How to Apply the Most Flattering Eye Makeup

Eye makeup can be tricky—it needs to be appropriate for the occasion, on-trend, and flattering to your face.

Basic Eye Makeup Technique

Begin eye makeup application with a base layer of primer or concealer. If you're using multiple shades of shadow, apply the lightest shade all over the lid and under the brow bone with any soft, angled-tip brush. The medium color should go in the crease of the eyelid, and the deepest shade can go along the top (and bottom) lash line like a liner. Use a large brush to blend everything together and reduce harsh lines and finish off with a light dusting of translucent powder. Liner is best applied from the middle of your eye to the outer corners. Apply mascara to top lashes, starting at the root and extending through the tips.

Eye Makeup for Your Eye Shape

Your eye shape should strongly dictate your eye makeup. Try these tips to find flattering techniques:

  • Round eyes call for a light shadow, since dark shades will hollow out the eyes. Choose a pastel or natural-toned color and apply evenly over the entire eye area.
  • Wide set eyes will benefit from extending under-eye liner from the inner corner out to the edge.
  • If your lids are deep-set, very light shadow applied to the inside corner of your eye and under the brow line will help open up your eyes.
  • For hooded lids, avoid dark colors since your eyes have a natural shadow. Use a shadow slightly lighter than your skin tone all over the lid.
  • Brighten dark lids with concealer. A shimmery shadow can help to give them some life.
  • People with almond-shaped eyes are lucky, since most styles will work with this shape.

Eye Makeup for the Occasion

During the day, opt for natural, matte colors. Go easy on the liner, or use a dark shadow instead. At night, increase the contours, play with color and shimmer, and layer on the liner. If your eyelashes are thin or light, you may want to add individual false lashes. Full false lashes can also be dramatic, but rarely look real so steer clear of these for work or daytime looks.

Eye Makeup Trends

If you're looking to follow today's runway trends, skip the shadow and mascara and layer on the eyeliner. Start liner in the middle of the lid and under the eye, extending it towards the outer corner and smudging it a little to achieve an "I slept in my makeup" look.

A Note About Eyebrows

Eyebrows should be styled to suit your face, not follow a trend. If you have thin, delicate features your brows should follow suit, while a stronger, fuller face will look better with thicker brows. Keep in mind that darker brows pair better with natural makeup, while natural brows balance out heavier eye makeup.



Sources: "How to Apply Eyeshadow Like a Diva" Marie Claire. Web. July 31, 2007. "You Can Fall Out of Bed and Look Good" New York Times. Web. January 19, 2012. "5 Tricks to Finally Getting Your Eyeshadow Right". Redbook. 2012.