Urban Decay’s Naked Palette shocked the beauty world back in 2010, not with bodacious primary colors and sparkly gobs of gorgeous glitter, but with elemental earth tones and wearable neutral shades.
Since then, many brands have joined the basics bandwagon, coming out with neutral eye palettes of their own.
I love neutrals almost as much as I love bolds — well, maybe even more (although it’s hard to resist a pair of pigmented purple cat eyes).
If you have a neutral eye palette waiting patiently in your makeup bag, give it some love today. Here’s an easy (always important) neutral eye look featuring matte black and brown shades and a shimmery, peachy gold.
I’ll be using eyeshadows from Anastasia’s new She Wears It Well Palette ($34), specifically Sunset (a shimmery, peachy gold), Onyx (a matte black matte) and Toffee (a matte brown).
Before we jump in, let’s go over the recipe…
- Artdeco Eyeshadow Primer
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (a matte black from the new Ocho Loco Holiday Set, available now online at urbandecay.com)
- MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy (a shimmery bronzy brown)
- MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush (a fantastic flat eyeshadow brush)
- MAC 266 Small Angle Brush (a stiff angled brush)
- MAC 217 Blending Brush (a fluffy, domed blending brush)
Bear in mind that these are only suggestions. You don’t have to use the exact same colors or brushes to follow this tutorial.
Right! With that out of the way, are you ready to get neutral-ized?
1. Bringin’ it back to basics
First things first. We want to give our shadows a good start with a good base, so let’s coat our lids with a thin layer of something to help our shadows adhere to them better. Today I’m using Artdeco’s Eyeshadow Base.
It’s been a little tough to find here in the States, but if you can snag a pot from one of the online shops that ship internationally, DO IT! Shadows stick to the lightweight formula like glue, and — maybe I’m the only person who notices this — it kinda smells like ginger ale, which I love.
2. Go for the glow!
As my inner drag queen likes to say, “Gurl, it’s time to get yo’ glow on!”
Yeah, she’s been very chatty these days…
Now, if I could just get her to pass me that flat eyeshadow brush over there, I could use it for our next step, applying our shimmery, peachy gold right on top of our base.
Since the spot the brush touches first tends to get most of the color, I like to place the brush head on my lash lines and lids, and then use lighter pressure to pat the brush up toward my brows (great for gradients).
Before moving to the next step, let’s grab our fluffy domed blending brush, and sweep it beneath our brows and along the outer corners of our eyes to soften the edges.
3. KMBB, The Blogosphere’s Soft Rock Station
Okay, I admit it. I kindasorta love soft rock radio stations. I also like softly defined lash lines.
Sometimes, I listen to soft rock radio while lining my upper lash lines with an angled brush. #truth
So take a look at me nowwww!
Here, let’s mix the brown and black matte shades together (combined, they aren’t as harsh as the black eyeshadow alone, making the mix great for daytime eye makeup looks) with our angled brush, and apply the magical brew to our upper lash lines to softly define them.
Next, blend out the edge of the line with your fluffy domed brush, and repeat until you’re happy with the intensity.
Wait! — don’t put that angled brush down yet. While it’s still in your hand, with the remaining product on the brush, run it along your lower lash lines to further soften and define them.
4. Tame that tight line!
Now for a quick break. Let’s set aside our brushes for a moment, and grab our eyeliner.
I think that black along my upper water lines makes my lashes look thicker, so I’ll do that, and then apply brown along my lower water lines.
Sure, you could wear the same color on both. I just feel like mixing it up.
5. Race to the finish!
Now, all we have to do is fill in our brows and add a few coats of mascara.
6. The finished look
Guess what? You’re done.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
Additional makeup worn in this look…
- MAC Concrete Eyeshadow: Brows
- Tom Ford Beauty Brow Sculptor in Espresso: Brows
- MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash: Lashes
- LORAC PRO Mascara in Black: Lashes
- NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz: Face
- MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC40: Face
- MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in Medium Dark: Forehead, nose and chin
- MAC Select Moisturecover in NW25: Under eyes
- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun: Cheek bones
- MAC Sunbasque Blush: Apples of my cheeks
- MAC Pro Lip Palette Editorial Oranges Lipsticks in Cross Wires and Sandy B: Lips
- MAC Plushglass in Fulfilled: Lips