How to apply eye makeup - Eye makeup can define how natural or dramatic your look is. Whether you want to learn a process you can use every day or look stunning for a special occasion, here's how to get it right.
STEP 1:With a brown eyeliner pencil (more natural-looking than black), draw a line as close as possible to your upper lashes. Then apply a matte, earth-toned brown shadow along the crease of your eyelid. Brush a paler matte brown shadow on your lid.
The Expert Says:
Emphasizing the crease in your lid makes your eyes appear larger.
STEP 2:Curl your eyelashes and apply mascara.
The Expert Says:
If your lashes are short, use a thickening mascara, not a lengthening one, which will weigh them down.
STEP 3:To make your eyes seem larger, draw a thin line along your inner lower eyelid with a brightening pencil.
A white pencil works with pale skin; for darker complexions choose a golden-beige pencil.
STEP 4:Dot a tiny bit of cream blush just under your browbone. Blend with your pinkie down toward the crease of your eyelid.
The Expert Says:
Adding a hint of blush to your lids complements the blush on your cheekbones, warming up your whole face.
For this part of my Makeup 101 series, I cover brows, eye shadow, liner, primer, and mascara.
Most people don’t realize what a huge difference well-groomed, defined brows make in framing the face. Fill in your brows and check out the difference (or just check out the video below to get an idea). I realized the importance of brows in recent years and always make sure to fill in mine before I head out.
Tweeze stray hairs and use a pencil or powder to fill in the shape. For blondes and redheads, use a color one shade darker than your hair. For brunettes, go one shade lighter. Use short, feathery strokes for a natural look.
The easiest way to get brows into the most flattering shape is to visit a salon or spa – or a Benefit Cosmetics Brow Bar. Brow shaping will set you back about $20 to $25. It’s a good investment, because when you have it done just once, you’ve go the basic shape in place and all you really have to do is maintain it by tweezing the little hairs that pop up here and there.
Eye Shadow and Liner
For a casual look and quick application, I use one or two shadows and a pencil liner.
The basic steps:
- Dust a light shade all over the lid and up to the brow bone. This helps even out skin tone and acts a base.
- Dust a shimmery medium shade on the lid, which has a brightening effect, or sweep a matte, medium shade just in the contour/crease to add depth and definition.
- Line with a black or dark brown pencil or a dark powder shadow all the way across the top lash line only. Liner extends the lash line to make lashes look longer and eyes look bigger. My favorite pencil liners are Benefit BADgal Liner Waterproof or Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.
When I have more time and want to create a polished look, I generally work with four shades of eye shadow and a gel liner.
The basic steps:
- Dust a light shade all over the lid and up to the brow bone as a base.
- Press a medium or deep shimmery shade on the eyelid with a brush. Pressing the powder in helps it last longer and gives the color more intensity.
- Apply a medium shade in the contour/crease area, which creates a shadow and adds definition.
- For more definition, shade with a dark shadow at the outer corners of the eyelid.
- Line eyes with a gel liner and a fine-tipped brush all the way across the top lash line. A gel liner gives a crisper line and stays on really well. My favorite is Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. It’s pretty much the gold standard of gel liners.
- If I want a smokier, softer line, I’ll apply a dark shadow with a fine-tipped brush on top of the gel liner along the top lash line and apply a little of the dark shadow along the bottom lash line.
Blending doesn’t take very long but is very important for getting the most natural look. It also helps the makeup last longer. It’s easiest to blend with a brush that has little to no product on it so come back with your brush after you’ve laid down the color – just tap off excess product or rub the brush on a tissue. Making little circles with your brush makes it easy to get colors to blend together.
Powder Eye Shadows
I usually use powder shadows, because I find them easiest to apply and blend. My favorites are Bobbi Brown Eye Shadows (shown above) and Guerlain Eyeshadow Palettes (shown below), which include perfectly coordinated colors.
Primers and Cream Shadows
For most of us, shadows tend to fade away and crease as the day passes, due to oily eyelids and the continuous movement of the eye. Primers can really help colors last longer and prevent creasing. Benefit just came out with a great one, Stay Don’t Stray that prolongs the life of both eye makeup and concealer.
You can also skip powder shadows and opt for a long-wearing cream shadow for longer lasting color that’s resistant to creasing. I don’t use them as much, because I find powder shadows easier to work with. But I think cream shadows are great just on the lid. Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner and Bobbi Brown Long-wear Cream Shadow are both excellent.
I have a large arsenal of brushes; but you can narrow it down to a few essentials. A fine, angled brush, like the Trish McEvoy 33 brush shown at the bottom below, is a must-have. You can use it to fill in brows and line the eyes. A medium fluff brush, like the Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow brush shown at top, can be used all over the eye and for contouring. A medium, angled fluff brush, like the Bobbi Brown Angle Eye Shadow Brush shown in the middle, is a nice-to-have that makes it easier to apply shadow in the outer corner and can also be used for contouring. If you use cream shadows, use synthetic brushes or your fingers.
Mascara has an amazing, eye-opening effect that makes eyes look bigger. I feel so naked without it. When applying, get the brush as close to the roots as possible and wiggle it back and forth as you brush outward. To make lashes look their longest, make sure to get the lashes at the outer corners (I wrote a post specifically about this with a more detailed how to and info on why it helps).
Do not brush mascara on the top of lashes. That will weigh down the lashes and pretty much defeat the purpose of the mascara.
For lots of volume and length, my favorites are Guerlain Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara and Benefit BADgal Brown Mascara.