How to use your eye palette to its full potential

Leave no hue untouched!

New Idea Contributing Editor / March 30 2017

It happens to us all: you buy a palette intending to use all the pretty shades and end up just using one or two. Follow these easy tips and you’ll soon be using every colour to create an array of stunning makeup looks.


To start

Choose a palette with neutral tones such as soft browns, champagne, rose gold and bronze. The reason? “Each of these tones complement and are flattering to most eye colours and skin tones,” explains celebrity makeup artist Hayley Dutton. Palette we love: Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette.

Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette
Knowing where to place light, medium and your darkest shades is the best way to start using all the colours in your palette. A simple guide is to stick to the lightest colours on your lids, the inner corners of your eyes and across your brow bones. Use medium-toned shades in your sockets and crease areas, and save the darkest colours for defining your lash lines.


Make every day different

If you find you only go for ‘safe’ shades, make a pact to try a new hue each time you do your eye makeup. “Try combining a colour you never use with one of your ‘safe’ colours as an easy way to start changing things up,” Dutton says. Palette we love: Essence All About…Eyeshadow in Nudes.

Essence All About…Eyeshadow in Nudes


Mix and match

“I am a bit of a fan of mixing eyeshadow colours,” reveals Dutton. “If you find a shade you love but feel that it’s maybe too deep or dark for you, then dip your eyeshadow brush into that colour and then into something a little lighter, and see how it changes the shade,” she suggests. Palette we love: Clinique Pretty Easy Eye Palette.

Clinique Pretty Easy Eye Palette


Use the ‘scary’ shade

An easy way to use the darkest shade in your palette is to apply it along the top and bottom lash line to add definition – it will give your eyes a soft, smoky effect and it’s a great look for the evening. Palette we love: Model’s Prefer Eyeshadow Palette in Rose Nude.

Model’s Prefer Eyeshadow Palette in Rose Nude


Fake your liner

Using a shadow as a liner is a subtle way of accentuating your eye. Pick a darker shade (it doesn’t have to be black – try brown, charcoal or plum) and use an angled eyeshadow brush to apply it along your upper lash line and your lower one too, if you like. Palette we love: L’Oréal Paris La Palette Nude Eyeshadow.

L’Oréal Paris La Palette Nude Eyeshadow

Feeling inspired? Grab yourself one of these beautiful not-nude palettes to really make your eyes pop.

For more makeup tips from New Idea, check out

Main image credit: Getty

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.