Now that we’ve all thoroughly mastered the art of sculpting our faces with shadows and highlights, it’s time to explore the terrain of your eyes—after all, why sculpt your face if you’re just going to leave your eyelids? Might as well finish the job, right?
Luckily eye contouring is much easier and a lot less comprehensive than face contouring, but depending on how you want your eyes to look, there are a few different techniques. The fun part is that, unlike contouring your face, you can use a wide range of colors on your eyes as long as they’re in the same shade range—so pick a variety of plums, grays, blues, bronzes, etc. The only limit is your creativity; these techniques will work for every color!
It almost looks like this model isn’t wearing any makeup, but her eyes still smolder. The trick is to find a medium brown shade that’s just slightly darker than your skin tone and blend it into your crease, sweeping outwards just a bit to widen your eyes. Press a same-shade shimmer onto the center of your upper lid to give it dimension. Use a deeper shade of brown to softly define your lower lash line (pick a shimmery brown, as shown above, for added glamour). The effect deepens your eyes, making them appear more doe-like.
This is similar to the look above, but uses more of the medium brown shade to visually lift and widen your eyes with some clever shaping. If you think about how you usually do a smokey cat-eye, that’s pretty much the shape you want to make—but with brown shadow. A highlighter in the inner corner of your eyes brightens them just a bit and creates a flattering contrast. Extending your wing shape makes your eye area appear to be lifted and widened without looking like you’re overly done up. Contouring is all about subtlety, right?
Something like this is a definite bold look that takes the smokey eye and repurposes it to make your eyes look super deep. As long as you keep your edges blended well, it won’t be too sharp a look. Blend a dark shadow into the crease and along your lashes. Then apply a shimmery or metallic shadow that’s a shade lighter onto the entire lid, blending into the darker shadow. The shades will meld and blend into one another, rather than having any sharp delineation. If you want to be really bold, use a shimmery shade in a complimentary shade instead; we love purple over black, as shown above, or pale blue over bronze to enhance the tones in darker eyes.
MORE: Makeup Blending 101