If you’ve ever seen photos of celebrities without makeup, you know what a difference eye liner, mascara and eye shadows can make. Makeup artists who work with red carpet regulars have plenty of tricks to turn the spotlight on their clients’ eyes. Want to make your eyes look bigger and brighter? Try these expert tips to make your pretty eyes really pop.
Curl Your Lashes
Long lashes instantly open the eyes. Even before you use a mascara, using a curler ensures your lashes point upwards and outwards making them appear longer, says celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. This is a very important first step to ensuring that your eyes will pop.
The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($20, shuuemura-usa.com) is a makeup artist favorite for good reason: Its uniquely shaped silicone pads bend lashes without crimping or pinching them. Set your curled lashes with a clump-free mascara, such as CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara ($6.99, drugstore.com).
Use Dark Eyeliner
Afraid to wear inky eyeliner because you think it will make your eyes look smaller? Don’t be, says Andrew. The key is to avoid harsh lines. When you smudge dark liner around the eye, it actually makes the eyes appear larger. Try black, deep charcoal or navy blue liner smudged along the upper and lower lashlines, and add white in the inner rims of your eyes to keep the look from feeling heavy. White liner on the waterlines works as an optical illusion to extend the whites of your eyes, making your eyes look wider.
Try Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow ($23, sephora.com), which you can apply with a flat liner brush for a smoked out, smoldering effect. A chubby pencil like Sephora Collection Jumbo Liner in White ($14, sephora.com) makes lining your inner rims easy.
Fill In Your Brows
Filling in your brows to make them look thick and full can put the spotlight on your eyes. Emphasize the arch in your brows to give the illusion of more space, advises makeup artist Diana Solomon. To boost brows, use a powder such as Anastasia Brow Powder Duo ($22, sephora.com) or even a dark eye shadow that matches the color of your brows, like Laura Mercier’s Matte Eye Colour in Coffee Ground or Truffle ($22, lauramercier.com). Highlight the brow bone with Benefit High Brow ($20, benefitcosmetics.com) to open up the eye area even more.
Eyeshadow: Less is More
If you want to make your eyes look larger and wider, it’s not always about quantity. Often, less is more. Lancôme celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter advises that you stick to two shadows — a darker and a lighter shade. “Start with the darker shade on the outer corner of the eyes. Follow with the lighter shade on the lid and inner corner of the eye,” she says.
While frosty shadows are best reserved for glamorous evening looks, matte eye shadows are great to use on the outer corner of the eye, and you can blend them upward toward the crease to make your eyes really open wide. A neutral shade like Lancôme Color Design in Chic ($19, lancome-usa.com), a matte camel beige, flatters almost any eye color. Pair it with a pale taupe or mushroom shade on the lids.
If your goal is to add depth to your eye area, try this trick from Diana Solomon: Pair a black liner with pale eye shadow all over the lid and a darker shade in the crease to make the eyes pop. The contrasting tones give your eyes a three dimensional effect. If you’re feeling particularly Brigitte Bardot, create a cat eye, extending it beyond the contours of your eye for a little tail or flick.
Read more: 6 MacGyver Tricks For Eyeshadow