How to Use Every Shade in an Eye Shadow Palette: Celeb Makeup Artist Billy B. Explains

Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba both wear a smoky eye
How to rock a celeb-worthy smoky eye using an eye shadow palette.  George Pimentel/Getty Images; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In theory, eye shadow palettes are a genius multitasking product. In one pan are the four or so shades that will take your makeup look from ho-hum to ah-mazing.

However, one or two of the shadows always seem to be the go-to colors, with the remaining left virtually untouched.

L’Oreal Paris Consulting Makeup Artist Billy B. demystifies the palette so you can create an expert smoky eye every time.

“A palette is convenient logistically, but the real value is that most of the work has been done for you by experts choosing the shades to create your look,” he tells Us Weekly.

Here, follow Billy B.’s foolproof method to using a palette like a pro.

Smoky Eye chart

To start, sweep the lightest color on the brow bone and on the lid. “It can also be applied by the tear duct to open the eye up and create a luminous glow,” he tells Us.

Thinking of the outer corner as a sideways V, apply the lightest of the three darker shades and blend out. “As you move to the next darker shades, blend out but not as much,” he says. To blend all of the colors together, Billy B. suggests going over your eye with an eye shadow brush dipped in a bit of loose powder.

Try out Billy B.’s easy how-to with these five flattering palettes.

Eyeshadow Palette

Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Tisse Rivoli contain rich shades inspired by Chanel tweed. (Top left, $61, Chanel.com)

The buildable color in the Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Quad in Volcano take the smoky eye from the office to happy hour with ease. (Top right, $60, Dolcegabbana.com)

Can’t decide which palette to go for? Try the all-in-one 30 Years. 30 Colors. 30 Artists. Palette by Make Up For Ever, which contains 3 pans of 10 shades, categorized by brights and neutrals. (Bottom left, $250, Makeupforever.com)

The earthy greens in the Lancome 5 Pan Eye Shadow Palette in Golden Sage were inspired by green malachite for a naturally stunning effect. (Middle right, $50, Lancome-usa.com)

The metallic neutrals in the L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quad in Treasured Bronze flatter any look. (Bottom right, $9.99, Lorealparisusa.com)

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!