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Three-Step Eye Shadow Contouring

The easiest way to give your eyes definition and make them pop is with a simple three-step contouring. With just three complimentary shades, you can make your eyes look dramatically bigger and brighter. We asked Stila makeup artist Jason Araujo to break the technique down step by step.


To ensure that your shadow doesn’t crease, fade, or move throughout the day (or the night, for that matter), start with a primer. stila’s prime pot is an easy-to-use option that comes in two colors, a light Taffy or a darker Caramel. Using your fingers, Araujo says, “Start at the lash line and diffuse the product all the way up to the brow.” Since it’s waterproof (and therefore, a drier formula), Araujo says to work quickly.

Step 1

First, apply a shadow that matches your skin tone. This will even out any discoloration in the eye area and, Araujo says, “really make all your other colors show.” Using a tapered shadow brush, press (don’t paint!) the color on, starting at the lash line and continuing all the way up to the brow.

Step 2

The next step is to apply a lighter color to the lid. Look for a shade with a little bit of shimmer, like stila’s classic champagne-toned Kitten, will brighten up your eyes. Using a blending brush, apply this shadow over your entire lid.

Step 3

The last step is to define the crease of the eyes, which will give them depth and make them pop. With a soft tapered brush, take a darker shadow like stila’s coffee-colored Coco and apply it to the deepest hollow of your eye. “Keep most of the color concentrated under the arch,” recommends Araujo, “and blend inward and down to your lash line.”

For more beauty advice from the people who know best, read other articles featuring our favorite experts.

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