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As someone with lots of loose eyeshadows, I’m often asked for the best ways to apply loose eyeshadow. Since I have oily eyelids, in addition to a good eyeshadow primer, I prefer to reach for a sticky product that will make the most of my complex eyeshadows. I want to show off the duochromes, glitters, and holographic shades.
Sometimes, I want to make sure that my eyeshadow is as vivid as possible. That’s where foiling comes in. I prefer to foil without using water. Instead I use shadow transformation products. There are four products that I currently recommend for foiling that I’ve tested out – Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, Darling Girl Glitter Glue, Violet Voss Secret Weapon, and Too Faced Glitter Glue.
$7 for 9 ml – Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy (Vegan)
$6.75 for 10 ml - Darling Girl Glitter Glue
$14.99 for 13 ml – Violet Voss Secret Weapon
$20 for .35 oz. – Too Faced Glitter Glue
Below you can see how each product makes the eyeshadows and glitter vibrant, as well as shows off the glitter or duochrome nature of the colors.
Fyrinnae Raven’s ProphecyL to R – Darling Girl – Fyrinnae – Violet Voss – Too Faced
Fyrinnae Raven’s Prophecy – Deep black, this shadow glitters with lime and pale blue. Closer to light or at different angles, and the sparkle takes on a pink and turquoise appearance
Morgana Cryptoria Freaking AngelsL to R – Darling Girl – Fyrinnae – Violet Voss – Too Faced
Morgana Cryptoria Freaking Angels – purple duochrome
Violet Voss Paulina glitterL to R – Darling Girl – Fyrinnae – Violet Voss – Too Faced
Violet Voss Paulina – hot pink glitter with bright blue sparkles
Sugarpill LumiL to R – Darling Girl – Fyrinnae – Violet Voss – Too Faced
Sugarpill Lumi – white with turquoise iridescence
While Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy is my favorite by far, I feel like Darling Girl Glitter Glue, Violet Voss Secret Weapon and Too Faced Glitter Glue all do a great job, too. You may find that one product works better for you than another based on your personal body chemistry, which is why I wanted to find several that worked well to give you options.
As far as lid brushes go, pictured above are the ones that I prefer to use.
For Dry Application of Loose Eyeshadows
If you are working with loose eyeshadows and not using a foiling product, here are the steps you need to take.
I prefer to apply my eyeshadow before I do any other makeup so that I can then take makeup remover and clean up any fallout under my eyes. However, if you like to do the rest of your makeup first, put a lot of extra translucent powder under your eyes to catch the fallout. Then you can simply sweep it away.
For Foiling of Loose Eyeshadows
I work on one eye at a time if I’m using Pixie Epoxy because you can’t apply it to both lids and then work on one eye because it will be too dry on the other side once you finish the first side. I’ve found it’s better to just apply it to one eye and work on that eye. Then move on to the next eye.
With Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy (you really only need the tiniest amount!) once you apply it to the lid you need to wait for it to get tacky. Once it’s tacky to the touch you can brush on the color. So I’ll take a lid brush with the loose eyeshadow and brush that on. When working specifically with Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, it is recommended that you brush the color on. However, some foiling products work better if you pat the color on.
Even when I’m ‘brushing’ with Pixie Epoxy, I don’t do wide sweeping brush strokes. I do short brush strokes, like dashes. When I’m ‘patting’ it’s almost like tapping or dabbing it onto the lid.
See the tutorial.
Pixie Epoxy was used with Sugarpill Goldilux on the center of the lid and Sugarpill Junebug on the inner lid. Usually what I do is apply all of my other eyeshadow colors first, and then whatever color I’m going to foil, I reach for that last. I just find it easier to do that way.
You can also apply an eyeshadow, apply a bit of a foiling product on top, then apply more of that eyeshadow to make sure that the eyeshadow shade is vivid.
Pixie Epoxy used as liner with Fyrinnae Because Cats eyeshadow
After dabbing a bit of Pixie Epoxy on the back of my hand, I took a stiff angled brush and dipped that into the product on the back of my hand, then I used that to line the outer 3/4 of my upper lash line. After waiting for it to get tacky, with another stiff angled brush, I brushed Fyrinnae Because Cats on top of the Pixie Epoxy.
Sugarpill Afterparty used as a liner with Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. See the tutorial.
All of these products work with pressed eyeshadows as well. In the look above, Sugarpill Afterparty was used with Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy to create a vivid turquoise liner.
Urban Decay Zodiac – dry and foiled with e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set
Using Loose Eyeshadows with a Damp Brush
If you’d still prefer not to use one of these products, I highly recommend using e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set, which is a great MAC Fix+ dupe. You can lightly mist your brush, dip your brush into the eyeshadow, and pat the color onto the lid. See my Best Ways to use e.l.f Makeup Mist & Set.
Blending Loose Eyeshadows
If you’re having trouble blending the seams of colors where you’ve used a foiling product, take a clean brush and dip that into the loose eyeshadow, tap off any excess, and then blend the edges. I also find that it helps if you’ve put down a base eyeshadow color underneath a more vibrant shade. Sometimes, taking a brush like the Makeup Geek Smokey Eye Brush to use for blending really helps.
Other Ways to Use Loose Eyeshadows
In addition to using loose eyeshadows as eyeliner and eyeshadow, you can also use them in other ways. You can mix them with clear lipgloss (or even a colored gloss if you like) to add or change a gloss color. You can press loose eyeshadows or glitter on top of a lipstick to add extra dimension and depth. You can use a loose eyeshadow like Sugarpill Lumi to highlight the cheekbones. You can also take some loose eyeshadow and mix it with a clear nail polish (in aluminum foil) to make a nail polish color.
My Favorite Loose Eyeshadows (in no particular order)
These are my tips for the best ways to apply loose eyeshadow. How do you prefer to apply loose eyeshadow?
Tags: Darling Girl Cosmetics, Fyrinnae, Too Faced, Violet Voss
Wonderful Purples amazing colors. Thank you for your helpful review. I did finally get some black eyeshadow , Covergirl Shimmering Onyx 440, bought it a Publix only paid one dollar used a store coupon and a manf. couponn so soon I will practice with it. Thank you, Jerri Davis
Yay! I’m glad you got a black.
This is a great post. I like using e.l.f.’s Glitter Primer – it really works!
I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like I should
I was just wondering. What is your opinion about Shiro Cosmetics because you didn’t recommend them in your list. Also, have you tried anything from Aromaleigh since the site opened back up? I had been buying from Aromaleigh back before they closed the first time around, and am unsure about ordering from the new site. I just was curious about your opinion because I don’t see you using any Aromaleigh eye shadows anymore!
Although I’m not removing my reviews of Shiro or Aromaleigh products I’ve reviewed in the past, as my opinion of those products still stands, some matters have arisen which make me uncomfortable promoting them on my blog in any form in the future.
Excellent post! <3
These are such great tips!! I think the best one is to take your time in applying! So often I am in such a hurry and while being in a hurry I have so much fall out! Great tip/reminder!
Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Kaitie!
Thank you so much for this post! I’ve just started playing around with pigments and loose eyeshadow and this is super helpful!
Great tips! I def need glitter glue
I’m deff going to try a few of this tips next time I use loose shadows
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oh..I love this post! It’s crazy what a difference using a base does.
super interesting and helpful! you’re so good!
Great tips…thanks for this post!
Love this article. It’s great for beginners and more advanced players alike.
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Thank you for this. UD’s Anti-Aging Primer Potion seems to work well with my oily lids, but I’d not thought of doing one eye at a time!
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Love this I never knew they had products to do that and I have been a make up addict for a long time.
Love your tips on this!! <3
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy! No way! My protruding orbital bones or sunken eyes (potato/potato) have made eye make up underwhelming. Some how Pixie Epoxy allow the shadows to diffuse light in such a way that my eyes finally pop. Now just waiting to find out if Benefits new eyeliner truly can give wings to the world… whenever, no rush. Thanks again for the gift of advice!