Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eye Shadow for the Inept

When the Pioneer woman featured these, I thought, "Hey, maybe I could learn how to use those."  I'm not sure what gave me the confidence since I've only ever used duos and trios that have explicit instructions on them (Color 1 on lids, Color 2 on brow, Color 3 in crease), but I hurriedly carried over to the Body Shop page to find them sold out.  Her liking things is almost as bad as Oprah liking things.  You've got to jump fast or else you're stuck out in the cold.

I gave up for the time being until I was wandering around Sephora.  If there's ever a store that makes me feel dumb and naked, it's that store.  I show up in Chapstick and Walgreen's mascara wondering what the tarnation is the difference between the $50 bottle of potion and $100 bottle of potion.  As I was wandering aimlessly,  hoping to run across bare minerals, I saw these pots of eye shadow.  Very similar to the Body Shop eh?  I explained to the salesperson that I'm a dunce at makeup and couldn't figure out what to do with just one pot or two pots.  I got myself an education.

Pot 1 is for the the brow line.  Ok.  I can handle that.  Pot 2 is for the lid.  Got it.  The part that completely befuddled me was that there is no pot for the crease.  I like rules.  I needed a pot so I could follow a rule of putting something in the crease!

Apparently, the trick that I didn't not think of was to merely take another swipe of shadow and lay it on thicker in the crease.  Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh.

The lesson went all fine and dandy in the store, but the true test was self application at home.  

I did a practice run on my hand to avoid the black eye look that I've unfortunately sported one too many times after trying for the elusive "smoky eye."

Then I took a good look at myself before treading where I've never trod before.

Brow color applied.  Lid swipe complete.

Is it just me or does anybody else have the not enough or too much problem?  I sweep lightly, you can barely tell I'm wearing anything.  I kick it up just one notch and it looks like I'm ready to street walk.   Sigh.

I add the second layer of Pot 2 to the creases.

Then open my eyes to find:

Not much of a difference.  I try a little more.

Now, I'm mad.  I've just spent 5 minutes in the bathroom and everything I was taught doesn't work.  I seriously think it's a problem with me.  I've got the right makeup, I've got the right brush ... user error is the common denominator of my unsuccessful makeup attempts.

I figure it looks better than nothing and the only place I was going that afternoon was the animal shelter.  Dogs are awesome in that they really don't care if you're wearing makeup or not.

Turns out kitties don't care too much either.  It still doesn't have a name, and the only thing he really cares about is if I'm wearing dangly earrings.  Ouch!

Is there hope for me in the makeup department?  Is practice the key ingredient I'm missing here?


  1. A lot of those kinds of eyeshadows don't work for me either...I think a big part of is is finding the perfect color for your skin-tone and have that be your go-to. Also, I really dig the eye makeup that's more of a cream than a powder since the powder only stays on my eyes for .2 seconds. I use Makeup Forever's Aqua cream and it's PERFECT for me. I think the key is to experiment, but if you're not sure of a product, try it out in the store yourself, wear it home, see how you like it. If it seems like a winner after wearing it for a day, go back and snag it!

  2. I am awful with eye shadow and eye makeup in general. I can never figure out how to use more than 1 color or what color to use. And then I don't even see the point of the light color that's so close to skin-tone, I think 'why bother with THAT' and they sit unused in my makeup box. 'Smokey eye' for me = 'punched in the face' or 'crack addict' eye. And like Mandy, mine just FALLS OFF after like a minute. By the time i get to work it's like I'm wearing nothing--or what i was wearing is smeared somewhere it shouldn't be. I'm like what would happen if you tried to put makeup on a 6 year old. haha. I dunno if it's practice that is needed or what, but i guess I'm just glad I'm not the only one who struggles!

  3. I'm AWFUL with makeup!! Of course, I've never put much effort into trying to learn it. :)

  4. Pardon if I send this twice. Struggles.

    It helps the color look darker (and stay on longer) if you use a damp brush (or damp finger) to apply it. It also helps the make-up go on better and stay on longer if you apply it over a thin layer of foundation or even eye cream.

    -Kate G

  5. @Mandy - I had the best duo from a Clinique giveaway with a coppery brown and sand - did wonders for my blue eyes. Then they stopped making it. Sigh.

    @Noda - You're my homegirl - Someday when we live near each other we can commiserate in person about makeup then eat beer cheese soup.

    @Kate G. - Thanks for the tips! I'll have to try that!

  6. Sometimes I feel like the eyeshadow just doesn't stick well and so it doesn't look like i'm wearing any. I know MAC eyeshadow is really good, so maybe it's the brand?

  7. Try using your finger! I find it picks up a better amount of shadow than a brush or sponge tip. You've inspired me to tackle the bane of my makeup existence: liquid eyeliner.

  8. @kelsey, I'll have to give it a try

    @Ellie, I don't apply that too well either, but sometimes when I'm trying to be "fancy," I'll attempt it!

  9. I have the trick! Get the Urban Decay eye primer. I was totally skeptical and a coworker told me it was a must for eye makeup. And guess what?! It really stays put...even that pencil liner that inevitably ends up on the wrong side of my eyelid.

  10. Ok, I am not a makeup expert but I'll chime in with my 2 cents!

    I definitely think that the brand of eyeshadow/makeup makes a difference! For some things, the brands you can buy at Target or whatnot are great (ex - I buy Maybelline loose powder for my face, Neutrogena foundation, etc). However, I have never had much luck with eye shadow for some reason. I've never tried Sephora's eye shadow before though, so I have no idea how good it is! Anyway, I always end up buying MAC eye shadows. I apply them with brushes, and they go on smooth and creamy, even though they are technically powder. And dang it, they last forever! Love it.

    The other thing I was thinking about with the application was: what kind of brush are you using? I know what you mean with wanting to make the crease darker, even if you're using the same color in the crease and the lid. I always use a crease brush: do you have one? - I can't live without one now...the tight, short bristles really help I think!

    Ok, I just wrote a novel. Sorry!!!

  11. @Christine and @Katie - thanks for your suggestions ladies! I was trying to avoid anymore potions and tools, but looks like I may need to keep experimenting to figure out a better solution