There are a lot of different eye makeup looks that you can create with your single eyeshadows. Below, we list them all to give you some inspiration the next time you want to keep things simple yet interesting. I end with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to actually apply single eyeshadows, so you can start rocking easy-breezy eye makeup as soon as possible!
Bright-Eyed Single-Shadow Look
With an eyeshadow single you can brighten up your eyes and simply feel fresher, more awake, and ready to face the day. It’s an easy and quick way of feeling a bit more “done” before going out in the daytime, and it’s a perfect work or school eye makeup look.
Choose an eyeshadow single that is a little lighter than your skin tone, or perhaps one that matches your skin tone but also has a metallic finish that gives shine. Concentrate the color on your lid, inner corner, and just below the brow, but keep your actual crease bare.
Light colors are easiest to apply and blend, so this is also by far the quickest way of rocking single eyeshadows. Some lighter eyeshadow singles can also double as your highlighter!
Deceptive Single-Eyeshadow Look
This is one of the most interesting ways of applying single eyeshadows, since it results in an eye makeup look that looks more complex than it really is – that’s why I’m calling it deceptive. It is a technique that is flattering to all eye shapes, and mimics the way eyeshadow is traditionally applied: lighter on the lid, and darker in the crease.
This technique requires a medium-toned eyeshadow single that is just a hint darker than your skin tone, and can have any kind of finish from matte to metallic. Apply the shadow so that it is more blended and sheerer on your lid, and then pack it on a little darker in the crease – the one eyeshadow will end up looking like two different shades!
Sultry One-Eyeshadow Look
This eyeshadow single makeup look makes it seem as though you’ve put in a lot more work than you did, and gives a gorgeous sultry effect to the eye. It’s a little bit like a smoky eye, but softer and easier to create since you’re only using one shade that doesn’t have to be all that dark.
For the easiest version of this makeup look, pick an eyeshadow single that is a little bit darker than your skin tone. Taupes, siennas, coppers, and grays all work beautifully on light and medium skin tones, while a chocolate brown or black single eyeshadow could work well with darker skin. If you’re feeling festive, opt for a darker metallic.
The key elements of this look are to keep the color as dark as possible on the lid, and to blend it and sheer it out towards the crease. It’s also important to use the same shadow as you would a liner all around the eyes, for that extra smoldering touch.
This is also a super-flattering technique for those who have a lid that sticks out rather than being hollow or concave.
Pop of Color Eyeshadow Look
If you’re feeling a little festive or adventurous, try a colorful look! Generally, this look is most exciting and interesting with matte shades, but it can also work with other finishes.
Look for a bright tone, like orange, pink, lavender, yellow, baby blue, or green – pastels tend to work especially well. The trick here is to apply your color of choice very evenly and cleanly all over the lid, and if you like, you can also blend it into the crease.
Recently, a pop of color in the inner corner instead is also becoming fashionable. This is an easy fashion look that attracts attention and stays away from traditional makeup tropes.
How to Use Single Eyeshadows
- If you’ve already applied your face makeup, lay down a layer of translucent powder under your eyes to help you catch an eyeshadow fallout. Alternatively, do your eye makeup before doing your face makeup, especially if you’re opting for a darker eyeshadow single.
- Starting with bare eyes, apply a thin swipe of eyelid primer, especially if you are going to be using a powder eyeshadow. You can apply the primer with the help of a concealer brush or just using your ring finger.
- Apply the primer from your lash line all the way up to just below your brow, and blend it out to avoid any creasing, especially if you’re using a cream primer.
- Next, dip a flat eyeshadow brush into your single eyeshadow of choice. If you’re using a cream eyeshadow, you can simply use your finger, while a stick eyeshadow or liquid eyeshadow can both be applied directly from the container.
- Tap any excess shadow off of the brush to ensure that you get an even wash of the color over your lid, without any fallout.
- Once that’s done, begin applying the shadow to your eyelid by gently tapping it into your eye. You want to avoid using a dragging or “brushing” motion, as that will lead to a streaky-looking application.
- If you’re using a cream or liquid eyeshadow, use your finger or a sponge to blend the surface of the eyeshadow lightly in order to ensure it’s even and not creasing.
- Next, apply the eyeshadow single to your crease with a rounded shadow brush. First tap the product in at the outer corner of your crease, and then drag out into the center of the eye.
- Lastly, with a clean blending brush, blend out the edges of the shadow. Use small circular motions, and wipe off the brush consistently to avoid a muddy look.
- For a smokier effect, also use the same shade under the lash line and in the inner corner of the eye. Apply it with a thin angle brush.
- Finish off your look by applying a few coats of mascara to your lashes. If you like, you can also apply eyeliner following your preferred technique.
- If you’ve applied a powder guard below your eyes, swipe it away with a large, fluffy brush.
- Admire yourself in a mirror, and appreciate how quickly you can make yourself look gorgeous with just a single eyeshadow!
Photos via @thesaraengel, Instagram