Home Makeup Eyeshadow Under Eyes – Do Or Don’t?

Eyeshadow Under Eyes – Do Or Don’t?

by Gabbi

Eyeshadow can be the most flattering component or the number one thing to go wrong in your makeup routine. You can quickly learn how to blend eyeshadow, but it can be challenging to figure out where to place your eye products to suit your eye shape.

When it comes to eyeshadow, the most important thing you need to understand is placement. When your placement is perfect, so is your eye look. In addition, what most people struggle with is whether to add makeup to the under-eye area. 

Skin concerns like dark circles, fine lines, or dehydrated skin can steer people away from using makeup or sometimes too much. Makeup is personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some tried and true methods for dealing with your under eyes.

So, eyeshadow under eyes – is it a do or a don’t? The short answer is that eyeshadow can be applied to the under-eye area to create a flattering look. However, depending on what look you’re going for, your eye shape, and your desired outcome, you’ll have to be careful how you apply it for the best results.

Eyeshadow has the power to create any illusion you desire. However, if you are not happy with your placement, it can create an unflattering finish. Regardless, there is no need to be afraid of eyeshadow. Read on if you’re ready to see if eyeshadow under the eyes is for you.

Eyeshadow Under The Eyes 

Applying eyeshadow to your under-eye area doesn’t have to be as confusing as it sounds. The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, so it’s crucial to work gently to avoid irritation. The last thing you want to do is pull and drag the skin around your eyes.

In addition, your desired makeup look can help you decide what method will work for you. For example, if you love doing a smokey, glam, or creative look, adding eyeshadow under your eyes can create a daring, bold, or captivating result.

Likewise, if you want a natural, fresh, and awake look, eyeshadow under the eyes isn’t as necessary. However, this doesn’t mean you have to leave your under-eyes free of product. There are lightweight options for the under-eye area as well, and even eyeshadow to brighten up your under eyes.

Are you still confused? Follow this quick guide below to decide if under eyeshadow is right for you!

When To Apply Eyeshadow Under Your Eyes

Applying eyeshadow to the under-eye area is beneficial when you need to complete detailed eye looks. For example, smokey eyes, graphic liners, and colorful looks can have an extra layer of depth and dimension when you add under-eye eyeshadow.

In addition, applying shadow to specific eyes shapes, especially under the eyes, can create the illusion of bigger eyes and more lid space. So, if you’re looking to develop a particular illusion with eyeshadow, you can benefit from applying it to your under eyes accordingly.

You’ll need to consider your eye shape as well. For example, while deep set eyes can benefit from under eye shadow and a light color in the waterline to bring the eyes forward, protruding eyes look best with shadow or liner on the lash-line and only minimal or subtle eyeshadow on the top of lower lid itself to draw attention upward and lengthen the eye.

You will want to work with small amounts of product at a time to avoid looking cakey or dragging your eyes down. This will also give you the most control so you can blend the eyeshadow into your ideal shape, depth, and pigment level. 

When Not To Apply Eyeshadow Under Your Eyes

Don’t apply eyeshadow to your under eyes if you are extremely sensitive or love a natural look. The under-eye area is delicate and tender, so if you use irritating products, it can potentially cause some discomfort.

If you’re trying to accomplish a fresh-face no-makeup-makeup look, leaving your under eyes free of eyeshadow can create a brightened effect. Instead, focus on brightening your under eye area with concealer and even bright eyeshadow.

Eyeshadow under the eyes isn’t always necessary, and sometimes it can pile up on the skin and make your eyes look mature or dehydrated. In addition, eyeshadow can also create an unflattering look if you choose the wrong color for your makeup.

However, other factors can contribute to deciding if eyeshadow for your under eyes will work for you. For example, what color you choose, the tools you use, placement, and technique can also make a huge impact.

Color Selection 

The eyeshadow color or shade that you choose to apply under the eye is crucial. You’ll want to avoid colors like reds, pinks, and purples because it can quickly look like your eyes are bloodshot, sick, bruised, or tired. 

These shades can look good when applied correctly, but beginners should avoid them until they are comfortable with blending and placement. 

Neutrals like beige, taupe, or brown can be easily blended, and it won’t make a big difference if you mess up.

Black eyeshadow can also be tricky to work with. It can be beautiful, but it’s one of the most challenging shades to blend seamlessly. In addition, black eyeshadow can quickly make you look like a raccoon if you overdo it.

Choose a color that will help you understand what placement looks best for your eye shape and is blendable or easy to touch up.


The under-eye area is tiny and compact. So, you will want to work in small sections to avoid dragging down your eye. 

First, you can start by applying eyeshadow with a detailing brush and at the closest point to your lash root. This will ensure that you place the shadow exactly on your under eyes and not your dark circles. 

Then, you can take a small blending brush and slowly smoke out the lower lash line. This is how anyone can add eyeshadow to the under eyes. Once you feel comfortable with this method, you can start creating new shapes to accentuate your eyes.

Too much eyeshadow pigment at once can create a black eye or raccoon effect that isn’t flattering. Thankfully, you can easily clean up mistakes with makeup remover or concealer. 


You will need the right tools to create your ideal eye look. When working with tiny and delicate areas like the under eyes, you’ll want brushes to accommodate this space. These tools will ensure your placement is precise and your blending is seamless.

For example, choosing thin eyeliner brushes and small, dense, fluffy brushes will ensure you get a clean under-eye. These brushes can reach all the nooks and crannies of the eyes. They can go even between your lower eyelashes for a complete look.

In addition, medium size blending brushes and makeup sponges can create a seamless blend between your under-eye shadow and your concealer. 


If eyeshadow isn’t for you, you can use features like dark circles or discoloration to your advantage. One secret tip makeup artists don’t want you to know is that your dark circles can act as your under-eye eyeshadow.

Apply a small dot of concealer lower than you usually would. Avoid applying concealer to the lower lash line; instead, try for the hollow of your eyes. Then, blend out your concealer, avoiding your lower eyelashes. 

Bam! You now have eyeshadow under the eyes without any eye makeup, just concealer. 

In addition, this trick will diminish the chances of your concealer from creasing because it’s not settling in your under-eye lines. Of course, no one will know the difference!

Bronzer As Eyeshadow 

If you aren’t sure whether to apply eyeshadow under the eyes or not, there is another method to test out. Replace your eyeshadow with bronzer! Bronzer can easily be applied to the eyes to create structure, depth, and dimension. 

Follow the same steps above to apply your bronzer seamlessly to the under eyes. In addition, it will create a chic monotone makeup look that has a natural and cohesive finish. 

Common Mistakes 

Most people make the number one mistake of using too much product at once. However, you can create a clean and precise under-eye easily when working with small amounts of products at a time.

The shade of eyeshadow you choose is crucial. It’s ideal to choose two similar colors to get a seamless blend. Choose your desired color to apply to the under eyes and blend with a lighter color as your transition shade. 

Believe it or not but over-blending is a thing. Have you ever found your eyeshadow to look muddy? This can be the result of over-blending. Your colors will eventually combine into one and create a dragged-down and muddy-looking under-eye.

Lastly, make sure that you are always working with clean brushes and tools. This will ensure you always get your actual eyeshadow color and avoid mixing with colors from previous eye looks.

Practice Makes Perfect 

Under-the-eye eyeshadow can be done in a flattering way to complement your eye shape. It may take some time to experiment to find what color and placement works for you, but it’s definitely worth a try in the long run.

However, eyeshadow under the eyes isn’t always necessary. There are a multitude of factors that can determine if eyeshadow under the eyes is right for you. In addition, makeup is personal, and what works for one person may not work for someone else.

The most important takeaway is that practice makes perfect. So have patience and remember that this process should be fun and filled with discovery. Will you be experimenting with under-the-eye eyeshadow?

Up Next: One Color Eyeshadow Look – Does It Work?

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