If you’ve ever viewed a beautifully packaged eye shadow palette with wariness and just a tinge of fear, we've got good news. Today, we’re going to tell you exactly how to apply eye makeup for your eye shape. We spoke with celeb makeup artist Brett Freedman (he’s responsible for Camilla Belle’s ever-flawless makeup) and got his tips on the right shadow application technique to make small eyes look bigger, down-turned eyes look lifted, and more—because the eyeliner-mascara combination you’ve been wearing since middle school can only take you so far.
Keep scrolling for his best tips!
Freedman declares almond-shaped eyes “the most fun eye shape to make up.” For daytime, he suggests using a matte taupe color (like Anastasia Eye Shadow, $12) in Warm Taupe over the lid, into the crease, and upwards toward the brow bone. Then use a deeper matte shade (we like MAC’s Eye Shadow, $16 in Charcoal Brown) on the outer corner and blend both lines together with a rounded eyeshadow brush.
“To really make your eyes pop, add a champagne shimmer pencil (like Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, $25) or shadow to your inner eye and tear duct area,” Freedman suggests. He says to avoid the urge to use shimmer over the entire lid and crease because it can make that area too prominent. “You want your actual eyes to pop, not the makeup!”
When it comes to round eyes, Freedman says the key is to apply the most vivid part of the makeup on the top lash line and on the outer corners. “You want to keep the bottom lash line very minimal,” he advises. He suggests drawing a soft, smudged taupe line on your lower lash line using a product that’s lighter than the color on your top lid. “I use just a touch of mascara to finish the look," he says.
“Round eyes tend to read cute,” Freedman says. “If you want a sexier feel, play up your eyes [by applying a darker shadow] upward and out.”
“When I work with an actress with hooded eyes, I tend to take the lid out of the equation,” Freedman explains. He uses a smoky taupe eyeshadow (like Urban Decay's Eye Shadow, $19, in Pistol) along the lash line, over the lid, and up into the crease, skipping any lighter shadow. Use this technique if you have uneven lids as well. “A light lid will just highlight your lids and make them look more uneven.”
To create more dimension and bring out the shape of hooded lids, Freedman uses a deeper shadow (try Make Up For Ever’s Eye Shadow ($21) in Espresso) along the lash line and blends it into the taupe color. “This recesses everything, instead of highlighting the hooded lid or monolid,” he says.
Like the technique he uses for round eyes, Freedman suggests keeping the darker shadows on the top lash line. “Dark, smoky eyes can bring out the droop even more,” he says. “You want lift—so lots of lashes on top, minimal on the bottom.”
To help the eyes look lifted, Freedman suggests using brown mascara on the bottom lashes instead of black—that way, there isn’t anything too dark that will pull the eyes down. He also swears by the power of expertly placed highlighter: “Highlighting the brow bone will help pull attention upward!” Try Benefit’s Watts Up ($30) or Anastasia Beverly Hills’s Brow Duality ($23) directly under your eyebrow arch to counteract drooping.
What's your favorite eye shadow trick? Sound off below!