I know what you’ll be thinking – mustard coloured eyeshadow, really?! It sounds weird, and when I repeatedly heard my favourite makeup YouTubers say how ‘beautiful’ and ‘amazing’ mustard tones were and that they’re an everyday staple in their makeup bags, I couldn’t understand what the attraction was. I thought: why? It’s a yellow eyeshadow…and not even a bright yellow, but a dirty, browny yellow – literally, mustard! However, all these Beauty Gurus had incredible makeup day in and day out, and I was addicted to watching their videos, learning their techniques and being inspired by their looks, so I thought that they must know what they’re talking about! Still, I wasn’t convinced.
One day last year, I was doing a large order of Makeup Geek single eyeshadows, and I thought that I might as well buy the eyeshadow which was being hailed as if it was the Queen of Mustardland – it’s actually called Desert Sands. When I put it in my shopping cart, I was still adamant I was going to hate it once it arrived, however, since I was getting a lot of other shades in this order and Makeup Geek eyeshadows are relatively affordable, it wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t like it.
When I received my order, I immediately hunted to find Desert Sands, and when I saw it, I instantly thought “why on Earth did I buy this?!” Either way, I decided the next day to bite the bullet and try it in the way that the YouTubers said to, and suddenly I understood what they were all talking about.
Mustard toned eyeshadows are a brilliant way of adding warmth to a look without going to the typical oranges. Paired with the right colours, mustard toned eyeshadows can create a bright, golden and/or bronzy look, and allows your makeup to look a little bit different to everybody else in the best way possible.
Below, I have broken down a step-by-step tutorial on how I created this look using Desert Sands. I have incredibly fair skin, and on anybody who has deeper skin, this mustard eyeshadow will look less yellow and the brown/bronzy tones will come out, so don’t be afraid to try! Desert Sands has now become a staple in my custom eyeshadow palette, and I can’t see it leaving any time soon.
MAKEUP GEEK ‘DESERT SANDS’ SINGLE EYESHADOW
Described as a medium camel brown with warm yellow undertones, Desert Sands has a matte finish and is exceptionally easy to blend. Firstly, on a fluffy eyeshadow blending brush take a tiny amount of Desert Sands, tap off the excess and, with an exceptionally light hand, start to buff this throughout the crease and outer corner. Once that’s done, take the tiniest amount again and buff the shade under your bottom lash line. The key with mustard tones is to use a little to create almost a halo of warmth in the crease, like a background to all the other shades that will stand centre-stage. If you want to add a bit more pigment, you can build up Desert Sands in thin layers, however, I’d advise not to go overboard as you’re going to be layering another matte shade almost directly on top, and you don’t want to make the shadows look muddy.
Dupe: MAC ‘Uninterrupted’ single eyeshadow (ever so slightly less pigmented).
MAC ‘SADDLE’ SINGLE EYESHADOW
Next, with the same fluffy blending brush, take a small amount of Saddle, a matte golden orange brown, and buff this on top of where you placed Desert Sands, however, don’t buff it up as high/outwards – this will allow the Desert Sands shade to still be a feature but to not be overpowering. After that, take a small amount again and apply Saddle underneath your bottom lash line right on top of Desert Sands. Again, by applying Saddle in thin layers and building the pigment up to the desired amount is the best way of adding depth and dimension to the look without making the shadows look muddy or patchy. Applying too much shadow at any one time will make it harder to blend.
Dupes: Kylie Cosmetics ‘Tigers Eye’ single eyeshadow (also in her Bronze Palette and her Bronze Extended palette), Anastasia Beverley Hills ‘Caramel’ single eyeshadow (more orange).
KYLIE COSMETICS ‘LIT’ SINGLE EYESHADOW
Lit is described as a metallic dirty gold, but it definitely has a bright and clean look about it alongside a bit of richness, which makes it a perfect shade for everyday makeup. With your finger place Lit all over your eyelid, excluding the outer corner, and carefully diffuse the edges with your blending brush.
Dupe: Anastasia Beverley Hills ‘Penny Metal’ single eyeshadow (less sparkly).
MAC ‘AMBER LIGHTS’ SINGLE EYESHADOW
Amber Lights has to be the brightest gold I have in my collection. It has a peachiness about it, which makes it super flattering for all eye colours. With my finger I took a small amount of Amber Lights and tapped it in the centre of my eyelids on top of the shade Lit. I also took a MAC 219s pencil brush and placed Amber Lights in my inner corners as well. This step is optional, but I find that it adds a bit more brightness to the look – it’s fun!
LANCÔME ‘DOLL EYES’ MASCARA IN ‘SO BROWN’
Doll Eyes is a lot less intense than my go-to Drama formula, as it separates all of your lashes while making them super long and wispy. Doll Eyes is a staple in the collections of Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian, and it’s easy to see why! Lancôme mascaras really are some of the best on the market.
MAC ‘VELVET TEDDY’ MATTE LIPSTICK
I think the majority of makeup lovers started their lipstick collection in MAC. I remember when I was at school, I used to wear Crème Cup every single day! It’s funny how my style and preferences have changed over the years, and how I’ve moved away from very young, baby pinks and almost pastel shades to more nudes, roses, browns and mauves. Velvet Teddy is possibly one of the most versatile – even odd – lipsticks that I’ve come across. It can look drastically different depending on your skin tone or with what eyeshadows you’re wearing. On me, it comes off as a warm rose brown nude, however, on others it’ll look more mauvy, so I’d advise trying it out before you buy it if possible! I just lightly dabbed Velvet Teddy all over my lips and tapped it out to create a tint, making it look like no-makeup makeup! I always want my lipstick to look as effortless as possible.