadow palette, learn the parts of the lid and where certain shades are typically applied. 

For example, the darkest shades like deep browns, blues, or blacks, look best when applied to the outer “v” of the eyelid.

Think of it as a gradient lightening up from there: the colors you want to put emphasis on, be it a glitter yellow or a light pink, are best applied on the major part of the lid. Lighter shades look best when they are closer to your nose. 

4. Use appropriate tools to draw out the best of each shade

Eyeshadows can be applied by brushes or simple fingertips. Select your tools well to maximize their strength. For example, fingertips may do a better job at transferring shimmer shades than brushes, and it may help to have a separate eyeshadow brush for your crease.

If you prefer to stay minimal and use the designated eyeshadow brush that came with your palette, you may also consider purchasing a dry brush cleaner so you don’t accidentally mix the shades on the palette or the brush before applying them to your eyelids.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

We have this tendency to develop attachments to certain shades in most eyeshadow palettes, especially if the tones fit our preferences and flatter our skin and eye colors. This usually keeps us from trying the other shades, but when you have the time, see if you can experiment with shades you haven’t tried yet.

Color makeup is definitely tricky to navigate and the world of eyeshadow is only getting bigger, but we hope you find these tips helpful. If you’ve got tips of your own, share it with us in the comments! 🙂

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