Blue eyeshadow makeup

How to Use Every Shade in your Eyeshadow Palette

Let’s take a moment of silence for those neglected pans; those fresh, perfectly good shades are sitting there untouched whilst their neighbours are being dug into on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon to purchase a palette you’re obsessed with to then find yourself with a couple of pesky colours you’re not sure you’ll use. Fret no more – here is our guide to using every shade in your palette collection.

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Photo credit: WeHeartIt


We’re diving in with the darkest shades: blacks and browns. Whilst you may be afraid by their deep hues, these two colours are possibly the most versatile in your palette. For using as a shadow, adding black or brown to the outer corner of your eye creates definition. You can buff it out or blend with a brighter tone, creating a gradient across your lid. If you want to get a bit more creative, grab a tiny brush and use these colours as substitutes for liner (top or bottom) or apply to your brows to fill them in.

Cara Delevingne rocking white shadow. Photo credit: WeHeartIt


White is the perfect companion to the other colours in your palette. Apply as a base colour to help make those brighter shades pop, or if you want to tone it down, try mixing with other shades to produce more mellow or pastel tones. If you have a shimmery or pearly shade in your palette, these are perfect for popping into your inner corner to help brighten your eyes.

Shailene Woodley sporting a neon shadow. Photo credit: PopSugar
Photo credit: Brydie


Don’t be scared by bright colours because orange and yellow definitely have a place in the eyeshadow colour spectrum. Orange shades beautifully compliment blue eyes (they are opposites on the colour wheel) but they look just as gorgeous on hazel, green and brown eyes. Thanks to orange’s crossover into copper shades, there are endless ways to wear them. Try a burnt smokey eye, a shimmery cat-eye or, for those of you who are daring enough, try a neon tone!

Yellow is another colour that many are hesitant to dip into. Yellow actually has a diverse range of shades that suit any skin tone. Light or pastel shades work well with fairer skin, golden yellow shades look stunning on those with a more olive-toned skin and almost any shade works well with darker skin tones, especially bold or neon!

Kendall Jenner is a dream in green. Makeup and photo credit: Mary Phillips
Photo credit: LoracCosmetics


Whilst many of you may find these colours too scary to use, greens and blues are so in right now! Thanks to inspo from red-carpets and shows such as Euphoria, these brighter colours are seeing a surge in usage. Those with light brown or hazel eyes will be amazed by how well a bit of green shadow will make your eyes pop; likewise, those with dark brown eyes will love how well blue compliments your eye colour.

Starting with green in the inner corner and buffing out to a brown on the outer lid, this will create a muted, earthy feel. Or, if you want to dive into a blue tone, dip into an electric shade and do the same technique replacing the brown with black – this is a fun alternative to the cliché grey/black smokey eye.

Photo credit: Pinterest
Photo credit: Pinterest
Photo credit: BeautyHigh


Finally, we end with pinks and purples who are also having their moment in the spotlight!

Whilst a lot of pink tones verge on the ‘neutral’ side and are usually more wearable, there has been an increase in products on the market featuring hot and Barbie-pinks. Bright pinks are great to add to your inner corner for a bit of drama and a contemporary spin on a classic look. These shades are also perfect for the trending ‘graphic liner’ look. More muted pinks are also super versatile, being a substitute for blush or highlighter (if the pan is a shimmery formula).

Purple shades can be a little tricker, but don’t leave them hanging! These shades work beautifully when well used. Bright purple shades look incredible when paired with a black winged-liner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try different looks. The best thing about purple? It totally compliments any eye colour.