Introduction: Creating a Black Eye Without Stage Makeup

Knowing how to create a black eye has been useful for my Halloween costumes and photography assignments. This tutorial will show you how to create a black eye without stage makeup. It is quick, easy, and, best of all, cheap! While stage makeup is effective for theatre, it can be hard to find and looks fake off the stage. Regular makeup is easy to find and has a more realistic look to it.

The makeup I used in this tutorial comes from a brand called Smashbox, which is a more expensive brand that can only be found in speciality makeup stores. Expensive eyeshadows are of a higher quality because they are made with finely ground powder that makes the pigment richer, but expensive brands are not needed for this tutorial. I used them because they happened to be on hand.

Drugstore makeup brands will more than likely have all of these eyeshadow colors since they are common. If you are only using these eyeshadows for this project, I would recommend buying from the cheapest brand possible, like N.Y.C, for example.

What’s most important to remember when selecting the eyeshadows is to use ones that are “matte", which means without any type of glitter. Glitter, needless to say, would ruin the realistic elements that is needed to successfully accomplish this particular look.

As for the tools I used, there is nothing special about them. I used a basic eyeshadow brush that came with a palette of eyeshadows. There are great tools out there, but I think sticking with the basics best serves my purpose since I wear little makeup in my daily life. You could even use your finger instead of an eyeshadow brush if you wanted to. It actually works better because it’s easier to clean and blends the colors more evenly.

I also think that tissues work better than q-tips because those rub off too much of the eyeshadow. Once again, you can get away with using your finger to rub the colors together instead of using a tissue.

The colors I use look more like the colors that make up an actual bruise, which are usually a mix of purple and brown. In my particular palette, there was a yellow eyeshadow that I could have used as well. Yellow would have made the bruise look more faded, but I wanted the bruise to look dark so that it would stand out. 

If you are unsure of what colors you would like to use, I would suggest looking up pictures of real bruises.

To complete this look, you will need:

beige eyeshadow
brown eyeshadow 
maroon eyeshadow
eyeshadow brush

Step 1:

Get a large amount of beige eyeshadow on the brush.

Step 2:

Sweep the beige eyeshadow from the eyelashes to underneath the brow bone. This creates an even base for the rest of the colors to build on. No matter what eyeshadow look you do, starting with an even base is always a good idea, even for less dramatic looks.

Step 3:

Clean the eyeshadow brush with a tissue. Rub the brush rapidly over the tissue to get out all of the powder. This is important because powder caught in the brush will mix with the other colors. 

After cleaning the brush, get a large amount of brown eyeshadow on the brush.

Step 4:

Smudge the brown eyeshadow on the bottom half of your eyelid by passing the brush back and forth over your eyelid. 

Step 5:

Also using the brown eyeshadow, place some of it underneath your eye, as close to the lashes as possible.

Curve the eyeshadow around the outside corner of your eye as well so that the shadow covers the lower half of your eyelid, circles around the corner of your eye, and meets with the shadow underneath your eye. This should create an almost complete circle of eyeshadow. You want the eyeshadow to be thin around the inside corner and thick around the outside corner because if the eyeshadow is drawn in a complete circle around your eye, it will look too perfect and unrealistic.

Step 6:

Clean off the eyeshadow brush with a tissue in the same way as before. Then get a small amount of maroon eyeshadow on the brush.

Step 7:

Bring the maroon eyeshadow underneath your brow bone, blending it down into the brown eyeshadow on the lower half of your eye lid. Also layer the maroon eyeshadow on top of the brown eyeshadow in the corner and underneath your eye. Layering the maroon eyeshadow should be done by dabbing the eyeshadow on top of the brown eyeshadow. You do not need to put it on in perfect strokes. This technique will create an unevenness, or blotchiness, which looks more like a bruise, which is not a perfectly even blend of colors.

Step 8:

Extend the maroon eyeshadow beyond the corner of your eye and blend it back towards your brow bone, also using a small dabbing motion.

Step 9:

Using a tissue, blend the two colors together. Go all over your eye in small circles to make sure the two colors mix together. Don’t blend too much or you will rub the eyeshadow off. Also, blending too much will make the makeup look too smooth and perfect, where is should appear uneven and imperfect.

Step 10:

That's it! You have now successfully given yourself a black eye with everyday makeup.

Extra Tips:

To make your eyeshadow last for hours, you can use a variety of options from eyeshadow base, to foundation, to powder. Eyeshadow base is a thick cream that goes on your eyelid before the eyeshadow and keeps the eyeshadow from rubbing off. It can be found in most drugstores. Foundation and powder can also be used on your eyelids to keep the oils in your skin from smudging the eyeshadow.

Don’t wear mascara on your eyelashes once you have made a black eye because that will counter the realistic look.

To remove the eyeshadow and any other eye makeup, use petroleum jelly, like Vaseline. Petroleum jelly takes off the eyeshadow a lot easier than water and is also a lot cheaper than eye make up removers. It is also gentle on the skin around and on your eyes, which is extremely thin, and I’ve found that it has made that skin softer.