How to use those neglected shades in your eyeshadow palette

Palettes; they attract us with their beauty, the endless possibilities, the treasure trove of transition colours, sparkling pigments and hues you’ve only seen on Instagram. Despite the world of colours at our literal fingertips, why do we find ourselves defaulting to the same shades time and time again—the bronzy, peachy, neutral tones are always the first to go, amiright? Determined to get out of our comfort zone, we consulted MECCA makeup artist and training manager, Hannah Daniel, to help us hit the pan on every shade.


Yes—Halloween is coming—but no, it’s not the only time you can reach for the darkest hue in your palette. Use black to deepen just the outer corner of your eye to add definition and create serious mood. According to Daniel you can also use it as a substitute for pencil liner by using a fine angle brush and a little setting spray to wet it. “Try adding a soft wing to your usual daytime eyeshadow look, it won’t be as intense as a liquid but will add depth to the lash line.” You can also try this with a deep green or purple shade for a jewel-tone accent.

White and pearl shimmers

Where to use white? This shade (or lack thereof) makes a great base for your eyeshadows and helps amp up the colour. “If you’re on the other end of the spectrum (pun intended) and a bit colour shy, try mixing white with your coloured eyeshadows to make them more mellow, or create a pastel effect,” says Daniel. “If the white has a little shimmer or pearl to it, use it in the inner corners to brighten the eye and give you a wide-awake effect.”

Green and blue

Bright shades are having a moment and now is the perfect time to dip into the abandoned greens and blues in your palette. “Green is a great shade to enhance light brown or hazel eyes,” says Daniel. “Try applying a soft wash to the entire lid and adding depth in the outer corners with a warm brown—the colours will complement each other beautifully.” Another great shade for brown eyes is blue. “Adding a navy or electric blue to a dark smoky eye is a great way to make brown eyes pop.”

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If you ask us, pink is now officially a neutral—so don’t leave it hanging in your palette. “Bright pinks are a great way to add interest in the inner corner of your eye,” says Daniel. Just add a dab of colour for a very cool and contemporary look. If you’re a blush gal (and aren’t we all), you can also use pink eyeshadow to create a monotone look. “Complement your cheeks by adding a veil of pink or rose to your eyelids, this will beautifully tie your entire look together.”

Set yourself a challenge

The easiest way to get to the bottom of your palette? Embrace your creativity. Every morning, after you’ve done your go-to bronzy eye for the millionth time, why not try adding a different colour just to the centre of your lid? It’s a simple twist on your everyday look. Next? Watch the compliments roll in.