Using the Eye Shadow Palette to Create the Finished Look

The eye shadow palette is one of the core weapons in the makeup artist’s arsenal. The eyes, as we all know, are windows to the soul. Eye shadow is used to frame those windows, inviting the onlooker in with a nod to a specific emotion or enhance the overall look and feel.

Smoky eye shades are perfect for creating a sultry look, and are often used to develop the wild eye looks that go with a fashion modelling shoot. Big Egyptian smears are currently trendy, a look that combines a classical heritage with the feeling that the model has been partying all night. This kind of distressed glamour has popped up in many of the seasonal perfume ads this year and is routinely seen in photo-shoots featuring the world’s top models.

The urban look is created very carefully, by taking an eye shadow palette that features sooty and smoky tones – not quite neutral or naked, but not far off. The idea in this case is to create a look that is almost a grotesque of a natural eye shadow depicting eyes that have been lived in, in the urban sense of the word.

Of course not all eye shadow is dark, or intended to give that urban Bohemian look – that is just the overriding fashion for model makeup at the moment. Mostly, the eye shadow palette is used with caution, as are all makeup’s and tones, to develop an enhanced, naturally glowing look for the subject.

Ordinarily, eye shadow is used to bring out the iris and pupil to make the eyes the centre of attention in the face. For daily wear, only neutral and natural tones are likely to be worn, though a tiny dash of sparkle can add an extra element of beauty to a person’s day face.

At night, the eye shadow palette comes into its own. Here shades are applied in concert with the colours of the outfit the person is wearing say colours that may either be completely complementary (as in blue for a blue dress), or slightly contrasting to bring the eyes out of the overall look.

In general terms, there will be a different eye shadow palette for the party effect than there is for natural looks. A party palette may be full of bright colours and glittery effects and the ways in which the eye shadow is applied may be significantly different as well. Stippling, smearing and bold lines are all par for the course with party eye shadow which is, after all, a variation on the model’s eye shadow we talked about earlier.

Blended eye shadow can take the idea of enhancing the eyes to its logical extreme – in some cases, by creating a whole band of colour across the top third of the face. Bright, deep eye shadow palette colours, blended out to a paler, glittering smear above the cheekbones can have an extraordinary effect. It’s almost as though the wearer is sporting a masquerade mask on her or his skin.

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