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Eye Makeup For Beginners: Step-By-Step Looks You Can Easily Pull Off!!

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woman applying eye makeup with text overlay - eye makeup for beginners step by step looks you can easily pull off

Eye Makeup For Beginners: 4 Simple & Stunning Eyeshadow Looks To Try This Week!!

Eye makeup application can be intimidating for most women, especially for makeup beginners. However, with the right tools, products, techniques, and knowledge… Good news, ladies… Yes, it can be mastered!!

In fact, if you find yourself lacking in confidence, this is where having a few step-by-step eyeshadow looks to play around with can really pay off!! With every makeup look that you attempt and learn to do… guaranteed you’ll find a new sense of accomplishment, Beauties!

To get your feet wet, I’m breaking down some simple looks for all you beginner gals to experiment with. And for those of you who aren’t beginners, well, it never hurts to try something new or brush up on one’s eye makeup skills, right??

As an on-set makeup artist & hairstylist, before production began, I’d sometimes have to brainstorm looks for characters in the script. I’d come up with ideas for how an actor’s makeup or hair needed to be for each scene.

To do this, I’d pull images from magazines or online and put them in my book for inspiration (in the industry, this book is called a morgue book). I learned how to observe an image and figure out ways to recreate that look (or something similar), sometimes using special effects makeup and other times with beauty makeup.

Well, today, using that skillset, I want to share with you step-by-step beginners’ eye makeup application tips for replicating four beautiful looks! I’ll go over the basic terminology for eye makeup, explain the kinds of brushes, tools, and products you can use to pull each look off and let you know precisely where to apply your makeup to recreate these four featured looks!!

Sound like your cup of tea? Great!!

Let’s get you over those beginner hurdles and have your eyes reaching new levels of beauty and captivation, ladies!!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using one of these links. For more info, see Disclosure Policy.  Additionally, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

womans eye with eye makeup and text overlay - simple and stunning eyeshadow looks step by step eye makeup beginners

Beginner Eye Makeup: The Anatomy Of The Eye

When it comes to following eye makeup steps and tutorials, one essential we must not overlook is the terminology (terms used for the different parts of your eye). Once you become familiar with the terms and their locations, you’ll have a better sense of exactly where to apply each of your makeup products.

Check out the sections of the eye in the images below. You can use these images to help with the terms listed in the steps under our four featured looks!

  • Outer “V” – Picture an imaginary line going from the edge of your upper lash line to the crease. Then imagine it connecting to another line in the crease as it forms a shape that looks like a sideways “V.”
  • Inner Corner – Inner section of the eye near the tear duct.
  • Outer Corner – Outer section of the eye.
  • Waterline – Inner rim between the eye and your lashes.
  • Lower Lash Line – Area right below and under your lower lashes.
  • Upper Lash Line – Area on your upper eyelid where your lashes grow.
  • Crease – The natural indentation or slightly sunken-in section above your eyelid. To find your crease, using your finger touch the area just above your eyelid and right at your eye socket. The bone you feel above your eyeball is generally where your crease should fall (horizontally along that bone).
  • Brow Bone – The prominent bone area right below your eyebrow (between your brow and eye crease).

Getting Started: Essential Tools & Brushes

Before jumping headfirst into doing any eye makeup look, the first order of business is to be certain you have what you need to apply and blend with ease. Here’s a brief rundown of what you’ll likely need for these next four eye makeup techniques…

*These are essential for beginners, especially when putting together your own eye makeup application kit.

  • Lash Curler – Keep those lashes poppin’ gals!!
  • Q-Tips – These will come in handy when you make mistakes with your eye makeup, especially cleaning up eyeliner.
  • Translucent Powder (As Needed) – If you don’t use a primer, you can always apply your concealer and foundation to your eye area, then follow with a translucent powder.
  • Primer (Optional) For unbeatable eyeshadow with all-day staying power, a primer is a must!! Keep in mind, ladies; a primer can also make your eyeshadow color more vibrant for that extra pop!
  • Brushes – Sure, for eye makeup, you can probably get away with your basic eyeshadow brush, blending brush, angled eye brush, & an eyeliner pencil. But having more brush options makes it so much easier when you start experimenting with different techniques and looks. Not only that, but owning a variety of eye brushes certainly comes in handy when you lack time to clean them as frequently as you’d like or when you choose to use more than one color on your eyelids.
    • As described in “Eyeshadow Tips For Beginners,” there are a few brushes that are most important when you start dabbling in eye makeup. These brushes include a basic eyeshadow brush, small eyeshadow brush, eyeshadow blending brush (possibly 2), smudger brush, and an angled brush.

PRO MAKEUP TIP: Investing in good brushes & tools ensures you get the most even, consistent, and detailed makeup application process.

Not sure which brushes work best?? Check out our top picks! 

Some Suggested Top Product & Eye Makeup Brush Picks:

  • Small Eyeshadow Brush / Smudger Brushes – For application to under the lash line (fits right up under the lashes), to small, difficult to reach areas, & to smudge out your liner. For smudging out pencil eyeliner, gentle sweep the bristle tips over the line that you applied. And for eyeshadow under the lash line, dip the brush into your shade and use it against your lower lash line right at the roots of the hairs.
  • Eyeshadow Blending Brushes – Ideal for buffing out harsh lines and creating a smooth transition from shade to shade.
eyeshadow makeup
Suggested Optional Add-On Brushes

4 Beautiful Eyeshadow Looks To Define Your Eyes With Step-By-Step Instructions

Disclaimer: The makeup products suggested in this article were not used in these photos, and therefore the shades may vary from those in the images.

Eye Makeup Look 1: Au Natural Eyeshadow & Liner

Whether you need a simple natural eye makeup look for work, you’re a makeup minimalist wanting to keep things more subtle, or you’re seeking beginners’ tips, a look like this is a great place to start!

natural eye makeup look for beginners

You can pull something like this off with a basic neutral palette. In fact, for makeup beginners, I usually suggest starting with a neutral eyeshadow palette anyway. This very natural makeup look can work whether you have blue, green, brown, or hazel eyes because it uses earthy browns.

Want more beginners’ eye makeup tips? Check out how to find the best eyeshadow colors based on your eye color.

The Best Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes For Beginners:

Tarte Neutral In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay’s Naked Reloaded Palette

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette – TYPE: 1 True Neutrals

TOO FACED The Natural Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

To Achieve A Look Like This You Will Need:

  • A Shimmery Neutral Eyeshadow Shade – To look most natural, pick a color that is close to your natural skin tone but lighter. For example, lighter skin tones may want to try a champagne color, while medium to dark skin tones may want to opt for shimmery beige, deep pinky browns, or gold.
  • Light Matte Eyeshadow Shade – This is usually one of the lightest colors in an eyeshadow palette, like ivory, bisque, or light beige, etc.
  • Warm Brown Eyeshadow Shade – This is often one of the darkest shades in a palette.
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara

Au Natural Eyeshadow & Liner Look Steps:

Step 1
  • Prime your lids. No primer? You can apply foundation and concealer to the area, then set with translucent powder. If you do have primer, apply it to your eyelid. Blend upwards towards the brow bone with your finger or a concealer brush. If you plan to apply eyeshadow under the lash line, you may also use a primer there. Let it dry before the next steps.
Step 2
  • With your basic eyeshadow brush, you’ll want to apply a shimmery neutral shade (like a champagne color) across your lid.  
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Natural Makeup Look 1 Step 2
Step 3
  • Using a darker shade (brown), you’ll add some depth. Close the eye you’re working on. Imagine dividing the lid into three sections. Using a brush like this Sigma one, apply the brown with a gentle tapping motion to the outer corner of your eye, so it falls in the outer 3rd section of your lid. *(This brush works well for applying eyeshadow if you use light tapping, but it’s primary function is blending).
natural eye makeup look for beginners step three
Step 4
  • Using the same brush, wipe it on a clean, dry towel to remove the eyeshadow pigment on the bristles. Or if you prefer, just use a different blending brush that is clean. Now you’ll blend this brown inward, moving towards section 2 of your lid. Try this by blending with circular motions. Start at the outer corner and move in small circles as you go inward. You’ll also want to blend upwards slightly beyond the crease.
Step 5
  • Using a brush like the E40, you can softly apply (just use the tip for application) a light matte shade right above your crease and below your brow. For example, opt for matte ivory, bisque, or light beige eyeshadow. Wipe the pigment off on a clean, dry towel. Then go back & blend it into the other shadows to soften the shape.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Natural Makeup Look 1 Step 5
Step 6
  • Apply a super thin black liner to the upper lash line. If you feel more comfortable with an eyeliner pencil, use that. Or you can experiment with a cream and liner brush (either angled or flat). Start right smack dab as close as possible to the roots of your lashes. This line should be thin, yet become slightly thicker towards the outer section.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Natural Makeup Look 1 Step 6
Step 7
  • Now, you want to do some under the eye makeup application. You can either use a small shader brush, smudger brush, and/or a pencil brush. Apply the neutral shimmer shade used in Step 2 along your lower lash line (right below the lashes) roughly to the inner 2/3 or 3/4. Using the eyeshadow from Step 3, apply it ever so slightly to the lower outer corner of the eye. Then using a clean smudger brush, you want to diffuse the brown along that outer edge using a back-and-forth windshield wiper-like motion.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Natural Makeup Look 1 Step 7
Step 8
  • Lastly, curl your lashes and apply mascara!!

Eye Makeup Look 2: Purple Gaze Eyeshadow & Liner

Eye Makeup For Beginners Purple Eyeshadow Makeup Look 2

Now, let’s move beyond natural eye makeup to a mesmerizing look for beginners that adds a lush, purply pop of color!!

To Achieve A Look Like This You Will Need:

  • A Shimmery Purple (Violet) Eyeshadow Shade
  • Light Shimmery Silver Eyeshadow Shade
  • Soft Warm Brown Eyeshadow Shade
  • Purple Eyeliner – If you can’t find the perfect purple, use a thin black liner.
  • Mascara
Our Top Picks:

Light Shimmery Purple Shades

Shimmery Silver Shades

Warm Brown Shades

Purple Eyeliner

Purple Gaze Eyeshadow & Liner Look Steps:

Step 1
  • Apply a primer to your lid. You may also apply it under your lash line for this look. Allow it to dry before the next step. However, if you don’t have a primer, you may apply some foundation and concealer to your eye area, and then set with a translucent powder.
Step 2
  • For this step, the goal is to apply a warm brown lightly to the outermost edge of your eye and along your crease connecting them. The final general shape should look like the second image on the right, only very diffused with no hard lines…
  • To create a lengthening effect on the eyes, you will slightly extend the brown at an angle from their outer corners. Starting at the outermost edge of the eye, lightly apply the warm brown with a small brush moving upwards and at an angle towards the outer end of your crease.
Diagram Of Eye Makeup For Purple Eyeshadow Makeup Look
  • Now go to the outer end of the crease with your fluffy blending brush. Using just the tips of this brush, apply the brown from that outer section sweeping inwards along the crease in a windshield wiper-like motion. Continue with this windshield wiper-like motion, back and forth in the crease a few times to blend it a bit. You also want to sweep the brown you applied to the outer edge up and over into the crease a few times with your blending brush.
eye makeup tips diagram
Step 3
  • Then blend the brown from the crease upwards (still using the windshield wiper motion). You want to move slightly above the crease while blending, stopping under the brow bone. As you go upwards, the goal is to make sure the color fades ever so softly and lightly as you get closer to the brow bone. Once you finish blending, it should look like it was very lightly applied, and quite diffused with no hard lines of edges.
Step 4
  • Now, with your basic shader brush, you should apply your purple to your eyelid.
Step 5
  • Next, you’ll apply the silver shade to the outer “V”. When applying, start at the edge of your upper lash line and stop at the crease. Then create the next line in the crease forming the sideways “V” shape. Keep the “V” small. You have a few options of brushes you can use for the “V” application, like a pencil eyeshadow brush or a tapered blending brush.
    • If you want to kill two birds with one stone, I’d suggest using a tapered blending brush like this one, because you’ll want to blend the silver inward into the purple on your lid.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Purple Eyeshadow Makeup Look 2 Step 4
  • Blend using the tapered blending brush in little circular motions from the outer silver inward into the purple.
  • Make sure you wipe the excess pigment off your brush and onto a clean towel before moving on. Or if you’d prefer, grab a new clean blending brush. You’ll want to blend the silver ever so slightly upward and outward into the brown. It is best to use small circular motions to keep the colors from becoming muddy.
Step 6
  • Next, using a small shader brush, smudger brush, or a pencil brush, apply the silver shade to your full lower lash line. Use the brush to sweep the color right up under the lashes.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Purple Eyeshadow Makeup Look 2 Step 5
Step 7
  • Apply purple eyeliner in a skinny line along your upper lash line. Keep it as close as possible to the roots of your lashes. It should be thin, but can gradually get thicker towards the outer section of your lash line.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Purple Eyeshadow Makeup Look 2 Step 6
Step 8
  • Curl your lashes and apply your mascara!!

Eye Makeup Look 3: Feline Minty Green Liner & Eyeshadow Metallics

Eye Makeup For Beginners: Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3

Looking for a bold, flirty, and feminine eye makeup look? Give this one a try!!! But, if you aren’t a fan of mint green, you can always substitute this look with a blue like Marc Jacob’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in (Wave)Length.

To Achieve A Look Like This You Will Need:

  • Warm Metallic Eyeshadow Shade
  • Optional – Light Shimmer Eyeshadow Shade – (a gold-champagne would work)
  • Mint Green Eyeliner
  • Mascara
Our Top Picks:

Warm Metallic & Light Shimmer Shades

Eyeliners

Feline Minty Green Liner & Eyeshadow Metallics Look Steps:

Step 1
  • Apply your primer to your lid (optional – you can apply under the lower lashes too). Let it dry before the next step. If you decide not to use a primer, you can apply foundation and some concealer to your eye area. Make sure to then set with a translucent powder.
Step 2
  • Apply the warm metallic shade lightly as the base to your eyelid and blend slightly above your crease. With your blending brush, blend this out, so it is a very thin wash of color.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 2
Step 3
  • Using your smudge brush, small shader brush, or pencil brush, apply the light shimmer eyeshadow shade to your lower lash line and lightly to the skin area right near your inner tear duct. *However, if you’d like, instead of using a different shade here, you could instead just apply the same eyeshadow color you used in Step 2 (above).
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 3
Step 4
  • Now, you will apply your mint green eyeliner to your upper lid along the entire lash line. What I find works best is to start at the outer corner of the eye and trace inward. You want to begin with the flick first. Add your first line from the outer edge at an angle and extend it. If you go with a cream liner, be sure to use an angled brush for application.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 4
Step 5
  • From the edge of that line, draw a second line going back towards your lash line. Doing this creates a sort of little triangle shape. After doing this on one eye, then move to the other eye and repeat creating that same tiny triangle shape. Be sure they are symmetrical before moving on.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 5
Step 6
  • At this point, you can go back and fill in both mini triangles with your green.
Step 7
  • Now, you’ll work in sections as you apply the eyeliner to the rest of your lash line and lid. For section 3, apply from the middle of the eye and connect to the triangle at the outer corner. Fill it in.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 7
Step 8
  • For section 4, apply from the inner corner of the eye, starting very thin and then move to the middle of the eye, connecting both sections. Be sure to keep the line slim, growing thicker as you get closer to section 3.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Mint Green Liner And Metallic Eyeshadow Makeup Look 3 Step 8
Step 9
  • Finally, curl those lashes and apply mascara!!

beginner makeup kit checklist

Eye Makeup Look 4: Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Liner Pop

Eye Makeup For Beginners Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Eyeliner Makeup Look 4

For an obsession-worthy, glistening smolder, this beginner’s eye makeup look takes the cake!!

To Achieve A Look Like This You Will Need:

  • Warm Metallic Eyeshadow Shade
  • Black or Dark Grey Eyeshadow
  • Blue Eyeliner
  • Mascara
Our Top Picks:

Warm Metallic Shades

Black or Gray Shades

Blue Eyeliners

Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Liner Pop Look Steps:

Step 1
  • Use primer on your lid (optional- you can also apply under the lower lash line). Next, allow it to dry before moving on. Don’t have a primer?? You may apply your foundation and some concealer to the eye area and then set with some translucent powder.
Step 2
  • Now, for this step, you’ll want to apply your warm metallic shade to your eyelid, above your crease, along your lower lash line, and around your eye, while slightly extending the outer corner. Use a basic eyeshadow brush to apply to the lid and slightly above the crease. Blend out the harsh lines with your blending brush. And blend your outer corner upward and outward. When applying along your lower lash line and around the outer edge of the eye, you’ll want to use a small shader, smudger, or an eyeshadow pencil brush.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Eyeliner Makeup Look 4 Step 2
Step 3
  • Apply a black or dark grey eyeshadow very lightly to the upper, outer 2/3 of the lash line and the lower outer corner of the eye along the lash line. Gently blend it out with your smudge brush. Not a lot, just a tad! *You could also use an eyeliner pencil for this. If you use a pencil, you’ll want to be sure to blend & smudge it out with a smudger brush.
Diagram For Eye Makeup For Beginners Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Eyeliner Makeup Look 4 Step 3
Step 4
  • Apply your blue eyeliner pencil to the waterline of your lower lash line.
Metallic Eyeshadow With Blue Eyeliner
Step 5
  • For this look, the model added a tiny strip of false lashes on her outer corner. We’ll go over applying false lashes in a future post. As a beginner, you can simply curl your lashes and use a volumize enhancing mascara!! If you have short lashes, try a lengthening mascara first, then do a coat of volumizing mascara.

The Wrap Up!!

Well, Beauties, I hope you enjoyed these eye makeup tips and looks for beginners! Take some time to experiment and practice this week. The more you play with these looks and products, the better you will get! When you use the blending brushes, try different blending techniques like using back and forth (windshield wiper) motions as well as small circular motions until you get the hang of each. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!!

We want to hear from you!! Which of these 4 eye makeup looks for beginners is your favorite? Leave a comment below.

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