A modern way to wear colored eyeshadow

Bright is a big thing this spring, and colorful eyeshadow palettes are filling store shelves.

For nearly neon colors, there's the Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette, $32 at Sephora, and the NYX Brights Ultimate Shadow Palette, $17.99 at drugstores. Not quite as bright but still bold are the Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Collection Palette, $49 at Sephora, and the Maybelline the 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, $11.99 at drugstores.

Here’s the thing: There’s a fine line between a pop of color and a look reminiscent of an early MTV music video.

Here’s how to wear colored eyeshadow and not look like you’re going to prom in 1987.

Smudge bright eyeshadow under the lower lash line for a pop of color. An otherwise-neutral eye look can be enlivened with a bold color just below the eye. Using a smudge brush (I like the e.l.f Smudge Brush, $1 at drugstores), buff in the eyeshadow for a diffused look. Because the color will peek through only your lower lashes, it’s one of the most wearable ways to rock color.

Read more: The only makeup brushes you’ll ever need

Use colored eyeshadow as eyeliner. Using a stiff, angled brush (try the e.l.f. Small Angled Brush, $2.99 at drugstores), press color into the lash line. If you’re using a particularly bright green or pink, add black liner right at the lash line to keep from looking like you have an exotic disease.

Buff color into your crease. An everyday eye look can be made more interesting with a wash of color in the crease of your eye. Use a crease brush (try the e.l.f. Blending Eye Brush, $1 at drugstores) to lightly blend a bright color just above your eyelid. You’ll get just a hint of color when your eye is open.

Similarly, try color in just the outer corner. Use a shader brush (try the e.l.f. Eye Shadow Brush, 99 cents at drugstores) to pack a touch of color just on the corner of your eyelid. Grab your blending brush, and use windshield-wiper motions to ensure the colors fade seamlessly into one another. (For a Coachella-inspired take on this look, wear a mostly neutral eye with a pop of color just in the inner tear duct.)

Layer a metallic shadow over a bright color. Pack your chosen color all over the lid with a flat synthetic brush (try the e.l.f. Concealer Brush, 99 cents at drugstores), then use the same brush to pack a shiny gold or silver on top. The bold color will shine through, giving you a mermaid effect.

No matter how you choose to wear your color, blend, blend, blend. Many an eye look has been ruined by harsh lines. (Harsh lines kind of defined '80s makeup.)

Alison Smith wears colored eyeshadow as eyeliner every day. Got a burning beauty question? Email asmith@philly.com.