10 Simple Reasons Why Your Eye Shadow Sucks

You put all that effort into doing your makeup, and you come away with a not-so-stellar eye shadow look. It’s not blended right. The color is muddy. You look like a raccoon.

No one wants that.

Haven’t figured out why your eye shadow sucks yet? You may find the reason (or multiple reasons) in this list.

10 Reasons Why Your Eye Shadow Sucks

  1. You don’t practice enough. Like with anything else in life, practice make perfect. That applies to your eye shadow skills. To get better, try new techniques and practice, practice, practice.
  2. The eye shadow’s gone bad. Makeup expires. While I’ve come to find that there are no set time-frames for eye shadow expiration (though some people disagree), your stuff will eventually get icky and not work right. If your shadow doesn’t budge from the pan anymore, has turned to a white, flaky mess or has a weird smell, stop using it.
  3. You use crappy applicators. Using the sponge applicator that came with your shadow? Stop that right now! Put down that terrible wand! Most of those applicators just plain suck. Buy a nice eye shadow brush instead. If you have a limited budget, e.l.f. has nice brushes for cheap.
  4. You’re stuck in a rut. If you do the same eye shadow look every day, you’re doing it wrong. Promise me you’ll do something different tomorrow. Pinky swear!
  5. You don’t understand the color wheel. Some colors go well together. Complementary colors like purple and yellow look great. Colors like brown and green, not so much so. Familiarize yourself with complementary colors. They’re your new best friends.
  6. You aren’t working with what you’ve got. Did you know that there are different eye shadow techniques for people with large, round eyes compared to almond eyes? Or eyes that are close together or far apart? Accent what makes your eyes special. Glamour has a really good article on this very subject.
  7. You use only one color. A great eye shadow look involves expert blending, but when you only use one color, there’s nothing to blend it with. The magic number is 3, though you can also get away with using just 2 colors. Just as long as you have a way to blend out the colors!
  8. You’re using cheap shadow. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. While not always the case, some cheaper drugstore eye shadow isn’t worth the pan it was pressed into. Before handing over your dollar, look up a review of the brand. If people say it’s crappy, avoid it. In the end, poorly made eye shadow doesn’t blend well and isn’t pigmented enough. That means it sucks.
  9. You’re not appropriate for the occasion. As beautiful as a dark, glittery, smoky eye can be, you probably shouldn’t wear it to a business meeting. Make sure you’re choosing a look that’s appropriate. Though, keep in mind: it’s also okay to go out of the box a bit if that’s your personal style.
  10. You don’t have good technique. After all, you can’t be good at something if you never learned how to do it in the first place. Ask friends for help, check out makeup tutorials on blogs, or get a free makeup consultation at a department store beauty counter.

Which of these are you guilty of? Have any more to add to the list?


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  1. First and foremost, I’m guilty of not practicing enough.

    I’ve got to admit that the amount of advice out there has overwhelmed me: I have so many tutorials saved and bookmarked I don’t know where to begin!
    It’s better than not having anything (I’m truly thankful for all the YouTube videos and makeup blogs), but it can get a bit too much.

    • Hi, Ana!

      You know what you should do? Have a quick glance at all those tutorials you saved, and choose the one that jumps out at you the most. Then, try that out. I know it can be overwhelming, so you should just take it one step at a time. 😀

  2. I agree with everything, especially n.3. I used to do my makeup with sponge applicators in high school and it was awful. Then, I tried using brushes and wow. A good brush designed for the job makes a huge difference. Application is easier and better.

  3. LOL I suck at not even applying eyeshadow in the first place because I choose sleep. Definitely agree that practice and looking at tutorials helps a lot. Love that little frowny face over the eyeshadow pan 🙂

  4. I am so bad at this, but I LOVE MAKEUP. I splurge on expensive stuff. I am great at applying everything BUT eyeshadow. I cant get both eyes to look even. I get so mad, Idk how to blend it either. Cuz if I blend it, then the color starts to fade. It begins to look awful. Though I do this every single day. So I am a person who sticks to lighter colors. Pinks lavender and light brown. It bugs me Id love to do an amazing smoky eye. I think I should start buying MAC shadow. Cuz eyeshadow is the ONLY thing I dont splurge on. All my other products are Urban Decay Benefit Tarte Bare Minerals MAC Anastasia. And Id have to say my eyeshadows are BH cosmetics and cheap old drug store stuff. I have good brushes, but I just plain suck. This article is helpful tho I think I should take a class cuz a lot of tutorials arent so helpful. Does anyone have suggestions on which brands to use?!

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