How to Wear Shimmer and Metallic Eyeshadow Like a Pro

Metallic Eyeshadow


With so many gorgeous metallic and shimmery eyeshadow palettes out there, why not rock the look every now and again? It’s a great way to show off your fun, adventurous side on a Friday night out with the girls. However, sometimes this type of eyeshadow texture can come off immature and even tacky if you’re not careful, but there are of course ways to make it chic too.

We talked to celebrity makeup artist Kristin Hilton whose work can be seen on celebrities such as Uma Thurman, Allison Williams and Jaime King. Hilton provided us with some great tips and tricks for how to pull of metallic, shimmery eye shadows so you won’t feel like an 8-year-old playing with mom’s makeup.

Hilton recommends using primer on the lid underneath the shadow. Not only will this allow for longer wear-ability, but it also keeps the colors looking vibrant. She loves Urban Decay’s Eye Primer Potion. This formula will keep your shadow crease-free and in place all day.

MORE: Crushed Metallics: Eye Makeup Essentials for Fall

Stick to two colors
Using too many colors, especially those that already have a bright texture to them, will make your eye makeup look overdone. “Mixing colors or doing a rainbow effect looks a bit dated.” Hilton recommends sticking to one or two metallic shades and no more.

Also, when choosing the metallic shades to use, Hilton suggests using shadows that have a smooth metallic sheen and have less glittery bits. “This ups the cool factor.”

Keep it on the eyelid
Sometimes bringing your shadow up above the crease of your eye makes them pop. When you’re using metallic and shimmery textures though, Hilton suggests just keeping them on the eyelid. “Bringing the colors into the crease of the eye can highlight any wrinkles or creases, so keep that color and texture in an area that won’t highlight what you prefer to hide.”

Balance out with matte shades
The metallics and shimmery shadows already have such bold textures to them, the key is to balance this out. While keeping the metallic color on the lid like suggested above, you’ll want to blend it out with a matte neutral shade to soften the makeup. This will keep the look cool and modern.

MORE: Mood Board: Mad About Metallics

Use a dense bristle concealer brush
Hilton recommends using a dense bristled concealer brush. This type of brush allows for you to pick up a proper amount of color and without much of it falling out. “You want to avoid your shimmery green shadow from falling all over your cheeks,” Hilton explains. 

She likes the MAC 242 brush the best. “The denser the brush the stronger color payoff you will get.”

And, what are the best metallic eye shadows out there?
While the tips and tricks are all great, you always need a really great product to work with to get the best results. Hilton’s favorite metallic shadow is RMS Lunar eyeshadow. “Its a gorgeous champagne pearl shimmer which if applied to anyone’s eyes can give them that bright-eyed rested look.”

She also loves Chanel Illusion DeOmbre, specifically in the color Emerville. “It’s a beautiful Rose Gold that is universal on almost all skin tones and also doubles as a great blush.”

And last, but certainly not least, Urban Decay Vice3 palette. The palette has a beautiful range of shimmery shadows paired with a few mattes, making it easier for you to balance out your textures to create the perfect bright shimmery eye makeup.