Until very recently, I didn’t dare branch outside of my classic bronzed smoky eye – it’s all I’ve known since I was the tender age of 16. However, a late night session of browsing YouTube makeup tutorials taught me just how many styles there are when it comes to eyeshadow application.
With drag queens dominating the scene with their inventive and applaudable makeup skills (seriously, how does anyone even cut a crease that sharp?), men and women alike are stepping up their beauty game in an attempt to achieve bigger and better looks.
But if, like me, you’re feeling a little uninspired with your current style, give our little guide a scan over and discover the many ways of how to apply eyeshadow, all with a little help from some of the best YouTube beauty gurus.
1. Smokey Eye Tutorial
Let’s start off with a staple look: the much-loved smoky eye. The trick with this is to blend, blend, blend – and nobody does that better than Lisa Eldridge. Give her super quick video a watch to accomplish the perfect smoky eye in seconds. Ideally, you should be using darker hues to create an impactful finish: think emerald greens, pigmented bronzes and shady blacks.
Building up a smoky eye has never been easier with this ‘does it all’ eyeshadow palette. Ideal for creating a showstopping look, this palette boasts a range of dark and smoky hues to nail this sultry style.
2. Cat Eye Tutorial
Beauty videographer and MUA Hindash has really stolen the show when it comes to creating the perfect eyeshadow cat eye. This softer rendition of the bold cat eye uses lip liner, eyeshadow and a whole lotta blending to create a subtle eye-defining look. Get your hands on a brown-toned lip liner pencil ASAP!
Ideal for recreating this look, the delilah Lip Line Long Wear Retractable Pencil creates a matte base that easily blends out. Better still, it comes in a variety of light to dark toned shades, meaning you’re in charge of the intensity.
3. Cut Crease Tutorial
When YouTuber Michael Finch speaks, we listen. Here, Michael teaches the masses how to perform the much-feared cut crease look. Ideal for that girls’ night out, a strong cut crease can command the attention of others, giving you eyes to remember. It works by defining your eye socket, leaving you with a dramatic, eye-brightening finish.
Easily achieve that lighter base with this high coverage concealer from Rimmel. Its brush head allows for super easy application and prime definition – meaning minimal makeup mishaps.
4. Halo Tutorial
Wanting to channel your inner angel? Summon her with this angelic eyeshadow look for dazzlingly bright eyes. Here, Holly Boon goes IN with the bright pigments for a very dramatic look, but obviously this can be customised with more muted colours for those of you that aren’t quite ready to make the plunge.
To achieve that mystical glow, try using the lighter shades of the Eyes To Mesmerise range. These cream eyeshadow pots pop with pure light reflecting particles to seriously define that halo effect.
5. Gradient Tutorial
Okay, so this one is pretty similar to the original smoky eye but with a softer, more gradual approach. Basically, you start with a lighter colour on the inner corner and blend out to a darker, more pigmented colour. But no one explains this better than beauty YouTuber Angela Bright, who puts a bright and fun twist on the look.
If you don't already own this cult-status palette then this can be your excuse to upgrade your kit. Containing a mix of matte and shimmer shades, the palette allows for the perfect gradient eyeshadow that can be worn neutral for a day look or vamped up for a night out on the town.
6. Matte Tutorial
Sure, this may sound like a plain 'n' simple technique, but mastering the art of fine blending is required to make this style look professional (and not like you've just randomly swatched an eyeshadow shade on your top lid). Luckily, our pal Jackie Aina is here to show us just how it's done. This one will go down especially well with those obsessed with that renowned 'Barbie pink' colour.
Of course we had to feature a MAC eyeshadow in here somewhere - the brand is synonymous with professionalism! This small, single eyeshadow is the perfect shade of pink to recreate Jackie Aina's matte look.
7. Glitter Tutorial
We've featured an all-matte look, so now it's time to visit the other end of the spectrum. That's right, it's time to get creative with some chunky glitter. Sure, you could use a basic pressed shimmer shade to achieve a glitzy eye...or you could get a little messy with some loose glitter pigments. Katie Michaelis, take it away girl.
Getting that unparalleled shine has never been so easy with this little pot of gold dust by your side. With a range of different colours to choose from (our fave is 'Aquamarine'), you can really dress up any eyeshadow look or add it to your cut crease for that extra wow-factor.
8. Graphic Eye Tutorial
You're going to need a really steady hand for this one...(and patience, lots and lots of patience). If you're ready to step up your eyeshadow game, why not introduce some liners or wet brushes into the mix to really set your style apart?
This iconic palette is an absolute essential for all eyeshadow enthusiasts. With nine shades to mix and match, you too can play around and create that 'blue skies' look that Nikki so effortlessly created. Happy blending!
9. Liquid Eyeshadow Tutorial
For those of you that are unfamiliar with liquid eyeshadows, don't worry, it's actually way easier than applying traditional powders. You'll still need a fluffy blending brush, but your fingertip can also work for a super-easy application. We'll let Kalei Lagunero explain the rest.
Calling lovers of all things glitter: this one's for you. This cult-followed formulation is the go-to liquid eyeshadow for beauty fanatics everywhere due to its high pigmentation and flawless application.
Written by Ellie Child
With five years’ experience under her belt, Ellie has worked alongside a range of highly regarded makeup artists, giving her a real insight into what consumers should be spending their money on.