Tips for Beginners - EYESHADOW PLACEMENT AND APPLICATION (EYE DIAGRAM)
When starting out with eyeshadow it's very important to understand the layout of the eye. Knowing this basic information will be helpful for applying eyeshadow and understanding the different effects that can be accomplished just by using different colors and textures on different parts of the eye. Eyeshadow application is all about creating an illusion by using different shades and textures to achieve certain effects. So let's get right into the different parts of the eye and some basic effects that can be created by using different techniques.
PARTS OF THE EYE
First off, I visually divide my lid into 3 vertical segments - INNER, MIDDLE and OUTER - which is simple enough figure out. The INNER portion is closest to my nose, the MIDDLE portion is of course in the center and the OUTER portion is closest to my ear.
Next I I find my CREASE. You can do this by feeling along the eye for the eye socket or the bone right above your eyeball. The crease falls right along that bone. Some people have well defined creases meaning the eyelid actually creases in that area while some may have to feel around for a crease.
Now that we have the basic areas of the eye mapped out let's get more specific.
LIDThe LID is the area right below your CREASE. The amount of space will vary from person to person. Now what you place on the LID will be your choice. You may go for a single color, or numerous colors.
The typical eyeshadow application with 3 colors will call for the lightest shade on the INNER LID, the medium shade on the MIDDLE of the LID and the darkest hue on the OUTER LID. This gives the eye an elongated dimensional effect.
Another effect is going with a shimmery shade on the MIDDLE LID and deeper shades on the INNER and OUTER LID areas. This will give a more wide eyed illusion to the eye by bringing the focus to the center on the lid.
CREASEThe CREASE is probably the trickiest area of the eye to contend with. As stated before the CREASE falls right along the socket bone of your eye right above your eyeball. Yes I know it sounds a little bit clinical but that's the best way I could describe it. : )
I think of the CREASE as the middle of my eyelid if I visually divide my eye into 3 sections horizontally. The crease area can be as thick as you choose. It may even encompass the browbone area depending on the desired effect. For instance, in many cut-crease looks crease color extends high onto the browbone area. For a subtle look the crease color is concentrated in a tight area.
For simple looks the crease color is usually concentrated in the outer area and gradually fades as you get closer to the inner part of the eye. The color also tends to be a darker color than the lid color to add dimension to the look.
For this area a matte or semi-matte shade will add depth to the crease while a frost or shimmery shade will reflect light. The CREASE color is usually darker and coordinates with the color(s) on your LID. Your choice in color and texture will vary based on the desired effect.
BROWBONEThe BROWBONE area is just what it sounds like. It's the space between the crease and the eyebrow and falls right on the bone below your eyebrow.
The width of the BROWBONE area varies from person to person and even eye to eye. Some eyes have a lot of browbone space but limited lid space. This can be evened out by the use of eyeshadow to create the illusion of a larger lid and a smaller browbone area. In this case the crease color would need to be higher than the natural crease of the eye.
For those with limited browbone space the crease color should be concentrated in a tight area to give the illusion of more space between the crease and the highlight area.
Consider the BROWBONE space as your blending area. This is where the crease color should gradually fade into the highlight color. In other words, this area is used to create a gradient of color from crease to highlight. It's easiest to use a neutral color that is close to your skin tone here to help blend out harsh lines and produce a seamless blend. You may also use a lighter color than the CREASE color to achieve a similar effect.
OUTER VThe OUTER V is also a tricky area for a lot of beginners. It is the outermost corner of your eye furthest away from your nose. It's called the OUTER V because it is most often shaped like a sideways 'V' as shown in the picture above. But it can also be rounded out and shaped like a 'C' instead for a softer look.
A darker color (or black) is usually placed in the OUTER V to create a contour effect and add dimension to the look. A darker OUTER V adds the illusion of a more sunken crease area.
A trick I found to locating your OUTER V is to feel along the outer edge of your eye along your eyeball. The OUTER V will be like an outline on the outer edges of the eyeball.
For this area it's best to use a matte or semi-matte shade since you want to create a shadow/contour effect. Shimmery shades will reflect light and therefore not create a 'deepening' effect.
HIGHLIGHTThe HIGHLIGHT area is perfectly named since it is the HIGHest point of the eye just below the eyebrow. A light color is usually placed on this area to accentuate and lift the eye.
A light shimmery shade is usually used on this area and the color should complement the other colors in the overall look. If the look is mostly shimmer then it's best to use a matte or semi-matte shade to contrast against the frosty textures.
UPPER LASHLINEThe UPPER LASHLINE is the area right along and above the top eyelashes. A darker color, in the form of a eyeliner pencil, gel eyeliner, or eyeshadow, is usually places along this area to accentuate the eyelashes and make them appear fuller.
LOWER LASHLINEThe LOWER LASHLINE is the area right along and below the bottom eyelashes. This area is usually used to enhance the eye with color or a smokey liner. It can also be left blank for a simple look.
TEARDUCTThe TEARDUCT is the inner most point of the eye closest to the nose. A light color can be applied in this area for a highlight. This will help to brighten the eye and add dimension to a look.
WATERLINEThe WATERLINE is the inner rim of your lashline - both top and bottom. The waterline is usually lined with a pencil or gel/cream eyeliner but powder can also be used (be mindful that powder may get into your eye).
For the lower WATERLINE most people use black or a dark brown for a darker sultry look. However, for a fresh, brightening effect you may use white or a flesh color. This can also make your eyes appear larger than they really are.
Lining the UPPER WATERLINE is called TIGHTLINING. This is done using a dark color (95% of the time it's black) and will make the top lashes appear much fuller and thicker. This is not the most comfortable thing so be prepared to blink and get teary unless your eyes are not that sensitive to probing.