A lot of us have misconceptions (and hesitation!) about using a colored eyeshadow. But lately, it seems like the authorities on beauty have become a bit bored with neutrals. Jewel toned eyeshadows, like ruby, sapphire, and emerald have been ruling the runway and the red carpet this awards season. But it’s not as scary as it looks; according to celebrity makeup artists, the trick is to smoke out the color so that it is more gradated than solid — and stars like Sophia Bush, and Olivia Culpo have definitely got it right.

A crucial step for mastering the jewel toned eye (as with any shadow look) is primer. The biggest mistake that people make is skipping their primer – but it really makes a difference. Begin with a kohl, gliding in between your lashes then smudging for smokiness. You don’t want to layer cream over cream, so make sure you set the kohl with a translucent powder before moving on to the next step.

Next, go in with a powder that is a bit richer than the kohl you’ve used — for example, if it was a pinkish kohl, use a plum powder for depth. Focus on the crease — the deepest shade should go here. Then go in with the lightest shade on the lid, and blend blend blend. Lastly, line your lash line with the darkest shade you’ve used instead of a liner for a slight cat eye effect and curl lashes to bring it all together. And have fun — the more you use these rich shades, the more you’ll find yourself falling in love with them.

-Kalina Krabel