The eyes are the first thing we notice about a person and no matter what emotion someone has, it can be conveyed through their eyes.
It is this communicative quality that makes our eyes so beautiful and why I feel eye makeup is such an exciting tool, that can be used to dramatically help to enhance our best features.
Knowing exactly how to dress them can be a difficult technique to master.
Simply because there is so much choice when it comes to the amount of colors and textures available.
However with these beauty industry insider eye makeup tips, you can learn to enhance, enlarge or emphasize your eyes in not time at all.
Helping to making them all the more expressive, so that you can create the emotion you want them to convey:
Eye Shadow Tips
I would always recommend starting your makeup routine with your eye shadow first.
This way if you do want to redo it, or if you have fallout on your cheeks then you won’t have to worry about ruining your base.
Never apply moisturizer or eye creams near the eye before putting on eye makeup, it will make every thing travel down your face.
Eye shadow comes in a variety of textures, from matte, semi matte, iridescent, cream and gel.
Powder: This is obviously the most popular form of shadow which comes in pressed cakes of powder, which has a very matte effect on the eyes. They are easy to apply and are really durable.
Cream: These are oil based shadows and come in little pots or compacts. I find these formulas don’t have great staying power and quickly end up gathering in creases. Definitely not a good choice for those with dry or mature skin.
Gels: These give a more transparent coverage and help to give a slight shine, if that is the effect you are looking for. However of all the textures they are the most difficult to blend.
Not everyone realizes this but our eyelids are oilier than anywhere else on our face. This is why my own personal choice of shadow is matte powder, simply because it has really great staying power.
I stay away from cream textures as they crease in seconds, oil and cream is not a good combination!
Eye Shadow Color
Knowing which colors create light and which create depth is important.
If you have two shades you want to apply to your eyes, the darker shade will create the illusion of depth when it is next to the lighter shade, whilst lighter shades help to bring the eye forward.
When selecting colors try them on your forearm first in order to test the depth of color.
Look for the richest most intense pigments you can find. If you have to apply the shade a couple of times to create intensity give it a miss, because this means the quality of the shadow isn’t great.
Eye Shadow Primer
The skin over the eye lid is very thin, so veins and discoloration can easily show through.
I lightly apply foundation all over the eyelid which acts as a base and forms a barrier against the natural oils on the skin, which can cause our eye shadows to crease.
To even out skin tone and achieve a true color from your shadow I use the following techniques:
If the eyelid has a slight yellow undertone, I add an iridescent ivory shade as the wash. I then apply a deeper matte shade from the same color family, such as a yellow brown tone.
If the eyelid is pink I tend to use an iridescent lilac color for the wash.
Then for the second shade I apply a pinky brown or darker lilac color to create a little depth.
If the eyes are deep set or if the skin on the eyelids is dark, I find applying a neutral eye shadow base helps to create a lighter canvas for me to work on, making it much easier for me to blend my eye shadow colors.
How to Apply Eye Shadow
There are two methods for applying makeup; The first is known in the industry as ‘a cote’ which means applying one shade of eye shadow next to the other, so that the lighter color is accentuated.
The second technique is known as ‘layered,’ which involves adding color to a base color and then building up the layers.
Layering bright or darker shades onto a softer color is my application of choice, which I have outlined below:
Step One: First you want to apply a wash of color all over the eyelid. Then blend it up towards the eye brows, for an overall balanced effect.
It doesn’t matter what shades you use, as long as you stick to the same family of colors.
Apply the lightest shade first, which helps to prepare the base and from here you can layer the colors. For this particular example I’d recommend using a neutral ivory shade;
Step Two: Then apply a taupe color and blend slightly above the crease, work your eye shadow from the outer corner in, blending two thirds of the way across the eye.
Never take your shadow only halfway across your eye as this will give the illusion of cutting the length of the eye off, giving the appearance of smaller eyes.
If you are looking for tips on working with different eyes, the article corrective eye make up offers many wonderful tips on how to enhance many different eye shapes.
If you want to create a natural look, you could stop at this point and wear just the two shades.
Step Three: To build on this and create added drama and depth, smudge a warm brown shadow into the socket, again working three quarters of the way across toward the inner corner of the eye.
The key to making your eye shadow look as natural as possible is to really blend in well, making a circular motion with your wrist as you move the brush across the eye.
Step Four: To build on this and create a smoky eye effect, use a fine detailed brush with your darkest shade and work down and across the top of your lash line, so it covers two thirds of the eyelid.
Step Five: To complete this look apply the brown eye shadow along the bottom lashes and then use your liner for added definition.
Blending everything effortlessly together to create the ultimate smokey eye effect
Drawing The Line
I love getting creative with eye liners, they add definition and impact to any lash line, which can be used to compliment any eye look.
Gel Liner: This eye product is my liner of choice, which comes in a pot and is applied with a brush.
Basically you only get one chance to nail eye liner and in my opinion gel liner delivers every time. Its easy to use, durable and most importantly waterproof, so it really lasts the day.
The best application technique to use, is with the flat end of the brush apply your liner from the outer corner of your eye working inward. then press the brush onto the lid wiggling it slightly as you work across the eye. Keep moving inward, slightly overlapping as you go.
Eye Pencil: The texture of your eyeliner pencil should be soft and creamy, otherwise if it is to hard it will be impossible to apply.
If you can try to purchase a kohl pencil, they are soft and easy to apply and their pigments are a lot more intense then the average eyeliner. Because they have a waxy texture, they feel really comfortable against the inner rim of the eyes.
To draw an eye line with a pencil, apply your liner as close to the lash line as possible and use short strokes which should slightly overlap each other.
Another technique is to draw dots along the lashes and blend together with a smudger, which will help to create a softer look.
Powder Eyeliner: For softly defined eyes, line along the top and bottom lashes with powder. Ideally your powder should be applied with a fine brush as close to the roots as possible.
Liquid Liners: These help to create a really well defined line and are great for night time, but can be unforgiving if you don’t have a steady hand to apply them.
A good make up technique for applying liquid liner, is to wipe off any excess with a tissue first, which will help to give you complete control over your application.
A great eye makeup idea for applying liquid liner is to pull your eye lid taught so the skin doesn’t crease, because if the eye is crepe it can create a broken line. Then draw the liquid first in one direction and then another making sure you go all the way across the lid. This will help to give definition and prevent the line from becoming cracked.
Eye Makeup Tips for 40 plus
Before you begin your application be sure to set the entire lid with loose or pressed powder, making sure to get into all those hard to reach areas including crepes and crevises and then blend away excess.
This will prevent your eye shadow from moving and settling into creases through out the day.
For a little more drama, try covering your entire eye lids and brows with a soft highlighting shadow in a soft nude or pale peach.
Narrow your choice of eye shadow to a few neutral shades, you really only need to be applying one color on mature skin. If you do want to apply two shades, go for a light neutral and a dark neutral.
Remember that the aim is to create shadow and shadows naturally do not contain color. Beige and brown make up looks great on a mature skin and is always fashionable and appropriate.
Find the right shade of brown, whether that be chocolate, beige, plum, taupe or caramel and then blend it in effortlessly with your own natural skin tone, for a timeless look.
Avoid iridescent, highly frosted colors at all costs, because this will accentuate every line, crease and bump in your eyelid.
Even if you weren’t born with lushes lashes they are one of the easiest features to fake. Mascara helps to lengthen your lashes but more importantly it finishes off your makeup look.
Mascaras come in a range of different varieties and colors, with many of them containing fibers that add extra length and thickness to your lashes.
To apply your mascara start on your upper lashes first. Brush them downward and upward from underneath, using tiny zigzag motions as you draw up to the tips, this will prevent the mascara from clogging.
Next use the tip of your mascara wand to brush your lower lashes, also using a zig zag motion.
To finish comb through the lashes with an eyelash comb, this will help to remove any excess product the wand has left behind.
For a more defined look this process can be repeated a couple of times, but it is important to repeat your second coat straight away.
If you allow your first coat to dry before you add your next layer, the first layer may crumble clogging your lashes.
No makeup tips would be complete without mentioning this clever little tool which will help to open your eyes.
You don’t want to spend hours creating fabulous eyes, to then leave your lashes looking bland and if you have never used an eyelash curler before, then I urge you to get one. You will be amazed at how much bigger your eyes look after you have curled them.
Always curl your lashes first before applying mascara.
I love to use heated eyelash curlers, but if you don’t have access to one, simply heat the metal of your curlers with your hair dryer which will help the curl to hold for longer.
Create Wow Brows
Eyebrows are the most integral part to the overall look of your makeup and should never be ignored, because perfect eyebrows give balance to the whole face. The following tips will help you to work your brow:
- First begin by concealing over the brow with a translucent powder and blend with a brush. This helps the powder to hold and create depth
- In order to define the eyebrows and create real drama apply a brow powder that is a tone darker.
- Apply your powder with an eyebrow brush, dusting it through your brows whilst taking care not to sweep it onto the skin. This will help to create a natural effect that requires no blending
- Don’t try to substitute brow powder for an eye shadow, because brow powder pigments are designed to be subtle, matte and not move. Eyeshadow however is designed to move and may contain iridescent pigments that look unnatural
- Brow pencils are also really effective, the best technique is to use a well sharpened pencil and apply tiny feathering strokes to the brows.
- Finish using brow gel and rough up the brow hairs, tapering towards the end.
I appreciate that most of us aren’t able to spend hours in front of the mirror. This is why I believe it is important to learn to master the basics, which will give you a platform to work from, so that you can effortless put together a look that you know will deliver results.
Personally I believe that makeup is a truly magical tool, that can work to completely transform your face, literally wiping off the years.
It can help to elevate our mood and create any look we desire, whether that is classic, glamorous or simply sophisticated, helping to enhance our natural beauty.
So what are you waiting for, your eye makeup is the tool and you are the canvas, in which you can begin to tell the story.