On Average, How Many Eyeshadows Do You Use in a Typical Makeup Look?

Published in: Just For Fun

urban decay ultimate basics

The new Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics Palette for Holiday 2016 (YES…HOLIDAY!)

How many shades do you use on average in a typical look?

One? Two? Twelve? Six? Seven? More?


I’m desperately trying to power my way through this “just a little liner” phase I still find myself trapped in, and we’ll see if the new Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics palette (coming soon…in 18 days!) helps.

It could… I’ve been playing with it, and I really like the wear time. Been putting in some looong days lately, and the shadows last at least 8-10 hours on my lids without any creasing.

The shades are all mattes, and they seem to apply darker on the skin than they appear in their pans.

For the past few months or so — really, for the past year, if I’m being completely honest — I haven’t had the patience to put on a lot eye makeup, so I’ve been wearing one or two shadows, tops. Like, I’ll do a single brown matte all over my lids, then line my upper lash line with a darker matte shade, usually a dark gray or black.

But I’m working my way out of that and growing more interested in wearing more shades day by day. With this palette, I’ve been wearing from four to six of the shades at a time, so that’s a big step.

How about you? How many eyeshadows do you wear in a typical look? Also, feel free to include any creamy base eyeshadows you wear.

Talk to you soon!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. I’ve been listening to a lot of The Pretenders lately, and this one is currently on repeat this morning…

P.P.S. Have a terrific Tuesday! πŸ™‚


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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris25 says:

    I think 4. Lid, crease, under crease/outer v and browbone.

    I’ve been listening to this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=zXpulL9ZXGU#Adiemus
    Chris25 recently posted … Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 9

  2. Jaxotea says:

    Ooo anything from a wash of one colour to 4 is standard for me but the most complex I did was 8 and was a blend of peacock colours from bright green through turquoises, blues, pinks, and purples with gold highlighting, it was mad but a lot of fun πŸ™‚

  3. Sarah says:

    No more than 3 if I’m using singles but sometimes 4 if I’m using my Chanel quad in Raffinment 😊

    I’ve been listening to this a lot lately https://youtu.be/uJseFSFi3hg Nina my mistake… Love it !!!

  4. Rachel says:

    I would say 2-4. I want that ultimate naked basics palette since I don’t have any of the original Naked palettes (for shame, I know)!

  5. Two on busy, rushed days and three to four when I have a little more time to spend on my makeup.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Resultime 5 expertise eye cream – The lure of Paris

  6. Sandra says:

    On average six, seven if I use a cream eyeshadow as a base, never less than four.

  7. Rhia says:

    Minimum 2, max 4. I used to be a fan of M.A.C. paint pots, but they don’t do too well for my lids because they get greasy after a while. Even with primer! So I’ve avoided cream based shadows altogether.

  8. Iris says:

    Two. One cream eyeshadow as a base/primer and a powder one over top.

  9. Amber says:

    I have a really hard time with only using one eyeshadow, or even 2 or 3….but I’m trying hard to search my stash and find shades that look good by themselves or with a little shadow or liner smudged on my lash line. What are your go-to one and done shades Karen? And I like the look of this palette. I’m more of a shimmer girl but something about it is calling me!

  10. Tatiana says:

    Some days zero, just a smudge proof pencil liner, mascara and lipstick. Usually, one to three. I have small eyes with hooded lids. Not a lot of room to put down multiple colors. You gotta work with what you got, know what I mean?
    Dear Daughter got Dear Husbands large eyes with super, duper long lashes, so I enjoy the shadow combos she does and I love doing her makeup when she lets me.

  11. kellly says:

    I feel so lazy. I usually just use one! I have large, round deep set eyes so usually just one color on the lid is enough for me. That, plus I work in an office every day so I don’t go big with my makeup anyway.

  12. Michele DiCola says:

    Base coat, three colors then highlighter ,
    Never without lip liner or at best just a red lip!
    Red lip works w just mascara !

  13. kwmechelle says:

    Five, including the base which is MAC’s paint in Bamboo. Now that I’ve got a vanity, I hope to play around with more elaborate looks to create an even more pronounced gradient effect. I woke up with Adele’s Send My Love (To Your New Lover). That chick can do NO wrong πŸ™‚

    • denise S says:

      Lucky you! I really want a vanity! Where did you get yours ? Do you have ample storage in it?

      • kwmechelle says:

        HI, Denise. My vanity is actually kinda small. Granted, it’d be great for the average gal. But for makeup loving fiends, I need more space πŸ™‚ I bought it from a site called Offer Up. Heard of them? I have their app & have bought so many of my apt furnishings from that site/app. What I love about my vanity is the fact that it’s an antique, came with a matching chair, is a great starter set, & was so inexpensive. I even negotiated the price down, which I’ve done for most things I’ve bought on the site. I plan to buy a really nice one some day. Most YouTube gurus purchase their sets from Ikea but I’m not really a fan of the style/quality for the price tag. Karen & I talked about CB2 & World Market yesterday in the comments section of the ConnorClaire.com post yesterday. Feel free to reference it to find out why I love Offer Up & why CB2 & World Market might also be good places to look for a nice set. HTH πŸ™‚

  14. Bex says:


    Generally I don’t wear any eyeshadow. When I do I use UD primer potion & it lasts forever and 3 colours. The reason I usually don’t is that it seems to dry my eyes out & as I wear contacts & work in an air conditioned office it just gets too uncomfortable. If anyone has any tips to avoid dry eyes apart from using a litre of eye drops, let me know!

    Bex xx

  15. Lauren says:

    I need the top row of that palette! Lately I’m only using one natural color. Life has gotten in the way of makeup and I feel naked without the full look!

  16. Savannah says:

    Lately it’s been six. But it’s actually an easier look than I normally do, with less blending required. Ever since my month long vacation I’ve gotten lazy with my eye makeup ha ha. I’ve got no desire to play with my dark or vibrant colors right now.

  17. Sakura says:

    Usually I use 2. Right now it’s Revlon shadowlinks (in a matte pink)as a base and a light dusting of Dior Fusion mono in shimming gold.

  18. Heather L. says:

    I usually go for 3 shades, a browbone light shade, a lid color, and a complimentary crease and outer corner shade. Sometimes I add a fourth.I may be the only one on earth, but I’m underwhelmed by the new Naked palette coming out. It may be the only one I didn’t end up getting. I have so many neutral mattes already in my Viseart Neutral Mattes, Kat Von D Shadow and Light, Too Faced Natural Matte, other 3 Naked palettes, Naked Smoky Palette, and all of the other palettes that include at least some neutral mattes (there are a lot!) I’m over it – I’m looking forward to some more colorful palettes. Really have my eye on the Marc Jacobs holiday palette. At least the plan is to pass on it this one, but I have a tendency to cave into hype and this is getting a lot of that so I will probably end up picking it up even though I’m not “wowed” by it.

  19. Lily says:

    On most days just two, MAC soft brown and NYX dance the tides. Love the way dance the tides makes my blue/green eyes pop. I adore the Pretenders. Chrissy is the best!

  20. Jaclyn levy says:

    I haven’t worn eyeshadow in years but I need that pallet in my life! It looks so inspiring. How much will it retail for?

  21. Rachel C. says:

    I’ve been in a rut too. I’ve been applying my concealer, setting with powder and skipping shadow or just applying one brown shadow all over. Dark navy or black eyeliner is a must.

    I’ve been on several job interviews, so my makeup has been very conservative. But even after work, I’m wearing bright blush and lippies, but no eyeshadow.

    I typically wear 3-4 shadows in a look.

  22. denise S says:

    Usually 4 lid,transition, crease and outer V. If I’m in a hurry I like to wear just a single bright color on the lid. Or just bright lips. I have a couple of neutral matte palettes . Kat Von Dee and Viseart matte palettes. I like wearing shimmer, satin or glittery eye shadows. I find neutral shadows boring. But I’ve heard good things about Urban Decay’s Basics palettes.

  23. Kate & Zena says:

    Depends. Nowadays, none on a day to day basis. Ocassionally, I feel like getting spiffy and then i use maybe three. Days I have horse shows? *thinks* 5 or 6 I think.

    The most I’ve ever used is maybe around 20 eyeshadows, but that was definitely NOT a typical eye look. I was creating a simple Venetian mask for Halloween on my face.

  24. Susan C. says:

    Hmm…on a typical day, four: two on the lid, one on the crease, and one brow highlight. If I’m going for drama I’ll add a fifth on the outer V.

    So excited about this new Naked. As a matte maven, I wish UD had come out with this palette oh, three years ago. I actually purchased and returned the Naked 1 because the glitter bomb shades were not da bomb.

  25. Rachel R. says:

    Most days I average about 5.

  26. Shelley says:

    You have taken the prettiest picture of this palette that I’ve seen!!!!! I didn’t want or need it until now
    Shelley recently posted … Review! KB Shimmer & Color4Nails Exclusive Nail Polishes Berried In The Sand And What The Shell

  27. Usually two, sometimes three or four.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Braun Silk Expert IPL Hair Removal System vs Philips Lumea Prestige

  28. Nyx says:

    I typically use two and sometimes three. Even when I line my lower lashes i tend to line them with one of the colors I used on my lids. I don’t think I have ever used more than 4.

  29. Erin says:

    On average, one. I usually just do a wash. More in-depth going out looks? Probably four.
    Erin recently posted … Fall 2016 Transition Dressing

  30. Ditte K. says:

    21 – that is some serious eyeshadow porn πŸ™‚ just beautiful to look at and great to play with.

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