How to Make Eyeshadow More Pigmented – Tips to Add More Depth & Brightness

Say you picked the most vibrant-looking eyeshadow palette but these shades are still making your lids look washed out and dull. The thing is that you get the highest eyeshadow color pay-off when your natural skin tone is lighter. While those with darker tones, unfortunately, are left dealing with not enough visibility of shadow pigments.

But then whatever the reasons are for your eyeshadow not making your eyes pop instantly, there are plenty of practical and effective ways of how to make eyeshadow more pigmented. Prep those lids, use a white eye pencil, blend like your life depends on it, and more.

So let’s get right down to solving the question, why doesn’t my eyeshadow show up?

But First, What Does Pigmented Eyeshadow Mean?

The term ‘pigment’ here means a color-imparting substance. Pigments add color to other substances or onto surfaces. In this case, pigmented eyeshadows impart color onto your lids. And it’s not necessary that these pigments impart the same color, the shades can and do differ.

Make Your Eyeshadow (and Those Eyes) Pop Instantly!

1. Choose Liquid and Cream Based Eyeshadows

If you want your eye makeup to look super pigmented, use cream-based or liquid-based eyeshadow. Meaning don’t opt for a powdered one.

With liquid and cream, you get rich, intense pigmentation as opposed to powder, hence maximum color pay-off. So your makeup looks incredibly saturated with only a little effort.

2. Choose and Use Your Concealer or Primer

You can always prime those eyes of yours with a concealer, which certainly does more than cover your “imperfections” (breakouts, discoloration, and such) and brighten and smoothen the under-eye region. Think of this as creating a smooth, bright base to contrast your eyeshadow.

If you pick a concealer lighter (by two shades) than your natural skin complexion, it can really make the shadow color look more pigmented as well as make your eyes pop instantly.

And please, oh please let this concealer be matte, for oil control. Eyelids, no matter your skin type, become naturally oily and you definitely don’t want that much oil messing with and creasing the shadow.

Or you could just as well apply an eye primer that enhances eyeshadow vibrancy. It’ll benefit you more if this primer is pigmented (skip translucent primers then). This kind adds more pigmentation, no doubt, to those shadow colors much like a concealer (thus, brightening and producing contrast).

But with primers, you also get the bonus advantage of making your eye makeup last longer, concealers don’t and won’t do that. However, such eye primers are not the pigmented type but those with no pigments.

3. Spray Makeup Setting Spray On Your Brush

First off, make sure you have the toughest blending makeup brushes at your disposal. Secondly, get makeup setting spray too. Now spray some setting spray on the eyeshadow brush, the point is to make it damp, not wet. And then tap the brush into the eyeshadow on the palette and stamp. Speaking of which…

Oh and this trick or technique works the best with a shimmery finish rather than matte.

4. Stamp, Pack On, and Then Blend, Blend, Blend

How to apply eyeshadow the right way? If you get this part of the process wrong, nothing else matters. So here’s how to go about it to create a more pigmented eyeshadow effect.

Stamping the shadow color on your lid and then blending – now, that’s the correct approach. Otherwise, if you blend first, you cannot expect much color pay-off. But, on the other hand, if you stamp using the brush, you’re packing on more of that eyeshadow onto your lid. Build it up and then do all the required blending.

5. Don’t Hesitate to Use Your Fingers for Application

If you have no luck yet, meaning if that eyeshadow is just not layering, don’t lose hope and try changing the tools you use for application. In simpler words, apply the color using your finger. Pigments cling onto the finger better than they do on any brush.

Stubby fingers or long nails getting in the way? Then how about those very effective sponge tip applicators? Almost all drugstore eyeshadow palettes have them. These applicators are just what you need for layering pigment on pigment. But, mind you, they’re no good for blending!

6. Have You Tried Layering Your Eyeshadows?

To layer makeup products means to add more pigments. You can put on some liquid eyeshadow over a layer of powdered shadow, so the colors really pop. Much in the same manner, first apply cream eyeshadow and then top that off using powder shadow to exaggerate the pigments.

7. Create Eyeshadow Base Using White Eye Pencil or Eyeshadow

Coat your whole eyelid using a white eyeliner pencil (creamy white liner). It’s bound to create that same vivid effect produced by a pigmented primer or plain concealer.

So if you can’t afford to buy a primer or concealer or even makeup setting spray, inexpensive eyeliner (soft, easy to blend) can be the next best and effective alternative to making your eyeshadow pop.

Another thing that works is applying white powder or cream shadow all across your lid and then layering on your actual eyeshadow color.

8. Do You Care Enough to Try Glitter Glue?

If nothing works, glitter glue is sure to get the job done. But that only works for shimmer shadows, not mattes.

Add the glitter onto the eyeshadow brush. Apply it on your lid. Then, using a fresh brush, put on eyeshadow over the glitter glue layer.

Why Does My Eyeshadow Look Bad? Why Does My Eyeshadow Look Muddy?

Because you’re making rookie mistakes, such as…

Buying Eyeshadow Not Based On Your Skin Undertones

You must always choose makeup depending on your natural skin undertones. For instance, with eyeshadows, those that have pink undertones go with cool toned eyeshadow palettes. While warmer colors on the spectrum look more flattering on yellow skin undertones.

Not Taking Your Eye Color Into Consideration

Do you really think that your eyeshadow is supposed to match your natural eye color? If yes, then there’s no chance of the shadow complementing your eyes.

Instead, choose shades like purples and blues if you have brown eyes, oranges, coppers, and peaches if you have blue eyes, and berry and gold tones for green eyes.

The idea is to pick a sort of contrasting eyeshadow shade. The opposite one on the color wheel, opposite to your natural eye color of course.

Skipping Moisturizer

How about some eye cream for much-needed skin hydration? Can you use face cream instead? Nope, that won’t do. You can buy a night and day eye cream to make sure your eyes are well looked after.

And in case you’re also wondering, there are plenty of light, affordable options that deliver intense moisture and nourishment to the eyes.

Not Applying Eye Primer

When you put on some primer (more specifically, eyelid primer), your eyeshadow makeup is sure to glide on smoothly plus it stays put and fresh for longer (with the least bit of fallout). And it’s even more important when using powder and cream eyeshadows since they’re denser.

Failing to Blend Your Eyeshadow Properly

If eyeshadows could talk, they would simply demand to be blended thoroughly. When you blend properly, you can layer shadow on shadow without it all looking like a mess.

Use a gentle motion, and an eyeshadow-specific blending brush of course. And don’t forget to create smooth gradients when blending more than just one color. Start by drawing a proper shape, then do the blending bit.

Keep away from harsh lines and creases though. But if you want to apply eyeshadow to a crease, do it with the help of windshield wiper strokes for softening these creases. Many women also use their fingers to blend cream-based shadows.

Wearing Too Much Eyeshadow or Too Many Colors

You know you’ve gone overboard with the product when uneven application, shadow fallout, and harsher creases and lines are visible.

Less is more. Period. If you apply too much eyeshadow, blending it out becomes harder. So always use little color at first and then gradually build it up.

Likewise, don’t wear too many eyeshadow shades at once. You don’t want your lids to resemble a rainbow now, do you?

Not all color combinations look flattering when creating dramatic makeup looks. So avoid using excessive neon or bright colors. A safer approach, however, is to apply just a single flashy color. Or you could mix light, medium, and dark shades, such as smokey eyes (black, grey, and white).

Frequently Asked Questions About Eyeshadow Pigmentation

How to Make Eyeshadow Look More Vibrant?

If you want your eyeshadow color to appear brighter, apply it using a damp makeup brush. Make it damp with a little bit of makeup setting spray or you could just use plain water as well. Once damp, gently pat the eyeshadow brush over clean, dry tissue paper to get rid of excess water.

Does Water In Eyeshadow Really Make It Look More Pigmented?

When you spray water on your eyeshadow, it does actually make the shade appear to be more intense, thus more pigmented (meaning maximum color pay-off) on your lids.

Can You Use Makeup Setting Spray On Eyeshadow?

You can drizzle some makeup setting spray onto the eyeshadow brush for brightening up the intensity of its color. As a result, your shadow looks more pigmented and even stays vivid for a longer time.

How to Make Eyeshadow Pigments On Your Own?

The formula for pretty pink eyeshadow includes mixing dried form of beet powder with cocoa powder. For a deep mauve shade, mix dried beet powder, cocoa powder, and allspice. Turmeric and nutmeg for warm-toned golden brown. And just turmeric powder for a more yellow shadow.

Can Vaseline Be Used As Eyeshadow Primer?

Many use Vaseline petroleum jelly on their lids right at the start of applying any eye makeup. What this multipurpose product, which is quite often used in makeup routines, does is increase the gripping power of your eyeshadow and its luminosity (i.e. pigments).

Can I Put Eyeshadow On My Waterline?

Eyeshadow under the eye has become a very popular trend. In that case, YES, you can absolutely apply eyeshadow on your waterline or lower lid. You just should know the correct eyeshadow under eye tutorial.

Everything Explained, Now It’s Time to Take Action!

Never mind if the eyeshadow colors look muted, there are SO MANY effective and easy ways to boost their pigments so the shades appear to be more prominent and your eyes more cheerful.

Simple steps like applying eyeshadow primer, creating a white base, using cream-based eyeshadows, sprinkling some setting spray on the eyeshadow brush, layering shadow on shadow, and more. All these have actually worked when it comes to making the pigments of your eyeshadow color look bolder.

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