Rainbow Eyeliner: A Surprisingly Easy Multicolored Eyeshadow Trick

Even though you're literally applying a spectrum of colors to your eyelid, this look is subtle enough to wear just about anywhere.
Publish date:
September 23, 2013
tutorials, eyeliners, eyeshadows, How-To, colorful makeup, rainbows

I apologize in advance for any Skittles cravings this article may give you. But at least you'll be that much closer to pretty eye makeup. Better yet: eat the bag of Skittles while you're applying this makeup and call it artistic inspiration.

Now, don't let the idea of wearing a rainbow on your eyelids intimidate you. Even though you're literally applying a spectrum of colors to your face, this look is subtle enough to wear just about anywhere (maybe not super-serious board meetings, though). It offers just enough color to make a statement, but not the kind of statement that causes others to scrunch their nose and think to themselves, "Girl needs to take it easy on the pigment."

Let's jump right in to this quick and painless tutorial.

Start by applying the rest of your face--whatever that entails. Since my skin is, for the most part, behaving these days, I just went with Dr. Jart's BB Cream to even out my complexion.

After applying your foundation and concealer, apply an eyeshadow primer to your lid up to the crease. I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which I seem to have an endless supply of thanks to my addiction to UD palettes.

Next, apply a neutral-colored eyeshadow up to the crease. In the past I've done a pale, matte brown, but today I'm wearing Stila Kitten, a pale champagne color, because I feel like being a shimmery goddess.

Each * denotes the colors I'm using for this look.

Now it's time to apply your rainbow. You can use any cosmetic products you want for this, but make sure the colors are rich and vibrant for the best results. I'm using e.l.f. Essential Little Black Beauty Book in "Cool" because it has all the colors I need in one handy palette.

You'll also need an eyeliner brush. I'm using e.l.f. Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush, which is a serious steal at $3. Buy it.

We're basically going to follow the ROYGBIV formula here, minus the O and I. You can mentally section off your eye into four parts (the fifth will be a wing). I like to have more blue and purple than red/yellow/green, but feel free to play with the colors to get a look you prefer.

Using a gentle hand, apply your red to the inner corner of each eye with your eyeliner brush. Go over this as many times as possible to achieve your desired brightness, and then wipe the color off your brush.

Forget about the orange and move right along to yellow. Slightly overlap the yellow onto the red. The overlapping blends the two colors together and will also create some orange in between.

Keep going, this time applying your green shade. Again, slightly overlap the two colors for a more blended look.

You should have the hang of this by now. Apply your blue, which should reach the outer corner of your eye. But don't worry, we haven't forgotten about purple.

Still using your eyeliner brush, create a purple wing on either side of your eye, slightly overlapping against your blue. To get the same wing length on each side, I use my eyebrows as a guide. I work my eyeliner upward toward the end of my eyebrow, never going past the eyebrow's length.

After you have all your colors applied, lightly sweep your (clean) eyeliner brush from the inner corners of your eye and out two or three times. This blends the colors together. Then, go in with a setting powder to prevent any color transfer or fading.

Follow up with a few coats of mascara. Skip any faux lashes or excessive mascara layering, otherwise you risk covering up or taking away from your rainbow.

As for the rest of my makeup, I forewent any blush and instead applied highlighter to my cheekbones. I also applied a blue-red lipstick for a little extra drama.

And that's the look. Told you it was easier than it looks. Let me know if you try it!