Life Style

The Beginner’s Guide to Applying Matte Eyeshadow

matte eyeshadow

Eyeshadows come in a variety of colors and finishes, and since we’ve been wearing them for so long now, it’s good to switch it up every once in a while. While shimmery eyeshadows are a tad easier to swipe on and not think twice about, matte formulas need a little more attention. From making sure you don’t skip the vital first step, to practicing your blending, this tutorial on how to apply matte eyeshadow will have you feeling pretty good about your skills. Ahead, all the steps you need to create a simple matte eyeshadow look. (Spoiler alert: people are going to want to copy you.)

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Apply an Eyeshadow Primer

eyeshadow primer

The first step before any eyeshadow look should be applying an eyeshadow primer that will help the shadow last through the day and not crease. No matter what kind of shadow you use, a primer will always ensure that shadow stays in place. I’m using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion, and the color is a very sheer nude. Apply on the eyelids with the applicator and blend with your finger in an upward motion all the way to the brow bone; it’s best practice to place it everywhere that shadow will be applied. Once your primer is dry (wait one minute after blending) you can move onto the next step.

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Start With a Neutral Base Shadow Color

matte eyeshadow

Placing the base color all over the lids and up to the brow bone gives you a subtle wash of color and is an important step to help enhance the rest of the colors you’ll be wearing. Whether you want to create a matte everyday look or one that’s dressier for night, the base color should be on the neutral side versus too dark to start. This allows you to build color as you go and will help neutralize your natural lid color if there’s anything you want to conceal, such as spots, veins, or any discoloration. I’m applying Laura Mercier Matte Eye Color in shade “Ginger” all the way from my lids to my brows with a flat shadow brush.

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Focus on the Eyelids

matte eyeshadow

After your base color has been applied, it’s time to focus on the eyelids. You can blend a deeper colored shadow on the lids to start creating your depth and dimension. With the same brush (I just flip it to the other side), I’m applying Laura Mercier Matte Eye Color in shade ‘Plum Smoke” by lightly tapping it onto the lid until the color is right. It’s important to remember with matte textures that you need to work a little quicker when blending and applying them so they look consistent and even throughout.

You don’t need a large assortment of brushes to create simple eyeshadow looks. Two to three quality brushes will help you achieve the results you want. Investing in makeup brushes is imperative due to the fact that they last much longer than the lesser quality types.


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Contour Your Crease

matte eyeshadow

I’m starting to blend the deepest shade of shadow into my crease using an eye contouring brush to create more depth and bring out the shape of my eyes. Blending in a circular motion with a tapered brush back and forth in the crease will be the most effective way to do this, and the most important tip is to keep blending, even when you think you’re finished. Mastering blending will ensure that all your shadows work together, and the results are more polished. Blend, blend, blend, and when in doubt, blend some more. I’m blending Laura Mercier Matte Eye Color in shade “Twilight Grey,” as grey tones always make my eyes pop.

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Finish With Mascara

matte eyeshadow tutorial

If you like wearing eyeliner, you can apply eyeliner as the next step and then mascara if that’s what you prefer. Because I used slightly darker shadows on my eyes, I chose to go straight to applying mascara. Finding a formula that helps thicken and lengthen is always a good idea, I’m using GrandeDrama Intense Thickening Mascara, as it always gives me a lot of volume. Since I want the look to be completely matte, I’ve not chosen to apply a shimmering highlight under the brow. Apply a few coats of mascara, pausing in between each application to make sure lashes separate and look full and natural.

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Take a Selfie

matte eyeshadow

If you choose to do one eye at a time as I did here, move on to the other eye and repeat steps 1-5. Your look is now complete. Be sure to snap a selfie and admire how good a job you’ve done. Are you willing to try this tutorial out yourself? Keep scrolling to shop some more of our favorite matte eyeshadow picks, below.

Too Faced
Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Eyeshadow Palette $45.00
urban decay
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette $29.00
tarte cosmetics
Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette $39.00


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