Hi, got any tips or suggestions to make eyeshadow more pigmented? I feel like eye shadows end up looking chalky on me or just don't show up. I've gotten primer and I've tried different formulas/brands like Revlon cream palettes, NYX dream catcher, morphe warm palette. I don't want resort to the more expensive palettes like Lorac yet but I can't seem to get the hang of drugstore palettes. Thanks!
Hey girl! Don’t worry - your eyeshadows still have hope! Even the worst quality eyeshadows can have some life if you’re using the right base and method of application!
Good job getting yourself some eyeshadow primer - they’re important! Eyeshadow primers help to prevent shadows from creasing by controlling the oils on your eyelids. With good eyeshadows, they’ll make colors show up better and help blend out your colors better, but with chalky, powdery, poorly pigmented colors you need a little extra boost. For that, I recommend getting an eyeshadow base!
So what’s the difference between a primer and a base? When we’re talking about eyeshadows, a base has a tint to it, where a primer is usually clear, translucent, or very, very sheer. Eyeshadow base can be skin tone colored, or any color of the rainbow! I recommend getting one that’s either a little lighter than your skin tone, or a white one, because these can be used with pretty much any eyeshadow look. Other colored bases should be used in coordinating colors with your look… for instance, a blue eyeshadow base for a bright blue eyeshadow look (but be careful!)
If you’re not ready to shell out the dough for a MAC Paint Pot, which are some of the most coveted and popular eyeshadow bases on the market, I recommend trying out some of the NYX ones! They have a huge selection of different products that could be considered bases, but these are my favorites:
NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skin Tone - $7
I like this one because it comes in a convenient pot, so you can just dive in there with your brush (or fingers if you don’t share and have a hand sanitizer addiction). The color of this isn’t super crazy pale, and works really well on people with darker skin tones as opposed to a white base. The texture is smooth and creamy and makes colors very blendable and is just sticky enough to grip shadows without being crease-y.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk - $4.50
Yes, you’re seeing that right, they’re only $4.50! If you’ve been around the beauty community online for a while, you’ll look at this baby like an old friend. The hype around NYX Milk Pencil is real! This is a staple for any brightly colored eyeshadow look. It’s super creamy and very convenient because the pencil applicator is precise, and you could use it as an eyeliner or face paint or really anything your heart desires in addition to being a base.
There are other great products that you could find at pretty much any drugstore that are very similar to these eyeshadow bases. Milani Shadow Eyez are another of my faves, as are the Maybelline Color Tattoos. A makeup artist trade secret is using concealer as an eyeshadow base… just make sure you use your primer beforehand, because concealers normally contain oils that could cause your shadows to crease.
My last tip is to make sure you’re using the right kinds of tools and the right kind of application. To pack color on your lids as much as possible, be sure that you’re using a flat eyeshadow brush, or even a sponge tip applicator. Also, make sure you’re truly PACKING the color on, by patting it and building it, instead of sweeping it across your eyelid.
Real Techniques Shading Brush - $6
For really stubborn colors, you can dampen your brush first with either a setting spray or a teeny amount of water or contact lens solution. Applying your eyeshadow wet will ensure that it goes on as pigmented as possible!
I hope that this helps you out! If you’re not ready to splurge on expensive eyeshadows, don’t do it. You can create gorgeous makeup looks without spending tons of money on color, as long as you have the right stuff for the “behind the scenes” application!
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