eyeshadow palette featuring vivid colors and brilliant shimmers

Eyeshadow For Beginners

Learning how to do eyeshadow for beginners can be a pretty easy task. Start out learning about eyeshadow by reading a comprehensive guide to eyeshadow for beginners like this one. Then, after you master the basics, you can learn how to do more complicated eyeshadow looks, like a cut crease. Learning about the types of eyeshadow, finishes, brushes, and beginner tips is a great place to start. 

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Types Of Eyeshadow

There are several different types of eyeshadow. Whether you’re shooting for an enticing yet simple look with one eyeshadow color or need the perfect smokey eye. Learning the different types of eyeshadow can help you discover what you need to get the look that you want. 

Powder Eyeshadow

Powder eyeshadow is sold in both singles and palettes. You can find powder eyeshadow from almost every brand, too. This type of eye makeup helps you build layer after layer for awesome eyeshadow looks, like an ombre look. It’s very blendable, unlike some other formulas. You can find powder eyeshadow available in almost any finish. 

Cream Eyeshadow

Cream eyeshadow has a cream like consistency that is the perfect balance between powder and liquid. It’s easy to apply with your fingers, and it blends into the skin very nicely. This shadow is less likely to crease as the day goes on. 

Although it’s easier to apply, it’s more difficult to create complex looks. You’ll also find that cream eyeshadow doesn’t blend well with other cream eyeshadow. Because it’s great for one eyeshadow looks, cream eyeshadow is the perfect choice for beginners. 

These usually have a satin finish to them. Because of the base, you can typically use them without an eye primer. Cream eyeshadows are also known for lasting longer than powder eyeshadows. 

Loose Eyeshadow Pigments

Loose eyeshadow pigments are sold in a little pot. These little pots are full of loose powder. If you’re not careful, it can get a bit messy. 

To apply loose pigment eyeshadows, you need to barely dip the brush in the pot. A little bit goes a long way with loose pigments. 

These are often found in shimmer powder, but you can find a matte formula as well. 

Eyeshadow pigments are the same thing as an eyeshadow powder. However, they don’t have the binder in them that is used to keep them pressed into a palette. This makes them more pigmented than other eyeshadows. They have the same staying power as powder eyeshadow, and it’s recommended that you wear a primer with them. Apply them with a brush for the best results. 

Liquid Eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadows are easy and foolproof, making them another great choice for beginners. They typically come in a tube with an applicator that is similar to a concealer. A few quick swipes, and you’re done. There’s no need to use a primer with most of these. 

If you want to blend your liquid eyeshadows, you’ll need to do it quickly. Most of them dry in a matter of seconds, so it’s going to take some practice. You can wear these by themselves for a quick makeup look or on top of your powder eyeshadow for a unique look. 

Eye Paint

Eye paint is similar to liquid eyeshadow. It comes in a tube with an applicator that makes it perfect for a one swipe dose of color. Eye paints can be found in every color and finish imaginable. The ease of application and simplicity that eye paints bring into the makeup industry makes them an ideal product for beginners. 

Blending can be a challenge due to the fast dry time. Eye paints dry in 2-3 seconds. The application can have a learning curve. Applying too much can lead to a fast dry time, and it can be messy. 

Eyeshadow Sticks

Eyeshadow sticks are also called eye crayons. That is because they are shaped like giant crayons. You won’t find a matte formula as often as you will satin and shimmer colors, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. 

To apply eyeshadow sticks, you simply color in your eyelid. You don’t need an applicator. The creamy formula blends right into your eyelids, just like a cream eyeshadow. These are easier to apply than cream eyeshadow, especially if you’d like to use more than one color. 

Types Of Eyeshadow Finishes

Eyeshadows come in different finishes. The finish is the type of effect that the eyeshadow has, just like paint comes in flat or matte, satin, etc. This can affect the color payoff, how you apply the eyeshadow, and more. 


Matte finish is devoid of sparkles, glitter, etc. These are great for use as a base eyeshadow color. You’ll never have to worry that your eyeshadow looks like it’s too much. You can use them to create one eyeshadow looks, smokey eyes, or more complicated designs. 

There are downsides to matte eyeshadow. It tends to be more powdery than other finishes. These can be more difficult to blend. 


Satin eyeshadow finishes have a tad more shine to them than matte finishes, but not as much as metallic eyeshadows. You’ll come across a satin finish quite a bit in cream eyeshadow. These are easier to blend than powder eyeshadow, have less fallout when compared to metallic and glitter eyeshadows, and are great for a one eyeshadow look. 

Shimmer Eyeshadows

Shimmer eyeshadows have a shimmering appearance that falls in between a satin look and metallic eyeshadows. These eyeshadows usually have a satin base with a touch of shimmer in them. They are easy to apply, but you do need to watch out for eyeshadow fallout. Picking up some eyeshadow guards can help. 

Typically, the application involves using a pressing motion to apply the eyeshadow instead of swiping the color across your lids as you would with powder eyeshadow. This helps give the eyeshadow more staying power. 


Metallic eyeshadows used to be available in colors like bronze and silver. Now, you can find them in any color of the rainbow. These are the most pigmented of all of the eyeshadows. You can find them in a glitter formula as well. These are ideal for nighttime looks, the graphic eye looks, and is a great way to showcase your creativity. These are not a great idea for an office makeup look. 

Glitter Eyeshadow

Glitter eyeshadow never goes out of style. If you love the look of glitter, pick up some eyeshadow pots in your favorite color. Glitter eyeshadow is sparkly and commands attention. 

When it comes to pigmentation, glitter eyeshadow is as pigmented as metallic eyeshadow. It has flecks of glitter in it that are similar to shimmer eyeshadows, but there is more glitter. Because of that, you’ll want to use the same pressing motion for application and learn how to deal with eyeshadow fallout. 

Types Of Eyeshadow Brushes

In order to pull off the perfect look, you’re going to need the right tools. There are plenty of eyeshadow brushes to pick from. You will need a liner brush for graphic looks, for example. However, if you’re an eyeshadow beginner, these are the basic brushes that you’ll need to get started. 

Blending Brush

A blending brush is typically a small fluffy brush. You’ll use this brush to blend the colors after you apply them to your eyelid. Brushes with packed, dense bristles will not work. Instead, the bristles should be long and fluffy. Some people use a powder brush for the face for their blending brush, which is a great idea. 

Crease Line Brush

Your crease line brush is not going to be as densely packed as other brushes, but it won’t be as fluffy as your blending brush either. The unique shape and short bristles make it ideal for applying eyeshadow along your crease. 

Precision Concealer Brush

A precision concealer brush is a great brush for eyeshadow application. It gives you the control that you need to carefully place pigments along your lid. You can also use this to contour around your eye! 

Flat Shader Brush

A flat shader brush is the most common brush used for eyeshadow application. These come in various sizes. Large brushes can help you get one eyeshadow looks quickly. Smaller brushes are perfect for your next smokey eye. 

How To Apply One Color Eyeshadow For Beginners

The easiest way to do this is with a cream eyeshadow or eyeshadow stick and your fingers. If you have zero tools but want to apply a little bit of eyeshadow, this is the perfect idea for you. 

Dip your fingers into your cream eyeshadow. Then, swipe it across your lids. Most people don’t need a primer for cream eyeshadow, so this is truly a one-step application process. 

Eyeshadow Tips For Beginners

As you delve into the world of makeup, you’re going to come across quite a few looks that you love. Making sure that your eyeshadow game is on point is important to pull those looks off. These eyeshadow tips for beginners will help you have flawless eye makeup. 

  • Always use an eye primer if you have one
  • Learn whether you have oily eyelids
  • Take the time to learn your eye shape
  • All looks don’t work for all eye shapes
  • Certain colors will work for you, and certain ones won’t
  • Use different brushes to find your favorite
  • Watch YouTube videos to learn new tricks and hacks
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Don’t start learning eyeshadow before running out the door
  • Make sure that you take the time to learn new eyeshadow techniques and practice them
  • Use one new product at a time 
  • Take the time to learn about yourself and your products
  • Start small, and then work your way up to more complicated looks
  • Throw out the applicator that comes with eyeshadow (use your brushes)
  • Champagne colored eyeshadow matches every eye color
  • Nude eyeliner is a must have
  • Be careful with dark colors in the beginning
  • Light colors open your eyes, dark colors make them appear more closed

Learning your eye shape is one of the most important things that you’ll need to do. This will help you determine which colors of eyeshadow and eyeliner to use. After learning your eye shape, you need to find complementary colors. When you’re unsure, always remember that neutral colors work for almost every eye color. 


Does eyeshadow expire if unopened

Yes, eyeshadow does still expire if left unopened. Store it in a cool, dry place to make it last as long as possible. Then, it can last a maximum of three years. Over time, the chemicals in makeup start to break down. 

Does eyeshadow stain clothes

Yes. Eyeshadow is designed to be pigmented. The rich colors make it very likely that it will stain your clothes. This doesn’t just apply to eyeshadow. All makeup can stain your clothing. If you’re already dressed, wear a robe when applying makeup. 

Does eyeshadow go bad

Yes, eyeshadow does go bad. It goes bad 12-24 months after opening. There is a little jar with a number such as 24m on the back. This will tell you how long you have before it expires. Unopened eyeshadow can last for three years. 

Which eyeshadow palette is best for beginners

Pick up a nude eyeshadow palette to start with. The neutral colors will work with any eye color and skin tone. These include various colors so that you can pull off a few different looks. When you upgrade to more vibrant colors, you can use your nudes as an eyeshadow base. 

Do I need eye primer

Yes, you need an eye primer. This is especially true if you have oily eyelids. Eye primer helps your eyeshadow stay in place longer than it would on its own. A setting spray can also help your look last all day long. 

What is the eyeshadow base used for

Eyeshadow base is used as a base for the rest of your look. This is the color underneath your eyeshadow that often shows through when you apply glitter eyeshadows. These are also used to help cover imperfections, such as spider veins or discoloration. 

Can I use concealer as eyeshadow primer?

You can, but you need to be careful. Remember that less is more. You don’t need a lot of concealers. These also aren’t formulated the same way that primers are so they won’t work as well. It’s better to pick up some eye primer the next time you’re out. 

In Conclusion

Eyeshadow is one of the first places where most of us begin with makeup. Learning about the different finishes and brushes to use is essential to applying eyeshadow for beginners. Don’t forget to keep eyeshadow tips in mind as you learn about applying eyeshadow. Check out this article for more information that you need to know!

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