Of all the eyeshadow colors you dream of wearing, one that may fall closer toward the bottom of your list is white. While it's habitual for us to reach for neutral warm browns, champagnes, and other similarly-toned hues, white is actually the one shade that can make quite a statement when you know how to use it. When it comes to your makeup, there's no good reason to be intimidated, as the key rule of all is for you to feel your best and have fun. Experimenting with different makeup trends is ideal when wanting to expand your knowledge of what works best for you, and learning how to use white eyeshadow will step up your overall look in a cinch without over-exerting yourself. Keep scrolling for all the reasons why white eyeshadow is the unexpected shade that makes a big impact—you'll absolutely love these looks.
All Shapes and Sizes
Makeup artist Benjamin Puckey shows us how white eyeshadow applied in abstract shapes just might be the trend we need to experiment with ASAP. The lid reveals something a tad more exciting than your everyday eyeshadow look, which is ideal if you're wanting to be bold. To create shapes that stay, use a cream base first then apply white eyeshadow on top. Focusing on the inner corner and outer areas, eyes look transformed with this unique technique.
Glam And Glittery
Raise your hand if Lady Gaga will forever be your beauty inspiration. The white eyeshadow pictured here pairs beautifully with her dress, without taking away from the ornate detail. When wearing white as a bold statement, add some sparkle with glitter or sequins to draw all the attention. This elevates white eyeshadow into something glamorous, while still remaining fun. Try Stila's Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow ($24) in Perlina to achieve this look.
A Soft Swipe
A soft application of white eyeshadow on the inner corners and underneath the bottom lashline allow white to be used tastefully with minimal effort. This look brightens the eye and allows the white to really shine through, as everything else is soft and light.
Icy white, like ColourPop's Super Shock Shadow ($6) in Tassel is always a good idea when paired with a dramatic, dark lipstick. The shimmer of this white shadow reflects all the light it needs to, adding just enough sparkle in all the right places. A sheer wash of icy white shadow paired with lots of mascara and dark lipstick is perfectly executed.
Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff calls this exaggerated liner look "white lightening." To get the same intensity, use a white pencil liner and extend up from the lash line into the crease for a shadow-liner fusion.
If you want the tiniest amount of white on your lids, turn it into an opalescent highlight that matches your cheeks. The slightest application of shadow gives the feel of a freshwater pearl: delicate and soft.
Pro makeup artist Kelli Bartlett says, "Whether soft and diffused or full-impact and opaque, white shadow can really brighten up your look. My favorite way to wear the trend is to pick an area of the eye you want to brighten, whether the inner corner (tear duct) or the center of the eyelid over the iris, begin by using a white pencil to saturate the area and then use your finger to diffuse the edge on either side. I love Urban Decay 24/7 Gide On Eye Pencil ($23) in Yeyo. Next, take a small, flat brush and use Nars Duo Eyeshadow ($19) in Pandora and press it on top of the white pencil."
You can certainly make a statement when you apply monochromatic white eyeshadow all over the top lid and underneath the bottom lashline. Monochromatic simply means that one color is used and stays consistent throughout, which is beautifully displayed here. Using a white cream eyeshadow with a touch of shimmer is a great way to re-create this look yourself.
This abstract-like swatch on the eyelid using white is a quick and easy way to rock the trend of white eyeshadow. Simply swatch a generous amount of shadow above the lashes, making the line as thick as you prefer (cream and powder textures will both work). Finish with plenty of mascara and be sure to fill in your eyebrows to complete the look.
Wear It With a Wing
White eyeshadow plus a winged eyeliner is an A+ combination. This look is stunning for any special event you might have coming up. Focusing on the inner corners of the eyes, apply the white shadow to ensure it brightens up the eye before applying liquid eyeliner. The two together work perfectly for a chic finish that will ultimately turn heads.
When wanting to enhance other eyeshadow colors, white can truly draw attention by adding it as a subtle detail. The thin, white line shown here allows the other shadow colors to stand out in their own unique way. If you can't commit to wearing white all over the lids, add tiny touches of it with your other shadow colors to create something different.
For a wash of light color on the lids, white is a perfect choice. For this look, use an opaque white shadow that has a shimmery finish, like Revlon ColorStay Créme Eyeshadow ($10) in Vanilla, versus a matte one. Lightly tapping it with a brush onto your eyelid is all you need to do followed by a few coats of your favorite mascara.
Just The Lid
There's something so beautiful about white eyeshadow all over the lid—past the crease—as this look is incredibly regal paired with bright red lipstick. Focusing on keeping the dimension only on the eyelid is a chic way to wear white that really stands out. You can use any texture for this whether you are more comfortable with something that sparkles, or prefer a matte finish instead.
Illuminate and brighten your eyes by blending white shadow on the lid all the way up to the eyebrows and pairing it with a bright lipstick in pink or coral, if you want to add in some color. Lining the waterline with a white pencil is also ideal for this look, as it completely refreshes eyes instantly.
White is the perfect base color to use on the eyelid when wanting to intensify any color shadow you choose to apply next. Honestly, it looks so pretty by itself, that applying it to your lids and blending out with your fingers or a brush is the perfect, no-fuss way to tastefully wear it.
If you want to wear white eyeshadow but need to break yourself in slowly, try using it as an eyeliner first. You can make the line as thin or thick as you want, and the easiest way to go about it is by applying a cream white eyeshadow to the lash line with an angled brush, or use a liquid eyeliner like Stila's All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner ($23) in Snow. Once you get the hang of wearing white, you'll be experimenting with eyeshadow looks in no time.