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How to Wear Yellow Eyeshadow: Advice from Top Makeup Artist Gucci Westman

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how to wear yellow eyeshadow_revlon rio rush in exotic

Fair to say that my back-of-the-cab approach to throwing my face on is limiting. For one thing, I rarely ever wear eyeshadow -- it's a step I skip in favour of speed. So when I fell for the Revlon Rio Rush eyeshadow quads this summer, I asked makeup-artist superstar (and Cameron Diaz BFF) Gucci Westman for advice on how to get into the bright shadow trend. (Fun fact: you know how Emma Stone is a Revlon celeb ambassador? It was Gucci who suggested her.) And because it's the most unexpected, I focussed a bit on how to wear yellow eyeshadow. 

how to wear yellow eyeshadow: the starting point

Janine Falcon and makeup artist Gucci Westman

About 70 per cent of the time, the face I have on in this photo with Gucci Westman is my normal, give or take a bright lippie. Gucci herself wears very little makeup as a rule; she much prefers painting on other canvases, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone and Olivia Wilde (see Gucci's portfolio of work here). But I digress. That no-face face you see up on the left -- yup. Kinda my usual.

how to wear yellow eyeshadow_revlon rio rush exotic and wild

And then I saw these limited-edition Revlon Rio Rush ColorStay 16 Hour eyeshadow palettes ($12.95 each at drugstores), part of the summer collection Gucci designed for the brand (you know she's Revlon's artistic director, right?). The Revlon Exotic palette (front) features a pale gold shimmer, vibrant purple, bright yellow and black. The Revlon Wild palette is made up of a white shimmer, tan shimmer, teal and orange. At first glance, it's whoa! lookit all that colour! closely followed by what do I do with that? But Gucci says they're not as crazy as they seem -- it's the addition of a surprising shade that makes them look so whoa.

how to wear yellow eyeshadow: revlon rio exotic palette

how to wear yellow eyeshadow_revlon rio rush exotic eyeshadow palette

"Some of my favourite artwork is oftentimes accented with ochre, or a beautiful yellow or a burnt orange," explains Gucci about her inspiration for Rio Rush. "Colours like that really enliven an entire palette. It could be a little touch of yellow somewhere, or a playful colour mixed in with neutrals. In Exotic, the gold, the purple and the black are quite easy and wearable. Then you have the yellow that's like bam!, that makes it come to life."

how to wear bright eyeshadow_olivia wilde_revlon rio rush_exotic

"The ad I did with Olivia isn't so over the top," Gucci says of this look she created for the Revlon Rio Rush campaign. "It's a smoky eye, but the accent in the middle is gold and yellow. It's slightly changing your palette."

how to wear yellow eyeshadow_olivia wilde_revlon rio rush_exotic closeup

From the Revlon Exotic quad, Gucci applied the purple close to lashes and in the socket. She used gold on the lid, and dusted the yellow over it. She used black on the outer edge to add definition. ("Ohmigod, Olivia has the best eyes for makeup, so symmetrical and so beautiful," says Gucci.)

how to wear yellow eyeshadow_revlon rio rush exotic eyeshadow palette

"Yellow eyeshadow is a great accent," says Gucci. Here's where she says to apply it:

  • on the round part of your eyelid, or
  • the outer edges of your eye, or
  • under your socket

"It's like a bolder highlight," she says. "Yellow eyeshadow is also a little punky, a smoky eye for the truly daring -- you need black or dark brown eyeliner and mascara to ground it."

Charlie's Angels 2 : Full Throttle Press Conference

Waaay back in 2003, Gucci did this yellow eyeshadow look on Drew Barrymore for Australia arm of the Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle press tour. "Drew was into trying new things every day," says Gucci. "I had an airbrushing thing that I took with me all around the world, and that day I did a totally yellow eye with black mascara and black eyeliner on Drew's inner tear line, and she loved it."

how to wear yellow eyeshadow

This isn't Gucci's work; it's an image I found floating around on Pinterest. A gorgeous example, it's a bright lemon-yellow eye (top lid only) with a line of dark brown along the upper inner rim to define the lashline. A peachy flush and peach-y nude lip create a subtly warm, pretty contrast.

how to wear bright eyeshadow_yellow crease_berry lips

Another Pinterest find, this look is a bit more unconventional yet swoonworthy. Probably easier to achieve with a bright yellow eye pencil.

how to wear bright eyeshadow_yellow liner

Also on Pinterest, this might be the easiest look to pull off. Set in a neutral face with a rosy nude lipstick, a bold swipe of yellow serves as liner above a thin black line and lots of black mascara.

how to wear yellow eye shadow_Revlon Rio Rush Exotic eye shadow palette instructions

There are instructions on the back of the Revlon Exotic eyeshadow palette ($12.95 at drugstores). Yellow here is the tiniest accent, not the feature, which is a great way to ease in.

how to wear bright eyeshadow_revlon rio rush_exotic_yellow

I took rather a lazy route and literally swiped the Revlon Exotic yellow eyeshadow along my lower lashline. Looks warmer on my skin than in the pan, doesn't it? I used a gunmetal grey along my upper lashlines, with a line of black on the inner upper rim. I'm not quite sure whether it works, but I thought it was at least interesting. Note: I had to sculpt my face a bit with a subtle bronzer; without its warmth, the warmish yellow looked harsh. And I think I'll do this again, but instead layer the yellow over a swipe of gold as per Gucci's technique with Olivia Wilde. Aaaand because I'm way over 40, I'ma tag this 40+ beauty.

What do you think? Could you do yellow eyeshadow any of these ways? If you already have the Revlon Rio Rush Exotic palette, how do you wear it? What do you do with the yellow?