Eye Makeup Tips: Mastering the Basics


Whether you’ve got a big event or just want to put your best foot forward at work, great eye makeup can complete your look and give you an extra boost in confidence. But, with the countless variations in color, technique, tools and products, the possibilities can seem endless and overwhelming. So here are a few simple tips you can use to master the basics and look great.

Choosing your look:

1)       When choosing a look, make sure it is appropriate. Save the smoky eyes and false lashes for night, and stay classic and clean with neutral colors during the day.

2)       If you do feel like being bold, try going for a cat-eye, using metallic eye shadow colors or using lots of mascara to emphasize lash length and volume.

Starting your look:

1)       Always use a primer on the eye lid as a first step in order to keep your eye makeup from smudging or creasing.

2)       Keep q-tips handy to clean up stray brush marks instead of using your finger.

3)       Identify your eye shape.

  1. If you have a hooded eye, focus on emphasizing your lashes with waterproof mascara rather than using lots of eye shadow, and blend your darker eye shadow colors out towards your eyebrow to simulate a larger eyelid.
  2. If you have wide-set eyes, use dark eyeliner as close to the tear duct as possible.
  3. If you have close-set eyes, use an illuminator in the crease of the eye where it meets the nose in order to create the look of more space.
  4. If you have deep-set eyes, stick to lighter eye shadow colors like pinks and oranges to make your eyes stand out and reduce shadows.

4)       If you would like to play up your eye color, follow these basic rules:

  1. Brown eyes look great with almost all colors, but some brown shadows can look dull against the brighter iris, so stay away from medium brown colors and go with either very dark or very light shades.
  2. Green eyes really pop with purple and peach colors, but stay away from blues.
  3. Blue eyes standout with copper, brown and all lighter colors.

Executing your look:

1)       As a general rule, start with your eye shadow. Then move onto eye liner if you are going to use it, and then mascara.

2)       To apply basic a basic eye shadow look, choose a palette that has complementary colors, and use an additional light color with a bit of a metallic sheen for contouring.

Eye Shadow:

3)       Start by illuminating the brow bone with the slightly metallic, lighter color you have chosen for contouring. Blend the color up to meet the eyebrow and down into the crease.

4)       Next, take the medium color of the three base colors you have and apply it to the crease of the eye in a half moon shape across the whole eye and blend slightly toward the brow bone and down toward the lashes.

5)       Then apply the lightest of the three to the area directly above the lashes in a line from tear duct to outer corner.

6)       Lastly, apply the darkest color to just the outer corner of the eye in a small triangle and blend out in all directions to soften the edges.

7)       For a more dramatic look, use a darker color palette, for a more casual look use a lighter color palette.

Eye Liner:

1)       Choose between a sharp pencil for a great basic look, a crayon for a smudgy look, or a liquid liner for precise look.

2)       For a basic look, get the line as close as possible to the lashes on the top of the eye with a strokes from the inside of the eye, outward

3)       Continue onto the lower rim if you would like a more dramatic look or if you would like to illusion of rounder eyes.

4)       For a fun twist, use liquid eyeliner and add a wing on the outer edges of both eyes, swooping up toward the eyebrow.

5)       If you are trying for a darker, smoky look, use the crayon and line the rim on both the bottom and top of the eye. You can then use your finger to smudge toward the outer corner of the eye.


1)       When applying mascara it is a good idea to place a sheet of tissue paper or other small object in between your lashes and skin in order to prevent transfer of mascara to eyelid or other skin.

2)       Use upward strokes with continuous pressure and wait a full minute in between coats if you would like to build volume.

3)       Use waterproof mascara if you are wearing your makeup for more than 4 hours or if you have naturally hooded eyelids which can come in contact with eyelashes and smudge easily.

4)       Choose darker brown mascara for blue and green eyes, and black mascara for brown eyes.

5)       If you need something extraordinary then check out this guide for special events.


1)       Make sure to clean any brushes with brush cleaner in order to prevent break-outs and keep the application of makeup as flawless as possible.

2)       Makeup has an expiration date too! Make sure you don’t keep any products for too long, and don’t share products with other people.

3)       Use angled brushes in order to avoid heavy strokes and achieve a tapered look.

4)       Look for other resources to maximize results and minimize mistakes such as eye shadow kits with pre-chosen colors to minimize clashing and products with primer already included. As with anything, practice makes perfect! These tips will help you with the basic steps for everyday use, but eye makeup can be an art-form, so if you want to branch out and try new techniques, devote some time to experimenting and learning. But don’t try a new technique right before a date or important meeting just in case something goes wrong, that’s the worst.