Back to Basics #4: An Easy Peasy 5 Minute Neutral Eye

neutral eye

The whole idea of the fourth Back to Basics tutorial is, in Leonard Daly's words, "super simple make up." Many tutorials online rely on the use of huge numbers of products, a lot of application knowledge and a spirit level in order to make sure you're getting it all angled correctly. That's perfectly fine if it's the way you want to do it, but it can be intimidating. It's not the focus of this series, which is to show  you relaxed, easy methods to do simple, basic things.

Today's tut focuses on a really quick neutral eye you can pull off in less than five minutes - and most of it can be done with your fingers to boot. Don't fret about having to have lots of brushes; don't worry about 'going outside the lines' - no one is going to be scrutinising you up close and personal. The overall effect is subtle, easy to achieve and great for work.

For this look, Leonard used cream shadows, specifically Shiseido's Shimmering Eye Creams.  These are really easy to work with - they're handy to use with fingers, blend well with each other and they set, which means they'll stick about all day. Of course, you can substitute in any colours or products you have to hand.

neutral eye step 1

Step 1: Using Shiseido Shimmering Cream shadow in BR306, Leonard applied a small amount to the outer third of the eye. He says you don't have to worry about being madly precise as we can always tidy up later! Next, blend the colour in towards the nose until it's really soft and well diffused looking.

neutral eye

At this stage, it should look a little like this - very little harsh-looking product should be on the lid.

Leonard's Tip: "Always have Q-Tips to hand. You can get great ones from Muji as they're super small. Use them to carefully rub away what you don't like."

 neutral step 2

Step 2: Apply Shiseido Shimmering Cream in a golden brown shade, BR204, again with fingers. This time, you should be placing a dot of product in at the inner corner of the eye by the nose. Once again, blend it out back towards the centre of the eye - and psst: you don't have to be super careful with this, because look:



The very power and might of Q-Tips allow you to tidy and clean up as you go! These are the small, precise Muji buds mentioned above - Leonard swears by them.

step 3 neutrals tutorial

Step 3: Apply a dot of Shiseido Shimmering Cream in PK302 on the brow bone, again just pressing it on lightly with the pad of a finger. Now lightly blend it downwards. Even if you're not generally a fan of pink, give this a go - it will make eyes look incredibly bright, and we're blending it out to such an extent that there's no real 'pink' effect left.

 neutral eye step 4

Step 4: For this step, to add some definition to the outside corner of the eye, Leonard used a brush, a Mac Brush 228. It's a small flat brush, and he again used a Shiseido Shimmering Cream eyeshadow in BK912, but this time, he used it as an eyeliner. Only apply a little product in a V-shape at the sides of each eye. Then clean off your brush on some tissue and blend away most of the colour you just applied - it can take a while to blend so be patient.

neutral eye

The whole idea is to just leave a hint of colour and no sharp, defined lines. If you don't have brushes, you can achieve this with a Q-Tip - and of course, any mistakes can be fixed with a trusty cotton bud too.

Step 4 (optional): You may find you need to do a bit of repair work on your base at this stage, depending on how much Q-Tip action your makeup has seen. If so, repair things with a little bit of concealer under the eye - or wherever it's needed.

the finished result

And the finished look. Note: Eva has no mascara on her lashes here - that's for another tutorial, coming soon!



Makeup artist: Leonard Daly,
Model: Eva Lawes
Photographs: Kirstie McDermott

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