How to Apply Eye Shadow Wet
I first learned about applying eye shadow wet when I looked at the back of one of my eye shadows and it said, “apply wet or dry.” I wondered what that even meant. They didn’t teach wet eye shadow application in school, after all. At least not at the non-cosmetology schools I went to.
After some experimentation and research, I’ve been able to successfully create looks by applying my eye shadow wet. While I still prefer applying it dry the old fashioned way, having this extra option really opens up how many makeup looks I can do during the week.
Applying eye shadow wet will give you more vibrant and brighter colors than the same look applied dry. Want to learn how to apply eye shadow wet? Then follow along:
What You Need
Before we get started, you’ll need to arm yourself with a few beauty essentials.
- Clean water. Position yourself near a sink or fill up a small cup with water.
- Soft, stiff-bristled brush. Brushes with less-hard bristles will become floppy and useless when coated with water, so go with something stiffer.
- Eye shadow that’s wet-approved. Not all eye shadow can be applied wet. This is mostly the case with cheaper, inexpensive brands. Look on the back of your eye shadow to see if it can be used wet. If it doesn’t say there, look on the product website as well. If you don’t look ahead of time, you may end up ruining your eye shadow.
That’s it. You don’t need any special product. Some people use a mixing medium instead of straight up water, but that’s a cost that you don’t need to spend.
1. Wet the Brush
When you apply eye shadow wet, you wet the brush and not the eye shadow.
Dip your brush into a cup or stream of clean water. take it out and squeeze the excess water out into a clean facial tissue.
How wet your brush is can vary based on the look you want. For the best blending, make sure that it is slightly damp, but not soaked. Experiment with varying levels of wetness to find the right one for you.
2. Rub the Brush in the Eye Shadow
When working with pressed eye shadow, rub the wet brush into the color. Check the brush head to see if you have enough shadow. When working with loose pigment, gently dip the brush into the powder until there is a small amount on the bristles. A wet brush will pick up more color than a dry brush.
Once you’re satisfied with how much color you have on your brush, it’s time to apply it to your eyelid.
3. Apply the Eye Shadow
Rub the color onto your eye much like you would with traditional dry shadow. You’ll soon find that blending is different when applying eye shadow wet. You’ll be adding color in layers rather than truly blending it together.
The application may take some getting used to. Practice with different eye looks in order to get better at blending wet eye shadow.
Rinse out your brush after every eye shadow color so you’re starting with pure color every time. Once you’re done, you will have layers of color that’s more vibrant than when you applied it dry.
Example Wet Eye Shadow Looks
Here, I applied Urban Decay eye shadow wet from the Eyeshadow Ammo Shadow Box. You can see the progression below:
Here, you can see a brighter, colorful look also applied wet using the Elite Pro Cosmetics 88 Eye Shadow Palette:
Wet-Approved Eye Shadows
Wondering if your eye shadow can be applied wet? Here’s a small list of shadows that you can definitely use for these looks.
- Elite Pro Cosmetics 88 Eye Shadow Palette, or from any of the other various brands that sell this palette.
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Ammo Shadow Box.
- Stila Charmed Eye Shadow Palette.
- Any MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow, both pressed powder and loose pigment.
If you know of any other eye shadows that have been proven to work when applied wet, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.