Mixing eyeshadow colors is arguably almost an art form, as it requires a strict attention to color, detail, application and blending. Most of all, you need to know when your finished canvas--your eyes--is done. Eyeshadow, when well-mixed, can make your eyes look lovely; but if not done properly, it can have quite the opposite effect. The key to making sure you don't look like a clown is to always mix colors from a narrow designated palette of eyeshadow shades that complement and enhance the color of your eyes.
Find out what is the best eyeshadow color palette based on the color of your eyes. For example, the best range of colors for hazel or brown eyes are nudes, beige, golds, blues and greens. Green eyes look better in gold or copper, deep yellows or orange-yellows, and all shades of pink, while blue eyes are radiant in yellow-oranges, sandy beige and any shade of blue.
The book, "Make up: The Art of Beauty" by Linda Mason, explains this very well, plus there are a number of websites such as Free-beauty-tips.com which cover this topic thoroughly.
Apply your eyeshadow base to your entire lid with a brush. Similar to concealer, eyeshadow base comes in a cream or powdered form. It helps prime your eyelids so it's easier to apply the eyeshadow. It helps the eyeshadow to last longer, enhances the color and makes blending two colors much easier.
When applying eyeshadow base, use your fingers (for cream base) or a brush (for a powdered one). Cover your eyelid with a thin layer and blend it well into your skin so it creates a flawless canvas for blending your eyeshadow.
Select a light color from your recommended eyeshadow palette and purchase a variation of this color that comes in a shimmery variety. A shimmery eyeshadow will give you some color but also a degree of diaphanousness. Brush this color on your lid in bold strokes from your lid to the bone of your brow. Smooth on a single layer that covers the area of skin from eyelash to brow bone well. This first color acts as a highlight.
Select any other color from your recommended palette. Ideally, this shade should be darker than the first color you selected. Dip the flat end of your eye-color brush into the eyeshadow and gently tap off any excess. Delicately shade in the crease of your eye. Thus, you want to mix the colors so that you get a degree of dramatic contour, but nothing so extreme that it becomes ghoulish.
This dramatic blend is ideal for evening or special occasions.