A little overlining of the lips can create a perfectly plump pout in no time. And if you’re looking to make your eyes appear bigger and more open, there are certainly ways to use makeup to do that as well.
Below, we’re sharing a handful of expert-approved makeup tips for what to do (and not do) to make your eyes appear as open and bright as possible. Doe eyes, here you come.
1. Start with skincare
Before you even begin your makeup routine, you can create brighter eyes using the right skincare products. Look for an eye cream or under-eye patches that help to depuff, hydrate, and correct dark circles.
TULA SKINCARE’s Eye Feel Amazing Cooling & Brightening Hydrogel Eye Mask is one of our favorite eye care products for bright, awakened eyes. The under-eye patches use probiotic extracts, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and green coffee caffeine to hydrate, depuff, and wake up the entire eye area–all before you’ve even applied a drop of makeup.
2. Cover up dark circles with under-eye concealer
Dark circles can create the illusion of a shadow around your eye area, making it appear smaller overall. To help make the entire eye area appear brighter and illuminated, use a brightening concealer on the under-eyes to even out the skin tone.
Pro tip: Try applying the concealer in the shape of an inverted triangle under your eyes to create a “triangle of light” underneath the eyes. For a full rundown on how to tackle that technique, read our tutorial on how to apply concealer.
3. Blend your eyeshadow up to your brow
“My most used technique to make eyes appear bigger is taking eyeshadow very close to the brow,” says makeup artist Lennie Billy. “This gives the illusion that your lid space is bigger and opens the eyes more, especially if you have hooded eyes.
4. Use brightening eyeshadow shades
Speaking of eyeshadow, the shades you use can make a big impact on how bright and open your eyes look. “When it comes to eyeshadow colors, Billy says, “Using light to medium tone shadows will help your eyes look more open.” She likes using pastels, light shimmer shades, and light brown eyeshadows on the mobile lid to create the illusion of bigger eyes.
For a range of eye-opening eyeshadow options, look for an eyeshadow palette that features these sort of shades. COMPLEX CULTURE’s Full Time Eyeshadow Palette offers a nice mix of brightening neutrals and shimmer shades for a delicate, doe-eyed look.
5. Brighten your waterline
Tightlining the eyes with a dark brown or black liner is great for a boost of drama, but it can also make your eyes appear smaller. For an eye-opening effect, try swapping dark liner for white eyeliner or nude eyeliner like the TARTE Fake Awake Eye Highlight. Billy says she loves to use a nude eye pencil along the upper and lower waterline for bigger, wider-looking eyes.
6. Create smoky eye looks strategically
“Depending on the shape of the eyeshadow application, smoky eyes can make your eyes look smaller,” says Billy. “It’s not that if you have small eyes you can’t wear a smokey look, but I would recommend you keep the most pigmented part of your eyeshadow lower on your lid and blend it very well from the middle up so it looks more like a gradient and less like a huge saturated patch of color.”
Billy typically avoids creating a black smoky eye on small eyes, but if that’s your jam, she says, “I would recommend you incorporate dark browns or even gray to lower the intensity of the black shadow. Also, use a dark brown pencil on the waterline instead of black to avoid making the eyes look smaller.”
7. Illuminate the inner corners of the eyes
“I always recommend adding a hint of shimmer or light matte shade to the brow bone and inner corners to return light to the eyes,” says Billy. Adding just a touch of an illuminating shade is key for making the eyes pop–whether you’re rocking a neutral eye look or a smoky eye.
Try using a brightening shimmer eyeshadow stick like the BEAUTY FOR REAL Shadow STX 24-7 to easily apply product to the inner corner of your eyes. You can also dab a touch of a highlighter like the OFRA COSMETICS Highlighter in Blissful to create the same effect.
8. Curl and define your lashes
This super simple step can really make all the difference. Straight lashes can cast a shadow on the eye area. Curling them up with a lash curler will instantly open up the eye area. Follow up this step with a curling mascara like the BENEFIT COSMETICS Roller Lash Mascara to further curl and define the lashes along both your upper lash line and lower lash line.
Looking for a full makeup tutorial on how to curl your eyelashes like a pro? We’ve got you.
9. Avoid thick eyeliner lines
Creating ultra-thick, Amy Winehouse-style eyeliner lines may not end up doing you any favors if you’re looking to create an eye-opening makeup look. Instead, allow those light, illuminating eyeshadow shades to shine by creating super thin eyeliner lines using either a sharpened pencil eye pencil or a fine-tipped liquid liner.
A precision liner like the ILLAMASQUA Liquid Eyeliner is perfect for creating razor-thin lines or an eye-opening cat eye.
10. Shape your brows
A little bit of eyebrow shaping can make a big difference. By creating an arched shape, you’re essentially lifting the ceiling of the eye area, allowing it to look bigger and more open. You can further open up the area via the brows by trying laminated brows or by using a brow gel that will help your brow hairs stay uplifted throughout the day.
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