It’s the freakin’ weekend. Time to have fun with some makeup. Sunset eye shadow is a hot look for summer, but you can go into a meltdown unless you know a few basic tricks. Pro makeup artist Marc Cornwall talked me through the steps on how to make this eye shadow trend my own.
Here’s what you’ll need to get the look:
Preventive measures are necessary—do not put your base or undereye concealer on until you finish applying your eye shadow. Prepping the eye with a primer is important, especially if you want the shadow to stay where you put it, because having orange-shadow fallout under your eyes will totally throw off the rest of your makeup. Trust—unless you thoroughly take off all the fallout with makeup remover, the pigment from the orange eye shadow will come back to haunt you, like that third tequila sunrise—you know, that one you shouldn’t have drunk in the first place. So don’t cut corners; go slow with shadow, clean up the fallout as you go and put your base on after, ladies.
Once you’ve primed your lids, the next step is to create a cut crease to use as a guideline. Using a tapered brush, fluff the line upward toward the brow bone with soft, quick, gentle strokes. If the brush is mushed down at all or loses its shape, that means you are putting too much pressure and basically scrubbing the makeup off your eye.
Grab your sponge applicator for the next step and load it up with the orange color. Cover your entire lid in a gentle patting motion. It’s important to pat the color on rather than sweep it across the lid with the brush so that the color locks itself to the primer. Now go in with your tapered brush and whisk away the excess shadow. Always move your brush upward toward the brow bone, which is the technique used to create the subtle gradation of color.
Starting at the pupil, which is the best way to find the highest arch of the brow, use your sponge applicator to tap gold shadow along the brow bone to create the golden glow of the sunset.
To finish off the look, we added lashes. I dusted orange shadow under my bottom lashes. To keep the orange shadow from making my eyes look jaundiced—oranges and reds bring out the yellow in both the whites of the eyes and the skin—we added a creamy off-white eyeliner to pop the white in my eyes. Don’t use a pure-white liner because it can look obvious and unintentionally ’60s retro in the wrong way. I love the sunset eye for high summer and early fall.