Beginner-friendly tips for striking eyeshadow looks

The eyes are often the initial focal point when meeting someone, and they have the remarkable ability to express a wide range of emotions and narratives. Delving into the art of eyeshadow, I can’t help but be captivated by the enchanting transformation it brings to the eyelids. It’s a power that’s hard to resist.

While I’ve always held a deep appreciation for artistic eyeshadow creations, I often reserved them for the more creatively inclined individuals, given my less-than-successful attempts in the past. However, as I casually scrolled through my Instagram feed recently, I couldn’t ignore the mesmerising eyeshadow looks that many women were flaunting. It got me thinking perhaps it’s time to embark on another journey into the world of eyeshadow experimentation.

Allysyn Audu- eye shadow look
Allysyn Audu in makeup by Abisola Komolafe

While gathering enough inspiration to try these, I decided to get some professional advice from Edima Willie.

“I’ve come to understand that how I feel about my creations is what counts, and I always choose to feel powerful.” – Edima Willie

Edima is a seasoned makeup artist whose portfolio boasts impressive collaborations. Her work has been featured in Nataal Media’s partnership with the V&A museum alongside photographer Ruby Okoro and even in Lojay’s music video in Canada. Her work in Tecno’s Tech Meets art project alongside photographer Danmbo and hairstylist Kehinde inspired me to reach out to her. She treats makeup as an art form through her work, experimenting fearlessly and embracing the learning process.

She agreed to guide me through the art of adorning the eyes with colours and textures to achieve that simple yet mesmerising eyeshadow look. 

Striking eyeshadow look
Image: Edima via Instagram

Unique eyeshadow looks: What sets them apart?

As the age-old saying goes, “The eyes are the window to the soul,” what better way to add a little intrigue than by giving them a captivating makeover? Eyeshadow, with its artful blend of colours, adeptly applied highlights, and skilful play with depth and dimension holds the magic to create a mesmerising visual spectacle that truly accentuates the beauty of your eyes.

But it’s not just makeup; it’s also a means of self-expression. It’s a canvas that you can harmonise with your outfit or a way to mirror your emotions of the day. What’s truly fascinating is that bold eyeshadow can often steal the spotlight without needing an elaborate makeup routine. 

The colours and tones selected for eyeshadow can harmonise with your skin tone and eye colour, adding depth and contrast that frames the eyes elegantly. This framing effect, in turn, extends to the rest of your face, accentuating your facial features and contours. Furthermore, its beauty lies in its uniqueness—adding an extra fun and quirky layer to your overall appearance and ensemble. 

Striking eyeshadow looks
Image: Edima via Instagram

In the words of Edima, “More than anything, it’s about the person wearing the makeup. You could recreate the exact look on different people, but their confidence and self-perception make all the difference.”

There are many eye makeup trends ranging from shaved and bleached eyebrows to colourful eyeliners, topped with the embellishments of eyeshadow with rhinestones and pearls. With such a diverse landscape, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

This step-by-step guide is a sure way to get us wearing those striking eyeshadow looks perfectly in no time. Edima’s first pro tip is to create a clean and basic eye shadow look, particularly one that plays to a person’s features and emphasises them.

sophie alakija- eye shadow
Sophie Alakija in makeup by Otg by Otg

Sourcing inspiration for enthralling eye makeup looks

Inspiration for a creative eyeshadow look comes from practically everywhere. Edima’s secret tip is to check your outfits and consider their patterns and colours. Other inspiration can come from; 

  • Soaking in nature’s palette, the hues of a garden or the sun at dusk. The colours of the sunset have inspired some of the most creative eye shadow looks.  
  • Returning to your cultural influences and traditions like the henna or African symbols on the face. These are organic influences that keep the culture alive. 
  • Observing colours and patterns used by fashion designers in their clothes. Fashion and beauty are both forms of creative expression and always draw inspiration from one another.
  • Getting inspired by other makeup artists or enthusiasts on Instagram, Pinterest, etc. The best way to up your game is by industry research, where you keep learning and trying out multiple looks till you get it right.
  • Paintings, sculptures or other forms of art. Art in itself is the biggest inspiration for creating more art. Creating striking eye shadow looks is a form of art.

“Whenever I start my makeup, I think, ‘What colours can I combine today? I look at how the light falls on my face from various angles. That nudges me to emphasise my eyes or cheeks more, so I feel it out.”

Image: Edima via Instagram

Pro tips for a simple & striking eyeshadow look 

Edima’s pro tips for achieving that creatively striking eye shadow look are simple and concise.

  • Apply an eye shadow primer or a light foundation layer on your eyelid. Doing this reduces creasing and also makes your colours more vibrant. Pay attention to where the light naturally falls on your eyelids, then apply your primer. 
  • Choose your shades. This depends on what you’ve chosen as your colours and on your skin tone. Our tip – If you have a warm skin tone, opt for reds, oranges and golds. For a cool skin tone, go for blues, greens and purples. You may also consider your eye colour when choosing your shades. Aim for two or three shades: a light base and a more pigmented shade of the same colour. 
  • Once you’ve chosen your shades, go in with a pigmented eye shadow. You can do a solid block of colour, going above your crease for drama and also using that colour on your undereye
  • Use a smaller soft brush to buff out harsh lines, then apply a lighter shade of your first colour for a soft gradient. 
  • Apply a shimmery eye shadow to the points where light naturally falls on your eyelids. 

And there you have it, a straightforward yet striking look that’ll turn heads.

Now, as a newbie, this journey might go from ‘I’ve got this’ to ‘What am I even doing?’ Trust me, it’s perfectly normal. According to Edima, the secret is to embrace those mishaps and, most importantly, have a blast with them.

But here’s the key ingredient – confidence. It’s the magical element that’ll make your eyeshadow creations genuinely pop. Whatever you decide to craft, it’ll radiate on you with confidence as your sidekick. So, embrace your inner artist, set aside some time for practice, and remember, it’s not just makeup; you’re crafting something fun, artistic, and downright therapeutic. Let your creativity soar!


  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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1 Comment
  1. Let me just say that I loveee this article so much! Primarily because of how much I love eye looks and also because of how captivating this article is. Seeing Edima’s eye looks and her perspective to eye makeup is the best thing ever.

    I just love when people are as into things as I am. Welldone Omotola! You deserve flowers for this article ❤️

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