Why and How To Use Orange Eyeshadow

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Guest Blogger: Elise Marquam-Jahns

A number of years before I launched my “second” career as a makeup artist who specializes in helping women over 45, I remember thinking I’d really found my holy grail all matte eye shadow palette. It had a gorgeous combination of 13 cool and warm colors, but when I spied the orange shadow in one pan of the palette, my practical Capricorn nature rebelled. I’d never dip into that color, so would it really be worth it to purchase this palette?

Well, I did purchase it. But I never did dip into that orange eye shadow. A year or so after I “hit pan” on most of the colors (except orange) and purchased the same palette for a second time, I decided it was time to break out of my comfort zone. With a great deal of hesitation, I dipped my eye shadow brush into a mid-tone cool brown and then dabbed the orange eyeshadow to pick up just a touch of that color on my brush and blended it into the cool brown color. Then I added just a little bit more of that orange at the upper edge of the mid-tone brown in the crease area and blended well.  was quite literally stunned when I looked into the mirror. Somehow the orange had brightened my eyes without looking garish.

And that’s the very secret of orange: it brightens the eyes if placed and blended correctly.  So let’s say we’re ready to jump in to try this somewhat intimidating new color. . . where do we put it and how do we use it?  Although orange all over the eyes might be a go-to look on the fashion runways, it’s probably not the look we’d choose for everyday wear.  Instead, try this approach for a wearable, eye-brightening look: 

  1. Apply a skin-toned eye shadow primer all over the lids from the lashes to the brows to keep the eyeshadow from creasing or smudging and to cover any discoloration on the lids.
  2. After the primer dries, apply a very light dusting of translucent powder to the lids so the powder eye shadow will glide on smoothly and easily over the cream primer without any tugging. 
  3. Blend a cool or warm mid-tone matte brown into your crease (and slightly above your crease if you have hooded eyes.)
  4. Blend the crease shade well and then gradually feather it up even higher onto the lid so the color gradually fades out the higher you go.
  5. Take a small amount of matte orange, tap your brush to get rid of any excess, and place the color at the top of the heaviest area of mid-tone crease color.
  6. Blend the orange into the mid-tone brown so it’s a smooth transition from one color to the next, making sure to “fade out” the orange color as you go higher toward the brow.
  7. Apply a cream or vanilla-colored matte shadow onto your entire eyelid area (which will make your eyes look bigger) and under the arch of your brow (which will lift your eye area.)
  8. If desired, use what’s left on the brush you used for the cream colored eyeshadow to further blend the top of the orange eye shadow out (and up) and then take your brush toward the brow.
  9. If desired, add a shimmery cream or vanilla-colored eye shadow to the middle of your eyelid area and in the inner corner area of your eyes.
  10. Then add dark brown eyeliner on your upper lid (or use a dark brown eye shadow as eye liner).
  11. Put a slightly lighter shade of brown eyeliner under the eye, but only on the outer 1/3 of the eye.
  12. Finish the look by curling your eyelashes and applying mascara.

There you have it. You can amp up your look with a gorgeous orange matte eye shadow color that will give your eyes more dimension and light. I now rarely go without orange (or pink) at the top of my mid tone crease color area no matter what color eye shadow I wear. It simply brings my eyes to life. Not surprisingly, I now find myself “hitting pan” on my orange eye shadow first.

 

About The Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is an author, speaker, radio host and makeup artist. As a makeup artist, her passion is helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty which offers makeup consultations, applications, classes and makeup parties. As host of Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Blog Talk Radio Show, she interviews a wide cross section of health and wellness experts.