One makeup strategy that never goes out of style is a natural eyeshadow look. It pairs as perfectly with a T-shirt and jeans as it does with an evening gown, and depending on the other makeup you wear with it, natural eyeshadow looks can be a statement all on their own.
When creating a classic natural eyeshadow look, celebrity makeup artist Sarah Egan says it should consist of matte and lightly shimmery neutral shades.
“I always carry a mix of opaque and transparent beiges, browns, and caramel colors to blend on my clients to give them a natural, yet elevated eye,” she says. Crème and powder eyeshadows work, too. “Ultimately, the type of eyeshadow you choose comes down to personal preference.”
Sarah Egan is a celebrity makeup artist who serves as the makeup department head for various talk shows.
Elaina Badro is a celebrity makeup artist and founder of an eponymous beauty brand.
Danessa Myricks is a celebrity makeup and CEO and founder of Danessa Myricks Beauty.
So, if you need natural eyeshadow inspiration, here are our favorite celebrity looks.
Halsey’s natural eyeshadow look is perfect for a casual day and a simple, elegant nighttime look. Her eyeshadow is kept neutral and light, with the focus on her eyelashes. Celebrity makeup artist Elaina Badro says her natural look features a soft pop of coral pink—Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Melon Sorbet ($29) is the perfect light coral-pink shade—and naturally combed-through brows for less of a filled-in look.
Basic Lined Eye
Tracee Ellis Ross’ signature natural no-makeup makeup look consists of a neutral-toned lid accented with a semi-thick stripe of eyeliner. Keeping her lids light and natural places attention on her classic red lip and fluttery lashes. Danessa Myricks, CEO and founder of Danessa Myricks Beauty, says using flesh-toned colors on the eye, like Danessa Myricks Groundwork Palette ($65), is a must for a barely-there natural eyeshadow look. “You can even take the look a step further by tightlining the upper lash line.”
Just a Touch of Glam
“Giselle’s look is incredibly natural, with the eyes and lips being the focus,” Egan says. To recreate Gisele’s natural eye, Egan recommends using a neutral shade of shadow close to your skin tone and lightly blending it halfway up the eyelid toward the eyebrow. “Then, blend a slightly pink or cream shade into the center of the eyelid and blend outward. Take a dark brown eyebrow pencil and lightly line the lash line, stopping at the end of the lashes (you don’t want a cat eye). Finally, finish with a few coats of natural mascara, such as Hi Beautiful You BE YOU MASCARA Lash Extension Treatment Mascara ($29).”
Shimmery Rust Lids
Shimmery shadows can lend more of a natural eyeshadow look when the color is muted, and the glitter factor is subtle, like Leslie Mann’s makeup. “Rimming her eyes in a shimmery rust tone allows her blue eyes to pop,” Badro says. “You can apply Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Deep Bronze ($30) with the Elaina Badro Smudger brush ($15). Rub the shadow from left to right on the lid and beneath the lash line to recreate Leslie’s eye makeup look.”
Soft Golden Wash of Color
Natural-looking eye makeup isn’t relegated to flesh-toned colors. While Kylie Jenner’s eyeshadow look is a bit more dramatic than typically thought of natural eyeshadow look, Egan says it uses a mix of browns to achieve a slightly smoky eye. “White eyeliner rims the inner corners of each eye, and multiple coats of three coats of mascara helps define the lashes.”
Glam Goes Neutral
According to Badro, many women opt out of wearing natural eyeshadow looks with evening gowns, but Hailey Bieber pulls it off. “There is a softly winged-out brown liner, which keeps the look on her eyes soft. The eyeshadow is matte. MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown ($23) is a good option and pressing it into the lash line allows it to stay longer as a powder eyeliner.”
Barely There Eyeshadow
Margot Robbie’s almond-shaped eyes complement every type of eyeshadow look, be it more natural, glamorous, or totally over the top. Her eye makeup is monochromatic, featuring skin tone shadows, for a barely-there look. “The orangey lipstick complements her blue eyes,” Badro adds.
Model Bar Refaeli’s natural eyeshadow look is “very toned down for the evening,” according to Badro. There’s no winged eyeliner and little, if any, mascara for a fresh-faced look.
Natural Goddess Glam
Myricks says Naomi Campbell plays up her features with neutral-toned makeup, making everything appear natural. Even though her eyeshadow, which features a shimmery brown-purple shade and a pop of subdued gold in the inner corners, takes center stage, her clean skin complements it perfectly.
Badro calls Rihanna’s natural eyeshadow look very clean and polished. “To further play up the eyes in a makeup look like this, add a bit of Victoria Beckham Lid Lustre in Mink ($36) across the lid and beneath the lash line. Pair it with false lashes, which will ramp up this look.”
Amanda Seyfried’s Old Hollywood makeup adds a hint of definition to her beautiful eyes with a brown liquid eyeliner that’s ever so slightly smoked out and a nude eyeshadow and fluttery lashes. Keeping the eyes more on the natural side without being boring lets her red lip shine.
With an overall classic yet simple makeup look, the focus is on Jennifer Lawrence’s demurely lined upper lids, which feature black liquid eyeliner and a light wash of brown-taupe eyeshadow. The eyeshadow blends seamlessly with her upper lids without any dark shadow placement in the socket or outside the eye parameter, keeping the look soft and timeless. A cherry red matte lip is the perfect finishing touch.
Lots of Lash
Natural eyeshadow looks allow for the eyelashes to take center stage. Here, Tiffany Haddish pairs a thick, curled strip lash try Sephora Collection Vegan False Eyelashes ($10), with a dark natural greige lid, which perfectly complements her fall. Badro says the look is great for fall and works well for her.
Marvelous in Mauve
Vanessa Hudgens shows off a different take on the classic natural eyeshadow look. “She’s wearing a matte, mauve eyeshadow applied just above the crease and blended downward into the crease and toward the end of the eyes,” Egan says. She recommends using a neutral mauve color that matches your skin tone and blending it into the eyelid to create a similar look. “Then, use liquid eyeliner and apply liner to the lash line, preferably by tightlining it underneath your lashes. Blend the liner outward to create a small smudge and finish with one coat of mascara.”
Simply Bronzed and Beautiful
For a natural bronzed eye with a little more dimension like Jennifer Lopez, Egan says to apply a matte bronze shade just above the crease, blending it in. Then, she recommends using a clean brush to blend a slightly darker color upward and into the inner and outer corners of the eyes. “Add dark brown eyeliner to the lower and upper lash line and it toward the corner of the eye with a brush. Pair this eye look with a simple bronzed cheek and nude lip lined with a liner.
Jennifer Connelly’s simple yet sophisticated makeup consists of a matte brown eyeshadow that Egan says is likely applied with a fluffy eyeshadow brush in the outer crease and blended outward and toward the center of the eyelid and a light cream-colored eyeshadow on the center of the lid. The lash line boasts a bit of blended color, and the upper lash line is rimmed with black liquid eyeliner. “Pair the look with a slightly pink or mauve lipstick with just a hint of shine.”
Center Stage Lashes
A strong lash deserves a more neutral eyeshadow look to prevent them from competing. Although Michelle Yeoh’s eyelashes are drama to the max, she wears a neutral eyeshadow color on the lid and doesn’t pull it above the natural crease, allowing the makeup style to work.
With bold brows and a demure lip, Lily James’ beautiful natural eyeshadow pulls together this sweet, romantic makeup. Her eye makeup integrates neutral tones with brown liner on the upper and lower eyelids to tie everything together. A natural yet fluttery lash further defines her eye shape while still being soft and elegant.
Makeup chameleon Kim Kardashian veers away from her signature smoky eyeshadow look and instead opts for soft bronze eyeshadow for a more bare-faced style. The lighter, more natural eyeshadow look complements her mile-long lashes, drawing the focus of her makeup to the center of her eyes. Her glossy, rosy lip is soft and harmonizes with her eyeshadow perfectly.
Back to Basics
To complement her long dark hair, Jessica Alba chooses a taupe natural eyeshadow look a few shades darker than her natural skin tone. She wears a skin-tone flattering eyeshadow rather than one with too much contrast, resulting in a far softer makeup look. The inner corners of the eyes are bare, and there’s a hint of definition with a straight line of black eyeliner on the upper eyelid.
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