It’s quite a confusing thing to do because we normally apply eyeshadow on our eyelids, not under them. But then do you put eyeshadow under your eye? Probably not so much. And I think part of that reason is that most of us don’t know anything about wearing eyeshadow under the eyes.
There’s delicate, thin skin surrounding the eyes, right? So you have to be extra careful because you obviously don’t want to cause any eye irritation or even drag or pull that sensitive skin around the eyes.
And then comes the whole discussion of ‘eyeshadow under eye looks bad.’ One thing I’d like to say here is that it all depends on what makeup look or method you’re going for. For instance, with smokey eyes, wearing eyeshadow under the eyes certainly creates a very bold, daring, and glamorous look. But for a more natural and fresh appearance, not so much.
So let’s just clear up all the confusion, myths, and whatnot related to under-eye makeup. And also learn how to put eyeshadow in that delicate, sensitive area like a pro!
When to Apply?
It looks the best when your eye makeup style is very detailed. Such as smokey eyes, colorful looks, and graphic liners. At such times, applying eyeshadow on your lower lash line adds that additional layer of dimension and depth.
Many women also put on eyeshadow under their eyes to make them look bigger because it somehow creates more eyelid space. And this illusion of larger eyes actually works when done right.
Likewise, eyes that are deep-set also look good with under-eye makeup. I’m thinking a light shade in your waterline is perfect for bringing your eyes forward.
As for those with protruding eyes, you should apply liner or shadow on your lash line with just a little bit of eyeshadow over the top of your lower lid (keep it subtle). What this eye makeup trick does is attract attention upward by lengthening the shape/size of your eyes.
A very useful tip at this point – always start with a small amount of eyeshadow so as not to make the area look cakey or drag/pull the eyes down. Plus, when you work with little, you get A LOT of that much-needed control for blending in the shadow well into the depth, shape, and also pigment level of your eyes.
How to Apply?
How to put eyeshadow on lower lash line? Here’s the correct way to go about it…
Step 1 – Use the Right Makeup Brush
Firstly, make sure that the brush is clean (hygiene is a must) and also eyeshadow-specific (for accuracy).
Secondly, generally speaking, synthetic makeup brushes are so much better than natural fiber, for three reasons. One, they’re not as expensive. Two, they don’t lead to any allergies. And three, cleaning them is way easier.
Step 2 – Apply A Base Layer
Choose a base eyeshadow color and gently scrub that on, using the brush, all over your eyelid. And if your look is more dramatic, then extend the base shade till your eyebrow.
When you wish to jazz up your under-eye region too, the base layer then should always include applying crease-free under-eye primer. So your eye makeup down below can stay put for the longest time without showing any fine lines or wrinkles.
Step 3 – Choose Darker Colors for the Eye Crease
Dark eyeshadow shades from the best eyeshadow palettes applied into your eye crease tend to attract light, so they can add a lot of dimension and depth to make the eye pop.
So start by drawing a line with the brush in the desired area, eyes open at this point. Then shut your eyes to do the blending part of the process throughout the lids. Smooth out rough, harsh lines if there are any. And in that outer region or edge of the eye, focus pigment using a V-shaped structure.
Step 4 – Choose Darker Colors Even for the Lash Lines
If your eyeshadow’s really dark, create the same effect on your lash lines. With a short-bristled, flat brush, apply the same or any other dark color along the corners of the eyelid (at the top, where the eyelashes begin) and also along the lower lash line.
Step 5 – Choose Shimmery Shadow for Highlighting
A shimmery whitish shade in the form of either pencil or eyeshadow applied below your brows will make those lashes pop (plus, this trick also adds lift).
And you’re free to also highlight or brighten this effect by putting on the same shimmery, light color into the inner corner edges of your eyes.
Now here’s the video demonstration in case you’re still a little confused about application…
Eyeshadow Under-Eye Trend – Dos and Don’ts
The under eye eyeshadow look is not always an attractive sight. But it works the best when you want to balance out your eyeshadow on your bottom lid, especially if you’re going for bold, captivating smokey eyes.
But then there are certain things you should and should not be doing…
DON’T Apply A Thick Stripe of Eyeshadow Under the Eye
If you think that a big stripe of shadow (particularly if it’s a darker shade) is going to look good, you’re highly mistaken. Because this huge stripe is only going to make your lovely eyes look smaller and closed off. It’s no more a trend, that’s for sure.
So avoid using too much at once. Only small amounts of eyeshadow should be worked at a time to achieve clean, precise results.
DON’T Create An Unbalanced Look
By unbalanced, I mean a light shade at the top and a heavy one at the bottom. If the top lid has a darker color, then only load up your bottom lid with deep brown, black, or any other such dark shade.
DON’T Use Dirty Makeup Brushes
Think about it logically. Your last eye makeup application had a different set of colors and your current one consists of different colors. So to prevent the previous shades from mixing with the new shades so you can get the most accurate, flawless appearance now, work with clean makeup brushes and other tools.
DO Choose the Correct Eyeshadow Shade
Now, this one’s very, very important as it can either make or break the experience for you. What works for someone else is most likely not going to produce the same appearance for you.
Always select 2 similar colors if you want to create a more seamless look. Pick the color of your choice for the lower lash line and then blend this with one that’s lighter as the transition shade.
DO Properly Blend the Eyeshadow Even Under the Eyes
Blending the shadow into and throughout your upper eyelid is a must, obviously. But the same rule applies to a darker color you may have put right below your eyes as well.
The only way under-eye eyeshadow actually looks appealing is when you blend it properly, with one of those eye pencil brushes. The point is to smooth out sharp lines.
But please DON’T over-blend because this is just going to make the whole thing look muddy. Colors then will eventually merge into one another and form a dragged-down appearance. And you obviously don’t want your under-eye to look dragged down and muddy.
DO Focus More On the Outer Third of the Lower Eyelid
We often apply the deepest color over the outer section of the eye, in the top lid. This really visually lengthens the shape of your eye. Likewise, put the deepest eyeshadow color over the outer region (outer third, to be more precise) of the bottom lash line too.
This means in your bottom lid, the eyeshadow application is not supposed to be even throughout. The center + inner third areas of the bottom lid have comparatively less shadow. This way, the eyes stand out and even look elongated.
DO Apply A Bright Eyeshadow On the Inner Third of the Lower Eyelid
Elongate the inner corner of your bottom lash line simply by putting on a brightening or highlighting shade. This is the inner region (inner third) of the bottom lid. It surely makes your eyes pop! And if that works for you, no reason you shouldn’t make it seem like you put in the extra work to create such a complex yet sophisticated eye look.
DO Apply Liner Below
Your waterline adorned with eyeliner is certainly going to make your eyes look even more flattering, particularly if your lower lid is also eye-shadowed. Just one swipe with a non-irritating eyeliner (or waterline pencil) and that’s about it.
A sharp black liner really knows how to make it seem like your eyes are pushed forward when you’ve applied dark eyeshadow (dark colors, after all, can sink the eyes because they appear to be like shadows).
However, this liner trick doesn’t work for ALL. It might have the opposite effect entirely, meaning make your eyes look more closed than open. If that happens, choose nude-colored eyeliner instead of black.
Eyeshadow Under Eye Looks Bad – When NOT TO Apply?
Many of my women friends don’t even try to apply shadow in their lower lash lines because their skin in the under-eye region is extremely sensitive. And it is supposed to be very tender and delicate, which can make it highly susceptible to irritating makeup products.
As for me, I avoid wearing eyeshadow in the bottom lid when I want to go for a more natural, fresh, no-makeup look. With no shadow under the eye at such times, that section looks brightened on its own or you could use a concealer.
Just because now you know how to apply eyeshadow doesn’t mean putting it on under the eyes is necessary. Under-eye shadow sometimes tends to pile up (look cakey), thus making the eyes look dehydrated, tired, and old.
And let’s not also forget that you’re very likely to pick the wrong (hence, unflattering) eyeshadow color. So it really matters what shades you choose, at least in most cases. For some (especially those with aging or downturned eyes that need a lift), no matter what color or technique, lower lid eyeshadow always looks very appealing.
Keep Practicing Till You Ace It!
With enough practice, and this includes trial and error, you will eventually be able to wear eyeshadow under your eyes in the most flattering and natural way. Of course, getting to use eyeshadow like a pro is going to take some time and effort, but it’s no rocketry really. Just experiment as much as you can (with different shades, techniques, placements, etc.).
And remember that eyeshadow under eye looks bad sometimes. So don’t apply it when it’s not required. Like I said, keep practicing, even not putting it on by understanding when it doesn’t look flattering is a part of that practice, till you ace it.