Hello Beautiful People!

For this blog, we sat down with the brilliant Cassandra McClure - Celebrity Makeup Artist, Educator, Senior Manager at Beautycounter, Creator of LashBinder.com and Host of the popular Clean Beauty Podcast to chat about:

  • What she looks for in an eyeshadow + how our palettes measure up
  • Her top tips for application
  • How to choose shades for your skin tone and eye color
  • How to tie your eyeshadow into the rest of your look & transition from day to night.

Cassandra McClure with ĀTHR Beauty Founder Tiila Abbitt

(Left to Right) Cassandra McClure & ĀTHR Beauty Founder, Tiila Abbitt

What To Look For In Your Eyeshadow

1. One-Swipe Or Buildable Application

Cassandra's advice: choose an eyeshadow that applies easily with just one swipe, or that has a coverage that’s very buildable. One swipe of the shadow should give you the pigment you’re looking for, or at least a base to keep building up the color with.

On ĀTHR Beauty: the formulas are very creamy and soft – just a light touch will give you major color payoff.

2. Blendability

For success with eyeshadows, blending is key. A blend-able eyeshadow will slide across the lid easily and won’t settle in to the skin on contact.

On ĀTHR Beauty's Palettes: I love them because they blend easily using just your fingers! They of course work with a brush as well, but having both options is great.

3. Formulation & Packaging

As a clean and sustainable Makeup Artist, the formulation and packaging are very important to me. A lot of my clients experience irritation & sensitivity to harsh chemicals so I only choose non-toxic products that are safe for use on everyone, including pregnant or nursing women.

On ĀTHR Beauty: I love that the formula is not only completely clean, but all the ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced. The zero-waste packaging is just next-level and I hope the rest of the industry follows suit.

On the removal of mirrors: Since I travel a lot with my kit, I look for packaging that travels easily and isn’t too bulky or heavy. I am so onboard with removing mirrors from palettes – no one uses them and I always travel with my lighted makeup mirror anyway.

ĀTHR Beauty Eyeshadow Palettes

4. Multi-Purpose

In my profession, multi-use products are essential. Any item that's taking up space in my kit must work in multiple ways for my clients. ĀTHR Beauty's palettes are a fantastic example of this, I have used their shadows for:

  • Filling in the brows
  • On the cheeks as a blush
  • As a bronzer and/or highlighter
  • On the lips under gloss
  • As an eyeliner (top and bottom)
  • In the hairline to mask greys or thinning areas

This is why safe ingredients are so important. When you’re wearing these products near your eyes or on your lips, you don’t want to be questioning their safety.

On ĀTHR Beauty: The formula is unique because of the ultra-nourishing ingredients. It’s nice to know that the shadows are not only clean, but that my clients are receiving additional skin benefits while they wear them.

5. Wide Range Of Shades For Most Skin Tones

A well-thought-out palette should have a range of shades (at least 6) that complement each other and look great on most skin tones. As a Makeup Artist this is a must, but also for the everyday woman, you want a selection of shades you can actually wear!

On ĀTHR Beauty: I’ve found these palettes can be used on almost anyone. There’s a good variety of shades and finishes (matte, shimmer, duo-chrome, metallic, satin). Also, the shadows work well with each other and with other shadows.

And for day-to-night: you can easily bump up your look by layering one of their shimmers over a matte or by adding a dramatic cut crease.

6. Workability & Wearability

Cassandra chooses shadows that are easy to work with, that you can wear both day & night, and that resist fading, creasing, or fallout.

On the ĀTHR Beauty palette: the shadows go on very creamy and soft. They aren’t harsh on the eyes and don’t flake all over the place. I also love their workability; you can easily apply all the shadows with just your fingers if you like! They work on oily skin, dry skin, and with/without a primer which is great for just about everyone.

ĀTHR Beauty Crystal Infused Eyeshadow Palette

Cassandra’s Application Tips

Go Around Your Entire Eye

This is a common one that lots of people miss – they’ll just apply shadow on the lid and forget the bottom. Take the color all around your eye to bring the whole look together.

Don’t Use The Same Brush (Or Finger) For Different Shadows

If you dip into multiple shadows with the same applicator, the result can look muddy.

Blend After Each Application Of Color

This is another common mishap – people will apply all the shadows and then save blending for the end. This can also create a muddy, messy appearance. Blend each area (and each color) before adding more colors.

Know What Look You’re Going For Before You Start

Find an inspiration picture on Pinterest! It helps to have an idea of the direction you’re going in and the end-result you want.

How To Combat Creasing

If you have oily skin, are in a hot climate/higher altitude, your shadows will be more prone to creasing. To combat this, make sure your lids are cleansed and use a primer if you need to. Layer eyeshadow on in thin layers. If you’re still having trouble – spray a setting spray on a brush and pat on top of the shadow after you’ve applied.

For Mature Skin

Lean more towards the matte shades. If you’re using a shimmer, use one like ĀTHR Beauty’s that has skin-smoothing ingredients built in. It’s one of the only shimmers I would use for mature skin because of its nourishing formula.

Working With Your Skin Tone & Eye Color

Brown Eyes

Cassandra recommends purple and pink shades for something extra and golds/browns/neutrals for your everyday look. For darker skin tones, lean towards brighter colors for better visibility against your skin.

ĀTHR Beauty Rose Quartz Palette On Model

Blue & Green Eyes

Earth tones look beautiful with blue/green eyes, and you can always work with golds, browns, blacks, greys to really make the lighter eyes pop. For more fun, try an aqua for blue eyes or an orange for hazel eyes!

ĀTHR Beauty Crystal Gemstone Palette On Model

Really though, there are no rules. Put the palette up next to your face in the mirror and see which shades bring out your eyes. Experiment, have fun with it!

Another thing I tell my clients: Find a celebrity that has similar coloring to you (eye color, skin tone, and hair color) and go through their red carpet looks for inspiration! This is a great place to start - try recreating their different beauty looks one at a time.

Eyeshadow In Relation To Your Whole Look

  • If you’re glamming up your eyes, use mascara and liner to bring everything together.
  • When you’re doing a glam eye, keep the blush and lip neutral but in the same wheelhouse.
  • When you’re doing a smoky eye, you can definitely get away with a red lip but a lighter lip would be more classic.
  • For a quick transition from day to night, add a shadow on the lash line and a second coat of mascara. Also, if you’re bumping up the eyeshadow, make sure you bump the brow up too.

Above all, just wear your look with confidence! If you want to wear a red lip or a blue eyeshadow, commit and go for it girl!


Thanks to Cassandra McClure for all her helpful and creative tips! For more advice, inspiration, and tutorials from Cassandra, tune into her Podcast, YouTube channel, or stop by her IG page.

For more Cassandra x ĀTHR Beauty, tune into The Clean Beauty Podcast Episode called “Good For You, Good For Your Skin, Good For The Earth”.

Also if you're in the Napa Valley area this weekend, both Tiila and Cassandra will be at the BottleRock festival giving clean beauty makeovers & lash applications! Hope to see you there <3

-ĀTHR Beauty xo

Tags: Beauty Tips