Monday, April 4, 2011


The Eyeshadow Tutorial: Three Different Looks

Skip ahead to 1:15 for how to get the pretty, office-appropriate eye; to 6:35 for the colorful, peacock-y eye; and to 12:20 for the classic smoky eye.

(Also, this is the Lorac eyeshadow I use, here's a link to a Kat Von D's eyeshadow kit, this palette would be perfect for looks one and three, and for bright colors, here's a great Stila palette that's also on sale. And Urban Decay has a million crazy color combos to choose from, too.)

Previously: Three Easy Ways to Apply Perfect Eyeliner.

Jane Feltes produces the radio program "This American Life," and no one is paying her to use or recommend any of the products she uses or recommends.

66 Comments / Post A Comment


i never wear eye shadow as it makes me feel like i stick out, but jane looks lovely, so maybe i am not the clown i thought i was! having lots of critical brothers can make a girl be scared to do make up like this ("what's wrong with your face") not with jane by my side!


Jane, your nails are so pretty! (Along with everything else, but you didn't mention that.)

Q: how do I do this as a glasses-wearer? I've got chunky frames that I think will cover most of this, so is it worth trying or do we nerds need to modify our technique?


I am also a glasses-wearer and eyeshadow is the greatest! You can do basically everything Jane is doing without modification for glasses. The only thing I change about my eyemakeup for glasses is the area. So, like, I have big chunky Sally Jesse Raphael frames and for those, Jane's techniques work perfectly. But I also have smaller, reading glasses type frames, and so for those I try to keep the color closer to my lash line and off my brow bone. Does that make sense? But seriously, glasses + makeup = fun party time.


I have ray bans, and I still do the exact same steps (I just recently started wearing my glasses all of the time because me prescription changed and the old ones were rigged together all ghetto fab, so I walked around for a couple of months not totally being able to see far away things, but WHATEVER.) The only thing they put a damper on is false eyelashes, but I only wear them when I'm going out, so I usually ditch my glasses in hopes that somebody will chaperone me while I'm getting sauced on manhattans.


I have that problem too! But I have been doing some experiments...
You can do the same thing with glasses as long as you don't stray too far from the shape of your frames. Another cool thing you can do if you have chunky glasses is to try a color eyeliner/shadow on your bottom lashes! Green and purple look really nice on brown eyes!


There is no correlation between this series and my recent purchase of a foundation brush so that my foundation no longer looks janky. NONE WHATSOEVER.

(By which I mean I love everything about these videos. Including the repeated calls for more wine!)


if anyone's wondering, i'm pretty sure the brush she's using is MAC #217. best eyeshadow brush out there!


I have a million eyeshadow brushes, and now I WANT ANOTHER ONE!


I'm sure it's the 217 as well. For a good look at it, how it compares to other brushes, when I was looking for it I found these rad pics: http://www.thebeautylookbook.com/2009/07/week-of-beauty-tools-essentials-eye.html. Yes I said RAD.


i love you for this. thanks to you i went out in public with eyeliner for the first time since high school and did not look like an emo clown.


Jane, don't you think eyeshadow looks dumb on blondes? I never wear it, I look clownish. Light hair and eyes do not blend well with eye makeup, any suggestions?


I have the same problem. Light hair & eyes & the palest skin. A tiny bit of eyeshadow looks aggressive on me. I don't think I'll ever achieve smokey eyes :(


The answer is: Benefit's Big Beautiful Eyes kit.


Well thank you all for the suggestions--maybe I should do my eye makeup and post the embarrassing wreckage of what I created.


no, you can do it! my bff is a super-pale, blue-eyed blonde, and she does liquid liner, shadow contouring, and even fake lashes, and she looks hotttt.


Not so! Why not try a light brown eyeliner in the waterline of your upper lashes? It won't be on top of your eyelid where it's most pronounced, but you will be able to see the definition!


obvi, i don't know your coloring but may i direct you to a google image search of bridget bardot? her and laugh-in goldie hawn are my frequent blond vanity muses. the eyes on both tend to be a little dark so for daytime instead of black i use a softer brown or bronze.


How much worse do I want to feel about myself if I do my eye makeup and then compare myself to Brigitte Bardot?!?


haha, fair, i certainly didn't mean to point you in that direction. i'm just a blond with similar coloring and she wears a fair amount of makeup so, i have patterned looks after her.

also, hers is a messier look than a lot of retro ones, so you don't really have to be that good at applying eyeliner. you do, however, have to get good at pretending like you mean for the eyeliner to be all over your face. that, i have nailed.


You insult all fair eyed/skinned blondes who show up for work every day in eye shadow and eye liner with that talk! Start with the work/day look Jane demonstrates and work up from there. Practice!


Whaa??? Try a light brown beige-y color, either matte or pearly. Nothing drastic. I find, as a blonde, that I need some definition with all the paleness going on.


Ahhh, I asked for an eyeshadow tutorial and now here it is! You're the best. I think your style is a little braver than mine, but still your tips are sooooo helpful. (For instance, I didn't realize you could line your eyes with anything other than pencil eyeliner. I have so much to learn.)


So glad that now I'm in my thirties Jane is teaching me how to be a girl. Can't really watch at work, but I hope there is mention of which lipstick that is too...


Your darker color goes above the actual crease in the lid - I think that makes such a difference. I will try this.

I'm so glad you showed us what to do with those bright, crazy colors. Whenever I buy an eyeshadow compact there is alway a color or two that I think NOPE never going to use that one... Now maybe I'll be brave.


One trick to use when you don't want the excess eye shadow ruining your face make-up is to dab a bunch of loose face powder under your eyes, along the top of your cheek bone. Once you finish applying eyeshadow, you can brush the excess off and the loose face powder will act as a highlight along your cheek bone and will make your eyes pop (even more).

Another trick is to apply eyeshadow using your fingers (ring or pinky) and no brush at all. This way, your pigment is slightly stronger and there is no excess powder.

And to the blondes above - @shenannies and @bananab0at - start off using light/medium browns! It looks silly and clownish to you because you aren't used to it. But trust me, no one else thinks you look like a clown. You just gotta get the right color combo for your complexion and coloring.


Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palatte is a win, great for trying new looks and experimenting. Love it.


I'm a mega blonde, and I think you can't go wrong with shimmery, soft golds and browns. They blend flawlessly and are so hard to screw up. Also, you don't need black to do a smokey eye - if you're worried it will be too dramatic, use dark coppery browns and deep plums instead. These are some great palettes for fair haired ladies!

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection
Too Faced Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection
Urban Decay Naked Palette

I want to have a glass of wine with Jane!


Yes I think the idea is to take Jane's ideas and flawless technique and then translate them for your coloring and style. I can't wait to try the peacock look with a slightly different palette on my strawberry blonde self!


I haven't even gotten through the whole video yet, but have to say that Urban Decay shadow primer is the only thing that works for my greasy, greasy eyelids. A lot of my friends feel the same way. Maybe the one you got was expired or something, Jane.


I agree. I don't know what else could get me through a sweaty double shift of serving and busing tables, with a quick shower in between with no touch ups needed. I don't even use make up remover at the end of the night, I just wash it off while I'm washing my face and have no probs.

Jane Feltes

thanks for watching, pals! @wallsdonotfall: i love really done up eyes behind glasses. especially lots of mascara. @EllieMite: it's my same-old Vincent Longo Perfect Shine Lip Gloss in Sophia Rose. and to the general concerns of eyeshadow newbies, fwiw i never ever wear eyeshadow without doing up the rest of my face. it's gotta be balanced and i think eyeshadow on it's own does look clownish and out of place so be sure you get the rest of your face on before judging yourself too harshly. you're all so pretty!

elysian fields

Ugh, I want to run out and try these immediately (except look #3 ... sadly, I'm waaaaay too pale for that) but my boyfriend actually hates it when I wear makeup so I feel like no one but other Hairpinners would appreciate my efforts. Sad face.


Girl's night out! We should have a virtual one. I did the winged eyeliner from the last tutorial and it took me half an hour and I JUST WANTED SOME RECOGNITION FOR IT, GOD.


I was just whining that although I know my way around eyeliner and mascara, I am clueless about eyeshadow. luckily, today is my day off, so I can't wait to try these looks out for myself. I just need to make a quick trip to big lots (located just around the corner) for some colorful supplies.

jane, I love your videos and your nail polish!


JANE! Totally echoing everyone else who watches your vids, but just- thank you. Thank you. I am 23 and never learned how to apply makeup - too much of a tomboy during my formative years - but now I am enjoying the extreme confidence boost that just a smidgen of mascara and eyeliner lends me. Not only am I making higher tips at work, I am able to hide the face-days when I'm just not looking my best! I never thought that was possible!! Frothing/rambling so- end on another thank you.

(Oh and your sage point that what we think looks ridiculous/over the top on ourselves looks lovely and normal to other people set my years of makeup anxiety at ease).


I am going to wash all my makeup off so I look sick and can go home early to watch this video.


Jane I love how you have all kinds of random cheapie make-up mixed in with your nice stuff which also has colors missing and chipped corners and stuff, as this is the exact composition and condition of my makeup collection too. I also use the same brush for everything and have no idea where any of my brushes came from. You are a real girl like the rest of us!


Jane, you're kind of my favourite person ever. You helped me do a kinda sorta subtle brown smoky eye today (seriously, I brought the laptop into the bathroom and paused after every step so I could copy you), and even though I felt ridiculous when I left the house, I just realized that I looked totally awesome.

Yay! I love you, etc.

Jane Feltes

you guys! stop it, you're so sweet you're making me cry my makeup off.




Jane! Your music in this video is great - especially the song around the minute 9 and minute 10 mark. Would you mind sharing who it is?

Also, you have convinced me I should buy eyemakeup brushes and stop putting on eyeshadow with my finger. The results are clearly way better.


Ha, if only I had waited until the end of the video to post. Maker, I see. Thanks!


annabelle makeup is a canadian drugstore brand of excellent quality! good shout out and i recommend it to all my countrywimmen


Ahhhh, this is great. I love these tutorials. I actually coloured in brows for the first time on Saturday and went from cute to super sexy.


I created an account entirely to say that your tutorials are super great and helpful, but pleeeeease, for everyone who uses one makeup brush for the majority of your eyeshadow needs, shampoo and condition your brush(es) every few weeks/months depending on how often you use them!

Especially for someone who uses pricey natural hair brushes like the MAC brush you're using, giving your brushes an occasional shampoo and condition will make them look and feel like new again! It's so worth the time!


at the risk of sounding like an idiot, can you give like...specific instructions for how to do this? I've never gotten the hang of how to best clean my makeup brushes!


Brushes should be washed every week. I may be a super messy person elsewhere, but I don't fuck around with things that go near my eyes. My steps for washing brushes:

1. Wet brush.
2. Mix some Dr. Bronner's and olive oil in an espresso cup. Swirl brush in soapy oil.
3. Swirl brush around in palm and watch all the product come out (it's gross).
4. Rinse brush and swirl it around in hand until no more product comes out.
5. Let dry! I keep my brushes drying on a towel on a slightly angled surface (I use a big binder), brush heads pointing down. This keeps the moisture away from the glue and helps the brushes last longer. It takes about a day for them to dry completely.


thanks girl!


here's some of my fave makeup tutorial sites --

and search youtube for pixiwoo. they cover all sorts of looks, from basics to completely over-the-top. for example, a natural no-makeup look, to a brigitte bardot look with winged eyeliner and false lashes.


Maybe for next time, I still don't really get the eyebrow stuff. I mean, how do you put eye shadow on your skin like that without it rubbing off or smearing and looking a hot mess? Why do some people use eye liner, some shadow and some eye brow pencil? Will it look really harsh if I have my eyebrows done and without a dark evening look on?
How do I know which color to use? Black or dark brown? Apparently according to Kandee Johnson's Kim Kardashian tutorial you can use a taupe color.. jigga-what! jigga-who? TAUPE??


don't use black on your eyebrows! ahh! find a color that's just a tinge darker, so it's not really that noticeable (or if you can find a perfect match even better. I have super dark, almost black eyebrows and I find that the matte shade 'brun' from MAC matches really well).

one cow.

agreed on the "no black" thing! i did this in college for like 2 months before my sister saw me & was like "wtf is up with your eyebrows??" i'm pretty sure i used a black SHIMMERY eyeshadow & just like swept it onto my brows. idiot college self!!!! haha i love that version of me.


unless you have really dark skin and hair, a light-to-medium matte brown eye shadow is where you should start. i have fair skin but medium auburn-ish-brown hair, and i use a bobbi brown eyeshadow called blonde. you're technically not trying to match the color of your brow hairs, but by coloring the skin beneath your brows, you're accenting the brow shape (or possibly creating a slightly different or stronger shape) and disguising any sparse areas. if you're light brown or blonde, i might even try a light "wheat" brown, like MAC Wedge or Kid, or Urban Decay Naked.

Feminist Killjoy

a makeup tutorial for glasses-wearers! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91-EqPzSiRA&feature=feedlik

i realize the fake eyelashes on the bottom may seem a bit much, but admit it! girlfriend looks hot!


gurl, you are so pretty and fabulous! I want to see you with a bold lip!

also, if you got that urban decay horrible product (I tried it, SO STICKY, like 'tacky glue' fabric glue) at sephora, they're pretty bomb about taking things back even after you've opened them. I don't know how many face products I've returned to there because they make my sensitive skin freak out (enough for me to be concerned that they think I'm being shifty though...)

also, this may be slightly creepy, but I feel like all you hairpinners are the type of people that I want to be around, but never find in real life. Especially with the whole 'shotgunning a single serve wine box in the dressing room of a Benneton (beneton?) before a bikini wax' and painting ridiculous things on fingernails always.


Jane! Thank-you! I've tried following other tutorials but just end up with a weepy mess, so I'm thrilled to be sitting here looking lovely for my laptop.

I don't know if this is the place for questions - but I'm at a loss on how to pick a foundation? I have fair skin with freckles, but I'm not sure where to go. I usually pick the light stuff, but I dunno... just wondering if there was a secret or something?


Have you tried Meow? I am in love with their Pampered Puss foundation and Top Cat finishing powder. And their colour range is so huge I think pretty much anyone can find a match. You can send away for samples and brush them on til you find one that just disappears on your skin. http://www.meowcosmetics.com/Foundation.htm


2nd the rec for meow pampered puss. love them! if you sign up for their mailing list, they send out 20% off and free shipping codes fairly often.


thanks! I'll take a look.


Yay! I love this whole series, but this one was the best yet. After many years of having given up wearing make up at all I've turned 180 and now own a huge collection of wild eyeshadow and other mineral makeup that I am only just (re)learning how to use fully. Looks one & two are things I am definitely going to try. I'm really shy about putting eyeshadow on above the crease because I don't want to look like my 1980's goth self (back in the day I did awesome Siouxsie eyes :-), but this I think will inspire me to be brave and try for a contemporary whole-eye look in all my pretty colours. Thanks!


THANK YOU! I am an only child and my mom was never one to know much about make up or use any styles I envied. Magazine how-to's are difficult to follow, but seeing the colors you use, the angels, the specific placement, the brushed, everything just clicked. Even my day to day look is boring compared to your "boring" look, just because I had no idea where exactly to wear the darker shadow. Today I did Look 1 for class, and I look amazing!! Yay! I don't normally go out, so I have a difficult time finding an occasion to wear bright or smoky eyes, but guess what! Barrister's Ball is this weekend, and guess who will be rocking the smoky eye - the girl with all the eyeshadow she never wears because it's too scary. This is my favorite thing ever. I am definitely getting better at being a girl.


Me too! It's super fun!



How do I get gold nails? What company/color is it?


isn't it bad to tug on your eyes so much? like when applying base/primer?


long tiem lurker, first time commenter (i love this site. jezebel is worth glancing at, but their content & commenters suck mad PC balls. you're like, ten times too good for them, anyway.)
Jane Feltes: #1. I fucking love you. #2. thanks for finally making me understand how you get the perfect office crease eyeshadow placed. for some reason, (maybe i'm retarted, seriously) i couldn't get it to work from makeupgeek.com....yes, very sad for those who have to look at me #3. for loving wine as much as i do. only beef i've got is:
how the eff do you stay so skinny?
you might wanna consider a "how to be a girl" (LOVE THE TITLE, BTW) on yoga / pilates / excercise in public gyms / running for beginners type thingie,cause i totally feel like a noob / omg super conspicuous (do i look retarted to you?!?, omg nooooooo) when i excercise in front of anyone. alone, i dont give a shit cause i'm all drinky. of course.

Mary McKenna@facebook

(I know this has been up for a while, so I won't be completely surprised if you do not notice this question, BUT here goes anyway.)

I was wondering about cleaning brushes. I just bought a brush from M.A.C. and the salesperson was quite adamant that I buy their brush cleaner, but I assumed it was just a money grab? Seeing that you've had your brushes for a long time and they seem to be serving you well, I'd like to know what you do to keep them from falling apart.

Thank you!

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