If you’ve ever needed an excuse to rock a full-on metallic eye, the next two weeks of holiday festivities is it. But before you get too excited, remember that metallic eye makeup presents two potential challenges: 1) The mess factor associated with high-shine shadows, and 2) the all-too-easy ability to go overboard, and end up looking goofy rather than glamorous. Luckily, celebrity makeup artist Lauren Andersen can help with all of that. She showed us how to apply a mess-free metallic eye that’s anything but cheesy.
Scroll through for the step-by-step tutorial!
Start with bare lids and groomed brows.
Metallic shadows can get messy. Andersen says you’ll get less fallout if you use your finger to apply them. Use your ring finger to press, not sweep, the pigment onto your entire eyelid. Really pack it on, you’ll clean it up in the next step.
You can use any metallic eye shadow you like. We’re using one of Andersen’s favorites, Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow ($32) in Comex Platinum.
Soften the edges with a clean brush, blending the shadow out slightly past your crease. Try not to use a brush that’s too flimsy, or you could end up flinging eye shadow everywhere.
When wearing metallics, it’s important to give your eyes definition. Line your entire water line, top and bottom, and blend the liner into your upper lash line as well.
The contrast with black can look a little stark, so Andersen prefers to use a dark gunmetal color, like this 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20) in Uzi from Urban Decay. (Try a dark bronze, if you’re doing your metallic eye in gold.)
Using a flat brush dampened with water or a mixing medium (like the one that comes with the Stila eye shadow), press the pigment into your lower lash line. Blend it all the way into the inner corner. Start off light; you don’t need a lot for this small area, and you can always add more if you want. Use a cotton swab to clean up the edges, if needed.
Then, just add a few coats of your favorite black mascara to both top and bottom lashes to complete the look! If you do end up with a little bit of fallout, dust it away with a clean fluffy brush. And for stubborn specks of shadow that just won’t go, Andersen uses a spoolie.
Photographer: Justin Coit
Makeup Artist: Lauren Andersen
Hairstylist: Gregory Russell
Manicurist: Barbara Warner
Producer: Jenna Peffley
Fashion Credit: Kahlo Solitary Leather Tee in Emerald
Have you seen Andersen’s fuller lips tutorial? A plump pout is the perfect complement to a metallic eye!