How to apply wet eyeshadow

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Find out how you can mix your dry powder eyeshadows with water, face mist or mixing mediums to create intense eye colours.

Applying your eyeshadow with the help of water sounds like a simple enough concept, but many women still won’t dare to wet their brushes and dip them into their precious palettes. We’re here to tell you there really isn’t a big science behind it – anyone can do it and you won’t ruin your eyeshadows, we promise!

CREAMS, LOOSE PIGMENTS AND PRIMERS

If you’re as big a beauty junkie as we are, you’d probably notice that eyeshadows on the market don’t just come in pressed powder form anymore. Better intensity can be achieved from an eye colour when it’s mixed with a liquid or cream product. Cream formulas are becoming increasingly popular, professional makeup artists love using loose pigments with water, and many beauty brands have come to make emollient eyeshadow primers a common purchase.

HOW TO APPLY

The options are aplenty. Dip a dense eyeshadow brush with good old water until damp (wipe the excess water off a towel if you must), spritz a facial mist onto the brush or drop a liquid mixing medium on the back of your hand and mix your powder into the solution for an intense, creamy finish. For a solid all-over lid colour, start packing on the product on your lid and extend slightly into the crease. Once dry, take a blending brush and pick up the dry powder, swiping it back and forth in the crease for a seamless blend of colour. You can even use your eyeshadow wet to create an eyeliner that can either be smudged out for a sultry effect, or a crisp colour with an angled brush.

So if you’ve got some loose pigments or unused eyeshadows lying around, it’s time to bring life into them again. Just add water.

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Makeup pro Chase Aston demonstrates his wet-eyeshadow technique

I can always count on Chase Aston, celeb artist and The Body Shop’s makeup pro, for great beauty tips. One of my favourites from his most recent visit is a simple way to do the wet-eyeshadow thing without soaking your brush or drowning your shadow.

how to wet your eyeshadow

The trick? Dab your dry flat brush into a pad of several wet paper napkins or paper towels on a saucer, as above. Dab the bristles on a dry patch of napkin to remove excess moisture (you don’t want a drippy brush), then stroke over a segment of shadow (no need to wet the whole surface) to pick up colour.

how to apply wet eyeshadow

Press shadow into place over the lid. Use a dry blender brush to soften edges and fade out toward the brows. The result is a more intense, opaque, smooth colour finish than you’d have with a dry application.

types of shadows work well wet

Baked shadows tend to play nice with water better than pressed powders do, perhaps because they’re a silkier consistency. Usually you can tell the difference — baked often come in little domed shapes or declare themselves as baked (*giggle*) right on the packaging. Brands to put on your list include The Body Shop, natch, as well as Bourjois Paris (the original baked powders), Pupa, MAC Mineralize powders, CHANEL and Maybelline New York EyeStudio Color Plush palettes.

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Makeup pro Chase Aston demonstrates his wet-eyeshadow technique

I can always count on Chase Aston, celeb artist and The Body Shop’s makeup pro, for great beauty tips. One of my favourites from his most recent visit is a simple way to do the wet-eyeshadow thing without soaking your brush or drowning your shadow.

how to wet your eyeshadow

The trick? Dab your dry flat brush into a pad of several wet paper napkins or paper towels on a saucer, as above. Dab the bristles on a dry patch of napkin to remove excess moisture (you don’t want a drippy brush), then stroke over a segment of shadow (no need to wet the whole surface) to pick up colour.

how to apply wet eyeshadow

Press shadow into place over the lid. Use a dry blender brush to soften edges and fade out toward the brows. The result is a more intense, opaque, smooth colour finish than you’d have with a dry application.

types of shadows work well wet

Baked shadows tend to play nice with water better than pressed powders do, perhaps because they’re a silkier consistency. Usually you can tell the difference — baked often come in little domed shapes or declare themselves as baked (*giggle*) right on the packaging. Brands to put on your list include The Body Shop, natch, as well as Bourjois Paris (the original baked powders), Pupa, MAC Mineralize powders, CHANEL and Maybelline New York EyeStudio Color Plush palettes.

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Find out how you can mix your dry powder eyeshadows with water, face mist or mixing mediums to create intense eye colours.

Applying your eyeshadow with the help of water sounds like a simple enough concept, but many women still won’t dare to wet their brushes and dip them into their precious palettes. We’re here to tell you there really isn’t a big science behind it – anyone can do it and you won’t ruin your eyeshadows, we promise!

CREAMS, LOOSE PIGMENTS AND PRIMERS

If you’re as big a beauty junkie as we are, you’d probably notice that eyeshadows on the market don’t just come in pressed powder form anymore. Better intensity can be achieved from an eye colour when it’s mixed with a liquid or cream product. Cream formulas are becoming increasingly popular, professional makeup artists love using loose pigments with water, and many beauty brands have come to make emollient eyeshadow primers a common purchase.

HOW TO APPLY

The options are aplenty. Dip a dense eyeshadow brush with good old water until damp (wipe the excess water off a towel if you must), spritz a facial mist onto the brush or drop a liquid mixing medium on the back of your hand and mix your powder into the solution for an intense, creamy finish. For a solid all-over lid colour, start packing on the product on your lid and extend slightly into the crease. Once dry, take a blending brush and pick up the dry powder, swiping it back and forth in the crease for a seamless blend of colour. You can even use your eyeshadow wet to create an eyeliner that can either be smudged out for a sultry effect, or a crisp colour with an angled brush.

So if you’ve got some loose pigments or unused eyeshadows lying around, it’s time to bring life into them again. Just add water.

Holly Rhue is Byrdie’s editor, covering all things beauty, wellness, and health.

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How to apply wet eyeshadow

While eyeshadow has always been a staple of my beauty look, glossy pigments certainly seem to be the lid look du jour. We’ve seen every shade of the rainbow take new form in glossy iterations on runways, Instagram feeds, and editorials everywhere. There’s something about the wet look that elevates your shadow, intensifying pigments and making you look like an IRL master makeup artist. The issue? Every formula I’ve tried just wears away, smudges, or creases by lunch. That’s why we’ve tapped a professional makeup artist and glossy eyeshadow aficionado to share a step-by-step guide to creating a wet look that lasts all day long. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran’s ultimate glossy eyeshadow tutorial.

Click Play to Watch MUA Jaleesa Jaikaran’s Glossy Eyeshadow Tutorial

Meet the Expert

Jaleesa Jaikaran is a celebrity makeup artist and the host of The Life of a Makeup Artist podcast.

Step One: Prime Your Lids

One of the trickiest parts about using glossy eyeshadow is that it has a tendency to slide around. “Now with a glossy eye, it is bound to crease,” Jaikaran says. “But I want to do as much as I can to help it to make it last as long as it can.” For ultimate staying power, be sure to thoroughly prime your eyelids with an eyeshadow base (like this Nars option) prior to applying pigment. “You just want to use the tip of your finger to blend [the primer] out,” Jaikaran recommends.

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Step Two: Start the Application Process With a Nude Shadow

Before you get playful with pigments, sweep a nude eyeshadow (whatever best-matches the color of your lids) into the crease of your eye. For this step, “we’re concentrating the [shadow] in the crease of the eye,” Jaikaran says. “We’re not necessarily putting anything on the lid yet.”

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Step Three: Add Pigment to Your Lids

Using the color of your choice (we love the look of glossy pinks, blues, and lavenders) and a dense, fluffy eyeshadow brush, you’re going to tap pigment onto your eyelid. “I’m not really trying to blend the color right now,” says Jaikaran. “All I’m doing is pressing the eyeshadow in so we get maximum payoff. Jaikaran is using the shade “She Tore” from the below palette.

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Step Four: Add Color to Your Lower Lash Line

Using a pencil brush, “Take the same color you used [on your eyelid] and sweep that onto your lower lash line,” instructs Jaikaran. Start from the inner corner of your eyes and extend outward in sweeping motions as Jaikaran does in the video. Optionally, you can line your waterline with eyeliner to create contrast, which will help make the pigment appear brighter.

Step Five: Get Glossy

Now it’s time to take your eyeshadow look from matte to glossy, which is done by adding a gloss material to the lids (but not lip gloss, since it’s too sticky). Instead, Jaikaran recommends using a cheek or eye gloss, like this formula from Flesh (which is suited for eyes and cheeks).

How to apply wet eyeshadow

“I’m going to be applying this with a flat synthetic brush,” she says. “So I’m making small patting motions. And I’m trying not to get too close to the lash line, because gloss tends to naturally travel. And because this can move throughout the day, I really don’t want this getting into my eyes.”

“Now you can start to go a little bit higher with the product,” she continues, working the gloss into the creases of the eyes.

Step Six: Diffuse the Edges of the Gloss

For a seamless transition from the gloss to your skin, you’ll want to do some blending. “Take a clean blending brush, one that’s a bit slimmer, and start to lightly diffuse the edges of the gloss that we just applied,” Jaikaran says. “You want a nice, seamless feed without having to apply gloss to the entire lid.”

Loose powder eyeshadow can help you create vivid, intense eye makeup looks with a multi-dimensional finish. However, this type of eyeshadow powder can be much more difficult to use than pressed powder or cream eyeshadow. Because the eyeshadow is formulated as a loose powder, it can be very messy to use and can get all over your face in places you don’t want it to go.

Keep reading to learn how to use loose powder eyeshadow and expand your makeup application abilities quickly and easily.

1. A Little Goes a Long Way

How to apply wet eyeshadow

You do not need to dip your entire brush into your loose powder eyeshadow when you want to apply it. In fact, you actually need to apply very little product to your brush, as a small amount goes a long way.

To get the right amount of product onto your brush, simply dip the very tip of the brush lightly into the powder and tap it against the side of the container to shake off any excess product.

2. Use The Lid

How to apply wet eyeshadow

The lid of your loose powder eyeshadow can be your best friend during the eyeshadow application process. After you shake off your brush to remove excess product, rub it around the top of the lid. This step helps saturate the entire brush with powder and prevent excess fallout when you apply the eyeshadow.

3. Don’t Forget Primer

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Eyeshadow primer is extremely important to use before applying loose powder eyeshadow. Eyeshadow primer is always important, but it’s especially vital when using loose powder eyeshadow in order to prevent the powder from wearing off or creasing throughout the day. Make sure that you apply a high-quality primer to your eyelids and let it dry before applying your loose powder eyeshadow.

4. Try FoilingHow to apply wet eyeshadow

Foiling is a method of helping your loose powder eyeshadow colors appear more vivid and stick to your eyelid better for a longer period of time. To foil when applying your eyeshadow, simply apply a base of a wet foiling medium, such as a glitter glue, before you apply the eyeshadow powder. Your colors will look brighter and you will notice less fallout when applying your eyeshadow colors.

5. Pat The Product

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Instead of rubbing the loose powder eyeshadow across your eyelid, try putting it on using a patting motion instead. Using short, dabbing strokes to apply the powder onto your eyelid helps the eyeshadow stick more easily to your eyelids and create less fallout.

6. Apply Translucent Powder

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Before you apply your loose powder eyeshadow to your eyelids, apply translucent powder to the area underneath your eyes. Don’t blend in the translucent powder; leave it sitting on top of your skin.

The translucent powder will act as a barrier between your skin and any fallout from your loose powder eyeshadow. After you’re finished applying your eyeshadow, simply use a fan brush or powder brush to sweep away the powder fallout along with the translucent powder.

7. Try a Damp Brush

How to apply wet eyeshadow

Using a damp brush to apply your loose eyeshadow powder can help minimize the fallout of the powder onto your cheeks and the rest of your face. This method can also help the loose powder stick to your eyelids more easily and appear more vivid against your skin.

Simply dip your eyeshadow brush in water before using it to apply your eyeshadow. Make sure to dry it off with a towel to prevent it from staying too wet and causing your eyeshadow powder to clump.

Applying loose powder eyeshadow doesn’t have to be a frustrating challenge. If you do it right, the process is actually fairly simple. Use the tips in this post to learn how to use loose powder eyeshadow and apply and blend it the right way for a flawless finish.

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For some, the act of applying eye shadow is pretty routine. You’ve got powder eye shadow down pat…maybe you’ve even ventured into loose pigments. But have you tried wet eye shadow? Yes, wet. As with all the best things in cosmetics, wet eye shadow gives you more options! No matter what your eye shape or size, you can do this. Small eyes makeup, hooded eyes makeup, wide set eyes makeup, big eyes makeup … this works for all of them! If you want to amp up the color and vibrancy of shadows, pressed or pigment, and also increase their wearability, then venture over to the world of wet eye shadow, and check out our 10 tips to applying eye shadow – wet edition.

WET EYE SHADOWS COME IN 3 FORMS:

  • Pressed dry shadow with water or mixing medium
  • Pigment with mixing medium
  • Cream or liquid shadow form

Yes, you can turn some of your beloved pressed “pan” shadows into wet shadows, either with water or mixing medium (Although not recommended by Minki Lashes due to harsh chemical cosmetic ingredients content, MAC is known for making an effective mixing medium; we recommend using easy “do it yourself” recipes online as well). But you need to be careful…not all pressed shadows can be used wet. If they don’t specifically state it, you’ll be able to tell from the lumpy, uneven consistency they develop when water or medium is applied.

Other options for applying eye shadow wet: Loose pigment, which is made more bold and user-friendly when applied with mixing medium. There is also the pre-packaged cream or liquid shadow. The pre-packaged formulations usually have built-in wands or applicators, or can be applied with brush or sponge-tip applicators.

APPLYING WET EYE SHADOW:

  1. Use primer – Any eye look that’s going to last needs ab eye shadow primer, even when using a wet shadow application.
  2. Pick your shadows – When applying eye shadow, you are aiming to highlight your eye color and add to their overall appearance. For example, avoid dark hued eyeshadow for small eyes, lest you make them appear even smaller. Try to pick contrasting colors from your eye color. If you aren’t sure what works best, take a look at the color wheel and opt for a color opposite yours.
  3. Ready your tools – Depending on which shadow type you are using, you will need water/mixing medium, sponge or brush applicator, and your chosen pan or loose pigment shadow.
  4. Pick your look – Are you going for a bold summer look? Perhaps a Fall copper smokey eye? It’s important to know where you’re going to place the colors, because once they are on, they are a bit more tricky to remove than ordinary eye shadow. Plan accordingly and use the technique best suited for your eye shape (if you don’t know, get help from our articles or our Facebook page – post a picture of your close up and ask us questions! ).
  5. Applying eye shadow – Now we come to the actual process of applying eye shadow! For loose pigment, add some shadow to the cap or a small dish. If using a mixing medium, shake it well and squeeze one or two drops onto brush or sponge applicator. Then dip your applicator into the pigment, and dab and blend onto lid. Build up the color, if desired, using the same method. If using a pan eye shadow instead of pigment, you should simply be able to dampen your sponge or brush in water, coat with shadow, then apply to the lid in much the same way as the pigment.
  6. Add some liner (or not) – Here’s another great aspect of wet eye shadow…you can use it as liner! If you would like to add a similar product as liner, avoiding pencil or liquid all together, a great option is the ENVY Eco Cake Liner. (All Envy products have natural and pure cosmetic ingredients, which is an added benefit!)
  7. Brow time – While everyone has slightly different eyebrow shapes, they all need to be neat and well-groomed. If not, they will distract from, or ruin completely, the look of your eye makeup all together. Skip the Pamela Anderson’s drawn thin eyebrows and opt for a more natural-looking shape. It’s a hot Hollywood trend, too!
  8. Curl those eyelashes – Curling eyelashes before mascara is one of the best known yet most often ignored tips! It completely opens up your eye!
  9. Mascara time – Now that they are curled, apply two coats of your favorite paraben-free organic mascara. Now we’re talkin’!
  10. Add some lashes – Final step in the perfect wet shadow look: applying fake eyelashes by luxurious Minki Lashes! If you’d rather not mess with application and removal, consider getting mink lash extensions, but choose your eyelash technician wisely as to make sure she is certified and experienced. Extensions make your eyelashes look amazing, they don’t need mascara, and they often last over two months (depending on your natural lash growth cycle)! That’s a win-win for beauty day in and day out!

And so with just 10 easy steps and a few helpful tips, you’ve just added a brand new way for applying eye shadow to your vast cosmetic expertise! Yes, we said expertise. You manage to enhance your natural beauty day after day…and that officially makes you an expert! Yay you!

What to do when that shimmer just isn’t as blinding as you’d hoped?

Use the shadow wet! You’ll do this by dampening your brush, also called foiling your brush.

Okay, let’s get right to it.

Here’s how to use eyeshadow wet:

  1. Get some eyeshadow pigment on your brush
  2. Use a spray bottle to lightly dampen your brush (maybe two spritzes) with water or another eye-safe, watery liquid, like a setting spray.
  3. Apply the wet pigment on your brush to your eyelid.
  4. Repeat (but only respray your brush when it isn’t damp anymore).

How to apply wet eyeshadowAll you need for a foiled application

A Few Details

Here’s a few final things I want to cover about this technique.

  • This technique is usually used on shimmers, not mattes. But feel free to experiment!
  • To wet the brush, you can use a setting spray like MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix+, a sprayable water like Evian Brumisateur Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray, or—my favorite—just a misty spray bottle filled with tap water. Again, be careful not to saturate the brush, though!
  • You don’t want to run the brush under a flowing tap or soak it in water. It will get too wet and make your application less than ideal.
  • Conventional wisdom says to save this technique for eyeshadow that specifies it’s wet/dry or baked. Otherwise, you may be dealing with some hard pan or even a ruined shadow. That being said, I’ve used a wet brush on regular shimmers with no repercussions. Do as you will, but maybe test a small area of the pan when wetting your very favorite eyeshadows.
  • Alternatively, if you want to use this foiling technique on regular shadow, you can use a new brush every time you apply instead of dipping the damp brush back into the shadow.
  • Make sure you clean your brush after using this technique. Wet brushes breed more bacteria than dry ones.