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The Deconstruction Zone: Redefining Eyeshadow Application

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If this post is read elsewhere, it has been stolen.*

Some of you may have read my Definitive Eyeshadow Guide posts to further understand how eyeshadow and the anatomical structure of the eyes work.  I may be repeating myself in this post but we are all different and if you didn't understand what was written before, maybe you will understand this one.  This post and the others will redefine eyeshadow application a bit, allow you to see how eyeshadow really works with the shape of your eyes.

I bet when you buy eyeshadows, you are envisioning a certain look.  Let's take for example Aldona (from Working Beauty).  You buy a great palette of colors and think, I want my eyes which look boring without this palette to transform my eyes into the lovely wide-open look ones.

Non-Made Up Eyes

Hopeful Transformation

Excited with the new set of colors, you apply the colors hoping for a transformation.  This is the look you end up with instead.

Application Makes Eyes Not Quite Right

Possibly, it is the same look you had with the 900 other palettes you bought before.  It isn't the fault of the palette.

It all has to do with rethinking or even forgetting how eyeshadow is applied.

As Aldona mentioned in this post, "I almost have to turn OFF my brain, and just believe that it will turn alright. I have to forget what I think to know about make-up."

You probably think of eyeshadow application in the following way.

The Usual Eyeshadow Application Thought Process

But what happens if you apply eyeshadow like this? Well, what you saw above.  Your eyes probably ended up looking smaller than they were, more closed in.  Then, you try to compensate by applying more eyeliner which in turn will make you look like you are aiming for the smoky eye look.

So, what are you not getting?  Let's take a 3/4 view of the eye.  Looks fine, right?  Well, there is an entire area that has to be considered and that is the side.

Think Outside the Box

The side is important, as I mention many times, it draws the eyes back and up, creating that illusion of depth.  This is the area where most of the mistakes happen.  And, they happen because you do have to turn off your brain.

How do you reprogram your brain?  Think of your eyes in term of the following pictures.


When I see eyes, I don't think in terms of lid, crease, and brow bone anymore.  I think of the orbital ridge (not the crease) as the middleground of the eyes, the lid as the foreground, and the brow bone as the background of the eyes.

Let's not to forget the sides of the eyes.  These divide the eye area from the rest of the face.

Define & Divide

Is it easy to think this way?  Probably not, especially when every beauty book simplifies eyeshadow application in generic terms of lid, crease, and brow bone for every generic shaped eyes.

Remember, it is possible to go from the usual eye look to something like the look Aldona did below, without the help of any makeup artist.  It just takes some beauty re-wiring!


Next, post will explain everything more in depth.  Stay tuned!!

*Special thanks again to Aldona!!*



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