Miscellaneous, Tips & Tricks
Comments 3

Using Dark Bases on your Eyes

One of my weaknesses are cream eyeshadows. Most are wonderful as eye primers, though even if there isn’t much of a staying power, the many different colors of the cream shadows make for great bases, which would add subtle differences in the eye makeup. I suppose it’s the same idea behind layering eyeshadows, but sometimes the textural difference can add a little bit more complexity and depth to the look.

This, for example, is a look made with the same exact shadows from the Urban Decay Naked Palette placed on top of MAC Paint Pots, a very light neutral cream called Painterly—which many use as their everyday eye base—and a warm deep brown called Constructivist:

Painterly and Constructivist - UD Naked

As you can see, the differences are quite subtle. Constructivist, when applied on the eyes, adds depth and tonal difference in that it makes the eye look warmer and pinker. Not a big difference, I agree, but the application of the cream was quite sheer.

A fairly popular option: creamy shadow pencils such as the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, Milk being the most popular as it’s white and shimmer-free.

The following is a demonstration of Painterly v.s. Tamarack, which is a Le Métier de Beauté Dualistic Eye Pencil.

Gravite on Painterly - Face

Using Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Eye Kit in Gravité on top of MAC’s Painterly, I get a really sheer wash of color that is still pretty, but not as dramatic as how Gravité looks on top of Tamarack:

Gravite on Tamarack - Face

Still another beautiful use of these dark creams is layering them under “glitter top coats,” that is glittery shadows with a not-so dark base color. Kate of Drivel about Frivol wrote an excellent post about shu uemura’s glitter topcoats here.

The difference is understandably more apparent here. Here, I’ve used the glitter top coat from the Prestigious Bordeaux palette from last year’s Karl Lagerfeld collection on top of Painterly and the Le Métier de Beauté True Colour Crème Eye Shadow in Starry Night.

Glitter Topcoat over Painterly
Over Painterly

Glitter Topcoat over Starry Night
Over Starry Night

Overall, I think dark bases are best used with sheerer eyeshadows or glitter topcoats, especially if you are looking for a more dramatic effect.

On another note: Maybe it’s just me… but I really enjoy playing with different products and techniques. Someone asked me before—I think it was a comment on this blog or an email, and I’m sorry that I haven’t gotten back to you—if I had any plans of becoming a makeup artist in the future. That is probably the farthest thing away from my plans.

I can’t really… explain why I’ve been liking makeup this much, but it happened and so here we are.


  1. Here here on the last bit, it’s more of an addiction than anything we’d like to do for a living 🙂 I love the idea of layering glittery shadows over cream bases, I shall try it out tomorrow.

  2. Pingback: The Weekender No. 1 | Softly Sometimes

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