How to Make Your Eyes Appear Wider and More Awake

Three Parts:Smoothing and Brightening the EyesApplying Eye Shadow and LinerDefining Your Brows and Lashes

If you've had a late night, your eyes usually give it all away. They can look red, puffy, dull, and tired if you haven't gotten a good night's sleep. But just because you didn't get enough rest doesn't mean you're stuck with small, tired eyes. With the right skin care products and a few good makeup tricks, you can make your eyes appear wider and more awake no matter how exhausted you feel.

Part 1
Smoothing and Brightening the Eyes

  1. 1
    Use a depuffing eye cream. Your eyes will probably look tired and smaller if the area beneath them is puffy. You can look more awake by applying an eye cream that’s designed to de-puff your under eyes before you put on any makeup. Look for a cream that contains caffeine, which helps reduce swelling by constricting the blood vessels.[1]
    • Use a tapping motion with your finger when you apply your eye cream. That can help get rid of any fluid that’s accumulated under the eye.
  2. 2
    Get rid of redness with eye drops. When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your eyes may look red or bloodshot. To get them a fresh, more awake look, use redness relief eye drops that soothe the eyes to help remove the redness. Apply them according to instructions on the bottle.[2]
    • In most cases, you should apply 1 to 2 drops in each eye when you’re using redness relief eye drops. However, you should consult your product’s instructions to be sure about the proper usage.
    • Avoid using eye drops that contain naphazoline or tetrahydrozoline on a long-term basis. Occasional use is fine, but using them regularly can actually make the redness in your eyes worse.[3]
  3. 3
    Use a color corrector to banish dark circles. Dark circles under the eyes can make you look tired, but concealer alone may not be enough to hide them. To counteract the blue undertones, you should use an orange color corrector first. Apply it with a brush or a clean finger until well blended, and then cover with a flesh toned concealer.[4]
    • If you have light or fair skin, an orange corrector may be too dark for you. Instead, opt for a peach shade.
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    Apply a light concealer under the eyes. Whether you have dark circles under your eyes or not, the right concealer can help make your eyes look more awake. Choose a concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your skin tone to use under your eyes. That will help brighten the area so you look like you got plenty of sleep.[5]
    • For the most brightening effect, apply your concealer in a “V” or upside down triangle shape beneath your eye. Swipe it directly under the eye, but bring it down to a point on your cheek beside your nostril and fill in the entire area. Blend well with a brush or a clean finger, and use a finely milled powder to set the concealer so it doesn’t crease.

Part 2
Applying Eye Shadow and Liner

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    Choose light eye shadows. When you want your eyes to look wide and awake, it’s important to use eye shadows in light or pale colors on the lid. That’s because dark colors make objects recede, while light shades bring them forward. With a light shade on your lid, your eyes will appear larger and more prominent.[6]
    • If you have fair or light skin, ivory and cream shades are ideal lid colors.
    • If you have medium or darker skin, opt for beige and tan shadows.
    • Light pink or purple shades can compliment a wide variety of skin tones.
    • To keep balance with the rest of your makeup, it's best to choose a neutral lip color when you want your eyes to look wider and more awake. By going with a soft lip color, it'll keep the focus on your eyes. The best bet is a shade that's similar to your natural lip color.
  2. 2
    Highlight the inner corner. You can make your eyes appear brighter by using a light, shimmery shadow on the inner corner of your eye near the tear duct. The light color and shimmery finish will catch the light so your eyes look wider and more awake.[7]
    • To apply your inner corner highlight precisely, use a small pencil brush that comes to a point.
    • Instead of using a powder shadow as an inner corner highlight, try using a light shimmery eyeliner or cream shadow pencil to brighten the area.
  3. 3
    Create a cat eye shape with your liner. When you want your eyes to appear more awake, it's best to keep your eye liner thin and wing it up at the outer corner for a cat eye shape. That helps lift the eye so it appears more open.[8]
    • You don't have to go for a dramatic wing if you want a softer look. A small flick at the end of your liner can still help open up your eye.
    • Cat eye liner is traditionally done with a liquid eyeliner, but you can use a pencil or cream if you prefer. For a soft, natural look, use a powdered eye shadow and a small angled brush to create your cat eye liner.
    • You can also skip eyeliner completely when you want a wide-eyed look. By not using liner on your upper lash line, it makes your eye lid space appear larger so your eyes look wider overall.
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    Use a nude eyeliner on your inner rim. To make your eyes appear wider, use a nude or flesh tone eyeliner to line the inner rim of your lower lid. That will make the whites of your eyes look like they extend further, so your eyes appear wider.[9]
    • You can use a white eyeliner in place of nude or flesh tone shade. However, white liner can look very stark, especially if you have medium or darker skin, so it isn’t the most natural option.
    • In addition to nude and white shades, a champagne colored liner can help widen your eyes. The slight sheen that the metallic shade has provides a strong brightening effect too.

Part 3
Defining Your Brows and Lashes

  1. 1
    Define your brows. If you have strongly defined brows, they call attention to the eye area so your eyes appear larger. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder in a shade that matches your brow color to fill in your brows for a strong look.[10]
    • Eyebrow pencils provide a bold look, while brow powder offers a softer, more natural look.
    • If you prefer powder for your brows, you don’t necessarily have to buy a product specifically for the brows. Any matte eye shadow that matches your hair color will work to fill in your brows.
    • Whether you use a pencil or an angled brush to apply a powder, use short, dash-like strokes to mimic the way eyebrow hairs naturally look.[11]
  2. 2
    Curl your lashes. Flat, straight lashes tend to close off your eyes, while curled lashes make eyes appear wider and more open. Before applying mascara, use an eyelash curler to curl your lashes and open up your eyes so you look more awake.[12]
    • After you’ve curled your lashes, apply a coat or two of mascara. That will help lock the curl in place and add volume to your lashes so your eyes appear larger.
  3. 3
    Use mascara on your lower lashline. It’s easy to remember to apply mascara to your top lashes, but it’s just as important to add some to your lower lashline. It will extend the look of your eye so they appear wider and more awake. Make sure to use a waterproof mascara on the bottom lashes to prevent smudging under the eyes.[13]
    • For the most precise application, choose a mascara with a small, thin brush for the lower lashline. That will keep the mascara from smearing beneath your eyes.
  4. 4
    Apply false lashes. In most cases, adding a coat of mascara to your top lashes is all you need to give your eyes a brighter, more alert look. However, if you want a particularly wide awake look, you may want to Apply False Eyelashes. You can use a single strip of lashes or individual clusters near the end of your eyes to help make them look more open.[14]
    • For the best results, choose natural, fluttery-looking false eyelashes. Avoid oversized, theatrical looking lashes.


  • To ensure that your eyes look bright and wide awake, try to get enough sleep each night. The average teenager requires 8 to 10 hours a night , while the average adult should get 7 to 9 hours per night.
  • If a depuffing eye cream doesn’t work for your under eye bags, place a couple of spoons in the refrigerator overnight. Lay them over your eyes to help get rid of any puffiness in the morning.

Things You'll Need

  • Depuffing eye cream
  • Eye drops
  • Undereye color corrector
  • Concealer
  • Concealer brush
  • Light colored eye shadow
  • Shimmery, light colored eye shadow
  • Nude eyeliner
  • Brow pencil or powder
  • Eyelash curler
  • Mascara
  • False eyelashes

Article Info

Categories: Eye Makeup