It takes practice to perfect makeup. From beginning to end, the process is wrought with wrong turns and bad choices. However, with a few tips and a little help, any woman can look flawlessly beautiful in her own skin.
If you have already read my article “How to Choose and Apply the Right Foundation Makeup” then you are ready for the second half of this piece. It deals with the application of eye makeup.
The eyes have it or, at least they should. After all, eyes are the mirrors to one’s soul. That’s why women want them to look beautiful.
However, applying eye makeup may be the trickiest step of all. Apply too much and the result looks fake and unbalanced. Apply too little and you have to wonder, what was the point of applying it at all? Applied correctly, eye makeup can enhance a woman’s eyes and draw all attention to her. That is the ultimate goal.
Good eye makeup begins not with the eyes, but with the brows. Think of the eyes as the windows or your face. Then, by default, the brows become the frame. Therefore, that frame needs to be perfect.
Most women need to fill-in their brows, although how much depends on the woman. Some women also need to pluck away stray hairs. To determine if either applies to you, examine your brows in a magnified makeup mirror.
The inside point of the eyebrow should begin at the same point as the inside of your eye. The outside point must do the same. Thereby, your brow should form a perfect frame to the eye.
Pluck away any stray hairs beyond each point. Also get rid of any hairs that are out of place above or below the brow line. They will just draw the wrong kind of attention.
Next, look for your natural brow arch. You want to use that to your best advantage. I don’t recommend forcing your browns to arch too high or to curve only slightly. Strike a happy medium. It will look more natural.
Choose an eyebrow color that closely matches the shade of your hair. There are dozens of colors in the marketplace today so there is bound to be one that will work for you.
As an alternative to the standard eyebrow pencil, consider trying one of today brow powders or gels. These usually come with their own foolproof applicators that make doing the job a breeze.
BROW APPLICATION TIP: Move your brow pencil or applicator in the direction your brows naturally grow, working from the inside out. Use short, feathery strokes. These will make the color blend well with brow hair and, thereby, give you the flawless look you desire.
When it comes to eye shadow, think classic rather than trendy. Trends come and go. That bright fuschia you chose yesterday won’t likely be popular in six months. Instead, look for neutral colors or colors that are meant to enhance or compliment the color of your eyes. Those trends never change.
Neutral eye shadow colors include most shades of brown, gray and black. Almost every woman can use at least one tone within those colors.
Learning which eye shadow colors will work best to compliment your eyes, on the other hand, can be a bit tricky. Much of it depends on whether or not you want to work with or against your eye color. I always vote for working with it.
When it comes to blue eyes, nothing highlights them better than shades of peach and brown. Those complimentary shades will make blue eyes pop. For a more sophisticated, understated look, try soft tones in mauve, pink or rose. To compliment, rather than contrast, with your eyes, go a deeper blue. To really make a bold statement, opt for metallic shade in bronze, gold, and copper to silvery white and pewter.
Gray eyes also look good in shades of brown. However, purple hues also make them stand out so the world will take notice. Even tones of deep charcoal and black can work. With gray eyes, tonal colors can set a mood of mystery.
Hazel eyes vary slightly depending upon the their base color and natural fleck. However, most hazel eyes prefer deep, earthy shades of green and brown. For a real pop of color, try mauves and purples instead. Of course, metallics in gold to bronze and copper will let your eyes demand maximum attention.
Green eyes love rich, earthy shades that range from ivory to taupe to chocolate brown. Certain hues of blue can also set them off beautifully. However think rich in color rather than pale and washed off. For major enhancement, consider metallics that range from antique gold to deep copper.
Brown eyes can get away with almost any color in the spectrum as long as the tone of the shade matches the skin tone (warm tones for warm skin; cool tones for cool skin). The right shade of green — olivine not forest — can make brown eyes pop. When it comes to metallics, stick with warm tones in gold or bronze.
The trick to applying eye shadow is to decide on the depth of look you want before you begin. Stay lighter in tone and shade for daytime and pump of the volume for night.
Always use the lightest shade of the chosen color underneath the brow. This is also a great place to apply a highlighting color like an ivory, taupe, peach or pink; whatever works in conjunction with the other chosen colors.
For a classic daytime look, apply the darkest shade of color nearest to the eyelashes and blend it upward toward the crease. It you want to use a third shade, use the middle shade in the center portion of the eye.
For night; however, you may wish to apply the medium shade all over the eyelid. Then use the deeper shade in the crease, sweeping it out for that famous cat eye effect. Your eyeliner will help complete this dramatic look.
EYE SHADOW APPLICATION TIP: Blend, blend, and blend. While you want a certain amount of color saturation, too much color will actually work against you. Practice until you get just the shading that is right for you.
Some women like to wear eyeliner and some women don’t. I personally wouldn’t go without it.
The trick to eyeliner is to use it to accent the eye, not make it look out of place. Therefore, stick with basic shades in taupes, browns and blacks as opposed to trendy blues and greens.
Choose the eyeliner that works best with your skin texture. There are lots of options to choose from including pencils, powders, gels and liquids. I find today’s new gels easy to use, while providing all day coverage.
Be sure the liner is applied as close to the eyelash line as possible. Smudge it lightly to make it look more natural.
EYELINER APPLICATION TIP: Start at the inside corner of the eye and work outward in a smooth, even motion. Starting and stopping can leave a jagged, unattractive line.
For a cats eye effect, pull the liner out and upward just beyond the outer corner of the eye. Blend with eyeliner applied beneath the lower lashes that is also swept upward.
Finally, always use mascara. Even if you don’t use any other eye makeup, mascara can help accent your lashes and bring attention to your eyes.
Mascara comes in a variety of colors these days, but stick with the basics. Almost every woman can wear a brown-black or black mascara.
Apply the product as outlined by the manufacturer. That will ensure its best coverage.
MASCARA APPLICATION TIP: Apply two or three light coats rather than one heavy coat. If you try to apply too much in one coat, you will get clumps and that dreaded “spider web” look.
Always check your mascara in a lighted magnification mirror. Using a mascara brush or comb, work out any obvious clumps. Also comb or brush away excess product so it won’t flake onto the skin beneath the eyes.
With these simply tips and the right color choices, your eye makeup can make you look even more beautiful. All it takes is a little practice.
Check back for the concluding article in this series: How to Apply Lip Makeup.
How to Choose the Best Eye Color for Your Eyes (Jin Lee @ eHOW)
Choosing the Best Eye Shadow Color for Your Eyes (Sophie Walton @ associated content)
Eye Shadow by Eye Color (Beauty Blog)