Unblended Eyeshadow: The Ultimate Guide

Unblended Eyeshadow
Right now, unblended eyeshadow is one of the hottest trends. You can do it by drawing the lines and filling them in with a little brush.

We don’t know where it started or how it will end, but does anyone know about the unblended eyeshadow looks? No one does. I mean, the beauty gurus we see online all tend to have very seamless eyeshadow. But how about this trend of unblended eyeshadow? Most people try to make their look completely flawless, and that makes sense, but not entirely.

If you’ve watched some Noir films, you know that no one tends to blend the eyeshadow for hours; instead, they just pack the shade on the crease and make it look like they’ve done a lot of work. I guess that’s where the strand of unblended eyeshadow came in. And we might have some hostility towards the unblended shadow look, but this does make sense in this world. Just putting color on the crease and making it a part of the effortless and classy look is something everyone can do. What is this unblended eyeshadow look?

Most people use one or two shades of unblended eyeshadow and are simply more inclined toward the darker shades. And that way, you have complete control over the whole look. With blended eyeshadow, there are more things to get by. First, the look is more towards simplicity and less work. Makeup doesn’t have to be tons of work, and this part of the shadow establishes it. And next up, we have the two-shadow unblended look. For this sort of look, you need to use two colors, a matte and a shimmery.

Pack the eyeshadow on the lid and then put the shimmery eyeshadow on top of it. With unblended eyeshadow, there is more than one thing to consider. For example, there you’ll just be packing the eyeshadow onto the lid and packing it well. This way, there’s less chance of fallout, and the eyeshadow will have a harsh line.

And then, when you are done with the eyeshadow, you can add shimmer eyeshadow on top of it. This way, you will have the perfect transition yet a perfectly classic look. If you look back at our previous generation, you’ll notice that they didn’t put much effort into blending the eyes; they preferred the smudged look, which we approve of. And we kind of think the rage of unblended eyeshadow looks came from those terms.

When did the trend of unblended eyeshadow start?

When did the trend of unblended eyeshadow start

We say the flapper era was the time when people really started wearing eyeshadow. They wore the shades more in darker ranges like navy, black or dark green. Most importantly, it was a one-and-done makeup look. The eyeshadow was put on to balance out the lips. For instance, most people loved the red lip look. With some shimmery clothes, gloves and heels, and a very bold lip and flapper’s hair, a plain eye doesn’t really work. So what’s the best way to make the eyes pop?

A dark shadow will do the work. Irrespective of the fact that there were no brushes, everyone would just use a finger or a tiny spool to do the job. The eyes would complement the whole look and wouldn’t be the center of attention. And that might be when the unblended shadow becomes a thing. Did we mention that dark eyeshadows always tend to draw attention to eye colors?

Next up, we have our mothers and grandmothers. Just a few years ago, it started; you could cut creases and blend from edge to edge. Previously, one-shadow looks made a big statement. If you remember the Britney Spears and Madonna looks from the 2000s, you’ll know how blended the eyeshadows were. And that was the trend at that time. With time, everything has changed, and today it is more toward the seamless look. But are the unblended eyeshadow looks really gone? We say no.

Let’s just dive into the fall 2017 fashion shows, and there were trends in unblended shadows. We include the graphical looks in the unblended shadows. We might be going for the looks later on, but is there no blending of the shadows? There was not. With runways, the main emphasis is put on the dress rather than the models. How they walk and carry themselves is the talk of another time. But with the fall fashion shows of 2017, everything was more towards that effortless look.

And then, let’s jump to the 2022 version of the unblended eyeshadow looks. If you are a fan of Peaky Blinder, then you’ll see how the actresses look. They did not put tons of shadows and did a crease, but rather it was one and done with a shadow look. Well, you might see some shimmers, but that was not really in the blended criteria. Though the show presents the old and classic Birmingham, the unblended eyeshadow is still in the play and still makes sense.

Why are unblended eyeshadows getting popular

There have been some cultural references for unblended eyeshadows, but still, some other things need to be addressed when we are talking about unblended eyeshadows. There are tons of things to look forward to, and we are including the reasons why these looks are getting their highlights:

1. Easy to do

We all want something easy, and most people tend to wear makeup first thing in the morning. And most of us aren’t interested in putting too much effort into our eyes. I personally put more time into the base. And the eyes are the second thing to think of. So anything easy is the best way to go through it. And what’s easier than one eyeshadow or the unblended eyeshadow look? This just takes the end of the finger or a tiny brush. Just put the shadow on the lid and leave the house.

2. It takes less time

Well, if the eyeshadow takes minimal time, is convenient, and still feels and looks good, everyone loves to do the work. And the unblended eyeshadow looks the best in this way. They take up the least amount of time. And for this, it will be the best 5-minute look. And you only need to spend 30 seconds with your eyes.

3. Effortless

Another thing to look forward to is how effortless this sort of eye makeup feels. We mentioned the flappers and the early era of the 90s before. As a result, these looks are appropriate for both everyday wear and formal occasions. With unblended eyeshadow, the effortless terms of the makeup are prominent, and it brings the whole face together.

4. Experiments

If you want to create a graphical look or focus all the attention on the eyes, then the unblended eyeshadows do look good in every possible way. With graphical palates, just use a tiny brush and draw the lines and fill them up. And for that, no blend and only one shadow will do the job. And when you really want the eyes to pop, then this sort of work does the job. Experiments are not about blending all the looks but rather just the basics.

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Eyeshadows for the unblended eyeshadow look

There are different sorts of eyeshadows on the market, and for the unblended eyeshadow look, you need three concepts for the eyeshadows within the products. They are:

  • Highly pigmented: When you are going for an unblended eyeshadow look, the makeup products have to be highly pigmented. That way, they will show up on your bare skin. Always choose the colors that you can make work, and if you’re doing just one shadow, go for darker and matte shades.
  • Simple to apply: There are various types of eyeshadow; ensure that they go on smoothly. A very liquid or a stick shadow is perfect in this case. They look effortless and minimal as well.
  • Easy to pack on: now, with unblended eyeshadow, we’ll not talk about how easy the shadow is to blend. But rather than that, we’ll talk about if the eyeshadow will pack well on bare skin with our eye base. If you still want the shadow to pop, then using a concealer will make the job easier. That way, you have time to prepare yourself to make the shadow look cool.

Now, these are the criteria that an eyeshadow has to meet when we are talking about one eyeshadow look. But how about the products? Which eyeshadows are perfect for that unblended eyeshadow look? Here we include the types of shadows that we think will look perfect as unblended eyeshadow.

Cream eyeshadow

Cream eyeshadow

These shadows have the higher parts of the oil and are very intensely pigmented. They will go on with every skin type, will give a pop of color, and, most importantly, there will not be any fallout. And these are the ones that can be out on just the fingers, and a graphic line would also be possible.

Liquid eyeshadow

Liquid eyeshadow

If you really look forward to that one shadow and an unblended look, then the liquid eyeshadows are perfect. They go on quickly, dry down, and are highly pigmented. These eyeshadows are ideal for day-to-day looks. You don’t have to go with bold color choices, but instead, choose one color shadow, and you’ll be okay with the whole look of it.

They stay on top of the crease and have the best vibrancy. They feel dry when you put on the lid, and then they tend to dry as time passes. For regular use, you can choose an eyeshadow that looks natural on your skin tone and will feel like nothing but a touch of glitter as you move your head.

Eyeshadow crayon

Eyeshadow crayon

The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the one eyeshadow look or even the unblended shadow is shadow crayons. These are super easy to use, and they tend to look very natural. Think of a pencil liner with a more creamy layer; thus, you have more control over the overall application of the eyeshadow. Different brands come up with their own pen versions of eyeshadow, and you can find one that will suit regular use.

Some of the editorials look for unblended eyeshadow

Some of the editorials look for unblended eyeshadow

Here are some of the looks from the Fall 2017 fashion shows:

The samurai

Here, only red and black shadows have been used. Well, with editorial looks, the models are prepped with a clean face and barely any rosiness. One eye with red cream eyeshadow, and for the other, using a black shadow will look perfect. Random use of shadows is the key.

Silver Shadow

Here the whole face was kept blunt, just not the eyes. This look was from the Alexis Mabille fashion show and was termed as easy, artsy, and fun. The gold accent on the lid was inspired by Spirited Away, and it was a silver metallic wing on the eyes.

Red bloom

Another unblended eyeshadow that caught our eyes was the look of Vanessa Seward, where a bunch of red eyeshadow was just put on the lid with some black eyeliner on top. The makeup ended with a red lip to compliment the eyes.

Miss Scarlet

This Valentino look is the ultimate classic. This look has inspired so many looks after this, and the makeup was done on the bottom lashes and was even focused on that area. This will be perfect if you have hooded eyes and want to focus on the unblended shadows.


1. Can you over-blend eyeshadow?

Yes, you can over-blend the eyeshadow; that way, the shades will lose their overall intensity.

2. How do you apply eyeshadow properly?

To apply the eyeshadow properly, first, you have to start with a clean base, and an eye primer would be preferable. Then pack the shadows on the lid. And then, use a blending brush to blend the edges.

3. How to apply eyeshadow without it falling?

To apply eyeshadow without falling, you must first start with a very tacky base. That way, you have fewer eyeshadows falling out and more pigmentation.

Final Thoughts

Blended eyeshadows are not going anywhere now that we have established unblended eyeshadows as a trend. At one, you’ll be doing a look that takes less time and an ode to the 90s and 80s. And it’s something we all do almost every day with blended eyeshadow. Blended eyeshadows are the norm, and the unblended ones are for emergencies and when you do not want to put a massive effort into it.

This way, the whole look will have a perfect balance. But with unblended eyeshadow, there are other things to consider, like whether you need to stop making your face flawless. A heavy foundation might not work, but a bold red or deep lipstick will definitely do. So, since we’re emphasizing unblended eyeshadow, why not try it this Halloween?

Key Points

  1. You’ll just be placing the eyeshadow onto the lid and filling it well with unblended makeup. There will be minimal fallout, and the eyeshadow will have a sharp line this way.
  2. In this approach, the eyes would complement the whole look rather than being the focal point, and it is also the simplest method.
  3. With graphical palettes, just draw the lines and fill them in with a little brush for unblended eyeshadow. And for that, no blend and only one shadow are required.

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