It’s not exactly a secret that Urban Decay is all about eyeshadow. Just look at our family of Naked palettes that we’ve released in endless shades and themes since 2010! That said, we totally get that eyeshadow can be intimidating for beginners. Instagram exposes us to only the most pixel-perfect eye art, but (spoiler alert!) we all start somewhere. Learning the ins and outs of eyeshadow looks for beginners can take time, but it’s seriously so worth it. You’ll pick up the best tricks to shade and define, avoid fallout, and choose the perfect hues to make your eyes pop. Before you know it, you’ll produce effortless smokey eyes and cut creases for your UD fam, on and off the Gram
An eyeshadow tutorial for beginners is simple but never boring. When playing with our ultra-vibrant shades, you’ll explore your artistry as you blend, shade, and define — producing vivid pops of color with no pressure. You don’t need a 50-step routine to enhance your eyes, just a few UD faves, including our Eyeshadow Primer Potion and Naked Mini Palettes. Oh, and also a little determination before you can nail down these creations in no time.
Makeup We Mention
1. Ocean Eyes
No, we’re not talking about the hit Billie Eilish song, but rather one of the best beginner eyeshadow looks that will always float your boat. Ocean eyes give off the same mysterious, mystical vibes as your favorite body of water, but take less than ten minutes to create. It’s technically a cut crease, but don’t let that term throw you overboard. This eyeshadow tutorial for beginners is like a baby version of the real thing. It enables you to practice your blending, lining, and defining skills with less pressure, and we know you’ll make waves with this SoCal-inspired lewk.
Since Urban Decay was born in sunny SoCal, you can bet that easy ocean eyes will be a breeze. All you need is two shades from the Naked Wild West Eyeshadow Palette, inspired by California deserts, Joshua trees, and sunny skies. After applying your Eyeshadow Primer Potion, use your UD Pro Medium Eyeshadow Brush to grab the color “Tex,” a deep blue-green matte, and blend into your crease from the outer corner inwards. Just be sure to blend this transition shade close to your crease while keeping the center of your lid as clean as possible, a tried-and-true tip for any eyeshadow enthusiast in training.
After your transition shade is set, it’s time to go in with the second shade from Naked Wild West, which pulls together your ocean eyes for a beach babe effect. We’re talking about “Bud,” a turquoise shimmer as deep and dreamy as the Pacific Ocean itself. All you need to do is pack this sparkly shade all over your lid, and you’re ready to swim! But remember: when learning how to apply eyeshadow for beginners, it may help to sketch a line of “Bud” below your crease first. This acts as a roadmap for blending and helps you separate the two blues for a contrast that’s ultra-exquisite and reminiscent of the ocean’s changing hues.
2. Inner Corner Shimmer
The inner corner shimmer is the ultimate hack when applying eyeshadow for beginners, an optical illusion perfect for everyday slay. It takes all of two seconds, leaves no mess, and makes you look instantly more awake and like you didn’t stay up all night watching Netflix. Even if you 100% did (we’ve all been there!). Whether you wear the inner corner shimmer on its own or pair it with a sweep of champagne shadow or a stroke of Perversion Mascara, it’s a two-second makeup trick that we have no doubt you’ll make your own. Sure, it’s starting as part of your beginner's guide to applying eyeshadow, but we promise it’ll become a staple in your daytime and dramatic looks before you know it.
The inner corner shimmer makes your eyes instantly pop, appearing bigger, brighter, and bolder than ever. The only question left is, which color will you use to absolutely crush the eyeshadow game? An icy white might just be the most popular shade to strobe your inner eyes, with your favorite beauty influencers choosing a shadow that’s so blinding it could double as a face highlighter. This celestial effect can be achieved with the 24/7 Moondust Shadow in the shade “Cosmic,” a sheer white sparkle that lights up all eyeshadow looks, even the easy ones.
If you want next-level shimmer in your eye makeup looks, you can always bring in a few more colors from our famous 24/7 Shadow collection. Our personal favorites for an inner corner shimmer? “Set List,” a deep purple shimmer with a blue shift, the gorgeous lime green “Freak,” and the bold blue of “Charged.” They all deliver a vivid spectrum of shimmer made for an eyeshadow beginner!
3. Rose Gold Glimmer
Yes, we know that it’s not the 2010s anymore. And no, we don’t care. Rose gold is a super-trendy, always-striking shade that never goes out of style, and it’s obvious why. It’s a combination of both cool and warm tones that elevates any makeup look — adding a natural glow to both your skin and eyes to become the literal definition of soft glam. It’s understated, elegant, and magical in a way nobody can deny, especially since most of us had rose gold iPhones, MacBooks, jewelry, and basically everything else just a few years back. All these reasons and more are why it’s the real deal for any beginners’ eyeshadow tutorial.
If you want to give your eyes a touch of sheer and sexy color without pulling out too many makeup brushes, boy, do we have good news for you! There’s only one step in this rose gold eyeshadow tutorial. You heard us, one. Just dip your makeup brush in the shade “Unlucky” from the Naked Sin Mini Eyeshadow Palette (it’ll work best if you wet the brush first for extra pigmentation), and start sweeping. Apply the rose gold color across your lid, brow bone, and lower lash line to get the full effect of this trendy shade that’s iconic enough to stand on its own in any eye look.
A bonus tip for beautifully timeless rose gold? Go monochromatic or go home. Monochromatic makeup means using the same colors on your eyes, face, and lips, and the glow up is real when rose gold enters the mix. In addition to looking flawless with your rose gold lids, you can also brush on some blush and lipstick! You can then top it off with our All Nighter Setting Spray for 16 hours of rose gold radiance that’s classy and effortlessly cool.
4. Eyeshadow as Eyeliner
The manual on beginners’ eyeshadow techniques may have left out a seriously life-changing detail: it can be used as a substitute for eyeliner. Wait, what? Swapping out your liquid or pencil eyeliner for an eyeshadow has endless benefits for any beauty beginner. You can practice lining and defining under less stress, which gives you a steadier hand for future eyeshadow effects. It’s also easier to create more smoked-out, and sultry looks, which you know will never smear or smudge with our insanely long-lasting formula. Whether you’re running low on liner or want to experiment with an electric eyeshadow color that you can’t find in our array of 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils (38 colors!) this eyeshadow trick will take your makeup looks to the next level.
Applying eyeshadow as eyeliner is easy and super-effective. Just pick your favorite shade from our Naked Palettes, add a bit of H2O (or try using our All Nighter Setting Spray for even more staying power) to produce a paste-like consistency, and dip in the eyeliner brush before you begin lining and defining. Maybe you’re feeling a double wing, floating liner, or upper eye only? The style and shade options are endless, and we know you’ll elevate your eyes in every way.
5. Cream Eyeshadow
No fallout, more flexibility, and flawlessly precise lines and crease-free color for up to 24 hours? Sign us up. Cream eyeshadow is seriously easy – there's a reason it’s one of the best eyeshadow looks for beginners! You can draw up all sorts of dreamy creations with the 24/7 Shadow Stick. It helps you practice your go-to eyeshadow picks while dealing with less mess, or even make a roadmap before you start blending out hues from your favorite Naked palette. Want a cut crease? Use the 24/7 Shadow Sticks to draw the line at your crease that is the ideal boundary between your transition shade and primary color. How about floating eyeliner, in the most Euphoria fashion? You can also use it as an eyeshadow base to really make the color pop! This UD fave comes in matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes to make your eyeshadow and graphic eyeliner illustrations more gorgeous than ever.
Of course, sometimes you just want to keep it simple, and a single swipe of the 24/7 Shadow Stick can do it all. “Riveting” is a peachy rose gold that helps you knock out two eyeshadow looks with a single product. At the same time, “Hardfall” is a rich terracotta that lets you effortlessly nail the red eyeshadow trend. Then there’s “Chaos” and “Freak,” electric blue and green hues that produce an Instagram-worthy eye look in just a few minutes.
If your 24/7 Shadow Sticks need a friend, you can also unlock the next level of the cream makeup game with an Urban Decay-exclusive beauty hack. We’re talking about mixing the best powder eyeshadows, from our Naked palettes or 24/7 Shadow lineup, with our All Nighter Setting Spray for custom cream liners that last. Simply spritz a couple times into your favorite shadow, like the sheer lilac shimmer shade, Free Bird, from the 24/7 Shadow collection. This produces a cute and colorful liner that can’t be found anywhere else, which glides on with ease and delivers ultra-pigmented color for up to 16 hours. Try this beauty hack with all your favorite eyeshadow shades to live the cream makeup dream!