We all do it: Drop a pretty penny on a palette swearing we’ll hit pan on every single shade. The mix of sweet shimmers, sultry hues, and bold brights intrigue us, but months later we’ve noticed that our eye or cheek brush only touched two or three shades. To make us feel like we got our money’s worth, we chatted with celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño, who works with stars like Ashley Graham and Chrissy Teigen, all about how to maximize your makeup palettes.
Scared of using those stark white or creamy shades as they don’t’ conventionally work with your complexion? Instead of leaving them untouched, Avendaño uses them to add dimension to another color. “I dab a white or cream shade on top of another shadow to highlight to the center of the eye,” shares Avendaño. This technique brightens up the color you placed before it, and adds a pop to the center of the lid. You can also use the frosty hues to diffuse deeper browns, or burgundy tones creating a lighter version of the color.
Sweep the neutral shimmer shades from your eye shadow palettes onto your cheeks, down the bridge of your nose, and on the center of the lip to highlight. “Deeper complexions should use the gold colors, medium skin champagnes, and pale skin can try the frosty whites,” recommends Avendaño. Avoid using any shadow formulas with chunky glitter, and opt for those with a smooth sheen-y texture so they’ll mimic the same effect as a conventional highlighting powder.
Depending on your hair color, swap your brow powder or pencil for one of the darker browns, gray, or black in your eye shadow palettes, or the contour shades in your cheek palettes. “Use colors that have a bit more of a taupe or a grayer undertone for cooler hair colors, but if you have a chestnut or amber tone use a warmer brown,” shares Avendaño.
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If you find the contour shades in your palettes turned out to be too muddy to use to find your cheekbones, take a brown eye shadow with a warmer undertone to create a custom contour color. You can also use the color on it’s own if you’re in a pinch. Avendaño also recommends using your contour palettes on your eyes to deepen up the look. “Use a contour palette as an eye shadow palette since contouring your face is a similar concept to using a shade in the crease.”
Take any bright pinks, reds, or orange from your eye shadow palettes pop them on your cheeks for a flush. You can even get creative and make a lip colors out of unused bright cheek or eye colors. “Scrape a bit of a the shadow or blush onto a tray mix a bit of lip balm and you’ve got yourself a stain,” shares Avendaño. If you’re in the mood to mix it up, combine your lipstick color with a purple or blue shadow. “ Mix the lipstick with some matte purple shadow for a deeper hue or if you want to turn your red into a violet blend it with blue shadow,” suggests Avendaño. He cautions to make sure the powder product is safe to use on lips before playing mixologist.