End of Summer Shimmery Mermaid Makeup Tutorial

Published in: Benefit, Chanel, Dior, Essie, Eylure, LORAC, Makeup Tips/How To, Tom Ford Beauty, Urban Decay

1 mermaid tutorial

There is absolutely no freakin’ way that matte-heavy eyeshadow looks are even remotely acceptable among members of the makeup-loving mermaid community, and I know this for a fact.


Actually, I don’t really know that for a fact, since I haven’t kicked it with any of my mermaid friends lately, but if I had, they would DEFINITELY be rollin’ with shimmer.

So…why am I talking about mermaids??

Excellent question.

Well, because it’s late August, and even though I’m excited about fall, I’m still sad to see summer go. *sad tabby face* πŸ™

I was thinking about the beach this morning (I haven’t been once this year!), and that led me to think about mermaids, and about mermaid water babies basking on the rocks with their shimmery tails swishing in the crystal clear waters and their subtle blue and green eye makeup sparkling in the sun…

So that’s what I was going for here.

2 mermaid tutorial

For the record, this look is also appropriate for landlubbers, so you don’t need to have a mermaid tail to wear it, although that would be pretty rad.

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

I think this is a good look for late summer parties and barbecues, or maybe a back-to-school party where everyone gets kinda dressed up. Or, if you’re heading someplace fabulous that just so happens to have lively nightlife and be located near a warm body of water. Or, if you just want something shimmery to wear while you walk your cat around your neighborhood.

It’s a good look for multiple occasions. πŸ™‚

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

Now, honey, if you just scrolled down, I know this look might seem impossible based on the number of steps, but you can do it! — even if you’re a straight-up beginner.

If you’ve never attempted anything like this before, though, cut yourself some slack. It’s OK and perfectly normal if it looks like shimmery poo the first few times, and it probably will, unless you’re a makeup wunderkind. But so what? Rome wasn’t built in a day.

OK, enough gabbing… Let’s do this.

1. Apply foundation, concealer and powder

3 mermaid tutorial foundation

Get yo’ base on that face, because we’re not about to leave the house without a little something-something. For this shimmery mermaid look, I like a full-coverage base because I think it balances out the bold eyes and false lashes.

Go with your fullest coverage foundation, concealer and powder, if you need to. Doing a goofy face while you do this is completely optional but highly encouraged. πŸ™‚

2. Fill in brows and prime lids

4 mermaid tutorial brows and primer

According to The Official Mermaid Makeup Manual, filling in your eyebrows is absolutely essential, and you don’t want to break any mermaid rules, do you? So do it!

While you’re at it, this is also a good time to prime your lids, since we’re going to be layering and blending quite a few eyeshadows.

3. Apply a matte brown eyeshadow onto the lid and into the crease

5 mermaid tutorial brown eyeshadow

Another day, another matte brown eyeshadow.

“But, Karen! Matte brown is soooo boring!”

Trust me, it’s an essential step on the path to Mermaidville, because you’ll need help transitioning from the colorful eyeshadows we’ll be using in a moment, and by “transitioning,” I’m referring to making them look less jarring as they fade up toward your brow bone, so grab a medium matte brown eyeshadow, and floof a little (pat and blend) onto your lids and into the crease with your favorite blending brush.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect here. The goal is just get it on there quickly. Then we can start the sparkly stuff.

4. Pat a shimmery bronze eyeshadow in the inner corner

6 mermaid tutorial amber

Time to start ze shimmer!

Pat a shimmery bronze eyeshadow on the inner part of your lids with a flat eyeshadow brush.

5. Apply a shimmery olive green eyeshadow on the center of the lid

7 mermaid tutorial green

Now for some shimmery green eyeshadow! Pat some in the center of your lid, then blend the edges into the bronze with a pencil brush, and you’ll know you’re doing it right if it looks absolutely jacked up…

No, seriously! This is one of those looks that looks terrible before it all comes together, so just hang in there.

6. Apply a shimmery blue in the outer corner, and make a wing shape

8 mermaid tutorial blue outer corner

OK, it’s time to start building out the wing, so take a tissue or a paper towel, and line it up along the outer corner of your eye. Place it so that it follows the upward angle of your lower lash line. Now dip a flat eyeshadow brush into a shimmery blue eyeshadow, and place that color into the outer corner.

When you remove the paper towel, you’ll have a winged shape, hurray!

9 mermaid tutorial tissue

7. Apply a shimmery black into the outer corner

10 mermaid tutorial black

Pat a teeny, tiny bit of black eyeshadow into the outer corner of that wing. You only want the tiniest bit, too, because black can be very hard to blend, so make your life easier by not using too much. All you want to do here is add enough to create some depth.

8. Line your upper lash line, and upper and lower water lines, with a black eyeliner

11 mermaid tutorial black liner

Now take your favorite black eyeliner (’cause every girl has one!), and line your upper lash and water lines, and your lower water lines. Since we’re going to have a lot going on with all of the colors on the lids and the shimmer and the wing shape, go for a very thin line, because you want your wing, rather than the liner, to be the focal point.

9. Line the lower half of the lash line with a blue eyeliner

12 mermaid tutorial blue eyeliner

Yay! We’re coming to my favorite part!

OK, you know how we’ve got all that stuff happening on our lids? Well, if we don’t also do something on the lower lash line, the look could appear top heavy, so we’re going to create a shimmery blue lower lash line that transitions into a rose gold.

Start by lining the outer half of your lower lash line with blue liner, then smudge it out with a pencil brush.

10. Blend a shimmery blue shadow on top of the blue eyeliner

13 mermaid tutorial blue lower lashline

Now top that blue liner with a shimmery blue eyeshadow…

11. Blend a shimmery rose gold into the inner half of the lower lash line and inner corners

14 mermaid tutorial pink inner corner

Then, blend a shimmery rose gold along the inner lash line, and take it around the bronze we used back in step 4 (SO LONG AGO!). Now connect it with the green in the center of the lid.

12. Apply false lashes

15 mermaid tutorial lashes

Almost there!

Now, you can’t be a mermaid without long, luscious lashes. (It just wouldn’t be right.) Good thing this kind of bold eyeshadow really suits false lashes, especially ones with a winged shape that have shorter lashes in the inner corner and longer lashes in the outer corner.

This is a good time to make any necessary adjustments to your wing, too. If you need to, fix the angle by drawing it out or up, and use your lashes as a guide.

13. Apply bronzer, blush and lipgloss

16 mermaid tutorial blush bronzer lips

Let’s keep the focus on our eyes by going simple with bronzer, your favorite matte peachy pink blush (it’ll contrast nicely with all the shimmer on our lids) and a glossy pink lip.


Guess what…?

We’re done! Hello, shimmery mermaid. πŸ™‚

17 mermaid tutorial final look

Makeup worn in this look
Foundation, concealer and powder — Diorskin Nude Air in 040 Honey Beige, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit and Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder in 40 Dore
Brow filler and lid primer — Urban Decay Brow Beater in Dark and Benefit Air Patrol
Matte brown eyeshadow — Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage Quad, light tan shade
Shimmery bronze eyeshadow — LORAC Pro Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Amber
Shimmery olive green eyeshadow — LORAC Pro Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Clover
Shimmery blue eyeshadow — LORAC Pro Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Cobalt
Shimmery black eyeshadow — LORAC Pro Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Onyx
Black eyeliner — Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner in 88 Noir Intense
Blue eyeliner — LORAC Front of the Liner Pro Eye Pencil in Navy
Shimmery rose gold eyeshadow — LORAC Pro Metal Eye Shadow Palette, Rose Gold
False Lashes — Eylure 117
Bronzer, blush and lipgloss — MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Delphic, NARS Amour Blush and NARS Chihuahua Lipgloss
Nail polish — Essie In the Lobby

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Agata says:

    I have been waiting on that tutorial all day! It looks fantastic although the number of steps, even for me, is quite large! That palette looks quite awesome, def not an everyday wear but for some special occasion I think it’s perfect. The look is gorgeous Karen, I think now you can easily befriend all the local mermaids (if there are any).
    Agata recently posted … Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol. 14: What’s the inspiration behind your blog name? How did you come up with it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agata,

      The palette is fun; I think you’ll like it. It’s definitely very shimmery but for going out it’s totally appropriate.

      Happy Friday to you! I hope you have a nice day.

  2. Lulle says:

    So beautiful! The number of steps is kind of scary but each one seems fairly easy. I usually do much simpler looks but every once in a while, I enjoy creating something a little more sophisticated like that. I’ll keep this one in mind, the colors work really well together!
    Lulle recently posted … Sunscreen for medium to dark skintones: OZ Naturals Age Defying Solar Shield SPF30 review

  3. Stephanie says:

    All right, time for me to go figure out how to look anywhere near as fabulous…

  4. Chelsea says:

    Love this! You make this seem doable!

  5. Ashleigh says:

    I love your colorful eye looks! Great tutorial, it makes me feel brave enough to use shimmer EVERYWHERE if I can look half as good as this!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ashleigh,

      You can do it! πŸ™‚ I think the trick is to have the matte brown transition color up in the mix. Having it run along the edge balances out all the shimmer. If you try this look (and I hope you do) send me a pic if you want. I’d love to see it on you.

      Happy Friday!

      • Ashleigh says:

        Hi Karen!
        Ok so you convinced me πŸ˜‰ I had to improvise a bit, and it’s not as blue as yours, but I quite like the way it came out! I used the Too Faced Semi Sweet chocolate bar palette, a L’oreal infallible olive shadow, and Colorpop’s LaLa. The boyfriend came home from work and really liked it. Now to run errands πŸ™‚


        Also I have mad respect for your makeup selfies! The real camera is out of batteries, so I just have these phone pics, sorry!

  6. hanna says:

    Love love love this tutorial! You made this seem achievable.
    hanna recently posted … What to Wear to Breakup with Someone

  7. STUNNING! Great idea throwing an olive green into the mix!
    Carol in a Page recently posted … An Ode to Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Carol. Olive green is one of my fave colors to wear. You could also do an emerald green with this look too, if you want something bolder.

      Happy Friday!

  8. jessica says:

    I am a mermaid all year round.

    I LOVE this look, I would so wear it to work.

    perhaps one day next week, in fact.

    Thanks for the paper towel tip, I always see this done with tape and I never do it but the paper towel…really nice.
    jessica recently posted … Alone-Space (PRT)

  9. Jen says:

    This is beyond gorgeous, Karen! The pop of blue under the eye really pulls it all together and makes it something special πŸ™‚
    Jen recently posted … Life Recently: Holding Onto Summer

  10. Jenny says:

    This is one of my favorite looks you’ve shown us so far! I love the pictorial to show us the break down. As a landlubber, I approve.
    Jenny recently posted … One Year Blogiversary!

  11. Rosemary says:

    I so enjoy these “pictorial tutorials” (lol) that you have been posting. Really helpful. Also nice to have a beauty blogger that is so talented, especially with eye shadows.

    • Karen says:

      Aw, thank you Rosemary. If you ever have any looks that you’d like to see send me a pic! I’ll see if I can try to recreate them.

      Happy Friday!

  12. Cindy says:

    Karen – every one of your tutorials is so gorgeous and your technique is outstanding…any chance of filming these for us on YouTube – I would love to watch you demonstrate these techniques live! Pretty Please. thank you.

  13. Tatiana says:

    Love this look. You look gorgeous!
    BTW, I really love these pictorial tutorials.

  14. Kalli says:

    Yaaasss mermaid makeup! I was also thinking the other day about how I haven’t done too much summery makeup over the last couple of months and that I need to remedy it. Totally love this look though!
    Kalli recently posted … Strobing! Or Extreme Highlighting or The Opposite of Contouring

  15. Trude says:

    So pretty! Love the two-up shots showing the steps and the product. πŸ™‚ And that Essie polish, yum…
    Trude recently posted … 5 Things

  16. Sabrina says:

    This look is killing it. I actually picked up the Lorac metals palette last week, and now I have to try this! Great job, Karen. You look gorgeous, as always.

  17. Rachel R. says:

    Yay for shimmery mermaid eyes! You look beautiful. I would absolutely wear this. I LOVE the Pro Metal Palette. I totally wear the shadows during the day, too. (I work from home; I can get away with it.)

  18. Arianne says:

    OMG Karen this tutorial is the bomb. You look sooooo good it’s kind of unfair. πŸ˜›

    I’ll be trying this look for sure. I haven’t worn blue eyeshadow in ages!
    Arianne recently posted … Low Maintenance Hair

  19. Shelly says:

    Soooo pretty on you! And thank you for the tutorial!

  20. kerry price-haywood says:

    beautiful Karen! Im definantly going to do this tonite!

  21. Pamela Haddad says:

    You make it all look so easy! I really need to take some of those Sephora classes.

  22. Doreen says:

    I love rockn shimmer shadow’s!!
    I’m 65 and I still love it!!
    I’m just another makeup addict..😊
    Will always be!!

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