The Anatomy of an Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow Quad How To

I used to be completely clueless when it comes to eyeshadow. My mum has never been that interested in makeup, and I don’t have older sisters or cousins I could learn from, so my beauty education came solely from the pages of teenage magazines. Unsurprisingly this resulted in many ill-judged glitter explosions and put me off eyeshadow for a long time.

But thankfully my luck began to change when I reached my twenties. I purchased a fantastic Laura Mercier brush set in the Space NK sale, suddenly had access to makeup artists who passed on their knowledge, and started using Charlotte Tilbury’s eyeshadow quads.

I now follow the simple four-step method championed in Charlotte’s Colour-Coded Eyeshadow range, and it’s completely transformed my daily makeup routine. So, if you still struggle with quads and palettes, here’s the foolproof guide to applying eyeshadow like a pro…

How to Use an Eyeshadow Quad

Lightest shade/base colour: Apply all over the eyelid and up to the brow bone with a flat eyeshadow brush. Use a primer underneath if needed (I rate Benefit Stay Don’t Stray).

Second lightest shade: Blend into the socket and the outer corner of the eye with an eye crease or smudge brush, paying careful attention to mix the colours well (use a blending brush over both shadows for a really seamless effect).

Darkest colour: Paint finely along the lash line with a short, fine eyeliner or angled brush for a precise finish. And, for a more dramatic look, mix the dark and medium colours together on the back of your hand and then paint underneath the lower lashes as well.

Metallic shade: Dot into the centre of each eyelid with your finger or the tip of your flat eyeshadow brush for a subtle touch of shimmer.

Invest in a good set of makeup brushes and most of the work is done for you. Trust me, they’re a real game changer and you needn’t spend a fortune – this Real Techniques Starter Set has everything you need. Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour-Coded Eyeshadows are also worth the big spend, as they come with foolproof application instructions and all of the shades are long-wearing and easy to blend (the Rock Chic, Dolce Vita and Sophisticate palettes are the best wear-anywhere quads).

Master this technique and you’ll never find yourself starring at an eyeshadow quad in awe and bewilderment again!


  1. Charlotte Webb says:

    This guide sounds great – I might give it a go myself! Thanks 🙂 x

  2. DreamInLace says:

    Great post idea. I always just play – but sometimes I break down of how to use something is really helpful! My mom didn’t teach me much about makeup either, and boy do my teen years show it 😉


  3. Miss J. says:

    Beautiful colours! i love the metallic shades!



  4. I have never thought of this untill now, really interesting ^^

    Z ♥

  5. Great tip! I really like Charlotte Tilbury’s palets, they are great!


  6. This is so useful, thank you! I keep eyeing Charlotte Tilbury palettes – think it’s about time I tried one!


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