How to Apply Eyeshadow with Makeup Artist James Molloy
Written by Nicola Moulton
8 Apr 2022
Eye makeup in need of a shake-up? You’ve come to the right place. Makeup artist James Molloy knows a thing or two about combining timeless red carpet beauty with a fresh, modern edge.
He’s trusted by classic beauties like Emma Watson, Addison Rae and Jourdan Dunn, has created runway looks for Stella McCartney and Moschino and had his work featured in VOGUE and Harper’s Bazaar. Years spent living in Japan (he has since relocated to the UK) enhanced his love of exquisite textures and incredible, shape-shifting colour.
Oh yes: and he LOVES eyeshadow. “When I started out as a makeup artist, it’s the first product I picked up,” he says.
Here, he shares some exclusive eye makeup tips with us, exclusively for Beauty Pie:
Top 9 Tips to Up Your Eye Game
For gorgeous eye makeup, you need soft edges - so always have a clean eye makeup brush to hand.
Don’t overload the brush with too much eyeshadow. Two to three gentle dips is perfect - aim for gradual shaping.
A mistake I often see people making is sweeping their eye makeup brush very lightly across the eyes. What I prefer to do is press the shadow in, taking a bit more time to slowly blend it. I find doing this that the eyeshadow really melts into skin much better, but also adheres better so you get more staying power.
As a general rule, blend eyeshadow inwards instead of outwards to help open hooded eyes.
Choose a shade that’s similar to your natural skin tone, and it creates a kind of canvas for your eye areaJames Molloy, Makeup Artist
I almost always start eye looks with a wash of neutral colour across the eyelids, into the crease of the eye and up to the brow bone. Choose a shade that’s similar to your natural skin tone, and it creates a kind of canvas for your eye area.
I love soft browns and golds can be like makeup ‘shorthand’ - it looks like you’ve spent ages doing your makeup.
To me, you can keep eyeshadow colours quite classics, but the textures have to be super-modern. Matte shades can be soft and chalkier to give them a modern edge, whereas metallic shades should be super-molten to give that really modern gleam. Apply a highlighter shade along the brow bone to help open up sagging eyes.
I prefer to apply highlighter shades with fingers, so you can really press them in and melt the metallic pigments into the skin.
I love to finish eye looks with brown mascara and eyeliner, especially if I’m working with neutral tones. It’s just softer, and more flattering.
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