Yellow eyeshadow seems to be all the rage, but even though I love the look, I’m a bit yellow-bellied when it comes wearing it myself – here are 3 different yellow eyeshadow looks that will hopefully help me overcome my fear!
There is an endless list of trends in beauty that I love and have since adopted, such as glowy skin and bright orange/red lips for summer. On that list are a few trends that I love, but can’t quite bring myself to try for fear that they’ll make me look deranged. Ever since the whole all-peach-everything debacle in which I heavily bought into the trend, tried it out for myself, and was quite horrified to discover that anything peach on my face makes me look like some kind of unhinged evil clown baby, I’ve herded such trends into a special corner of my brain, stuck a very heavy piece of reinforced glass in between them and the portion of my mind that likes to buy things, and erected a large sign that reads “DO NOT TOUCH!”
These are the trends that I allow myself to admire from afar, but also ones that I’m hesitant to buy into. I know makeup is just makeup and it’s fun to play with and it washes off at the end of the day, but I’m still a scaredy cat that likes to dwell in my weird Trend Zoo that I built for myself. Is that strange? Yes, it is, I’m fully aware of this, and now I also feel like this post is quickly turning into a stream of consciousness and now I’m stuck in a Catcher in the Rye-type situation with everybody’s frenemy, Holden Caulfied.
I think my original hope was that writing about these kinds of trends will eventually give me the courage to test my hand at them through some ~reflection~ on the trend itself. Maybe I’ll see that they aren’t so scary after all! Maybe.
Today I’m going to be talking about a trend I’ve been seeing recently that I think looks incredible on everybody who’s done it, yet I have a feeling it’ll make me look like a maniacal dandelion: yellow eyeshadow.
Since I love wearing bright yellow colors so much on my body, it’s a little strange that I have some kind of hesitance when it comes to wearing it on my eyes. Then again, when it comes to eyeshadow, I’m basically just a neutrals queen, so is anybody surprised?
Although yellow eyeshadow isn’t really a new trend in the beauty community (especially for the upcoming summer season) and I’ve seen it done before, it wasn’t until that I saw this look by Joanna Vongphoumy on my YouTube feed, who I actually just recently started following, that it made me stop and appreciate how beautiful yellow eyeshadow is.
One of the things that I especially like about her look isn’t based on the typical mustard yellow that we’ve been seeing a lot lately, but rather a super bright almost-neon yellow that’s super fun and very appropriate for the changing seasons. Another thing that I like is that she literally just uses one shadow (and it’s drugstore!) – a NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in STFU, which retails for $4.50.
At 4:05, she basically takes the eyeshadow on a large flat fluffy brush and packs it onto her lids and then fluffs it out into her crease with a fluffier brush and under her bottom lashline. There’s no transition shade or any other brushes needed, so this not only looks effortless, but might actually be effortless to achieve. Another thing that I appreciate is that uses single lashes, which look a lot more “natural” than strip lashes, so the eyeshadow was able to have its moment. Sometimes I’m disappointed when YouTubers do super stunning eye looks and then pop on a pair of super dramatic lashes because I feel like they tend to take away from the look and hide the eyeshadow!
She keeps the rest of her skin glowy, but still relatively neutral and opts for a sleeping mask on her lips that looks like a gloss, which also makes the look more “wearable.” I feel like the eyeshadow also looks really “fresh” since she also forgoes the liner here.
At 12:00, I feel like she’s really speaking to me when she talks about how she was very “safe” with her eyeshadow when she first started getting into makeup and how she only stuck to neutral shades, which is literally a basic description of me. She goes on to say that she usually kept away from pink or yellow since she thought it looked “weird” or “ugly” on her skintone, but after “taking the chance” and playing around with the colors, she started getting used to it and loving it. Do I need to just take a page out of Joanna’s book and go for it?? Maybe!
After taking in the simple beauty that was Joanna’s look come up organically in my feed, I decided put myself in the driver’s seat and actively search for yellow eyeshadow looks myself. I came across a video by a YouTuber named Esmeralda Gudino with another bright yellow look that still looked simple, but was a tad bit amped up by the addition of some winged liner.
I’ve never watched anything by Esmeralda before, but I liked that she used all affordable products in this video. After doing her face makeup, at 6:40 she starts on her eye look by basically just mixing two yellow shades from the BH Cosmetics Take Me To Brazil palette with a fluffy brush and putting it into her crease from the outer corner to the inner corner, leaving the middle on her lid bare as if she was doing a halo eye, but she doesn’t actually end up putting any shadow on her lid. She then uses an ELF Baked highlighter to her inner corner and brow bone. She puts on a pretty thick wing and some false lashes before lining the waterline on her bottom lashline with black liner and smudging it out with more of the yellow.
To me, this look felt like the “nighttime” version of Joanna’s look. It still seemed pretty effortless to do, but the addition of the black winged liner and the liner on her lower lashline, as well as her false lashes, made it a little more dramatic. I also think that her lip color made the look more night-y since it was matte, even though she stuck to a nude shade.
I thought it was unique that she only put the shadow in her crease and didn’t put any of it on the lid and I think if I were to get into yellow eyeshadow, this is where I would start. I would probably go Joanna’s route and skip the eyeliner altogether (and I would also skip the falsies because I’ve never put on a pair in my life and they kind of also intimidate me) to keep everything more “natural” (as natural as bright yellow eyeshadow can be).
This is the video that I probably should have started this whole journey with since it’s basically a “how to” video, but since the universe always works this way, this is actually the last video I ended up watching. I’ve seen a few of Lisa Eldridge’s videos here and there and find them very helpful when it comes to techniques and such, but sometimes I feel like she’s too sophisticated for me, if that makes any sense at all…
This video definitely contains some products that are more high end than the previous videos, but I’m sure that her techniques could be replicated with more affordable drugstore options. She starts at 1:07 by taking a MAC shadow in Chrome Yellow, which she says is the hardest color to wear since it’s such a statement color. This makes me feel slightly better about my aversion to trying it on myself!
Another tip she shares is that if you have dry eyelids, you might want to avoid this kind of pastel yellow since it can emphasize any dry patches and instead advises to use a cream texture instead, such as a MAC Paint Pot. My lids tend to err on the side of oiliness, so a powder shadow seems like it would be A-okay for me!
Next, she uses more of a neutral tone (she specifically mixes two shades from the Huda Rose Gold Edition Textured Shadows palette) to blend into the crease. She also applies a thin layer of black liquid liner to the base of the top lashes, which she then softens with a brown shade since she thinks it looks a bit “stark.” Her tip here is that whether or not you choose to do this depends on what kind of look you want to achieve and what suits your skintone and features best.
At 3:45 she moves on to the skin, and something that I thought was really interesting was at 5:00 when she conceals her model’s undereye, she points out that when you’re wearing this kind of bright yellow eyeshadow, any darkness under the eye can make you look ill.
At 5:54, she finishes off the eyes by blending out the edges even more on the upper lid and then applying a rose gold shade to the bottom lashes, which I thought really brightened up her undereyes nicely. She fills in the model’s brows slightly, but since I’m not the kind of gal that likes to do anything to her brows, I’m a big fan of the fact that she kept the model’s brows basically natural. At 8:04 for the lip color she opts for a natural pink lipliner and then puts a shimmery lip balm to counteract the matteness of the eyes.
I think this look is a nice middle-of-the-road between Joanna’s look and Esmeralda’s look as it has some of the elements of Esmeralda’s look in that it uses liner on top, yet it’s still kept rather soft. I’m not sure if I like the stronger transition in this look, so I might try to leave that out or choose a transition shade closer to my own skintone if I were to attempt this look! Again, I think keeping the lips pretty neutral was a good call since a bolder lip shade might compete with the yellow.
So Will I Try It?
After seeing these looks actually done, I’m realizing how easy it can be – one eyeshadow floofed all over the lid and BAM, you have a super effective eye look. I really do love how striking and fun yellow eyeshadow looks.
I would say my skintone is somewhere in between Joanna’s and Esmeralda’s (closer to Joanna’s in the summer), so if they can make the yellow work, I can also probably make it work too. Not to mention one of my makeup resolutions for 2018 was to step outside of my comfort zone, so this would be the perfect opportunity to make good on what I promised.
I do have some yellow shadows in palettes in my collection (it was actually the bright yellow shade that convinced me to buy Colourpop’s Yes Please palette, even though I’ve never actually used that shade… lol), which means I won’t have to go out and get a specific eyeshadow for this look, so I really don’t have any excuses not to try this.
What do you guys think about yellow shadow?
- Joanna Vongphoumy // Hello Yellow | One Eyeshadow Makeup Tutorial | JVONGPHOUMY
- Esmeralda Gudino // EASY Yellow Eye Look | Affordable Products
- Lisa Eldridge // How to wear yellow eyeshadow – and look great!
*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!