How to Apply Eyeshadow Wet
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What if I told you that you could double your eyeshadow palette without buying another product?

How you ask?  By learning how to apply eyeshadow wet.

When you apply it wet, the color changes slightly.  It gives you an entirely new look with your existing eye makeup colors.  Very good to know, eh?

I first learned about this when a drug store brand had a special eyeshadow that could be applied wet or dry.  It gave directions on how to do it, and I did like the look.  But then I thought, why can't I do that will all of my shadows?  Is this shadow made differently?  Most of my shadows can be applied wet, but a few didn't work.  More on that at the end of the post.

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How to Apply Eyeshadow Wet

A Note on Water

Most women  use tap water because it's so convenient, especially if you apply your makeup in the bathroom.  Tap water can contain bacteria that won't harm you if you drink it, but when it sits in your makeup, it can cause some serious creepy crawlies.  It's best to either put loose, dry powder on a plate and add tap water or use over-the-counter eye drops or distilled water if you want to wet your brush.


I like to use makeup brushes all the time, but I really do recommend them when you apply eyeshadow wet.  It gives you a lot more control, and they are easier to wet and let dry.

  1. Wet your makeup brush by dipping it in water.  You want it wet, but not dripping with water.
  2. Remove excess water with a clean towel.  You don't have to squeeze the water out; just wipe the brush on the towel.
  3. Wipe your brush over your eye makeup.  Keep in mind that a wet brush picks up more product than a dry brush does, so you don't want to get too much on your brush.
  4. Gently sweep over your lids.  You can add more if you need it.  It's better to do two light coats than applying too much.
  5. Let dry before applying more colors.  Don't blend until you are done applying it
  6. Smudge and blend to get the right look.
  7. Wash your brushes and let dry.
You can also make your own eyeliner from loose eyeshadow.  Just wet a really small brush and apply like you would eyeliner.  I like doing this because I can get the exact shade of liner that works with my shadow colors.  

  • More expensive brands tend to work better applied wet.  You'll have to experiment with your stash.
  • Mineral makeup generally works very well when applied wet.  
  • Use light layers and gradually build up the color.
  • Use small brushes for better control.
Have you ever applied makeup wet?  Did you like the look?

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photo credit: pumpkincat210 via photopin cc
Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a goat. She loves coffee, Gilmore Girls, her chihuahua, and her kids, but not in that order.