The Monolid Trilogy. Part 2: Eyeshadow Placement


Now that we have gone through the tools that may be helpful, it’s time to try our hands at eyeshadow placement!

step 1 primer

First, remember the primer talk? Priming your eyes with an eyeshadow primer will make everything show up and hold up much better. Besides your lids, it’s a good idea to dab a little in the inner corners and along the lower lash line (particularly around the outer corners, since that’s where what you have on the lower lash line will most likely begin to smudge).

step 2 inner half

(This demo is done with Chanel Harmonie du Soir from last year’s holiday collection. I chose it because the shades are sufficiently different to show clearly in photos. Please feel free to use whatever you want!)

Second, dab your paddle brush (I also use MAC 217 for this) in the eyeshadow, and place it on the inner half of your lid (I usually do the inner 2/3). There really is no rule as to what eyeshadow you should go for. I personally prefer shimmery eyeshadows for this purpose, as I find them brightening and making me look well-rested.

step 3 outer half

Third, place a darker shadow on the outer half (or in my case, outer third). Keep the edge of the shadow below, or along your socket line. You can stop here to blend everything out and call it a day, or you can also define your outer v.

step 4 outer v

The first part of the outer v follows the imaginary line extending from your lower lash line. Angle your brush that way and lay the color down. The second part of the outer v connects the first part to the edge of the shadow you have in your outer half. Here I also ran a bit of the outer v color along the outer half of my upper lash line.

Exactly how far should you bring the color in? If you look at the picture on the left, you might notice that I prefer to keep the darker shades to the outer third of my lid. When I look straight ahead, I want the darker colors to stay on the rim of my iris. You can bring it a bit further if you wish, but generally speaking, try not to blend it over the imaginary line extending from your pupil. Especially if you want your eyes to appear rounder and brighter, overwhelming the center of your lids with darker colors doesn’t help you achieve that purpose.

step 5 blend

Now the colors have been laid down, let’s blend (I use 217 for this)! The goal is to create a smooth gradient instead of leaving the blocks of colors as they are. If you would like more intensity, you can always go back to add some more of the darker shades (before you blend them out again).

step 6 highlight

Last but not least, don’t forget to highlight! I systematically highlight my inner corners (with MAC 219). It brings more light to my eyes and makes them appear rounder.

We’ll discuss eyeliner and mascara later, but basically you’re done with eyeshadows here! Before I show you another placement that I do often, don’t forget you can always use a cream shadow or shadow stick as a base! As long as you remember to buff the edges out, you’re good to go!

Now the second type of placement I do might be even easier.

step 1 lay color

First, choose a shade. I would say anything that is mid- or mid-to-dark toned would work (I’m using Rouge Bunny Rouge Abyssinian Catbird here). Lay that shade down all over your lid.

step 2 blend out the edges

Buff out the edges!

step 3 crease

Take your blending brush and dab it into a shade that is a bit darker than your skin tone (you can also use a much darker shade if you want your look to turn out very intense). Blend that shade into the outer v area that we talked about. If the lid shade of your choice doesn’t blend out so easily, you can always run a blending brush with a matte shadow that’s around your skin tone along the edges. This is a good trick if you accidentally took your eyeshadows a bit higher than you wanted to!

step 4 highlight

Highlight your inner corners with a shade that coordinates with the lid shade (I picked the coppery gold that I used as my lid shade for the first demo). Pick some of the color up with your paddle brush, and place it in the center of your lid. This will help brighten your eyes some more and create dimension!

step 5 eyeliner

A little eyeliner (I’ll explain everything next time) later…

step 6 mascara

You’re done! Easy peasy! You can get a lot of drama if you use darker shades, especially on the outer corner. Here is an example of a this placement with different eyeshadows.

That’s it for today! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I hope this is helpful!

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

  • nonno

    That’s very clear and simple, esp the outer v placement! You’ve reminded me that eye makeup need not be complicated or dramatic. Waiting eagerly for part 3 now! :)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      I’m glad you found it helpful! You probably won’t see me sporting a teal, fuchsia, and navy blue look in real life ever. I stick to simple neutral looks 😉

  • Sara_BeauTime

    Hi Sunny,
    such a comprehensive and nice tutorial! I love it. I think you should do more tutorials, just saying :-)
    I also love your monolid triology. I think it has very useful tricks, not just for people with monolids but also for all the others. For example I never used Primer on the inner corner and my inner corner highlight never lasts long because of my eye getting watery. You can be sure that tomorrow I will try your trick out!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Sara, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll certainly try!

      Do try some primer around your inner corners!

  • Diana

    Oh God, this never looks good on me. Next time we meet, you can show me lol.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Diana, don’t give up! Blend as if your life depended on it and it’ll work out!

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Gosh, I just find this SO interesting :-) Your eye shape is so different from mine, and so is you technique, and I find that really cool to see.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Haha I’m glad you think it’s fun!

  • Mariella (Musing on Beauty)

    i LOVE liner on monolids. Do you know Jung Saem Mool on YouTube? She’s a Korean MUA and she does fantastic tutorials on Asian models (all kinds of eye shapes and structure) with very interesting unique methods. I find it fascinating.

    • TheProcrastinator

      Jung Saem Mool is one of my favourites! I love her technique — still working on replicating it!

      • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

        I do follow her as well! It’s interesting because she does things differently!

  • TheProcrastinator

    Your second look is my everyday look! I either use bronzer or UD Naked to blend out the edges when I’ve been overenthusiastic with colour placement. I also find this tip really helpful for bright colours!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      OOO I need to try a bronzer next time! A neutral shade in the crease certainly helps to tone a bright color down!

  • Jacqueline Ma

    For me the eyeliner is a definite must, thanks for the lovely tutorial my dear. You choice of colours are gorgeous as always.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Jacqueline! I always do some eyeliner as well. That’ll come in the third part!

  • Memoiselle

    Love the second look, Sunny! You blend the shades very well. Love it!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Meryl! Abyssinian Catbird is really easy to blend!

  • Liz

    Nice tips! This is more or less how I do my eyes when I bother with multiple shadows. But I never think to apply primer on the inner corners or undereye because I rarely put anything in those areas. Will have to try that next time I go heavier on eye makeup!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Liz, I systematically highlight my inner corners and line my lower lash line, so I always prime those areas too 😉

  • Jenni @ lifeandlensofbeauty

    wow i love that green!! the second look is gorgeous!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks so much, Jenni! Abyssinian Catbird is a real stunner!

  • Strawbry_Blonde

    So clever – love the finished look!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Thanks, Nic! I often slack off and use one to two shade nowadays though LOL

  • Lily

    THAT RBR eyeshadow is gorgeous!!!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      It is! It’s such a chameleon!

  • Larie

    I find that primer on the lower lashline helps a lot, too, but I’m lazy so I don’t always apply shadow there in the first place. Also, I tend to poke myself in the eye a lot when I try it, LOL.

    I really love the shape you created with shadows and placement! Very nice, Sunny!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Ouch that sounds painful! Thanks so much, Larie! 😉

  • Kristen / Glambunctious

    I’ve really enjoyed these monolid posts for learning purposes! I have hooded eyes which can present their own array of trouble, so it’s interesting to learn how one works with eye makeup on a monolid. Also, how did we ever live without primer?!? I use primer even if I don’t wear shadow just to keep my lids crease-free should they get oily! Applying shadow without primer now seems crazy!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Aww thanks, Kristen! I’m glad to hear you enjoy them! I have NO idea how I lived without primers, either! I think I used to over-apply eyeshadows in my late teens-early 20’s because I knew everything would end up fading. Not anymore!