How to Pick Your Perfect 5-shade Compact

Highlight, Mid-tone and Deep Eye Shadow Colors

Five-shade compacts come with five coordinating colors that can be used all together or individually to create your desired look. The base color is typically the lightest earth tone color and it gets applied all over your eyelid and brow bone. The purpose of the base color is to provide a solid matte base for the rest of the colors, so it's wise to skip the shimmer for this step. Mid-tone shades are used for contouring and should be at least two shades darker than your base. These colors get applied to the crease and the outer corner of the eye. If you want to use the next darker mid-tone, it should be applied to the outer corner of the eyelid. The deepest color is typically used as eyeliner or over your regular eyeliner to help set it in place.

The last shade is highlighter, and if you've never used it, you're missing out. A dash along the brow bone and dots in the inside corner of the eyes will brighten your eyes and make them pop. Its function is to add a little glow, so it should be applied last. If your eyes are wrinkled or you have loose skin, it's best to minimize shimmer in these areas. And to make sure that you don't have any lines between the colors, you'll need to do a little blending. To do this, just use your applicator brush as you're applying each color and gently feather up and out to minimize any harsh lines. Once your application is finished, you can go back and touch up any areas you missed. If you're creating a look for a big event and blending multiple colors is new for you, you'd be wise to try it out a few days ahead of time to work out any kinks before the big day.

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  • "Eyeshadow 101." Sept. 3, 2012.
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  • "How To Use An Eyeshadow Quad." Oct. 30, 2010.
  • "How to Choose the Right Eyeshadow for your Eye Color." Sept. 3, 2012.