Colorful Metallic Shadow

Sparkling, light-reflective shadow is the fun friend you invite when you’re ready to have a good time. Just a few dabs on your eyelids will instantly amp up your look and take it from “plain” to “party.” It’s minimal effort with maximal reward. “What I like about metallic eyeshadow is that it’s a small effect, but with a big effect,” says makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, founder of Kjaer Weis. And new formulations mean it looks even better than before. “Modern metallics go on more smoothly,” says Marc Reagan, director of global education, artistry and events at Hourglass. “And they actually give the illusion of a smoother eyelid.”

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What the Pros Know

Get ready for primetime. “When I use a cream eyeshadow, I always prime the eyelids first, so that the shadow doesn’t crease too fast,” Kjaer Weis says. “That’s just the nature of creams.”

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Press here. “The beauty of metallic shadows is they really allow you to play up that light-reflecting factor,” Reagan says. “And if you just simply dust yours on with light strokes, or you just use broad sweeping motions, you're not going to get that impact.” Instead, he suggests pressing your shadow into your lid with your finger or a brush, using a stippling motion. “You need the metallic to build on itself,” Reagan says, “in order to get that full payoff.”

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Stay below the fold. “I don't know if metallic shadow all the way to the browbone is a good look in person,” Kate Synnott, beauty creative director at Róen. “It can come across a little bit scary.” Instead, she applies metallic shadow only from lashline to crease, then blends it out.

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Pick one. “I’m not a fan of metallic eyeshadow with a red lip,” Synnott says. “I think it's a little overpowering.” In this either/or situation, “It’s more beautiful to have one strong focus.”