Eyeshadow School Makeup Tips & Tricks

Eyeshadow School: The Supplies.

First things first.
You gotta have your supplies:


Primer. This is a step I’m often tempted to skip but I regret it when I do. Not only does it give you a smooth clean base to work from it also makes your shadow go on better and last longer.

There are MANY options here so I’m breaking down my favorites based on your needs –

Urban Decay Primer Potion: If you are one of those people who struggles with eyeshdaow creasing constantly, if your eye makeup runs or if you have oily skin this one is a great choice for you! When I really want my shadow to stay and stay I go for this baby. Plus it makes your shadow go on very vibrant.

MAC Ochre Paint Pot: This is a fabulous option for those who have naturally dark or “see-thru” eyelids who want a little more coverage to get a good canvas and get a true color from shadows. It’s also my go-to when I’m doing a smokey or a highly blended look.

{ELF PRIMER} or {Make Your Own}
This stuff is GREAT! It really adds to the life of your shadow, and the price is unbeatable!

Brushes. There are SO many brushes and the further you go into your eye shadow love the more and more you can get in your collection (as some of you very well know! ha) but if we are talking essentials here there’s really only two you NEED. (I’m so bummed that the one I photographed here decided to sell out right before this posted! so I have added two very good alternatives!)

Crease Brush:  This is a MUST have brush. It’s the perfect size to give you control over exactly where your shadow goes without being so small that it takes all day to get it on there!
Fluffy Brush: This will be great for highlighting and blending.

Shadow.  So so so many choices! We could talk about shadow choices all day long (and we will based on eye color, skin tone and all that fun stuff) but Eyeshadow School is going to start with technique so picking the “perfect” colors are on the back burner for now. Just one of each shade will do! (most of you already have three shades that will work great)

Photographed options: Smut – Soft Brown – Nylon

So get these in your loaded up in your backpack (Navy Blue Jan Sport – only one shoulder -if you’re cool:) and you’ll be set for class!
Thanks again for all your questions and suggestions for this series, they help me so much!
Love you all!


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  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Loving Eye Shadow School Cara! One question, for us unfortunate women with the dreaded age spots starting to creep in. Which eye shadow primer would you recommend to cover these dark little beauties? I have one right on my upper eyelid and I just can’t seem to find anything to cover it well. I do also have issues with creasing so I’m not sure which would be best suited for my issue. Thanks for all of wonderful posts.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Could you let us know what brush you used in the pic in case they restock.

    • Reply
      July 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      It’s a Dalton brush. I purchased one from vac a few months ago

      • Reply
        July 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Sorry qvc*

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I. Love. You. You are a makeup addict’s dream come true, my dear! So excited for school to start!!!!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Cara, this is really awesome, (maybe not so awesome for my wallet). Can you tell which primer is best for over 40 year old eyelids? Lots of creases (ahem, wrinkles). Thank you!

    • Reply
      July 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Urban Decay makes an anti-aging one (in addition to the regular one Cara mentioned) and I think it has worked well on my 38-year-old eyelids! It seems to smooth things out in addition to making eyeshadow stick.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Helmers
    July 15, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Who makes that cool double sided eyeshadow brush? I know you mentioned it is currently sold out but I am hoping to grab one when it comes back in stock- it looks perfect!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Very excited to read more of these posts on eyeshadow!! Cant wait for tomorrow!! BTW, your makeup site is the best by far! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Johnston
    July 15, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Love your tutorials! Can’t wait for tomorrow!


  • Reply
    Rachel @ Blonde with a Chanse
    July 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I have never used primer with my eyeshadow, so thank you so much for telling me this! Time to get some primer 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Hey Cara – Can I use the same primer I use for my face as a primer for my eyes too? I use Philosophy’s “The Present” primer and am curious what the difference is between a face primer and eyeshadow primer.

    Teacher’s Pet (haha)

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Hello Creative Blog
    July 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Having a primer is a MUST for my oily skin. I really like the Nars and the Urban Decay. So far those are my favorites. Great round of up supplies!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Hi, i was wondering what the name of the brush you photographed is called, for when it’s back in stock-

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I have issues sometimes knowing when what I think to be a “midi” is actually too dark and really needs to be used in the crease and outer corner only. It seems like it’s hard to tell in the container how it will wear and if it’s too pigmented or not. I guess testing it on the back of my hand is the solution. Also bought some Urban Decay eyeshadow in Verve thinking it was a good midi and it was WAY too light and shimmery! I guess there’s a learning curve on picking out shades. But it does seem to be obvious when the shades and tones are right, so that’s good!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    love it all.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I adore ELF primer!!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Oh and I do love their brushes too! I have higher priced brushes and I am amazed that I totally reach for my ELF brushes over those ones!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    What is a transition shade?! Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I totally still have my navy blue Jansport from 1995. They really do last forever. My husband uses it as his it carry-on when we fly. Looking forward to your next post in this series!

    • Reply
      July 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Also, I have soft ochre & soft brown, and when I wear them together, I find it looks a little orangey. Maybe b/c my skin is more yellowish to start with? Odd, but it comes out more like it looks in the pan if I use painterly which is pinker or UD primer potion.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Nice,I love it!

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  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Would love to see a “class” tailored for Asian eyes- hooded eyelid. Oftentimes I’ll get my makeup done and the artist isn’t familiar with the shape.

  • Reply
    Rachel G
    July 16, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I agree! I am not Asian, but I do have hooded eyes that are similar. Thanks!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Another Caucasian with hooded eyes here. We need help!

  • Reply
    Brooke @ Putter Home
    July 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I hate the ELF primer. I love the design of it, but my shadow always creases and even gets more oily throughout the day. The Urban Decay is great, and I really love it’s packaging but Cara’s recipe is probably the best; it’s dirt cheap and really effective. I’m also not a fan of double-sided makeup brushes because I stand mine up, so one end would get dirty and bent bristles. The bamboo ones that you can find in Ulta and Walgreens are excellent quality, affordable, eco friendly, AND super soft.

    • Reply
      August 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      It’s not a good idea to stand your brushes upright. The hairs will fall out more quickly. And remember to wash them weekly too so you don’t contaminate your makeup!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I’m SO glad you’re doing this!!! I loved your eyebrow tutorials and feel like that’s really improved my makeup routine. Eyeshadow is always something I’ve never felt confident in so I’m excited!!!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Really awesome, informative post. My favorite sexy summer look right now is just a hint of electric blue liner. The how-to: http://definingdelphine.com/ive-got-the-blues/

  • Reply
    July 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I used to be anti-primers because I don’t have oily eyelids but I started using the samples on the Naked Palettes and I was so in love that I had to use empty cream shadow jars to fill them with the samples just so that they didn’t end up drying on the little paper thingy that they come in. 😉

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  • Reply
    July 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Ahh Cara I just love you! Your blog is so fun and practical! I love all your tips! Very beautiful! Keep it up!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Cara, love your blog… I learn so much!! I currently use a primer but throughout the day it starts to clump in my eyelid creases. Any suggestions on what to do to avoid this?!

  • Reply
    Erica Hollis
    October 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

    hey cara 🙂 i have almond shaped/ hooded eyes and eye shadow has ALWAYS been the most difficult part of my makeup routine, any advice? I just tried the eyeshadow school deep crease method and still had some trouble w/ the soft V on outer edge.anybody w/ any advice is welcome 😀 thanks!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I use the Elf eyelid primer as well as the foundation primer — both are seriously FANTASTIC! I’ve used other primers and I’m very very (and surprisingly) happy with Elf. Such a good buy, too!

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