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Eyeshadow for Beginners

admanbadmanb unionize your workplaceSeattle, WARegistered User regular
I’m looking to pick up an eyeshadow starter kit for someone who’s never really used it before. From what I’ve gathered I’ll need a primer, the eyeshadow itself, eyeliner, and brushes.

Is there anything I’m missing and does anyone have recommendations for good all-around starters? I’m probably not looking to spend over $100 and would prefer to order online.

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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited March 2023
    You have the right basic ingredients listed, but one thing you forgot: eye makeup remover. A lot of eye makeup stuff is waterproof, so you'll need to buy something to get it off at the end of the day. Potentially, someone might consider brow tools as part of the eyeshadow "team", but you don't actually have to do anything with your brows unless you're looking to be a makeup artist or doing wedding makeup. Also brow stuff can be confusing if you're just starting out, so probably best to leave it. It's more of an "add on" than a basic necessity of eye makeup.

    I don't know of any "kit" you can buy with all the pieces, though honestly that sounds like a great idea and I'm surprised no one has thought of packaging something like that already.

    If you're just looking for items that do the job, the good news is that drugstore brands of makeup work just as well as the high-end brands you pay hundreds for from Sephora. However I do NOT recommend buying any "knock off" brands you can buy on Amazon or Wish, since a) the product just won't work as well and b) these are eyes we're talking about, you don't want to purchase something that you don't know what testing the product went through.

    You haven't mentioned the skin tone of the person, but I think in general skin tone doesn't matter as much for eye primer - eye primers are always lighter in color than the skin to make the shadow you put on top "pop" better, so a darker skinned person should be fine with the light colors that are available with primer. If the person is very pale-skinned, though, this might require more consideration, since a lot of primers may be darker than a very pale skin.

    The unfortunate part of buying making for anyone - including when you're buying it yourself I should add - is that some parts of the process are highly dependent on how your skin acts and will probably require some trial and error for the person trying it out. For example, do you know if they have dry skin, oily skin, or combo skin? This doesn't matter as much for the shadow and the brushes, but the primer is a lot like foundation or concealer, and the delivery method may need to be changed based on the skin's oiliness of lack of it. Some people even use concealer for primer, and find it works better than just buying primer!

    This is a makeup artist I really enjoy, who is doing a makeup look of 100% drugstore makeup and using drugstore brushes, to give you some ideas:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8vQK5boqPc&ab_channel=Youkeyy

    Youkeyy does a lot of amazing work on her brows, but again I find that part to be entirely optional. She uses concealer for the eye primer in this video, and the brand - Black Opal - does appear to be formulated for darker skin tones, so you depending on who you're buying for that may not work. Personally I do like stick concealer/primers like the one she uses, but most primers come in liquid form.

    Hopefully all of that didn't confuse you too much! Here's a list of what I might by for myself on this front. My skin is pale olive, but not ultra pale. I'd call it average fair skin, somewhere smack dab in the middle of the fair skin curve.

    Primer: LA Girl Pro High Definition Concealer, Porcelain - $5.49 or
    L. A. Girl Pro Primer Eyeshadow Stick, Nude - $3.99

    Brushes: MODA Pro 5pc Deluxe Eye Makeup Brush Kit - $11.99

    Eye liner: L'Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, Black - $10.99

    Basic eye shadow palette: E.L.F. Cosmetics Bite Size Eyeshadow Palette, Truffles - $3.00

    Deluxe eye shadow palette: NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Ultimate Shadow Palette, Warm Neutrals - $14.52

    Both of the above palettes are filled with different shades of neutral colors, which is a good place to start for a beginner, because adding more vibrant colors can be really tricky. That said, leaving the more loud colors out can also make it boring, and the whole point is to experiment even if you don't necessarily wear it outside for others to see! So here's a palette with more colors. The important thing to remember is that you still need at least a few basic neutrals in order to be able to wear the colors.

    Vivid pigments eye shadow palette: Makeup Revolution Forever Flawless Eyeshadow Palette, Bird of Paradise or Good Vibes Hype - $15.00

    Of the two I mentioned, I personally prefer Good Vibes Hype because it comes with a few neutrals so you don't have to have a separate palette for that.

    Eye make up remover: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water - $12.99

    Edit: I was also going to say something about "there are books on how to do eye makeup!" because that's how I first learned, there was a book about makeup kicking around my house that my older sisters had bought, and I read it in secret to learn how. But that was the 80s/90s and we have the internet now. So there's guaranteed to be hundreds of Youtube "how to" videos, or if you prefer having a graphic to show you how there are just as many if not more blogs with step-by-step instructions, almost certainly. I don't have any on hand because as I said, I used an old ass book from the 80s called "makeup for brunettes" that's probably still tucked away at my parents' house somewhere.

    Cambiata on
    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    One more thing to mention, and that is that it's a guarantee that whatever you buy for this person, some of it will work and some of it won't, that's the nature of starting out with skin products. So if it turns out something like, "I loved the palette, but that eye primer fucking sucked" that doesn't mean you bought a terrible product and you need to feel bad, that just means this particular product won't work for this particular face, and they need to try some others out. The others they try out need not be expensive, either, as there are drugstore versions of every Instagram-famous makeup on the market. They'll just need to keep trying stuff out until they find the formulation that works for them.

    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Ok sorry to keep adding, but there's another thing I thought about. When you're first looking at eyeshadow, you kind of want the big giant palettes with 15+ colors like a kid wanting the big box of crayons. It's seductive, they look pretty! What you find on a normal day, though, is that you end up using 3 colors from the palette until they disappear, and barely use any of the more adventurous colors. If you do use the others, it's maybe once to try them out and never again. Also, the big palettes don't easily fit in a pocket or purse. So while a giant palette is fun as a gift, the smaller 3 or 4 color palette is the thing someone into eye makeup will use every single day. It's often much more useful for the average person to get something like the elf bite size eyeshadow palette in three different shades (like getting the Açai You and Berry Bad palettes along with a pure neutral palette) than to get a big 15 shade palette with a bunch of colors you probably won't use.

    Add to this that you're supposed to throw away eye makeup every three months for hygiene reasons, and that makes the big palettes even more impractical.

    I can't fail to add that the big palettes are still very fun and if you're giving this as a gift the person will be excited about the big palette. It just might be better to include the smaller palette too, for useability's sake.

    Edit: And elf isn't the only company to make the small sized palettes. Here's an example of a Maybelline palette and a L'Oreal palette, both have more varieties of colors but are more than twice the cost of the elf palette. Elf is the first that came to mind because it's somewhat internet-popular for being good quality, inexpensive, and 100% vegan. I do like that the Maybelline palette has words telling you what color goes on what part of the eye.

    Cambiata on
    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Man, I completely forgot about mascara, that's also part or of eyeshadow, IMO. I forgot about it because I haven't worn any for a while, it irritates my eyes too much. But I'll be honest, I don't think it matters that much which brand of mascara you get as long as you get one that's made in a country you trust to have food and safety regulations. This one is supposed to be good and is $5. And if you do mascara, you also need an eyelash curler - here's a $3 one. It's hard to get an eyelash curler wrong so you if you can find one for $1 it'll be fine, again just as long as it isn't from a source that might include lead or radioactive material or something. So don't get it off of Wish or Shein.

    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    CelloCello Registered User regular
    To be honest, I got by without primer for a pretty long time because I didn't apply too much shadow. It's probably the thing you can skimp on if you're just trying to learn the basic techniques first at home and aren't wearing it out - I find it's imperative now as I apply brighter colours and my eyelid folds tend to cause some discolouration, but you can also get vivid application by using a wet brush.

    At first you might want to stick to lining with shadow as well. Proper eyeliner can be a little disheartening to learn at first because it takes quite a bit of dexterity. When you do graduate to it, my personal favourite is the Stila Stay All Day black pen eyeliner. Much easier to use than a brush or pencil applicator, and much easier to create smooth lines with.

    Colourpop is also a generally affordable brand with fun tie-ins and small palettes. I've really enjoyed those lately.

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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Cambiata's posts make me miss that Quality Post thread we used to have here.

    I can't add anything except say that my daughter who has very sensitive skin is fine with Cover Girl or e.l.f.

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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2023
    Cello wrote: »
    To be honest, I got by without primer for a pretty long time because I didn't apply too much shadow. It's probably the thing you can skimp on if you're just trying to learn the basic techniques first at home and aren't wearing it out - I find it's imperative now as I apply brighter colours and my eyelid folds tend to cause some discolouration, but you can also get vivid application by using a wet brush.

    You're right that it's not really a necessity. But if you watch any amount of Youtube MUAs, they will use the primer for flashy techniques like a cut crease. It's just a neat thing to have if you want to play around. Someone uninterested in trying the flashier stuff will be fine without it**.

    **Unless they suffer from hyperpigmentation, then it'll be a necessity.
    When you do graduate to it, my personal favourite is the Stila Stay All Day black pen eyeliner. Much easier to use than a brush or pencil applicator, and much easier to create smooth lines with.

    Agreed that felt-tip pen eyeliner applicators are the best. They're the only kind I can use with any sort of success.

    The "drugstore dupe" of that Stila product is: e.l.f. H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen. Stila is $12, elf's version is $7, so it's not that much of a price diff, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

    I actually, genuinely, want to get an eyeliner tattoo. Because I love the look of eyeliner but it's still hard for me to put on. And will only get worse as I get older and have less steady hands!

    Cambiata on
    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Feels measly to just say this was all super helpful, but it certainly was! Thank you!

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    CelloCello Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Cello wrote: »
    To be honest, I got by without primer for a pretty long time because I didn't apply too much shadow. It's probably the thing you can skimp on if you're just trying to learn the basic techniques first at home and aren't wearing it out - I find it's imperative now as I apply brighter colours and my eyelid folds tend to cause some discolouration, but you can also get vivid application by using a wet brush.

    You're right that it's not really a necessity. But if you watch any amount of Youtube MUAs, they will use the primer for flashy techniques like a cut crease. It's just a neat thing to have if you want to play around. Someone uninterested in trying the flashier stuff will be fine without it**.

    **Unless they suffer from hyperpigmentation, then it'll be a necessity.
    When you do graduate to it, my personal favourite is the Stila Stay All Day black pen eyeliner. Much easier to use than a brush or pencil applicator, and much easier to create smooth lines with.

    Agreed that felt-tip pen eyeliner applicators are the best. They're the only kind I can use with any sort of success.

    The "drugstore dupe" of that Stila product is: e.l.f. H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen. Stila is $12, elf's version is $7, so it's not that much of a price diff, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

    I actually, genuinely, want to get an eyeliner tattoo. Because I love the look of eyeliner but it's still hard for me to put on. And will only get worse as I get older and have less steady hands!

    Oh for sure, primer becomes a must-have later! But if this is someone just trying makeup to see if they like using it, it's probably the least vital thing for when you start out, you know? It'll up your game dramatically, but if the budget prevents you from getting a broader range of colours in a palette, I think it's probably less vital when you're just starting. Some folks can get by with just using moisturizer as a primer stage! Not me though...

    Steam
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    GizzyGizzy i am a cat PhoenixRegistered User regular
    edited April 2023
    If they use a liquid foundation or concealer, that can also double as eye primer.

    Also a trick to eye liner .. if they accidentally smudge it or make the line go all funky - you can use eye shadow to disguise any mistakes. It might turn into a smoky eye more glamorous than intended look, but sometimes I'm too lazy to wash it off and start over.

    Gizzy on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Surprising maybe no one, the person I was getting the makeup for was in fact myself. Things I have learned:

    1. Pretty sure I’m still a cis male but I really like looking a bit femme. This explains… a few things.
    2. Eyeshadow isn’t that hard! It goes on easy and is extremely forgiving. The one thing that gets me is that if something spills over I have no way to apply my (to use miniature painting lingo) base coat over it.
    3. Both the primers I got were too dark for me, but I haven’t noticed an issue with that. I assume it’s altering the tones of the shadow somewhat but I’m not discerning enough to tell.
    4. Eyeliner is a real bitch. I was finally figuring out hand positioning and movements for it when my pen just started bleeding like crazy. It’s pretty weird to apply a line, blink, and see a cm-wide streak of ink through my eye and down my face. And I’m sure you can guess what happened to anything I put on my waterline. Not sure what made it suddenly decided to both bleed like crazy and not be waterproof but I hope it stops.
    5. Somehow after that it’s still the second-hardest thing to clean off.
    6. The first hardest thing was a gold glitter out of a Nyx palette. Looked gorgeous; never left.

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    CelloCello Registered User regular
    edited April 2023
    If you want more tips or suggestions feel free to stop by the SE fashion thread! Less often updated since the pandemic but we still love to make recommendations. I presume the QUILTBAG thread will also be happy to help if you're more comfortable there.

    Eyeliner is one of those things where you get enough practice and suddenly bam, muscle memory! I had several rough raccoon eye days at the grocery store in my early days, but those too shall pass if you stay consistent and keep practicing.

    The primer sometimes will colour match better once you have a proper foundation (especially if it's more of a full coverage/cream type imo). The foundation might also serve a bit of the "base coat" fix you're looking for - though sometimes you fuck up enough to decide it's time to start over.

    Also which liner pen was it? I'd be surprised about if it was a Stila, I've had the tips degrade but never explode. Hmm.

    Cello on
    Steam
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Foundation is probably a ways away if ever... :D I did get a Nyx Eyeshadow Base that's a bit lighter in shade. Though it's also just... heavier? Like I can feel it affecting my movement when I use the muscles around my eyes.

    The liner pen was the e.l.f. H20 proof. I wouldn't say it exploded so much as it was letting out a lot more than I wanted. Maybe I shook it too much? I don't think the pen is unusable but I haven't tried it since then.

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    Super NamicchiSuper Namicchi Orange County, CARegistered User regular
    As an emerged trans woman I am uniquely qualified to give makeup advice! Please feel free to DM me any specific questions

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Eyeliner went on without issue this time.

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