How to Wear White Eyeshadow All Season Long

Talk about a brightening trick.

white eyeshadow


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 similar hues, white can actually 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.

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All Shapes and Sizes

Model wearing graphic white eyeshadow and minimal face makeup


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.

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Glam And Glittery

Lady Gaga wears silvery glitter white eyeshadow, red lipstick, a beauty mark, and a platinum blowout

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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.

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A Soft Swipe

Model with subtle white eyeliner and eyeshadow and red lipstick


A soft application of white eyeshadow on the inner corners and underneath the bottom lash line allow white to be used tastefully with minimal effort. This look brightens the eyes and allows the white to really shine through, as everything else is soft and light.

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Icy Sparkle

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wears sheer white eyeshadow and glossy burgundy lipstick


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.

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Instantly Brighten

Margot Robbie wears simple white eyeshadow and subtle pink blush and lipstick

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Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff calls this exaggerated liner look on Margot Robbie "white lightning." 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.

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Freshwater Pearl

Woman with subtle pearl eyeshadow, highlighter, berry lipstick, and a white hair ribbon


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.

"Whether soft and diffused or full-impact and opaque, white shadow can really brighten up your look," pro makeup artist Kelli Bartlett says. "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."

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Monochromatic Punch

You can certainly make a statement when you apply monochromatic white eyeshadow all over your top lid and underneath your bottom lash line. Monochromatic simply means that one color is used consistently throughout, as beautifully displayed here. Using a white cream eyeshadow with a touch of shimmer is a great way to recreate this look yourself.

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Abstract Art

Woman with abstract opaque white eyeshadow, subtle cheek and lip, and gold bobby pins


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.

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Wear It With a Wing

Brianne Tju wears white eyeshadow, flushed cheeks, and a wavy bob hairstyle

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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.

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Divine Detail

Model with white floating eyeliner, subtle smoky eyeshadow, and radiant makeup

Allison Depriestre/Instagram: @allisondepmuah

When wanting to enhance other eyeshadow colors, white can truly draw attention by as a subtle detail. The thin, white line shown here allows the other shades 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 to create something different.

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Just The Lid

Soo Joo Park wears sparkling white eyeshadow, red lipstick, and a platinum bob

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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're more comfortable with something that sparkles or prefer a matte finish.

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Sketched Out

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.

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Clean Lines

Sophie Turner wears white winged eyeliner and a ponytail


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.

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