You have to apply it just right, blend it seamlessly, and take care not to poke your eye out in the process. And that's all in addition to the toughest part: picking the right shade for your coloring, and then coordinating it with other complementary hues.
But the art of eye makeup just got a little easier with the launch of Jane Iredale's Eye Steppes.
So named for the click-and-stack packaging (which recently won the Health and Beauty Assocation's best package design award), the mineral eyeshadow comes in shades designed for brown, blue and green eyes, and include one all-over lid wash shade in addition to two matched shadows for day and evening wear.
We had the opportunity to play with the colorful new goodies at Iredale's recent launch event at the Soho Grand Hotel, where the mineral makeup mixer herself shared some of the biggest mistakes women make when applying eye makeup.
"Only wear gobs of mascara if you want to look older. The most common problem is applying too much, so that attention is drawn to the makeup and not the eyes," said Iredale, who was sporting a subtle blend of lavender shadow herself.
All the palettes follow the principle of matching the color wheel's opposite color to your iris, so that the shades enhance and embolden your eyes, instead of canceling them out by matching the same hue.
GoBrown contains shades of blue sky, sea green and neutral tans with a silver-gray highlighter, while GoBlue has chocolates, rose, taupe and an oyster highlighter. GoGreen flaunts hues of purple, lilac, sepia and slate with a champagne highlighter. (We know we're not supposed to play favorites, but surely no one will notice if we sneak those pretty made-for green shades onto our big browns, right?)
And Iredale -- who is known for her quirky sense of British humor -- put a fun parody video on YouTube pondering what it would've been like had Scarlett O'Hara worn the right eye shadow.
Laugh all you want, but studies show that women would gladly sacrifice things like chocolate and IQ points for the perfect beauty look.
Iredale is also launching three new Lip Fixation shades for fall, which pairs a pop of coral, cool plum and classic red lip stain with a gloss fortified with avocado oil and organic vanilla powder to make your pout shiny and yummy-tasting. Not surprisingly, the lip treats are named Fetish, Rapture and Devotion.
And if bold lips are your thing, check out what Givenchy has in store for you this holiday.