Eyeshadow to accompany this application guide.

From the Experts, Makeup Tips and Tricks, Makeup Tutorial

Nathan’s Tips: Eyeshadow Fundamentals

When it comes to perfecting the art of eyeshadow application, there are 4 simple steps that will put you on the fast track to mastery:

Primer/Base Shadow

This step has many valuable purposes. The primer will fight the heat of the eye, increasing the longevity of your eye shadow. It will also cancel out any lid discoloration and ensure flawless blending. After applying the primer, sweep a neutral shade of shadow or face powder onto the lid before beginning the application. Together, these two steps create the perfect base for application!

Eyeshadow techniques and tutorial by celebrity makeup artist

To Apply

With a concealer brush, paint a light coat of primer over the lid from lash line to brow bone. Using a large brush, set the primer with a neutral shadow.



The highlight shade is always the lightest of shadow shades. Any place that you highlight (on the eyes or otherwise) will come forward, adding immediate dimension.

To Apply:

With a shadow brush, apply the highlight shade to the area immediately below the brows arch, the eyelid, and the inside corner of the lower lash line.



The color should be darker than the highlight shade, but lighter than the contour color. Any point where darker shades are added will recede, so this step is very important to defining the eye. Applying this shade before your contour/crease color will facilitate blending and allow for a better build of color depth.

To Apply:

Using a blender brush, start at the outside corner of the eyelid and gently move the brush along the crease of the eyelid. Pull the color all the way from the outside corner to the inside corner.

Create a perfect eyeshadow look for your makeup artistry clients



This is most often the deepest of the shades. Because of its depth, this shade is most influential in defining and adding pop to the eye.

To Apply:

With a definer brush, apply the shadow from the outer corner of the top lash line to about one third of the way across the lid. Once the desired depth is reached, soften and blend with the blender brush.


Follow Nathan’s tips and techniques with tutorials form QC’s professional makeup training!

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment—his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.

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