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3 Tips on Using Dark Pigmented Makeup

Using darkly pigmented makeup products isn't as scary as it seems. I know how it feels to look at an eye shadow palette, see tons of beautifully attractive hues, and then gaze upon that one, super dark color. At first, I found them to be incredibly intimidating. After all, who wants to smudge dark stains all over their eyes and lips and deem it attractive, right?

There's a bit of beauty history involved in answer to these types of questions, for starters. Dark-pigmented eye shadows first became experimented with and popularized in the early 1920s. It was an attempt at adding exaggeration and sultriness to eyes and lips. That's not to say that it was everyone's cup of tea. Just as in today's society, the era men weren't exactly crazy about women's attempts to achieve this type of beauty look. The folks at offers a unique, more detailed article regarding the beauty trends of that era.

Nevertheless, women stood their grounds and continued to practice and "perfect" the look's artistry. Eventually, the practice of using shadow and light to enhance facial features became more widely accepted and practiced to this day. However, getting started using colors like black, navy blue, or gray is still confusing for many, and most are still unsure how to play in those colors without making too much a mess. I mean- "reverse raccoon eyes" are a real thing.

So, to offer a bit of insight and ease some of the fear, I have three tips for you in case you'd love to feel better about using that deep black eye shadow that's lurking in your favorite palette. I see you avoiding it...

Start small and subtly. When conquering fear, you will either face it head-on or make small inches towards it. Although we're referring to eye shadow and lip color rather than heights, dark shades are genuinely frightening to some. So, in these cases, start by taking it one small step at a time. For example, if you're attempting to create a '20s smoky eye shadow using black pigment, try smudging a bit of black eyeliner over your lid first, allowing it to act as a guide for your eye shadow placement.


Mind the amount you're using. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Less is more?" It applies to other aspects of makeup, but it is especially crucial in using dark colors. If you jump out of the gate, slathering black eye shadow all over your lid without a placement plan and building strategy, then you will almost always make a more significant mistake in your application. Try using smaller, more sheer layers and build your color saturation from there. You can always add more if necessary; however, it is much more difficult to diffuse and blend more massive amounts of product. Make sure you tap off any excess product (specifically for powders) in-between layering.


Monitor your touch with placement. Your sense of touch is more important than you may conceive, especially when applying makeup. If you hold your tools, like brushes, closer to the bristles than above the metal part (called the ferrule), then you will likely have more difficulties making your techniques work best for you. I call it "being heavy-handed." It seems (and in some ways is) faster, but speed doesn't always win the race. It would help if you took your time with darker hues unless you enjoy spending extra time correcting avoidable mistakes.

Would you like to try out these tips with the assistance of a professional makeup artist in a fun and engaging way?

We're hosting another amazing online beauty event! We invite you to come and hang out with the ladies as we recreate 1920s-inspired smoky eye makeup. This event is to pay homage to beauty trends that inspired a generation 100 years ago and the end of National Family History Month.

Learn Neci's step-by-step techniques to create a replica glassy, smoky eye, "Sip 'N Paint" style. This is a B.Y.O.B.B. (Bring Your Own Beauty Bag) event. You may see the full details for yourself here.

Can't fit the event into your schedule, but would still like to gain more insight into your beauty routine or assistance with specific makeup concerns? Our Virtual Makeup Experiences, Virtual Makeup Parties, and New You Consultations are now live and ready for action! Click here to see our offers.


Neci D.

If you've found this information useful or helpful in any way, then do us a favor and share it with the beauty lovers in your life. We'd surely appreciate the love.

As always, remember to:

-Know yourself

-Love yourself and

-Embrace your own beauty.



Candied Y.A.M.S. Makeup Artistry

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Henrico, VA 23228

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