When it comes to makeup application, perhaps the trickiest and understandably, the most intimidating, is eye makeup. Perhaps it is because of the limited space the eye area allows (which means you shouldn’t be making big mistakes), or maybe it’s the fact that there are so many products and colors that can be used for this area. It could also be because our eyelids and browbones are so different from each other’s, which makes it impossible to prescribe and employ just one technique for all the eyes of the world.
The thing is (and as cheesy as it may sound), the eyes are indeed the windows to one’s soul. When we look at someone’s face, the first thing we see is a pair of peepers looking right back at us. The eyes can speak volumes and say so much about a person, so this is why we should learn how to enhance them. In fact, the rest of the face can be completely bare, but if the eyes are striking enough, then the whole look is made.
Beginning with beautiful arches
Before even applying your makeup, make sure that your eyebrows have been properly groomed. Never underestimate the importance of beautiful eyebrows! If your arches are well-done, look neat and clean, and are shaped appropriately to the rest of your features, then you automatically look more attractive. Bushy unibrows can be somewhat scary, and sky-high, ultra-thin brows can make you look perpetually alarmed. Overplucked brows can also make you look years older, so go easy on the tweezers.
To make sure that you have the correct eyebrow shape, you can use the good old pencil trick which requires you to hold a pencil against the adge of your nose to help determine the length of the brow. However, I would personally recommend that you go to a professional brow architect at least once or twice before you attempt anything on your own. Then, you can start plucking on your own once the tiny hairs start growing out.
Now that you have nicely-shaped brows, you can make sure they look neat and manicured with the help of cosmetics. If you have full brows, you usually won’t need to use anything other than a brow gel to make sure everything stays in place. However, if there are some sparse areas or if your brows are not exactly of the same length, you will need to color these areas in. Even if you have black hair, it is usually not a very good idea to use the same shade for your brows. Try going a couple of shades lighter for a more natural and less severe appearance.
One of the easiest products to use is the e.l.f. Brow Kit. The tinted gel gives you the color you need while keeping everything where it should be. The powder helps set it and gives a clean and polished look.
Seeing in Full Color
Now as long as you have a guide to follow, the brows shouldn’t be that difficult. What happens when you get to the eyelids? This just might be the most challenging part of applying eye makeup. There are so many colors to choose from, so a lot of women don’t really know which colors to choose, how many to use at one time, and how to achieve the desired effect. Well, first of all, the secret to applying eyeshadow is blending. You don’t want to make it look as if you just plastered on some color. What you want is a subtle fade-out effect from the area closest to your eye going up to your browbone.
So, if you have a palette with you, use the lightest color fro your brow bone. Apply it just so it serves as a highlight. You can then use the darker shade on the eyelid. If you wish, you can apply an even darker shade just around the outer corners of your eye, or you can use this to outline the shape of the lid. Think you’re done? Not quite. Take a soft brush and use this to blend and soften the delineation between the darker and lighter colors.
The smoky eye is one of the most popular looks, but this doesn’t really work well during the day. Try to use lighter, more natural colors first, then simply layer on the darker, more dramatic shades right before you move on to your evening rendezvous.
Shimmery colors are great, but you will need some basic matte colors to make sure your look stays classic and clean. Bobbi Brown’s Day to Night Cool Eye Palette is a great choice! If you’re not so used to using eyeshadow yet, you can be sure that this set is a great one to start with. It will allow you to experiment with safer looks and eventually get bolder as you become more confident. It’s a must-have for those who already wear makeup all the time, too.
Opening up with eyeliner
Now, the eyes can easily get drowned out with eyeshadow, especially if you use a lot of light or shimmery colors. Make sure that your eyes still pop by using a good eyeliner.
I always say that eyeliner is one of my best friends. True enough, I rarely leave home without it. It can really make a difference between a sleepy look and one that appears fresher and more alert. As such, if you want to go for a really barefaced and natural look, you can get away with just a light foundation, lip gloss, and eyeliner.
Eyeliner comes in a variety of forms. You can choose pencil, liquid, or gel eyeliner. My personal preference is gel eyeliner, because I don’t have to sharpen anything, and it’s easier for me to apply than liquid eyeliner. There are some liquid eyeliners which get really runny, and it can be quite hard to cover up the mess. If you want to use a gel eyeliner though, you will have to get a special brush. Eyeliner brushes pick up the product better and give a more precise and defined look.
When you apply the product, start from the inside going out. You may have to use your other hand to stretch your eyelid out to help you draw a clean and even line. If you want to open up your eyes a bit more, just go a tiny bit beyond the edge of the eye to create an upward curve. Don’t go too far, though! Subtlety is still the standard here. If you want to use eyeliner under your eyes, do so sparingly to avoid looking too harsh. Apply the product along the waterline of your eye for a more striking look. To soften things up a bit, use a brush to apply a tiny amount of eyeshadow along the outline. Just try not to spread it out too much, or you might end up looking like a raccoon.
If you want to try using a gel eyeliner that glides on smoothly and gives a clean outline, try Makeup Forever’s Aqua Creamliner. The consistency is just right. Of course, it’s not a good idea to leave the jar open fro extended periods of time. Aside from exposing the product to contaminants, you are also drying it out and making it difficult to work with.
Go ahead and bat those lashes!
Last but not least, remember that nothing makes a girl look more mysterious than beautiful lashes. You can choose to get extensions, but if you’re not up for all of the maintenance that comes with these, then just use good mascara or put on the occasional falsie.
The first thing you should do is use an eyelash curler. There are some brands which heat up to hold the curl, but I wouldn’t really recommend those, especially since the eye area is very sensitive. Shu Uemura has a really nice curler with a sturdy rubber pad. You can use something like this – just remember to release the handle and not to pull on your lashes!
There are many mascara brands and types out there, so choose one based on the effect you need most. Do you need length, volume, curl, or all of these? Try to get a brand and type which is easy for you to handle. For instance, Shu Uemura’s Ultimate Expression Mascara is great for adding curl and volume, and since the brush is tilted, it is easier to handle.
On the other hand, if you don’t want any smudges or if you’re up for a more dramatic look, then try using false eyelashes instead. I’ve found these really useful during weddings and occasions which present the possibility for a bit of sentimentality. No mess! You can get full lashes or individual accents. Just apply the lash glue on to the edge, let it set for a few seconds, and, using tweezers, stick them on to the base of your real lashes. It may take some practice, but it’s worth it!
Shu Uemura has an entire line of amazing lashes in different colors and designs. For a natural look, go for their Flare Eyelashes. People will barely notice that you’re wearing falsies!
The eyes are certainly the most noticeable of all our facial features, so don’t try to hide them behind too much product. Use the tools you have properly, and then just allow those beauties to sparkle and shine!