Three ways with yellow eyeshadow

yellow shadow

I'm slowly but surely coming down with yellow fever. Over the weekend, I caved and made purchase of Chanel Mimosa because (a) I don't think any of the budget yellow nail polishes look quite so pretty on me as it did, and (b) I had a Debenhams gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so it was basically free.

A little pot of Sleek Eye Dust pigment (£3.05 for 6.5g) in a superbright golden yellow called, appropriately enough, Sunfest, is the other slice of summer in my make-up bag. I bought in Superdrug ages ago on a whim, but it's only in the last few days I've been brave enough to actually wear it.

Now, this isn't my first go at the yellow eyeshadow rodeo: as a teenager, I had a fondness for a 17 bright yellow eyeshadow which I usually wore as eyeliner and teamed with insanely electric blue mascara. Oh yes.

Here's how I'm rocking it this time around!

As a liner: Listen, you don't mess with perfection. Much. When I saw Rachel McAdams wearing a slick of canary yellow above her upper lashes at the London premiere of Morning Glory earlier this year and looking amazing in the process, I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I followed suit.


To get her look, I'm mixing my Sleek pigment with Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyelid primer on the back of my hand and applying with my Smashbox angled eyeliner brush. Even though coloured liner is my usual strategy for an easy-peasy shot of brightness, I'm still surprised by how well the yellow looks. Pairing it with lashings of black mascara suits me far better than wearing it with electric blue - who'd have thunk it, eh? It also gives the yellow a chance to take centre stage and really make my green eyes pop.

As a subtle pop of colour: I had a proper "eureka!" moment when I saw Karen at Make Up And Beauty Blog sporting one of the MAC Surf Baby looks, Hibiscus. There are a few different takes on the yellow eye in the MAC lookbook, all created using products from SS11's Surf Baby release, but Hibiscus is my favourite. It uses a wash of yellow shadow in the crease of the lids to brighten brown or neutral shades that have been used to define and contour the eyes, and the whole thing is finished with a green-leaning teal along the lower lashline.

Straight off to the bathroom I went for a little experimentation, thinking that it would be dead easy to ramp the yellowness up or down with careful placement and by regulating the amount of product used. I primed my lids with Too Faced Shadow Insurance and used my fluffy MAC 217 blending brush to lay down L'Oreal Paris Colour Appeal in Beige Shimmer across the crease of my lids using a simple back-and-forth motion, following the natural curve of the crease.

I wiped off my brush and the used it to blend my Sleek pigment into the crease from the middle of my eyelid to the outer corner; I found using it dry gave plenty of colour payoff, but you could use a wet brush to intensify the colour.

I've been using Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in Pop Petrol or an ancient tube of their Colour Dose paint in turquoise for the lower lashline and I think it helps balance the yellow without being too OTT.


As an oranges-and-lemons effort: This is the most out there of the lot, and while I haven't quite gotten round to trying it just yet it's firmly on my "must try" list. Sophie-Ellis Bexter and blogger Keiko Lynn have both worn variations of this look lately, using yellow at the inner corner of a lidful of hot, fiery orange shadow to gorgeous tropical effect.

Pic credit:,

Related Articles

More from Beauty