My favourite makeup topic of all time – eye makeup. I have one of those faces (like most!) where my face is relatively disproportionate and sadly any kind of lipstick makes me look like a 5 year old who got into her mums cosmetics case. They say play up your best feature which rules out the rest of my face except eyes.
Therefore! My daily essential no matter where I am (yes, I’m one of those people) is to slap something, anything on my eyes. Mascara is worst case scenario for bush-bashing and farm time, “ha! No!! Of course I’m not wearing any makeup!” And best case scenario is layers of eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. Granted my next rising pressure is AGEING and coming to terms that daily winged eyeliner isn’t going to looks so good on a 30 year old come four years time. But that is a topic for another day.
In the meantime for all you sexy ladies looking for a little more oomph for the daily grind, or some fabulous peepers on a night out (30th anyone?) keep reading.
Eye makeup doesn’t need to take forever to apply – I need to open with this because I am constantly hearing “I wish I could do my makeup like that everyday but I just don’t know how you have time”. Practice makes perfect and my top tip that I tell any client during a makeup lesson is to practice when you’re not in a rush. If you have a spare half hour on a weekend, bored after work one day or want to add an extra 30 minutes of prep time before your Saturday night, THAT is when you should start practicing so you don’t have the stress of the clock ticking, blowing your confidence when you slip up. Then, the more often you do it, the easier it will become and you’ll start shaving time off.
The aim of the game is to create the appearance of almond eyes. Not bug eyes, black eyes, uber-shimmering eyes, or other similar nightmares. You can create an almond shape with any colour from hot pink to brown to vibrant green but while you’re practicing, start with neutrals. My second favourite tip – before you start applying your makeup, get your hair in the general direction it’s going to be that day/night meaning if you’re wearing a sleek high pony, get your hair into a high pony, or down, or half, or whatever even if you have to redo it properly. This helps you adjust your makeup to suit the type of tension/lighting on your face. The way I do my makeup with a high pony has to be different to when it’s all out and down to allow for the “facelift” effect vs soft and flowy.
So you’ve done all the wonderful steps of foundation and contour and you don’t know where to start on your eyes, to save you an extra mile of reading, go google eye shapes and find out what yours are. The way the shadow is applied will adjust sagging/drooping/doe-eyed/hooded/too-close/too-far shapes which are all 100% normal. But the basics of what I’ll tell you are the same for all.
Remember too before you start, don’t ever do one full eye then the other, tap away at each step alternating between eyes to make this far less painful.
Start with some soft shimmer eyeshadows, they are much easier to blend than matte shadows and you can work your way up to these with confidence. Apply a soft, skin or beige shimmer to your whole eyelid from the lash line to the eyebrows. Then use a medium shade with a soft eyeshadow brush to the socket (the crease you see when you look straight ahead) blending this up and OUT. A good guide is the end point of your eyebrow, blending the shadow into a softly pointed C-shape, joining up with the outer corner of your eye. Then take a darker shade and apply more precisely into that socket and outer corner to add more depth. Note this is still blended, but a higher concentration of colour and not blended as far out as your medium shade.
Then, eyeliner baby. This is where your eyeliner brush becomes your best friend, I love liquids but gel eyeliners have a greater range of colours and last forever, my favourite being the maybelline black gel.
Using your brush paint this on in a thin line starting at your inner corner, and thickening up at the outer corner drawing the point up towards the outer point of your eyeshadow (towards the end of your eyebrow-not all the way please!). If you find it easier, you can actually leave a dot at where you want the outer point to end, and actually draw back inwards towards the inner corner from there. This helps make it more even on both eyes.
Then, if you need some lower lash eyeliner for definition (most do) use a dark shadow and your angle brush to apply first on the outer three-quarters of the lower lash line, only bringing it into the inner corner if you have a “strong” eye shape (more almond) or you’re going for a smoky eye. I rarely use pencil eyeliner these days, even when set with shadow they have a habit of running on most eye shapes through the day. I even use very carefully applied shadow to the inner rim with my angle brush.
Then, curl lashes and apply mascara using a wiggle motion and you go from the base of the lash to the ends, remembering to pull the lashes up and out towards the outer corner for more of that almond shape.
The blessing with this is you can make it as soft or bold as you want simply following that same shape and layering technique. If you’ve heard to apply a medium shade all over your lid to the socket and then a deeper one in the socket STOP and think about the final product. Yes it does look good on some eyes but the main reason people teach this is because it is kindergarten age easy. You can come out looking like you have a black eye and lose all that gorgeous almond shape you’re aiming for.
More on dramatic eyes later but suss out my pics above and below, all my work (and a scary one of me! Seriously not even some of my closest friends have seen me without makeup – shhh).
Let me know how you go, and practice practice practice!