While eyeshadow has always been a staple of my beauty look, glossy pigments certainly seem to be the lid look du jour. We've seen every shade of the rainbow take new form in glossy iterations on runways, Instagram feeds, and editorials everywhere. There's something about the wet look that elevates your shadow, intensifying pigments and making you look like an IRL master makeup artist. The issue? Every formula I've tried just wears away, smudges, or creases by lunch. That's why we've tapped a professional makeup artist and glossy eyeshadow aficionado to share a step-by-step guide to creating a wet look that lasts all day long. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran's ultimate glossy eyeshadow tutorial.
Meet the Expert
Jaleesa Jaikaran is a celebrity makeup artist and the host of The Life of a Makeup Artist podcast.
Click Play to Watch MUA Jaleesa Jaikaran's Glossy Eyeshadow Tutorial
Step One: Prime Your Lids
One of the trickiest parts about using glossy eyeshadow is that it has a tendency to slide around. "Now with a glossy eye, it is bound to crease," Jaikaran says. "But I want to do as much as I can to help it to make it last as long as it can." For ultimate staying power, be sure to thoroughly prime your eyelids with an eyeshadow base (like this Nars option) prior to applying pigment. "You just want to use the tip of your finger to blend [the primer] out," Jaikaran recommends.
Step Two: Start the Application Process With a Nude Shadow
Before you get playful with pigments, sweep a nude eyeshadow (whatever best-matches the color of your lids) into the crease of your eye. For this step, "We're concentrating the [shadow] in the crease of the eye," Jaikaran says. "We're not necessarily putting anything on the lid yet."
Step Two: Add Pigment to Your Lids
Using the color of your choice (we love the look of glossy pinks, blues, and lavenders) and a dense, fluffy eyeshadow brush, you're going to tap pigment onto your eyelid. "I'm not really trying to blend the color right now," says Jaikaran. "All I'm doing is pressing the eyeshadow in so we get maximum payoff. Jaikaran is using the shade "She Tore" from the below palette.
Step Three: Add Color to Your Lower Lash Line
Using a pencil brush, "Take the same color you used [on your eyelid] and sweep that onto your lower lash line," instructs Jaikaran. Start from the inner corner of your eyes and extend outward in sweeping motions as Jaikaran does in the video. Optionally, you can line your waterline with eyeliner to create contrast, which will help make the pigment appear brighter.
Step Four: Get Glossy
Now it's time to take your eyeshadow look from matte to glossy, which is done by adding a gloss material to the lids (but not lip gloss, since it's too sticky). Instead, Jaikaran recommends using an eye or cheek gloss, like this formula from Flesh (which is suited for eyes and cheeks).
"I'm going to be applying this with a flat synthetic brush," she says. "So I'm making small patting motions. And I'm trying not to get too close to the lash line, because gloss tends to naturally travel. And because this can move throughout the day, I really don't want this getting into my eyes."
"Now you can start to go a little bit higher with the product," she continues, working the gloss into the creases of the eyes.
Step Five: Diffuse the Edges of the Gloss
For a seamless transition from the gloss to your skin, you'll want to do some blending. "Take a clean blending brush, one that's a bit slimmer, and start to lightly diffuse the edges of the gloss that we just applied," Jaikaran says. "You want a nice, seamless feed without having to apply gloss to the entire lid."