Monday, April 25, 2011

Reader Request: Eye Shadow Application, Part I

One of you lovelies commented on this post and asked that I show you how I apply my eye shadow.  Can I just take a moment to say that this is my first request and I'm super excited??   Call me a dork, but it's a sense of blogger-validation I've never felt before.  So to you, dear Anonymous Eye Shadow Novice - thanks for validating my blogosphere presence!

Note:  I was going to do an actual application for this post but it ended up being scarily long, even for me.  So today I'm sharing my brush philosophy, and on Wednesday will come the actual shadow portion.

How to shadow?  Nay, dear reader - how to brush!

One day...I will.

Let's get down to business.




Here's my philosophy on brushes:  If you recall from this post, I only recently bought my first MAC brush (and it wasn't an eye brush haha!), so if that says anything about my brush philosophy, I think it implies that I'm not a huge investor. I hope to be,  the moment my budget allows!  For now though, I randomly pick up brushes and almost never go out of my way to find them.  For most of my looks I use:
  • Shader brush:  you can find these anywhere.  Really, anywhere.  I use these for everything.  I'm going to bold and italicize that too. EVERYTHING.  I use them to pack on colour, to contour, to blend - everything!  I have a bunch of them lying around, but I usually end up using just one for each look.  I flip the brush over when I want to switch colours, and use the very tip of the brush when I need to cover a more specific area.
  • Angle brush:  I don't have too many specifications for angle brushes.  The narrow ones are better for more specific lines, and the thicker ones are better for brows.  I keep one for gel liner, one for my brows and one for lid detailing.  I use these for highlighting my inner corner, to line my lashlines and to define a crease.  I've mentioned before that I like it when things are multi-purpose =)
  • Fluff brush: I never put shadow on this brush.  I picked mine out from an otherwise useless kit (I can't remember where it was from - it's entirely possibly it came from a market stall in China...). I use this to blend out any harsh lines or clear separations between colour.
  • Fingers: In my humble opinion, one of the best brushes I've ever used.  Great for highlighting, blending and placing colour.  Cost?  Ideally free.
Shader, Angle, Fluff
That's all.  I don't own a MAC 217/224/226/anything (although I do think I'll purchase one of them soon...any votes as to which one?) and I don't use those sponge-tip applicators - in my opinion, nothing worse has ever happened to eyeshadow.  You pick up way too much product and end up blending away half of it.  You'll save in the long run if you buy a $3 Loewe-Cornell brush from Michaels and don't waste twice as much product.

The idea behind brushes is that they're supposed to do the work for you.  I totally get it, but I've gotten around it by picking one shader brush and just learning how to manipulate it.  I've gotten to the point where I'd rather buy two or three of the same brush that I know how to use, rather than a slightly differently shaped one that I have to learn all over again.   I find the best way to learn your way around a brush is to practice and try things that are awkward (not unlike in this post...).  I know no one likes hearing that, but you'll learn the angles of the brush, the thickness and density of the bristles, and I promise it'll become muscle memory.

The brush on the far left is my most-used shader brush.  On a particularly good day, I can use the corner of the brush to apply an inner-corner highlight.  That's right.  I'm that lazy.  Instead of just switching brushes, I'll use both sides, the tip and each corner.  If I need to reuse a side, I just brush it off on a paper towel or the back of my hand.  I swear I'm not as unsanitary as I sound.

Next up?  The actual application.  Stay tuned!

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