How to create bright and colourful eye looks! | Cut-crease pictorial

Hey everyone! Happy hump day!

Today I want to do something a little different: show you a step-by-step pictorial of how to do bright and colourful looks. I know for a lot of people, colour can be seen as something to be scared of. Well have no fear! With the right techniques, you can get an incredibly gorgeous look.

Below is what I will be showing you how to create. I did it with the Violet Voss Flamingo palette, but do realize as we go through this tutorial that this is meant to mainly teach you my methods/theory when working with vibrant colours. Both the eyeshadows and the shades are completely interchangeable with whatever you have on hand.



For this look I used the shades Watermelon, Coral, Sand, Seashell, Pinwheel, Sandals and Sunnies from the Violet Voss Flamingo Palette. Basically some mattes for the crease, some shimmers for the lid, and some deeper shades to give depth to the outer corner. You could really create a look like this with only 2-3 shades if you wanted: a matte for the crease, a deeper matte for the outer corner (optional if you want to keep the look bright), and a shimmer or matte for the lid.


When creating any eye look, I use a variety of blending brushes of different sizes. From biggest to smallest:

For drawing on cut-creases and applying shadows to the lid I use a very firm flat eyeshadow brush. The firmer the better. The best one that I have found so far is the flat end of the brushes that are included in Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I’m not sure if they sell another flat brush that is exactly like this one separately, but it might be this one.


Let’s get into this tutorial!

When I know I am going to do a bright look and I want to retain the vibrancy and brightness of the shades I know I need to do three things:

  1. Do my eye makeup first. When working with bright colours, you really can’t be afraid of fall out. You want maximum pigment payoff, and if you get fall out, it’s going to be a bright colour, making it really difficult to fix if you have already done the rest of your makeup!
  2. I use a white concealer as a primer for my lids because I want to have the eyeshadow shades show up as true to colour as possible. You can use a neutral concealer if you want, but the lighter the better so that the colour doesn’t change due to applying over top of a skin-coloured concealer. The brighter the base, the truer the colour.
  3. I do not set my primer. If you have a tacky primer for the shadow to stick you, you will get maximum pigmentation, which is the goal with a vibrant, colourful look.

As you can see below, I start by priming my lids with concealer. I use a white concealer on my lid (Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème “White Out”), but a regular skin-toned concealer on my brow bone (Maybelline Fit Me Concealer “Fair”). I don’t want my brow bone to end up being straight white, since colourful eyeshadow will not be applied over that area. And that would just look weird.


I then use a small makeup sponge to blend in the concealer, being semi-careful to blend so that the colours stay in their applied areas. Do not apply any powder or neutral shadow over your primed lids! You want them to be tacky. If the concealer starts to crease, blend over with the sponge again.


*THEORY* The technique with applying shadow over a tacky primer is somewhat opposite from when you apply over a set primer. When you are applying shadow after setting your primer, you start with bigger, fluffier brushes to diffuse colour lightly into the crease, and you apply shadow in a more and more precise way into the crease with smaller brushes to give the crease depth. In this case, with a tacky, non-set primer, you first apply your most pigmented shadow with a precise blending brush right into the crease. You essentially start with depth, and then diffuse out.

So the next step after applying your primer is to apply your main matte shadow with a smaller blending brush to your outer corner and slowly and lightly drag it into the crease. Keep this concentrated in the crease and don’t worry about it looking blended around the edges. You are merely applying pigment to the crease with this step. Build this up to be as dark as you like. If you are planning on doing a cut-crease, the darker the better. For this step I used the shade Watermelon and the MAC #221.


After you have applied a good amount of pigment and depth to the crease, use a bigger fluffy blending brush and either a light amount of the same crease shade, or a lighter matte shade to blend out the edges. Use light-handed windshield wiper and circular motions along the periphery of that original shadow that you laid down. Blend until you are happy with the colour diffusion. For this step I used the shade Coral and the Morphe M514.

At this point you can also add a neutral brow bone shade to set that concealer, and blend it down into your transition that you just created. I used the shade Sand and the Sephora Collection PRO Featherweight Crease Brush #38.


Once you are happy with the crease, you can move onto the lid. If you want to do a cut-crease (which I always do), you will need a concealer of some sort. Like before, I prefer to use a white concealer so that the shade appears true to colour on my lid.

Most people want the cut-crease to end up just above your natural crease, so that the lid colour can be seen when looking forward. An easy way to determine where this is is by “stamping” it. First, apply concealer from your inner corner to about halfway across your lid just along the part of your lid that is closest to the lash line. Then, look all the way up to the ceiling one or twice. This should have caused the concealer that you applied to “stamp” on the upper part of your lid, just above your crease. This provides a nice guideline for where you should fill in the rest of your concealer. I use the Urban Decay Flat Brush from the Naked palettes for this step. Use any firm flat shader brush to do this.


After you have your guideline, proceed to fill in the rest of your lid with concealer. I only usually take the concealer 1/2 to 3/4 of the way across the lid to the outer corner. But you could take it all the way across if you wanted to do a full cut-crease.

Overall, don’t worry too much about accuracy, just try your best. As you can see here, I really wasn’t being careful at all. Once you apply the lid shades and reblend everything, it won’t matter. Also, don’t over do it with the concealer. You are just applying a thin layer to make it tacky, essentially.


Now that your concealer has been laid down, you can apply lid shades. I used two different shimmer shades, but you could use just one if you want. I prefer to apply shimmers to my lids by pressing them on with my finger. This is the best way to transfer the maximum amount of pigment to your lid. To apply lid shades to precise areas, such as close to the periphery of the cut-crease, I use another firm flat shader brush (another UD Naked palette brush; I have two). For this step I used the shades Seashell (inner lid) and Pinwheel (outer lid).


After I have applied my lid shades, I always go back and blend the outer corner with either my original matte shade, or a deeper matte shade, precisely with small circular/back and forth motions. You essentially want the transition between the shimmer and the matte shades in the outer corner to not be noticeable (unless you want it to be a full cut crease). If you find that you have lost too much of the shimmer shade, press some more on with your finger. Go back and forth with the shimmer and the outer corner mattes until you are happy with the blend and the depth. I used the shades Sandals and Sunnies with the Makeup Addiction Precise Blender and the MAC #221.

If you find that the periphery of your cut crease is looking too sharp or stark, very lightly and precisely blend just above or on the periphery with a very small and precise blending brush, and your original matte shade or your deepest matte shade. I used my original shade Watermelon with the Makeup Addiction Precise Blender.

After that, your eye look is essentially finished! At this point I cleaned up the fallout, added eye cream back to my under eye, and added on winged eye liner.


After I have finished everything on my lid, I apply all of my face makeup. Then you can go back in and add your inner corner highlight, and some shadows to the lower lash line, if you want. For the inner corner I used the shade Seashell and the MAC #219. For the lower lash line I used the shade Coral and the MAC #221.


And that’s the finished makeup look!




Overall, the technique is really the same as with regular eyeshadow looks, the steps are just done in a different order. I really hope that this pictorial has helped you to think about branching out into creating more colourful looks, and that they now feel more approachable!

If you have any questions at all, or if anything is unclear, do not hesitate to comment below!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

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9 thoughts on “How to create bright and colourful eye looks! | Cut-crease pictorial

  1. Hello Nova, I found you on wordpress. Wow, amazing eye makeup tutorial. I love the way it turned out and you look stunning. I am your new following, just started my own blog. Come, visit me please and would love to have any advice you have for a new blogger like myself.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE this post! I really like how you showed everything step by step with photos, it’s so helpful! I’m going to try this this weekend!
    Question: what is the point of applying shadow over set primer vs tacky primer? Doesn’t a tacky base help the to adhere better/more vibrantly, regardless of whether you are doing a colour or a neutral look? I’ve always wondered why people set their eyeshadow primer, but never had an opportunity to ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great, thanks so much!
      You could certainly use a tacky primer with neutral shadows, but I just think it’s much more important with colourful shadows so that you retain the vibrancy and don’t dull the colour. With neutral shadows, I personally am not looking for BAM vibrancy. I’m looking to build things up slowly so that they look more natural. But I’m sure it would work either way.
      Overall, I prefer to set my primer when I’m doing daily looks, and I’m not sure why. Likely because that’s how I learned to do eyeshadow, so it’s extra familiar. Not setting my primer is just something that I have picked up lately, and I only do it with colourful looks because I feel like it is extra important. It also really depends on the palette. With the Violet Voss Flamingo palette, I have found that you really can’t set your primer if you want to be successful with it.
      People claiming that “you must set your eyeshadow primer, so that eyeshadow blends nicely and doesn’t stick” seems to me to be such an old wives tale. Lol. Like who started this rumour? Not setting your primer works perfectly fine and blending is very doable. Just depends on your tools and the shadow perhaps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh, cool, thanks for explaining, that totally makes sense! It’s funny, because I learned to do eye makeup the opposite way – not setting the primer. I first got into makeup when the UD Primer Potion was all the rage (it was still in the silly genie lamp packaging instead of the tube) and nobody ever set that primer. It’s only been in the last two or three years that I started noticing people setting their primer so that confused me!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I know realise it’s down to me not adding a primer on top of colour tahat by other colour doesn’t show… Can’t wait to practise x

    Liked by 1 person

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