How to Use Quad Eyeshadows

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Use Quad Eyeshadows
Eyeshadow quads provide complimentary colors for versatile eyeshadow looks. (Eye Shadow image by JJAVA from

Applying eyeshadow is an art, but makeup manufacturers have taken the hard work out of choosing color combinations by providing quad sets---or sets of four complimentary colors---that you can use to create numerous looks. You can use any combination of colors from the quad, whether it is the lightest and the darkest shades together or simply a mid-shade on its own---the most dramatic effects are achieved by using all the colors of the quad for a blended, smoky look.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Eyelid primer/foundation
  • Makeup brushes: medium-sized fluffy, flat rounded, flat angled, small-sized fluffy
  • Eyeshadow quad
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Apply a small dot of the eyelid primer to the entire eyelid, from lash line to brow bone. If you don't have a primer, then substitute liquid foundation. The primer is an even base for the makeup, prevents creasing of the eyeshadow, and helps the eyeshadow last.

  2. 2

    Dip a medium fluffy eye makeup brush into the second lightest shade in your quad, giving the brush two light taps on the side of the eyeshadow container to remove excess shadow. Use small, circular motions to apply the shadow onto the entire upper lid, up to just under the brow bone.

  3. 3

    Choose a flat, rounded brush, and dip it into the second darkest color in the quad, tapping off the excess. Apply this color to the outer half of the lid, stopping at the crease of the eyelid. Use small dabbing motions to brush the color into the lid. Apply a line of this color under the outer half of the lower lash line as well.

  4. 4

    Swap back to your fluffy brush and blend over the edges of the second color, again using small circles, blending the two colors well. Blend the darker color up into the crease until the lines where the two colors meet are imperceptible. Do this only on the top lid.

  5. 5

    Pick a flat, angled brush, and pick up a small amount of the darkest color onto the brush, tapping off the excess. Dab this color along the outer half of the upper lash line and around a quarter of the way inside the crease. Take your fluffy brush and blend this color from the crease into the second darkest color underneath it.

  6. 6

    Dampen the angled brush, squeezing out any excess wetness. Work the end of the brush into the darkest shade of the quad, tapping of the excess. Very carefully, apply the color with the angled edge of the brush right on top of the lash line, on both the upper and lower outer halves of the eye. This shadow acts as an eyeliner that coordinates with the eyeshadow colors.

  7. 7

    Choose a small, fluffy brush, and pick up the lightest color, tapping off the excess. Apply this color in small dabbing motions directly under the arch of your brow bone and at the inner corner of the eyelid for a highlight.

  8. 8

    Repeat on the other eye.

Tips and warnings

  • Add a coat of mascara to the eyelashes to give the eyes extra definition.

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