5 Creative Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Eye Shadow Palettes

by Stacey Kole

Whoever thought of eye-shadow palettes was a makeup genius. These babies take the guesswork out of which color goes with which and avoid the problem of having four (or six or eight) different shadow compacts loosely floating around in your makeup bag. So as long as you’re saving space, why not save some pennies too? The best eye-shadow palettes will go to work for you and clock in some overtime — let your shadow do double duty with these five ideas.

1. As a Highlighter

Light colors like white or pale ivory can serve as a highlighter and make your features pop. Try applying on the inner corners of the eye and dabbing a bit on your Cupid’s bow. Want an instant brow lift? Apply the light shade directly under your eyebrows; just blend well so as to avoid a harsh white line.

2. As a Brow Filler

Define and fill in your brows using a taupe or brown shadow, depending upon your hair color. In general, brunettes should opt for a brown that is one to two shades lighter than their hair and blondes should look for a hue one to two shades darker. Mix shadows if necessary to achieve the ideal color. Take an angled brush and gently fill in with the shadow and voilà — a defined brow is yours.

3. As a Cheek Contour

Give your face a bit more structure and make your cheekbones pop by contouring the space right under them. Take a contour or blush brush and dip in a bronzy brown (again, you can mix and max the shades in your palette for the perfect hue). Suck in and make a fish face to make the area visible, then glide the brush along the hollows of your cheeks for subtle definition.

4. As an Eyeliner

This is where you can have fun. Sure, you can stick to a black or brown shadow as an eyeliner, but you can also opt for a pretty purple, burgundy, deep forest green or even blue (all of which can be found in our Tiger and Polar Bear palettes). Pro tip: slightly wet your angled liner brush to enrich the pigment and prevent powder remnants from falling onto your cheeks.

5. As a Faux Beauty Mark

Feel like channeling Marilyn Monroe? Make your own beauty mark with a little eye shadow. Pick a spot or feature you want to highlight, like the upper lip or the side of the chin, then prep the area with a bit of shadow primer. Use a matte-brown eye shadow and draw it in with a liner brush using circular motions — it doesn’t have to be perfect. Or, you can go all out and use the same shadow to fake freckles across the bridge of your nose and the top of your forehead (and let the “did you just get back from vacation?” compliments roll in). Simply Finish by setting with a dash of translucent powder.

Stacey Kole was managing editor of the national beauty and style magazine “Savvy” and is currently a freelance writer and editor based out of Phoenix, Arizona.