Saturday, June 1, 2013

Loose Eyeshadow for Absolute Beginners

Since showing off how stunning the Femme Fatale Cosmetics loose eyeshadows are, I've had a couple of people ask me for a tutorial on how to use them. Since these were the first loose eyeshadows I ever used myself, it's taken me a little while to smooth out the kinks in my technique to the point where I feel comfortable giving advice, but now I think I can at least offer something.

I've taken a HUGE step for me and actually made a little video showing exactly how I put my eyeshadow on, step by step. This was...nervewracking to say the least. But there are little things like how to smoosh on the eyeshadow that I feel don't really come across in pictures, so I gave it a shot.

If you don't want to/aren't able to sit through approximately seven minutes of me being a dork, I've also put together a pictorial.

Here are the bits and pieces I use to make my eyeshadow all pretty, but also to make it stick properly all day.  It looks like a lot, but it's not nearly as difficult to use as you might think.

The primer I've chosen to recommend is Missha The Style Eye Prime Boomer - there will be a seperate post later where I compare three different primers against no primer at all, but for the time being I'll just say this is good stuff and it's totally worth the $8 I paid for it at the Missha store.

The eyeshadows I used for this are Unholy and Polymorph, both from Femme Fatale Cosmetics. Using a dark colour and a light colour is a really easy way to make your eyeshadow look way fancier than it is, and it also makes your eyes pop in a really lovely way by "upping the contrast" so to speak.

The brushes are from an outfit called Ecotools, from their six piece starter set. They are 100% cruelty-free, have incredibly soft bristles made of synthetic taklon, and handles made of bamboo and recycled aluminum ferrules, They're probably not the best brushes in the whole world, but they do fine for me, and I feel much better about synthetic bristles than sable. The ones I used are the eye shading brush, which is big and soft and great for smudging, and the angled eyeliner brush.

The mascara I'm currently using a Max Factor one, but I'm not particularly impressed with it, to be honest. I was trying to find a replacement for my beloved L'oreal now they've started up animal testing again, but since a) Max Factor are doing it too and b) This mascara wasn't that great, I'm still on the hunt.

The sealant is from Napoleon Perdis, and I mentioned it here in my previous post about Femme Fatale eyeshadows. It's a little bit pricey, but lasts FOREVER.

The tissues...well, just trust me, they're invaluable.

First we put the primer on. If you're using the Missha or something similarly solid, you just rub your fingertip over it a couple of times to warm it up and make it go on nice and smooth. Pat it all over your eyelid, trying to make it as even as you can. Some primers can go under your eyes as well, to lighten up dark circles, but this one is too thick for that - it sticks rather annoyingly in any wrinkles you happen to have under your eyes.

Second step is to get a nice big brushful of your darker colour, and smear it along your browbones. When using loose eyeshadow, you want to make sure you tap the brush on the side of the container after dipping it in to get rid of the excess. If you're not sure where your browbone is, just poke at your eyesocket and you can feel the bone under the skin. That hard edge of your skull, right before your eye gets really squishy? That's where you want to put the darkest shadow. Don't freak out about getting it everywhere, that happens - and that's where the tissues come in,.

There's probably a way to make sure you only put on exactly as much eyeshadow as you mean to, but damned if I can figure it out. My current technique is to put on more than I mean to, and then just dab and wipe with some tissues and my fingers until there is the right amount left. This also means it gets nice and smudgy in the corners, which is just how I like it.

After rubbing your brush on some tissues to get as much of the dark colour out as you can, dip it in your lighter colour, and smear it on. If you have super sensitive eyes, try put the least amount of shadow on the inner corners of your eyes, because I find that's where it tends to slip off the most.

You can theoretically stop with just one layer of the light shadow, and off you go. But I'm super picky about my eyeshadow staying put all day, no matter how much I poke my eyes (ie. a lot) so I like to add a rim of the light colour mixed with sealant just along my lash line and in the inner corners. It makes this the brightest, shiniest part of your eyelid, which distracts from creasing that will probably happen later. To apply with sealant, all you have to do is a put a drop of it on the back of your hand, dip the angled brush in, dip the angled brush in your eye shadow, and pat it on gently.

All you have to do then is add your mascara, and you're done!

Some general advice and tips on loose eyeshadow;

- bolder colours are AWESOME, but also show creasing and general wear really easily. If you want it to stay looking perfect for a really long time without touching it up, use the bolder colours in the corners and something subtler over the eyelid.

- Choose eye shadows that have a really high pigment payoff ie. you only need a little bit for the colour to stand out. The more eye shadow you have to pile on to get it the colour you want, the more likely it will rain down into your eyes within hours, and that shit is GROSS to dig out of your eyes. If you have sensitive eyes, this is particularly important. The less you have to put on, the less there is to fall off into your eyes.

- Practice, practice, practice. You might feel like an idiot doing makeup on a Saturday morning, but the more your practice, the better this will look.

So, does that cover it for the time being? Did I miss anything?


  1. I find that if I smoosh the brush around in the jar lid, or tap it on the side of the jar to get the excess product off, I end up with far less on my face :)

    1. Yeah, I do the tapping thing, and it does help. I'm just clumsy *shrug* But it comes off. :)


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