There are few things sexier than bold, smoldering eyes. But even if you weren’t genetically blessed with big eyes, there are plenty of tricks to help fake it and make your eyes look bigger.
1. Use ice.
Puffiness will make eyes appear smaller. Place ice wrapped in a cloth over eyes for 15-20 minutes to reduce puffiness. You can also try wet tea bags to pull out toxins and help reduce puffiness over time, says Darcy Giocochea of South Florida Makeup Artistry.
2. Fill in brows.
…As in all the way out, to the point where you can draw a diagonal from the end of your brow to the corner of your eye, says Megan Cox, founder of Wink Natural Cosmetics. This elongates the eye and visually positions them more effectively on your face.
3. Add lashes.
Apply an individual lash cluster just at the outer corner of your eye to create dimension and the illusion of a larger eye. Ardell makeup artist Carine Bernedo recommends Ardell Duralash Naturals Knot-Free Flares ($4.99, cvs.com). Apply a few clusters as close to the lash line as possible. The length and volume of the individual lashes focused just at the outer corner give a more of an open, cat eye appearance as well.
4. Apply concealer.
Use a concealer one shade lighter than skin with a warm pink undertone. This will correct blue undertones in the dark circles and brighten the eye area. Also put concealer on lids to brighten and make the eyes look more open, says Giocochea.
5. Never skip highlighter.
Use a highlighter or pearly shadow under each brow arch, right above each brow, arch and in the corners of eyes. Blend away harsh lines with a brush to soften, says Giocochea.
6. Curl your lashes.
Curl lashes straight up, then turn the brush 30-45 degrees outward and curl again, says Cox. This helps open up your eyes big time, and the 45 degree turn helps turn up the va-voom without being overly done.
7. Go lighter on the waterline.
Don’t use dark liner on the waterline—this tends to shrink the eyes. Instead of the dark colors, use a white or nude pencil to bring light into the eye area, making the eyes appear larger, says Aferdita Qafa, a Detroit-based freelance hair and makeup artist.
8. Give your liner a bit of layer.
After applying liner, take a slightly lighter (than the liner) colored shadow and smudge it into the liner. This will create depth and add contour to the eyes, which makes them appear larger, says Quafa.
9. Try the mini cat eye.
Using eyeliner (liquid, pencil, gel, it doesn’t matter) starting on the outer edges of your upper lid, start about 1/4 of the way in, start lightly lining your lid and draw out a tiny little cat tail, says Cox. Do not start all the way in on your inner upper lid, or you will lose the effect. Make it so that you can’t even clearly distinguish where the liner started, because it was so light. Connect from the inner corner of your bottom lashes to the cat tail. This alone elongates and enlarges the appearance of your eyes by about 25 percent.
Read more: 101 Ways to Make Your Eyes Pop