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How to Use Your James Charles x Morphe Palette for a Colorful, Wearable Eye Look

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular, trendy makeup items this past year has been the no. 1 most subscribed to beauty YouTuber James Charles’ eyeshadow palette collaboration with Morphe Cosmetics.

The Unleash Your Inner Artist palette has 39 colors, including the full rainbow spectrum, and costs $39 before shipping. It’s currently sold out online, as usual, but if you were eager enough to grab one over the past few months, it may has struck you that some of the shades are, shall we say, intimidating?

Well, fear not. While I’m not a professional make-up artist, I’ve been perfecting my make-up skill set for a decade, and I’ve had plenty of practice with the Unleash Your Inner Artist palette. Allow me to walk you through a simple tri-color technique using vibrant purple shimmer and muted orange to add not one, not two, but three pops of color to your eyeshadow routine.

Today’s finished look blends the shades Bee, Code James, and Artistry together.

Even if you don’t have the James Charles palette and you’d still like to experiment with color, if you have similar shades to the ones I’ll be using, feel free to try out the techniques with other products! I’ve spent most of my makeup career making do with drugstore dupes and whatever I could scrounge up at the bottom of my makeup bag (well, at this point, bags).

But without further ado, let’s get started with the look.

From left to right, steps A, B, and C.

I prefer to do my base makeup, minus highlighter, lips, and mascara, before I get started on eyes. It’s up to you! For primer, James recommends using a traditional eyeshadow primer, rather than a concealer base. I’m using the e.l.f. Cosmetics Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer ($2), which I can’t recommend enough.

For step A, I grabbed my fluffiest eyeshadow brush and dusted Tune, the matte yellow shade in the big center tin, above my crease. This was to build a base for Bee, the bright yellow matte, which I layered on top with the fluffy brush. I find it’s easiest to swipe back and forth like a windshield wiper, from one end of your eyebrow to the other.

For step B, I used a small packing brush to lay Code James in the crease, focusing on the outer corner and working my way in. I like to have a clean, medium-sized packing brush on hand to blend shades into each other, and I always reapply each color a few times (in this case, Bee and Code James) until I reach my desired coverage.

Before I apply Artistry, which is one of the most eye-catching shades in the collection, I like to use a wet base – in this case, to cut the crease. I took a tiny dab of IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Concealer in shade 10.5 ($26) and applied it with the tip of my pinky finger.

From left to right, steps D, E, and F (feat. Thread PR Chief Blake Milore)

James, I’m sure, would disagree with my approach to applying Artistry, since it’s allegedly supposed to work best layered over other shades, but for step D, I use my pointer finger to gouge that little pan as hard as I can without cracking the product. Sorry, makeup goddesses! That’s just how I get my preferred color payoff.

At this point, Code James and Bee have been overshadowed (pun INTENDED) by Artistry and my cut crease, so for step E, I reapplied each shade until each reached my desired visibility.

Finally, for step F, I used my small packing brush to apply a little Rusted on my lower lash line. Then, I added a winged liner with Milani’s Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black ($7.99), curled my lashes and added Clinique’s High Impact Lash Elevating Mascara in Brightening Black ($19). I always set my looks with a spritz of L’Oreal Paris’ Infallible Pro-Spray + Set Make-Up Setting Spray ($13.66).

To finish it off, use a little of your favorite highlighter in your inner corners and wherever else you like it (mine is Luna By Luna’s Calypso [$23] and a lip color of your choosing. And just like that, you’ve got a vibrant, tri-color eye look that’s just as wearable as it is easy to perfect.

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