(Image source: http://bethbenderbeauty.com/blog/difference-eyeshadow-texture/)
Expensive high-end eyeshadows? Check. Gorgeous selection of colors? Check. Amazing pigmentation? Check. Correct color placement? Check. But wait, why does my eyeshadow application still not look as good and professional as Mario Dedivanovic’s work???
Well, for one, it is NOT easy to attain the standards of Mario Dedivanovic. That man’s brilliance is unparalleled, especially in comparison to us Jane Does out here. But what I can say after looking at a host of outstanding eyeshadow works is that professional makeup artists can make most eyeshadows work even if it’s from the drugstore, and this is because for them, techniques trump products.
In our consumerist world where cosmetic companies release eyeshadows (be it singles or palettes) incessantly, typical consumers like you and I have our eyes on those products and our minds on acquiring them that we tend to neglect the more important aspect of eyeshadow application – the technique. When we watch YouTube videos and Instagram photos of eye makeup, we are usually more concerned with the colors and the specific eyeshadows applied rather than the techniques used to achieve the look. That is why those less than 1 minute Instagram makeup videos thrive. In such a short duration, the only thing about those videos that linger in your minds are the products used, and not quite the way the person perfected the eyeshadow application.
As a beginner myself, I am clearly not aiming for a Mario-standard eye makeup at this point. That I believe takes a lot of practice, time, skill and patience, all to be developed in the coming years. What I realistically am going for at this moment is an eye makeup look that appears very smooth with no harsh lines. This is of course assuming the “correct” color placement. And I realize that in achieving this, there is one eyeshadow technique that I have not spent much time on but it is the key to a flawless eyeshadow application.
I wouldn’t say that I don’t blend my eyeshadows because I do. But I don’t think I have devoted sufficient time during my eye makeup to blending. Typically more concerned with the color placement, I am more than happy to continuously switch brushes and spend a little time on each brush thinking that this will give me the perfect look. But they always come up short. The looks need more blending!
Importance of blending eyeshadows
The goal of blending is to create a smooth gradient and transition between the colors. You want at all cost to avoid harsh lines. This applies to all forms of eyeshadow application, be it a one eyeshadow color makeup, two color gradient, a cut crease or whatever else. Blending is key to ensure a professional finish to your eye makeup.
If words won’t sway you, then pictures might. Here is a photo of one unblended side.
I’m sure you can tell that the right side is unblended. You can clearly see how the unblended side leaves a harsh line in the transition area. This is usually what gives an amateur away. The color placements are all good, but the fact that the transition area is not blended enough deprives this eye makeup of a smooth finish. In comparison, you can see how the left side appears to have a smooth gradient of colors, and lacks harsh lines. You want both your eyes looking like this:
Well-blended, smooth, and not amateur looking I would say. What I did was simply small circles and windshield wiper motion along my transition area, where the harsh line was. But I did that for quite some time. I took my time blending, and only stop when I feel that the colors are very well diffused. I used my trustee MAC 217 blending brush to really smooth out the edges of that red shadow. And finishing off with my Morphe Y16 fluffy buffing brush to smooth out the different colors in the transition area. I believe a densely packed blending brush, coupled with a fluffier buffing brush is the key to give any eye makeup a professional finish.
(Image source: https://www.morphebrushes.com/products/y16)
So if you’re one who’s more often than not unhappy with the finish of your eye makeup even though you’ve used the exact eyeshadow brands and colors as your favorite YouTuber, you might now want to look into your technique and how much time you spend blending your eyeshadows.
Till the next one, happy blending!