How To: Apply Eyeshadow Like a Pro



Hello Makeup Geeks! I wanted to share a complete 101 video on how to blend your eyeshadow like a pro.

Blending your eyeshadows is without a doubt one of the most important things to learn to do properly.  In this video I have put together several different eyeshadow shapes so you have plenty of styles and techniques to choose from.  I’ll also show you the best brushes for perfecting any look, as well as how to pair together eye shadows to do a complete look!

I know with many different shapes, sizes, and angles, choosing which makeup brushes you need can be a challenging task. However, there are really only 4 essential brushes needed to create any look. So let’s get started :-)

Flat Stiff Brush:

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  •  The MAC #239 or Makeup Geek Eye Shader Brush is a must have. It’s main use is to apply eyeshadow over the lid. You can also use the tip of the brush to apply eyeshadow under the lower lash line, or to create a very defined line in the crease of the eye. The best use for the Eye Shader brush is for packing color onto the eye lid. (MAC) (Makeup Geek)

Pencil Brush:

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  • The Pencil Brush is ideal for applying color under the eye, or smoking the color out for a soft effect. Because of the fine tip of the brush, you can also use it to apply color to the crease area in a fine line. This brush also works great for applying shadow to the outer part of the eye to darken and intensify the color. (Makeup Geek Store)

Stiff Dome Brush:

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  • Stiff Dome brushes come in many different sizes. A larger brush is great for feathering out color, where as a smaller brush is more precise and easier to use on smaller eyes. This is perfect for feathering out color to create a smokey eye, or for blending out the crease. This brush is meant for blending instead of packing on color.   (Makeup Geek Store)

Soft Dome Brush:

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  • This brush is all about the blending. Because of its softer bristles the brush gives a more delicate blended effect to the eye. I like to use this brush to blend out harsh lines under the brow bone or for blending concealer under the eyes.  (Makeup Geek Store)

Learning Eyeshadow Shapes

Now that you know the basic brushes that are needed, let’s get started with the eyeshadow shapes. Here is a link that will go into more detail about eyeshadow placement 

These are the basic shapes that everyone needs to know…

Fan Shape

This is also known as “divided in thirds”. The yellow represents the lightest shade, the orange is the medium color, and brown is the darkest. This is the most flattering for every eye shape, especially if your eyes are close together. Having the lighter shade on the inside of the eyes makes them appear farther apart. To do this look, use your flat stiff brush and pat each color on. Make sure to blend between each color so there are no harsh lines.

Additional Example:  Autumn Leaves Look


Snow Globe

This is excellent for anyone with flat eyes because it gives the illusion that they are round. For a more dramatic look use a shimmer in the middle of the eye lid, and a matte shade on the inner and outer part of the eye. It’s best to use the flat stiff brush to apply this, making sure to blend the lines where the colors meet.

Additional Examples: Boho Chic Look  &  Sugarpill Heartbreaker Look

Smokey Eye

This look is very popular. To achieve a smokey eye,  simply pat a dark color all over the lower lid using a flat, stiff brush. Next, use a soft dome brush with a medium or light color and blend out the crease area to soften the look.

Additional Examples: Classic Black Smokey Eye  &  Purple Smokey Eye

Cat Eye

The Cat eye look can be done with either eyeliner or eyeshadow. Personally, I like to do this with eyeshadow because it gives it a softer appearance. Start with an eyeliner and follow the lower lash line upward towards the outer part of the eye. Pull your eye upwards with this cat eye shape by applying your darkest shadow to the outer corner in a large winged shape. Then, go over the liner with a pencil brush to set and soften the line. Use the pencil brush to bring the color over the top part of the eye as well. This shape elongates the eye making it ideal for people with rounder eyes, as it creates an almond look to the eye.

Additional Examples: Kat Von D Look &  Black and Orange Look


Cut Crease or Open Banana

To achieve a cut crease, use an eyeliner pencil or a very chiseled brush to make a defined line in the crease of the eye. Blend the color out and upward slightly without blending out the defined line. Place a lighter shade on the lower lid below the crease to create a look that is edgy and sharp.

Additional Example: Grape-Inspired Look 

Round Banana / Closed Banana

The Closed Banana uses the same technique as the Cut Crease, however with the Closed Banana you round the edge and place a light color on the lower eyelid below the cut crease. Next, drop the shadow down and place it below the lower lash line.

Additional Example: Chicago Bears Look  


Choosing Eyeshadow Colors

The standard number of eyeshadows needed to achieve a look is 4.

  • Light Shimmery Color – This color is used under the brow bone as a highlight shade, and in the inner tear duct for a pop of brightness.
  • Light Matte Finish Color – This color is used under the brow bone to soften any harsh lines.
  • Medium Color – This color is used in the crease to blend out harsh lines. You can also use this all over the lid if you want just a wash of color.
  • Dark Color – This color is used on the lower lashline or outer part of the eye. This can also be used under the lashline to create a smokey effect

Color Recommendations (using Makeup Geek Eyeshadows)




Orange / Pink:

It doesn’t matter what colors you use as long as you have a light, medium, and dark shade. It’s best to choose shades that create a gradient from light to dark.

I hope this video was helpful and informative. As always, I hope you are happy and healthy!


Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

This was a great video.
I especially loved the tip about getting your eye shadows ready the night before.
Very helpful!

Another great video and helpful in just doing the basics!

P.S. you did not talk to much ;-)

Thank you so much for another great toutorial, I love your website!!! Since I have been watching your tips my make up looks better every day. Please don stop talking you explain things so clearly. Please do one about primer, concealer and foundation and the look of the week!

Many thanx

I LOVE your makeup tutorials! They are easy to follow & you provide great color combinations! Your eyes look fantastic in every one of your videos. I tried your Expensive Pink, Wedge, Espresso combo today w/ Painterly as my base, and I can’t stop admiring my eyes! :o) Thank you SO much!

Hi Marlena!
Just wanted you to know that you are the best! I am NEW to makeup so your informative tutorial was extremely helpful for me. I am very fair so I think the neutral colors would work perfect for me. I would LOVE LOVE to see a hair video as well, my hair is the same length as yours with layers so any hair advice would really be helpful as well. You are beautiful by the way :)

Hey, OMG
this is what I have been looking for!! I used to just go to makeup counters at the mall and try different employees to see who could help me with my small eye area and finally I saw this and I love it, thank you so much for posting such great info. You are so thourough and I am so into learning more of what you got to say. I love your arabic makeup look let’s see more of that. YOu are kickass beautiful girl, love ya,

Your new student,
Lilly from Texas

Hi Marlena,

You mentioned that this was a brown smokey eye look that you are wearing. Can this look be found in one of your tutorials? If not can you make a brown smokey eye tutorial such as a remake of Hillary Duff’s? Can you please share the eyeshadows you used in this video! Thanks!!

Hey Marlena!
Can you do a tutorial about different eye shapes? I have hooded eyes and I find it hard to do nice looks
thank you!

Dear Marlena,

Let me tell you that I owe you my addiction to makeup! Because you inspired me, I took makeup classes – I am still working on my skills and, as always, you are an inspiration to me through these very helpful tutorials.

Can we see a tutorial on correction makeup? I have droopy eyes and I spent a lot of time searching for the most flattering eye makeup for this type of eyes…

Hugs and kisses

Hi Marlena, I am new here. I am 32 years old and just now learning how to properly use makeup. I’ve been watching your tutorials and surf you website for several months now and I’ve learned A lots. I love the colors that you used on all your looks. I am scared of colors. I like to stick to the neutral colors. So thank you for this information. With this I will eventually step out of the box and add colors to my face. Anyway, love what you do and thank you for being you and for sharing .

Hey Marlena, I have a question… I have paper of face to draw the makeup design… does it use makeup product liked eyeshadow, pencils etc or use color pencils? I had seen these and wonder what to use to draft before apply on face? thanks

Hi, I’m so in love with your work, you make makeup look so easy to apply for beginners like myself :D I’m very pleased to watch your tutorials and will be waiting for the new ones eagerly ^^. Keep up the good work dear xoxo