The Eyeshadow Trick That'll Make Your Shimmer Shadows Pop Like Never Before

Shimmery shadows add an effect to the eyes unparalleled by standard matte options. Yet, unless you've been using particular eyeshadow techniques, your shimmer eyeshadows likely haven't achieved their full potential. In addition to spraying shimmery eyeshadows before applying them, it turns out that the color of the base beneath affects how the shadow appears! 


There are a ton of hacks designed to improve the impact of eyeshadow. This can be as simple as dampening the makeup brush with a bit of setting spray to help it pick up more shadow. Or, savvy makeup enthusiasts employ any number of products to prime the lids. Some of these include (you guessed it) standard eyeshadow primer, liquid concealer, or eyeliner pencils. However, the next time you want to amp up the drama level of your shimmery eyes, take a cue from an Instagrammer with experience in the industry and choose a black or white eye base to achieve next-level glam status.

How the base color dramatically affects shimmer shadow

Instagram influencer and makeup artist @roseandben recently blew minds when she showcased how drastically different shimmery eyeshadow looks when used on top of bases of different colors. In the video, she blends a small amount of white base into her right eyelid, then adds a black base to the left. She then applies the same shimmery, light purple eye pigment to each lid, which produces dramatically different results. The shadow, primed with white, gives off an ethereal, pearl-like look, whereas the black-primed lid is a much deeper purple, perfect for an evening out on the town.


Perhaps even better, she shows how the colors transform into a more dramatic appearance when she transitions to low light, which is always a fun party trick! Of course, glitter eyeshadow isn't just for special occasions, so changing the base can help you fit it into your everyday routine better. To achieve the intense overall effect, the influencer used City Color Canvas Base ($5.99) in Wisteria (white) and Grim (black), topped off with Karla Cosmetics Multichrome Loose Eyeshadow in the shade Cozy. However, these products can be subbed out for similar options by other brands.  

Why base color makes such a huge difference

Pretty much anything involving paint benefits from a base coat, and make no mistake that makeup falls under that category (hence, the phrase "painting my face"). The base coat helps the paint, or in this case, shimmer eyeshadow, look more vibrant, depending on the color. This is not to be confused with an eye primer, which creates a blank canvas of sorts and helps the shadow adhere better to the surface.


The eyeshadow looks radically different on varying base shades because the undertone will affect how the topcoat turns out. For example, think about painting a red wall with white without putting any primer on it. The redness will peek through in some capacity, no matter how many coats are applied. That's why house painters, manicurists, makeup artists, and so on always start with a primer and a basecoat for good measure. When both are used for shimmer eyeshadow, the combination translates into serious cosmetic goals for jealous onlookers.