Expert Tips: How Not to Be Foiled By Metallic Eyeshadow

Kristin Booker

Alice & Olivia

We’re admittedly big fans of high-impact makeup around here, and nothing delivers like metallic makeup. The newest advance in this category is one of our favorites, foil eyeshadow. A product that literally appears to bend and buckle like foil with a power-shine finish, we’ve been in love with the look since we spotted it on the runway at alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet for Fall 2013.

But exactly how does one use foil eyeshadow without looking like a disco car accident? We went straight to the woman who created the look for alice + olivia, Stila Cosmetics Global Creative Consultant Sarah Lucero, and got her tips and tricks to make fickle foil look fabulous.

Start with a great product: The Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow formula is really amazing: It’s appearance is very unique like gold leafing, but it feels like a cream or a mousse in texture. When you mix it with the Liquid Eye Primer that’s included with the product, it emulsifies into a liquid metal texture and appearance, and it sets like super glue. It stays where you place it, and it won’t budge or flake. It’s genius.

The thicker, the better: The appearance of the shadow has to be opaque, it has to be full coverage. You don’t want skin from your eyelid to show through, or it’ll look spotty or fractured like a sprinkle of shimmer or a frost. You want to go full force and get enough product to really cover the lid for best results.

Skip the makeup brushes: You also want to use your fingertip to apply this product. If you use a brush, the fibers will absorb all the primer and it will all dry on the brush before you can get it on your lid. Skip the brushes for this one.

MORE: Spring Beauty Trends You Can Wear Now

Try finger painting:  I use my ring finger (the pressure is lighter) to dab the product onto the back of my hand and then I tap and mix it to create the consistency I want. Starting at the center of a naked, clean eyelid, I press a good amount of the shadow formula onto the lid, then tap it out to the edges of the eye to spread and smooth the coverage and texture to a desired result. I repeat until I get the look I want.

Make it pop: I love pairing foil eyeshadow with lots of black mascara and Smudge Pot in Black or Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner just across the top lash line, and then to finish the look with a merlot, vamp-y, glossy lip. It’s one of my favorite looks. You want the lip and the eye to be really strong in color and texture, then let everything else be sort of natural and beautiful and soft. Leave the rest of the face fresh and natural so it keeps the focus on the eyes and lips. It creates balance and impact.

Don’t be afraid to mix colors: I love adding dimension with this product, so I’ll mix a few colors together to get a I like to mix the Metallic Cobalt and the Metallic Merlot shades together with a nude lip;  a touch of the blue in the corner of the eye with the merlot across the balance of the lid. looks amazing with a nude lip. Also, if you’re using the gold foil,  a touch of white in the crease will really help the look pop. Try mixing lighter and darker pigments. I love the gold with anything.

Top it off: If you want to use your regular shadows with the foil color, be sure to apply your other colors first, then use the foil shadow as a top or finishing coat. Sort of like adding great jewelry to an outfit before you go out on the town: it makes the look appear expensive and luxurious.

Image via Imaxtree