How To: Blend Your Eyeshadow Like a Pro

For overall blending purposes, it’s good to have 4 eyeshadow colors:  a black, dark brown, medium brown, and nude.  These are for blending out harsh lines or creating your “go to” everyday look.  Here’s my recommendations for various brands:

MAC Eyeshadows:

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows:

Tools are also super important when it comes to blending- the right tools make all the difference!  For a detailed list of my favorite brushes and how to use them, check out this article:   Top 10 Makeup Brushes
Must have brushes for the eyes:
  • Flat stiff brush for patting on color on the lid:   MAC 239
  • Stiff dome brush for creating a smokey eye:  MUG Stiff Dome
  • Outer V brush for defining the outer corner of the eye:    MUG Outer V
  • Pencil brush for smudging along the lashline:   MAC 219
  • *optional:  Crease brush for applying color softly in the crease:  MUG  Crease Brush
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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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Thank you so much for this Marlena! As a beginner, I really appreciate you taking the time to show us all the steps involved in creating beautiful looks. Don’t think I’ll ever get my looks as perfect n amazing as u do but I will try my best :) thanks again! Btw, I jus wanted to know what u thought of Avon products, in south Africa they are readily available so I jus wanted your opinion on any products you may have tried of theirs.

I’m so glad the video is helpful! I haven’t tried many Avon products, but I like some of their brand “Mark” (their eyeliners are really nice)

Hi Marlena,
You are amazing,thanks for your great effort. I have a question and I am asking it for the 4th time.Do you remeber your nice look in” Dramatic Bridal Look” I hope you do,
you were wearing a beautiful ring ” little white leaves” where did you get it?
love it,

I’ve been waiting for this!!!! Thanks Marlena! Do you normally start by doing your outer V, and using your darker color as your first step, or do you mix it up (ex. doing your whole lid first, then your outer V, or your highlighting first, and then outer V, etc.) ???? Love your website!

Hey Marlena!

What brand (cheaper than MAC) does a palette of matte shades instead of shimmer?
I’ve brought 2 palettes from NYX of shimmer shades but I would also like to get a couple of matte palettes to balance the blending and tone it down.

Your advice would be appreciated!!!

CARGO has the best matte palettes for neutral shades. These can be bought at ULTA for $34. I’m a prestige consultant and these palettes sell well and i highly recommend them for people who want matte neutrals or who just want to get away from shimmers that most eye shadows tend to be. hope that helps :)

Did she ever say which colors she used for that look? She said she’d post them, but I can’t find them.

These trips are great Marlena! I like this way of doing the smokey eye. I’ve used a small dome brush before on a dark smokey eye only because you had used it previOusly in one of your videos and even though it was the first time using that brush it came out great! I found that works really well for the “v” edge and crease. Will have to try this way now too!

Hi Marlena! When will the MUG Eyeshadows be for sale. Cant wait to get them!!! And thanks, Ive actually learned how to do my own makeup. Thought I would never learn. LOL!

Hi, I love your tutorials and find them to be so helpful! You are very beautiful as well :) I was just wondering what type/color of nailpolish are you wearing? it looks great…. thank you!

Hi marlena,
I have wide set eyes and was wondering if this technique is only for those who want to open up the eyes. Could you do a tutorial for blending for the different eye shapes? I always watch your videos and would like to hear your take on eye shapes and the appropriate techniques for each shape. I would like to hear more about blending…would appreciate!

jangsara posted a great answer to this with photos a few posts back. check the MUG website for her post

MAC brushes are so expensive. Are there any other brushes that can be used instead of the flat stiff brush. Are NYX’s brushes good?

Personally, I think the MAC 239 is totally worth the price/investment.

But there are other options. A couple of them are Sigma’s E55 ($9) and Roque Cozzette’s Depositor ($16). Or you could go to your local art supply or craft store and check out artist brushes. Loew Cornell’s 3/8″ Maxine Oval Mop is a recommended dupe for the 239. The list price is around $4.

I love the new background. It’s simple, has great texture, and you don’t look like a floating head. I love it!

For another alternative for brushes (besides the mug’s of course) I use Arbonne Cosmetics set and it has been fantastic. ( it was gifted to me but I believe the set is about $30)

That’s a terrific tutorial! I tried it this morning with my BH Cosmetics neutral palette and i like it a lot!!
I ordered some of the NYX eyeshadows in your shop this morning. Some of the colors aren’t available in Germany for some reason. Most are, but True Taupe for example isn’t . BTW, i am in Germany and i have no problems with your videos. I download it with help from the site and watch it from my harddrive ;)

I would like to watch this vid, but the f****** GEMA won´t let me (I´m from Germany). Did you upped this on another site? Thanks in advance :)

Come on girls! There are tons of ways to get around the german restriction. Just google for it. You don’teven need to be a computer nerd to know how to do it…

You are by far my most favorite makeup artist to watch. You really take the time to not just show us looks that have been requested, but you also “teach” us how to do it as well as give us these quick lil makeup lessons that is very much appreciated. And I think its wonderful how you have acheived your goals, whether it be your weight loss, or career type goals. I think you are beautiful inside and out. Have a great weekend!

I love your videos, thanks so much for the great information. I was looking on the MUG website, but I dont’ see a Stiff Dome Brush, where can I find one? It would be great to see an updated article with all the new brushes also!

Hi Marlena,

i must say that you are the best teacher on youtube and your videos are so helpful and easy to understand that people like me (who dont know how to do makeup) can also do makeup. thank you for taking out time and teaching us about blending and other techniques that are help full for beginners. As people have knowledge but not all of them are as good in teaching as you are.

I love your smile, its full of life and your inside beauty. you are really an inspiration for all of us God bless you.

So helpful! Thanks so much! I am new to Mac but will get those colors you mentioned. I wonder what makes Mac eyeshadows so great? (Forgive me, I am new to makeup!) I know Mac seems to be the top brand for makeup. Is it that their shadows are easy to blend? Are they very pigmented? You should do a starter Mac video. LOVE your tutorials! You’re so talented!

I love this video!!! I went to the site and wanted to get the “STIFF DOME BRUSH” but didn’t see one! HELP!!!!

This was very educational and helpful! Thanks…Ufcourse, I dont have high hopes of me doing this right :)

Hey Marlena. I absolutely LOVE your videos. I am a 30 yr. old mom of three and I don’t have a lot of time to devote to making myself look beautiful everyday. I was wondering if you could do a video showing young moms some different, quick looks for everyday to help us feel gorgeous but still natural. I wear glasses and I don’t really know how to apply makeup so I hope you can help. PLEASE!!!!! Thank you soooooo much :) Keep up the great work!!

Just want to thank you for this video.. I watched it a million times.. You’re a great teacher and just an all around nice person.. I am a subbie of yours and love your passion for shadow.. Can’t wait to purchase your shadows..God bless

Marlena looking beautiful as always I have a question for you what is the best dark purple
couse I have Mac beautiful iris and satellite dreams I would like to do this blending in purple what is the purples i can use thank you

hey lovey dovey,
i belong to kashmir n shifted to boston just 3 weeks ago.i luv ur videos . u r simly awesome.

i seriously need ur help as i cant decide what ma actual skin color is n that troubles me as i m unable to choose d rite shade of foundation. i know nothin abt d make up thing . plzzzzzzz help!!!!!!!!

so sorry but it´s mirror time again.
Thanks for all the work you put in these little treasures to make us happy :)

Hi Marlena,
I stumbled upon your website a couple months ago and I absolutely love it! I love make up, but I have never been great with application so it’s been wonderful to get all of your tips and tricks.

Question: I have oily skin and the only foundation that works for (meaning it doesn’t slide off my face after a couple hours) is the Revlon Colorstay line. The only problem with it is that it sets very quickly so while I have time to blend the foundation, I’ve never been able to apply any products (bronzers, cream blushes, cream highlighters or stains) on top and blend them smoothly without it caking up my foundation. Do you have any suggestions? I know you have mentioned using this foundation before so perhaps you could do a video on this.

Thanks a million!

Hi there,
is it possible to re-upload this video on a different server? I couldn´t watch it on YT, because of the music you used.
Thanks in advance,

great tutorial…i always wanted to know how to achieve that look and now i know…thank you so much for all you do for us mugs :)

This was a super helpful video. I’ve always struggled getting my crease / outer V to have the right shape. This technique was a great new way me for to look at it. Thanks!

i love watching your tutorials and trying them out as well … unfortunally i am in germany and this video wont play … :(

Hey Marlena,
The video is great! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! Are you planning on holding any seminars in the UK at any point? Hope so! I also want to find out more about the Urban Decay Blending brush you were using. Is it the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blender brush or the Good Karma Blending brush?? From watching your video I am assuming it is the 24/7 Pencil Blender?! Please advise. Thanks so much! xoxo


I am a 40 y/o professional and busy woman, who have learned how to wear make up through your videos. I have been watching for a long time. And love the way you have evolved and look so beautiful now.

Keep reaching for stardom, you deserve.


i’m wearing this today and it looks freaking amazing!!! :D it is not too much but definitely enough and i don’t know why but it made my eyelashes pop! they look hugely amazing. :D thanks Marlena!

Whats up with the makeup geek site? I used to be a huge fan, but lately no videos and the ones she does make are nothing like the old ones : / I miss the old makeup geek videos

i am a big makeup geek fan last year you did a winter wonderland look loved it tryed to get the colors but sold out boohoo for got about it all summer and was looking back at old tutorials and seen it OMGoodness( i have to get it) tryed once more but sold out of reflects pearl even went to macsite still no luck do you think you will be getting mac reflects pearl back in stock soon befor christmas’11’ i really love the look also what colors and brand can i use for the blue colors if i cant get the same from tarte i know it’s alot to ask an your supper biz but i really lovelovelove that look
when is the makeup geek brand going to be out for us big makeup geeks to try cant wait im so happy for you and wish you well in everything you do keep up the hard work and godbless

hi marlena..
i do love ur vedios .. pls give me ur i.d i want to asked some things about makeup.. andi live in canada toronto.

Thank you so much for this video. I’ve been wanting to learn and I learned with you that the size of tbe brushes is a big plus. You’re beautiful.

I absolutely love all your videos! Your are a great inspiration. Thanks soo much for sharing your expertise. And thanks for sharing the Mac colors…love mac product!

This video is great! whats that brush that your using actually called? and where can you get it from? also would you reccomend your deluxe outter v brush for creating that intense darkness on the outter corner, like u have done with the black and brown?

Hey girl! I LOVE LOVE LOVE you videos!! Im a makeup FREAK!! I love to collect kits and Use them on me and my friends. Im just learning how to do PERFECT shading by using the BRUSHES..You said I need!!! NO WONDER IT DIDN’T LOOK RIGHT!!! LMBO!! Anywho…I cant seem to get both my eyes to look the same.. the left is always out farther or up higher…don’t matter if its shadow or liner. I always keep my head tilted to the left and up so my GOOD side shows more!! HAHAH..GRRR got any good tips??

hey Marlena!
I was wondering if you could tell me what you think is the best drug store under eye concealer ?

You are by far the best makeup artist I’ve seen on the internet. I always always follow your tutorials and I get SO many compliments on my makeup! You’re so talented, so helpful and so sweet/real to watch! Thank you, thank you, thank you for making me look good and feel good about myself. I know its just makeup but it does mean a lot to me and I’m sure many others! You probably won’t see this but if you do, know that you’re awesome!

I just LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED this technic! I can’t find these brushes here where I live – which is sad – but as soon as I can I’ll buy them from here, Marlena!
Thanks a ot for helping us, for the support and everything. You’re gorgeous, girl!

I super love the tutorial. I am not really a pro when it comes to make up but this video will really help me a lot to gain confidence and do the appropriate combination of colors and how to do ti. Thanks much!

Hi Marlena,
I’m from Germany and really love your videos, but I can’t see this one because of the music. Could you upload it with a different player or something?
Thanks so much.

Hi Marlena! I love your videos so much I refer everyone I know who loves my makeup application to your site. I never take full credit and just say couldn’t have done it without you. :)

The MUG brushes in this tutorial sem to have sold out. When do you expect more? Me and my friends are waiting to buy them.

Hey Maria! Nice name btw! Okay so I just got MUG brushes in the mail today. I got four eye brushes (did not buy any face brushes). (1) MUG Stiff Dome Brush, (2) MUG Soft Dome Brush, (3) MUG Outer-V Brush, & (4) the MUG Eyeliner Smudge Brush! I have not had the chance to mess with all the brushes yet, but I have played with the Outer-V Brush! Would highly recommend it! I just did the perfect smokey eye for the first time ever! I have been wearing makeup since I was 13…I am now 22. I have never known how to do a smokey eye because I have never known what brushes to use/buy. has taught me soooo much! I also discovered NYX Cosmetics through this website! Should be receiving my first products from NYX in the mail any day now…soooo excited! You should totally get the Outer-V Brush and Stiff Dome Brush…they make blending sooo easy! Sending you love from Green Bay Packer territory (WI) Marlena! Good luck Maria with finding the right brushes for you! If I were you I would buy em from this website. Makeupgeek rocks! XOXO ~Zza

Hi Marlena, this is amazing. I always use your video’s to do my eye makeup, so helpful. Thanks, & btw, well done on the weight loss you looked fab before, but you look amazing now :) x

Hey Marlena. I’m having a hard time doing the outer corner or the outer “v”. Since im right handed, I always do good on my left eye than the right. Sometimes the right is more darker than the left, or the outer “v” on my left eye is more visible than the right. I have a lot of brushes but i don’t know which one to use. I don’t have a pencil brush, i have a dome brush but its too big for my eye lids. Please help me. I’ve been practicing but i keep failing and i dont want to give up. :(

Thnk u marlena…I really wanted to knw more about brushes, I recently got a gift from an aunt, a MAC brush set, whch she got from Malaysia, but later I realised it was fake…but I never really used them, my question is, since I am a student MAC brushes are really expensive for me to afford here in UAE, so I use AVONs brushes whch are cheaper, SO hence by using variety of fake MAC brushes is it possible that I can achieve looks created by u ?? Please do reply….tc n keep up the good work.

Hi Marlena, I’m seventeen and I love makeup but the problem is that i have a small eyelids and when i do smoky eyes it looks weird, is there anything I can do?
Love from Italy:)


I’m a LONG TIME fan. Years. :) Your nails always look good, and I was wondering if they are wrapped, or if you just take excellent care of a set of genetically superior nails? :D

Also, what color is that you’re wearing on them in this vid? I know it’s not 100% on topic for you, but I’d love to know a little bit about what you do to keep your nails so consistently gorgeous….

Love you!

Thank you for the tutorial! I love to apply make-up, but when it comes to blending, I never really good at it. Every time I tried to blend, it resulted as this murky muddy mess :(

Your tutorial helps A LOOOTTTTTTT!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D