Power of Makeup series Part 5: Eyeshadow

The power of makeup really comes across when you’ve got great looking eyes. I think for most people, their eyes are the best feature to play with for a few reasons:

Eye contact.

Eyes are the window to the soul.

Excuse me, my eyes are up here.

Your eyes give other people’s eyes a place to “land” when they look at your face. This is why Part 4: Defining Eyebrows is so important. Once your brows are ready, it’s time to have some fun!

series title pic

Know your eye shape.

You can see in the photo above that when I look straight ahead, my lids aren’t visible. That means I have a “hooded” eye. A “standard” eye shape would allow some of the lid to be visible. What you can’t tell since I’ve already fooled the camera, is that my eyes are also a little close-set, meaning they are closer to my nose than one eye’s length. I used highlighter to create the illusion that my eyes are where they should be. Isn’t makeup fun?

Before we go any further, I want to address something. God made my eyes hooded and close-set. Am I happy about that?

Not really.

Am I upset with God?


Because I love how God made me, and I know He thinks I’m beautiful because we have a great relationship and I work on my heart. And…ta da! I can play around with makeup and by adding a little color here, a swipe of sparkle there, my eyes can look bigger, smaller, closer, wider, puppy-dog, seductive, or natural.

My eyes take the longest to do because I can make my eyes different depending on my mood. Am I going for a day time or evening look? Work appropriate, glamour, or just-gotta-run-to-Wal-Mart-and-if-I-see-someone-I-don’t-want-to-look-as-tired-as-I-feel? Perhaps it’s date night and I need to ooh-la-la my face.

No matter what, you can achieve the look by playing up your eyes!

There are great resources to help you figure out your eye shape. I’m adding those to the bottom of this post. Today, I’m going to show you how to do the 2-Minute-Eye look. This works on almost all eye shapes, so unless you are blessed with Betty Davis eyes (Google her, you younguns), you can pull this off.

My tools:

brushes used eyes

You don’t need all these brushes. You can use the same brush if you have to, and clean it off in between colors. However, if you’re just getting started, I recommend going to Wal-Mart or Target and buying the E.L.F. brushes if you don’t want to buy a complete set. That said, I recommend a great brush set — complete with powder, blush, and bronzer brushes. It’s a great investment and your makeup will look more flawless. Plus, it makes your makeup easier to apply.

I recommend using different brushes and never ever ever ever ever ever trust the sponge-tipped applicators that come in the eyeshadows. Yes, you can do your makeup with them, but once you use a brush, you’ll ditch those suckers in an instant. I’d rather use my finger pad than a sponge for eyeshadow.

Here are the colors I’m using. I receive no compensation for my product recommendations. The extra highlight on the left is Urban Decay, and the tri-striped shadows are Mary Kay. They are both sitting on top of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette. UB just released Naked 3 and it’s on my Christmas list.

Along with a food processor. Is this too much to ask for? 

Back to makeup.


Both brands of eye shadow last an incredibly long time, and are extremely pigmented. This means you use less shadow, increasing the value you get for your dollar. I’m sorry to say, but there really is a difference in quality when you compare these brands to ones you find at supermarkets and Target. Because they last longer, and have a smoother application, I find it’s worth the extra $5-$10.

Sometimes, though, you get lucky. I was able to get the round Urban Decay shadow for $6 on sale! I use it daily and have hardly made a dent in it. The shelf-life is pretty long, so it will last me quite a while. My advice is to find a brand you love in your price range. All the application tips are the same regardless of your choice in brands.

[Tweet “Eyeshadow is meant to be built upon. Light layers of eyeshadow is prettier than one heavy layer. @betjett #powerofmakeup”]

First step: Highlighter

I highlight first, third, and last. Your lightest color will get used more than any other shade. I have a couple of different highlighter colors — a really white one and a more matte sandy color.

I highlight under my brows, on my lids, and in the corner of my eyes near my nose. The spot by your nose is the darkest spot on your face. The only time I suggest NOT highlighting here is if your eyes are wide-set, or further from your nose than a one eye length.

steps 1 and 2 highlight and start midtone

Second Step: Mid-tone

The mid-tone goes in the crease. Because my eyes are close-set, I do not extend the mid-tone all the way to the inner corner by my nose. I also leave the inner part of my lid alone to keep the highlighter showing up.

To properly apply mid-tone, place your thick angled brush in the corner of your eye (like shown below), and while looking straight ahead in the mirror, gently sweep it back and forth. If you want the color closer to your lashes, by all means sweep your lid as well. Do not push the brush into your crease. You’ll deposit too much color.

Remember: eyeshadow is meant to be built upon. Light layers of eyeshadow is prettier than one heavy layer.

step 2 midtone

I’m using a reddish color as my mid-tone because my eyes are green. Reds and purples will set off green eyes. Blues will set off brown eyes, and browns will set off blue eyes. While this amount of shadow may seem too much, especially for day time, don’t freak out! The lsat step in eyeshadow is blending, and this pinky red eyeshadow won’t look this bright once we’re done.

Step Three: Highlight again

After applying the mid-tone, I go back over my lids with highlighter. I want my eyelids to be noticeable, so this helps draw attention to them, and lets the mid-tone recede a bit. This gives depth to my eyes. You can skip this step if you like. I like to do another layer of highlighter because it helps blend a bit of the mid-tone on my lids.

You’ll notice again, I’m hitting that inner corner by my nose. Shadows are naturally created on your face in this area. Highlight it up!

high mid high

I seriously hate the faces I make while putting on makeup. I feel like Grumpy Cat.

This is an easy 2-minute-or-less look, although if this all you’re going to do, take that highlighter and use it blend out the entire mid-tone area. Throw on some mascara and boom – 2 minutes. This is not where I stop with my makeup, however.

At this point in my eyeshadow routine, I put on eyeliner. If you have a hooded eye, eyeliner is your best friend.

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about eyeliner – pencil, liquid, and powder and all the wonderful things you can do with it! Wing-tip, cat-eyes, Cleopatra…

Wednesday we’ll cover how to take this 2-minute look and by adding one more color, create definition and glamour.

Thursday is my favorite product of all…MASCARA!!!!!! I’ll show you my favorites and you’ll be amazed at what a little mascara can do.

Friday we’ll put the whole face together and we’ll see if there truly is some power in makeup.


Makeup artist Wayne Goss – I love his YouTube videos. Click on his name to figure out your eye shape. Plus, British accent. Win-Win.

Beautylish.com has celebrity examples of eye shapes to help you find your eye shape.

Plumtique shows several eye shapes and some basic application tips for each.

[callout]In case you missed them: Power of Makeup series, Part One,  Part Two: Foundation,  Part Three: Sculpting,  Part Four: EyebrowsPart Fiveb: Eyeliner and Accent ColorsPart Six: MascaraPart Seven: Lips[/callout]




**Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Bethany Jett

Bethany Jett loves sipping coffee and jamming in her planner while raising three boys with her college sweetheart Justin.

December 3, 2013

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