Cheery Yellow Eye Look Tutorial

It is the end of May, which means we are on the heels of summer (yay!). This yellow eye look is appropriate for the warm transition and though this tutorial a little bit of a depart from what I’m normally about (calling out BS or saying, “No seriously, this thing really is awesome, it isn’t just weird dumb hype,”) I was so happy with it that I wanted to share. Want to wear yellow shadow? It can, in fact, be done without looking like a clown.

Yellow Eye LookCheery Yellow Eye Look

The yellow is actually a bit more saturated in real life, but I just couldn’t quite capture it that morning or afternoon (and I do not like to color-correct or filter my photos). Just my eye because I didn’t do a full face yesterday (even forgot the dang concealer) BUT STILL. This is how this whole thing happened:

Recently having woken up, I was trying to decide how I wanted to do my eye makeup today. Normally I’ll dither about which palette I want to grab for it, but today I just thought, “Let’s get weird.

I grabbed my Coastal Scents 252 Palette. I rarely bother to think about my makeup in coordination to what I’m wearing because if I wear eye makeup, I wear neutrals 98.9743% of weekdays. I don’t remember, at this point, my thought process on why I chose the yellow – I know I’ve been liking to *look* at yellow a lot lately (I find it to be cheerful), so maybe it was that. I do know it it worked surprisingly well with what I wore – a Worthington (Penney’s) top in what I think (based on a quick search) is their Stunning Pink or Adventure Pink color, and grey slacks.

ANYWAY. On to what I used to achieve this bright, summery, cheery pop of yellow eye look.

  • NYX Milk Pencil – you don’t want to skip this, or the yellow will not pop as well. It is often out of stock in stores, so try online if you can’t find it near you.
  • Coastal Scents 252 Palette. You can get it on Amazon or direct from Coastal Scents.
  • Flat Brush – I used the one that came with my Naked Palette, but any flat shader (like a MAC 242, which I do not own) will be fine.
  • Fluffy Tapered Blending Brush – I used a bdellium 785 because that’s what I have (similar to MAC 224), but any will do. Sigma has a nice one, or if you have something else you like for crease work, that’s cool too.
  • Another Blending Brush – Your choice. I actually used the Real Techniques Shading Brush (because in reality it is not ideal for regular shading, but is great for small-area blending), but you could use something like a MAC 217 (I was going to use my bdellium 776 but reached for this instead).
  • Eyeliner that makes you happy, preferably black or dark brown. I recommend gel!
  • Mascara that makes you happy.

OKAY. Onto the education. We are using three main colors from the Coastal Scents 252 Palette (which you can view here because Coastal Scents is awesome) and they can all be found on the warmer (red/yellow based) of the three inserts. The colors used are: Orange Mousse (In the chart: first column, third down – way more yellow than orange) and Sunflower Petal (Fourth column, second down). The light shimmery stuff on the inner half is Polished Ivory (first column, second down).

1. Apply a thin layer of NYX Milk to your lid. It doesn’t have to be your whole lid (but you can if you want), just really where you’re putting your yellow. I didn’t use a separate primer (Milk has primer-y qualities), so I applied it all over, slightly heavier in the outer half. I do this by dotting it on my kid (rather than drawing or coloring it on), then I blend it out with my finger so it is even and not a bunch of awkward dots.

2. With your flat brush, pick up some of Orange Mousse (which is yellow, not orange, may I add) and Sunflower Petal and pat it onto the outer half of your lid. Build it up to your desired opacity/brightness – you may need to pick up some more shadow on your brush depending on how opaque you want it. I wanted it pretty opaque because my office is pretty casual and I knew I could get away with this. You may want to go a little more sheer for daytime if your office is a bit more conservative or if you aren’t sure.

3. Once you’re happy with that, you can use the other side of your flat brush OR another similar brush OR the RT Shading brush. Pick up Polished Ivory and place it on the inner half.

4. With the fluffy tapered blending brush, take a shadow color a shade or two darker than your skin tone and place it in the crease with windshield-wiper motions. Try to keep this motion in the crease – it will blend the top edge of your yellow and ivory, but you don’t want to bring it down into those colors – this is just for socket definition. I used Kokomo Cafe (Seventh column, second from the bottom) in my crease, but you might need a different shade.

5. Take the RT Shading brush and blend the ivory and yellow together where they meet. Don’t overdo it, we don’t want a light yellow amalgamation – you want to achieve a gradient or ombre effect like above.

6. IF you feel like you need it, add a little more yellow to the outer half. I wanted to, because I wanted it to be bright.

7. Line your eyes as you see fit. I did a tiny wing with Milani Eye Tech Extreme Felt Liner (discussed here). You can do a crazy wing, you can skip that noise. That said, if you normally do a razor thin line, go a little thicker with this. You want the black or dark brown liner to really separate the yellow from your eye – otherwise, you risk looking too sallow.

8. Mascara. You can do your bottom lashes, too, if you like to live dangerously. I haven’t decided if I like that on myself yet, though.

It seems silly broken down into eight steps, but this took me no more than seven minutes to achieve, and that is a generous estimate. I think this is very spring/summer appropriate, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you if it is on trend because I don’t really keep up with that sort of thing.

Though I have only ever tried something like this with a pretty coral shadow, I believe this technique can be applied to many bright or non-neutrals without turning out like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. If you’re like me and cling to your neutrals for dear life, don’t be so afraid to tiptoe out of your comfort zone for a bit – it isn’t traumatizing.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I’ll only tell you that something is awesome if I have verified it myself!