How to Make Your Eye Makeup Perfect

Three Parts:Prepping the EyesAdding the ShadowPerfecting your Lashes and Brows

It seems like some women can create a beautiful, intricate smoky eye in ten minutes flat, while others struggle to not poke their eye out applying eyeliner. There’s no doubt that applying eye makeup is an acquired skill that takes practice, the right products, and most importantly, patience! While everyone has a different opinion about what constitutes the “perfect” eye makeup look, there are some great tips and tricks that will get you off to the right start.

Part 1
Prepping the Eyes

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    Clean your eyes. Whether you just woke up and still have sleep in your eyes or you have the remnants of yesterday’s makeup clinging to your lashes, it’s important to start off with a clean canvas. Wash around your eyes with lukewarm or cool water, as hot water can be drying to the delicate skin around your eyes.[1] If you use makeup remover on your eyes, make sure to wash afterwards to remove any oily residue. Pat your eyes dry.
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    Apply a makeup primer. The primer is key to making sure your eye makeup goes on smoothly and stays on all day or night. Primer usually contains silicone that smoothes lines and creases around your eyes that can make makeup appear streaky and uneven.[2] Prepping your eyelids with primer before applying anything else will make your makeup more polished, flawless, and durable.
    • There are dozens of primers to choose from, in all different brands and price ranges. You can find cheap ones at the drug store, or invest in more expensive ones at department stores. Try different ones to find the product that works best for you.
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    Cover dark circles with concealer. Dark circles are the telltale signs of sleep deprivation, and they’re not a great look on anyone. Find a concealer that matches your skin tone, and apply it below your eyes.
    • Find a concealer that contains a moisturizer. This will help to actually combat the bags under your eyes while concealing them.[3]
    • Make sure that you apply the concealer lightly. The skin under our eyes is delicate, and applying the concealer thickly will just make your under eyes look cakey and creased.[4]
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    Curl your lashes. It’s important to do this step before you’ve added any shadow, mascara, or eyeliner, because it will smudge your makeup. Hold your eyelash curler at the base of your lashes and press down for three seconds. Do this again at the middle of your lashes and once more at the ends.[5]
    • If you want to get a serious curl, warm your eyelash curler slightly with your hairdryer. The heat will create an even more effective curl, just like a hot curling iron does to your hair. Just be careful not to get your eyelash curler too warm, as you can hurt the sensitive skin around your eyes.[6]

Part 2
Adding the Shadow

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    Apply darker colors to the inner and outer corners of the eyes. Depending on skin tone, outfit choice, and general preference, you’ll be working with various color palettes. However, a general rule of thumb is to apply the darkest color you’re working with to the inner and outer corners of your eyes.[7]
    • This technique is pretty versatile, and works well with all different eye shapes.
    • Use a stiffer brush for this step. Stiff brushes make it easier to pack color onto the eyes, getting a solid, pigmented look in these dark areas.[8]
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    Brush the dark or medium color into your eyelid crease. This will help make your eyes appear larger while adding depth.[9] Make sure that you’ve applied enough of the darker shadow so that it can be seen when your eye is fully open.
    • Use a thin pencil brush to apply color to the crease. By using a small brush, you’ll get the color into the tiny crease without smudging it all over the lid.[10]
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    Add the lightest color to the center of the eyelid. By highlighting this area, your eyes look bright and large. Using this same color, add a pop to the innermost corner of the eye, near the tear duct. These two pops of highlight will brighten your makeup look.[11]
    • The stiff brush should be used for this step as well. It packs on the color well, making it perfect for covering the center of the eyelid with the light color.[12]
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    Blend all colors together. You may have applied the different colors precisely and methodically, but harsh lines on the eyelid do not look good. Gently blend the colors together so that the entire lid looks seamless and smooth.[13] You will still be left with areas of darkness and lightness, accentuating your big, beautiful eyes!
    • Use a soft, feathery brush for blending. This brush makes it easier to delicately blend the colors together instead of harshly smearing the shadows everywhere.[14]

Part 3
Perfecting your Lashes and Brows

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    Apply your eyeliner to your lash line. For subtle look, apply it as closely and as thinly to the waterline as possible. For more dramatic looks, apply thicker lines.[15]You can apply your eyeliner just to your top lash line, to the top and bottom, or skip this step all together. Depending on your eye shape and the look you are going for, you may need to experiment with some different application techniques.
    • Liquid eyeliners take a lot of practice to do correctly, and create very harsh lines. Powders and gels are better choices for beginners, and can create softer looks.[16]
    • Line from the outside, moving inward. Stop before you get too close to your nose. Lining the entire perimeter of your eye to your nose can make your eyes look smaller and close together.[17]
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    Dip your mascara wand into the bottle and remove clumps from the brush. To apply it to your lashes, start at the base and slowly move to the ends. As you move along your lashes, slightly wiggle the wand back and forth. This will help to prevent clumps from sticking to your lashes.[18]
    • If you are applying it to both your top and bottom lashes, do your bottom lashes first. If you start with your top lashes, you may get mascara on your eyelids when you look down to apply it to your bottom lashes.
    • Feel free to apply multiple coats of mascara. You can build upon the layers and make your lashes appear thicker.[19]
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    Fill in sparse brows with a pencil or powder. No eye makeup look is complete without great eyebrows. Your brows should start perpendicular to the side of your nose, so use your pencil or brush to find this spot. Brush your brow hairs with a brush, and begin filling them in with color with short, light strokes that blend in with your natural hairs. Make sure that your lines are not too harsh to prevent the brows from looking unnatural.[20]
    • Having your brows shaped professionally can save you time when you’re filling them in. Waxing or plucking them into the perfect shape will give you a stencil to follow with your brow pencil or powder.

What You’ll Need

  • Primer
  • Concealer
  • Eyelash curler
  • Eyeshadow palette
  • Thin pencil brush
  • Small, stiff brush
  • Soft blending brush brush
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Brow pencil or powder

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Eye Makeup