Throw away the eyelid tape — we found the best beauty tools create a natural-looking double eyelid effect with just makeup! Read on to find the makeup brushes you need, our favourite tried-and-tested products, plus tips from makeup pros!
Best Beauty Tools
You can use them to create any eyeshadow look, but they’re particularly important for anything that requires a lot of soft, subtle blending.
Primer helps eyeshadow last longer, can intensify the colours, and prevent creasing or caking. Some of the best eyeshadow primers can also neutralize discoloration, control oiliness, or fill in fine lines around the eyes. (Beauty tip: we also like applying eyeshadow primer under concealer!)
Best beauty tools: Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance
High quality eyeshadow brushes
You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but try to get the best makeup brushes you can afford. Cheap makeup brushes are often made of synthetic materials, but eyeshadow brushes need to be made of animal hair so they can grab and blend pigments well. Instead of buying cheap, large sets which you rarely use, invest in 2 or 3 brushes that you will use more frequently.
To create the double lid look, you need two brushes: a small shading brush and a fluffy round blending brush. We prefer small eyeshadow brushes because you can pat in the colour exactly where you need it, and even your blending brush should be the size and shape that fits naturally into your eye socket. Unlike foundation brushes, where you want big bristles that can apply just a light layer of powder all over your face, your eyeshadow brushes should have smaller, more densely packed bristles that deposit more pigment in more specific areas. It’s all about precision!
Best blending brushes: Lancôme Blending Tip #16 Brush, Sigma E25 ( get the Sigma E45 if you have small lids), MAC 217
Best shading brushes: MAC 239, Real Techniques Perfect Crease Duo, Make Up For Ever 216 , Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Btush
Cream base eyeshadow
This should be really close to your natural skin colour, with no shimmer. It neutralizes discolouration and helps the lighter brown shades and blending really stand out. It’s also handy for creating clean, sharp creases!
Best beauty tools: MAC Paint Pot, Maybelline Color Tattoo, E.L.F. Smudge Pot
Concealer brush (optional)
For applying cream eyeshadow (never use animal hair eyeshadow brushes for cream products). if you don’t have one, use your finger or the tip of a damp makeup sponge.
Best beauty tools: Bobbi Brown Concealer Brush, Kat Von D Lock-It Flat Concealer Brush, Eco Tools Ultimate Concealer Duo
Neutral eyeshadow palette
You need a matte finish, with beige and several shades of brown. You can use the same makeup techniques and tips with other colours like purple or green, but it’s always nice to have a neutral palette for everyday makeup looks. (Plus, you can use the same palette to define your brows!)
Best beauty tools: Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette, Urban Decay Naked Basics, M.A.C Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette, Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Mini Palette, L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Nude Intense Palette, Tarte Tartelette Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette
Jet black eyeliner
You need this to define your eye shape and balance out the eyeshadow. Check our list of 5 Eyeliners That Won’t Budge, Smudge or Give you Raccoon Eyes.
Don’t apply foundation yet! Do your eyeshadow first, so you can quickly wipe off any eyeshadow fallout or erase makeups without ruining the rest of your makeup.
- Apply eyeshadow primer on your eyelid.
- Apply the cream base eyeshadow.
- Take a nude colour and use the shading brush apply all over your eyelid (from your lashline to your eyebrows).
- If you have a lot of eyelid space, you can use a medium “transition” colour – applied a little above your socket/crease. If you have small eyelids, skip this step.
- Use the same brush and dip into dark brown shadow. Tap it on the table to remove excess pigment, or run the tip across your wrist to just tone down the amount. With dark colours, its best to work with just a small amount of eyeshadow – it’s easier to intensify it than to remove it. (Pro makeup tip: if you accidentally put too much eyeshadow, dip a cotton bud in micellar water or any oil-free makeup remover, and wipe off the excess.)
- Take the brush and run it down 1/3 of the socket/ and half of your lashline. You’ll form a small V.
- Blend out the eyeshadow with a clean blending brush. Blend it so it’s slightly above your crease, so that it shows up even when you open your eyes. (Pro makeup tip: you can add a medium-brown or taupe eyeshadow to slightly deepen the crease without making it too dark.)
- Clean up time! If you realize you blended it too much, or you want a sharper-looking crease, then “erase” those areas with your cream neutral eyeshadow and a small concealer brush.
- Clean your shading brush (which you used in step 3 to 5) or use another brush. (Read about the best beauty tools for cleaning your eyeshadow brushes!)
- With your clean shading brush, apply a lighter colour from the lashline to your crease. Metallic or shimmer eyeshadows – or even your highlighter — work really well. (Pro makeup tip: if you have round or bulging eyes, use a matte colour. Shiny eyeshadow will only make your eyes look more prominent.)
- Apply eyeliner.