Generally, an artists' goal is to make sure that the eye shadow they place on an individual client can be seen. The pigmentation (how brightly the color shows up on skin) of your shadows play a big part, but also your technique. No amount of makeup classes will override the fact that when it comes to makeup, practice makes perfect and when an artist is under pressure, he/she has to be able to move quickly and instinctively. There are three very important parts to making sure the eyeshadow pops - base, brush, and technique.
Back in the day - and quite a few still do this - artists spent fooorrreevvveeerrrrr building up shadows starting from the first transition color to the next and then onto the main lid color. The practice generally used a series of blending brushes that became more precise with each additional layer and while the outcome was gorgeous it took a while. I started out using this technique and I was slow AF, because of all the blending, and packing, and re-blending, and packing.
So tip #1: A good base
I use concealer as my base 95% of the time unless the client is very pale , in which case I would use my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. The old trick was to pat the product with some setting powder and then begin to apply eyeshadows. That never really made sense to me because eyeshadows....are powders. and that method doesn't work well with cream products or loose pigments adhered using a product like Inglot's Duraline. Rather, I simply place a concealer a shade or two lighter than the client on the lid and pat it into place and then begin laying my eyeshadows.
Tip #2: Your brushes
Let's say you are doing a simple eyeshadow look with only two colors - a main color and a transitional color around the edges to give it dimension. When you want a very pigmented finish, the best type of brush to use is a dense synthetic brush - something where the bristles are tightly packed. The Morphe E20 is a good example of the type of brush I am speaking of. It will lay down your main color without diffusing it. The Morphe M502 is a great brush for diffusing the edges of any shadow you apply. You can use it to lay down transitional colors around the edges of your main shadow or use it to blend out your main color. Whether you lay your transition first or your main lid, the point is to start incorporating a dense brush into your eyeshadow kit to save you time!
Tip #3: Technique
I fell victim to this foolishness, so I am writing from experience when I say - stop over sweeping! I used to sweep eyeshadows onto my eye and wonder why they seemed to disappear. I've discounted so many shadows when the problem wasn't the shadow but my technique. When it comes to shadows you buff them onto the lid. What do I mean? I mean you press the shadow onto your lid and roll the brush, essentially stamping that color onto your eye. The only shadows you should be sweeping are transition shades and that is still after you buff them on.
The client below wanted to make her eyes pop. I used concealer and then packed the brown color on her eye with a dense brush. I then applied the main lid color and stamped it into place using patting motions. The only time I sweeped my brush was when i wanted to diffuse the edges between the brown and the gold and then soften the edges of the brown around her brow bone. I only used two shadows and was able to get the pigmentation I wanted and the dimension I wanted.
Do you still struggle with making eyeshadows pop?