Here's How Makeup Artists Achieve Flawless Eye Shadow Looks Every Damn Time

Professionals make applying eye shadow look way too easy—any time I find myself scrolling through makeup TikTok, I become instantly dumbfounded by how little time and effort it appears to take artists to complete a full, intricate look. Granted, I know these videos are condensed into a short-form reel for the platform, but it still takes a certain level of skill to be able to pull off that kind of artistry in such a short amount of time.

Sure, foundation application can be a breeze when you have a great sponge or brush, but I'll timidly admit that eye shadow is where I struggle most. How do the pros make every eye look so flawless, you ask? Well, don't look at me. I'm turning this one over to them. I asked three celebrity makeup artists to reveal their best-kept secrets. I'll give you a hint, it involves a super clean canvas and the right brushes.

"Good, soft eye shadow brushes will always be one of the most important elements to a flawless eye shadow application," says celebrity makeup artist Melissa Hurkman. "You'll also want to use a string eyeshadow primer before applying any eyeshadow. This will help enhance the colors of the shadows and help them stay all day long without creasing. Set your primer with a soft powder highlighter or a base shadow before the application—preferably, something neutral. This will prevent any skipping of product during the blending process."  

So the mastery is possible and that comes straight from the source. For the inside scoop, keep scrolling below. These are without a doubt the best eyeshadow brush sets that even celebrity makeup artists swear by.

Cara Lovello, Celebrity Makeup Artist

Cara Lovello makeup



Celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello never stops using this classic set for her eye looks. This six-piece set is perfect for an ultra-glamorous eye or every day look. Lovello's advice is as follows, "Use the fluffy blending brush and a soft brown shade [beforehand] and buff it through your crease as a transition shade before deepening the color in your crease!"

Not only are these brushes cute and colorful, but they're also top-notch quality thanks to makeup artist and YouTuber Nikita Dragun.

Editors and makeup artists alike can't say enough good things about Real Techniques. Lovello says these are hands-down the best drugstore-priced brushes she has ever used. Fellow makeup artist Renée Loiz is also a huge fan.

Renée Loiz, Celebrity Makeup Artist & Founder of Color May Vary

"My all-time favorite brush sets are from Taya Marin. This is a Black-owned beauty brand, which I love, but her brush sets are my personal kit favorite as it comes with every brush you'd need for a flawless application."

"This set is so luxe! They're high quality brushes that were designed by one of the most amazing makeup artists in the business. I would expect nothing less."

"I've just recently started using Sephora brush sets and am sold! I love the quality of the brush hair. They feel so good on the skin! There are also numerous sets to choose from which makes it easy for those who love to collect brushes like me!"

Melissa Hurkman, Celebrity Makeup Artist

"Makeup by Ariel's collaboration with Morphe is my current obsession when it comes to the perfect eye shadow brushes!"

"This brand is a makeup artist's best kept secret. Their brushes are incredible quality without breaking the bank."

A quick search revealed all Nyx brush sets to be sold out and according to Hurkman, it's clearly for a good reason. "Nyx Cosmetics carries one of the widest arrays of brushes I've seen a company carry. These brushes are not only extremely affordable, but they are amazing quality as well! I stock up on these whenever I feel the need to spruce up my brush collection."

More Eye Shadow Brush Sets We Love

Nothing can beat this complete collection of highly coveted brushes. It's easily one of the best eye shadow brush sets for blending, buffing, and defining the crease of the eye. Yeah, you also can't go wrong with that price.

These brushes are made of nylon bristles for easy application and effortless blending. The set even comes with a spoolie brush to sculpt and perfect those brows. 

Sigma Beauty is known for its incredible brushes, so why not invest in a set? The Basic Eyes Kit works so well with cream, liquid, or powder shadows.

These synthetic bristle brushes are made of just the right material to achieve MUA status.

For a no nonsense, three-piece set, try Laruce's budget-friendly brushes.

Not only does this set come with a few A + eye shadow brushes, but it also comes with a few extras to prime, shape, and clean up your brows.

Run, don't walk—Charlotte Tillbury created a limited edition set of the brand's best-selling eye brushes (with a bonus powder brush). It also comes in a gorgeous red velvet case. 

I love a good brush set that comes with a variety of sizes. Not every eye look is easy to achieve with the same two brushes. If you share that sentiment, these brushes might just be your new favorites.

Makeup artists (and beauty editors) love Nudestix, so naturally, I jumped for joy when I realized they have an eye shadow brush set. Snag it while it's still in stock.