Beauty

Step-by-step guide to perfecting eye make-up

If it’s a long-lasting look you’re after then before you start with the shadow prep lids with a primer.

By  Emma Gunavardhana

Eye make-up can weave quite the spell over anyone’s look. A few well chosen shades and a clever application can make even tiny eyes look huge and can give a real ‘wow’ factor to the wearer.

Gone are the days of one shade of shadow roughly swept over lids, now the techniques are many and varied, involve colours specifically for the crease and clever pops of shimmer under the brow arch to make everything look bigger and more pronounced.

Turn over most eyeshadow palettes these days and there’ll be a little graphic giving you some guidance on where to apply what colours. It’s rules that hold fast; a matte base colour, satin crease shade and a shimmer shadow for eyelids.

Why you should use an eye primer

If it’s a long-lasting look you’re after then before you start with the shadow prep lids with a primer. Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer, £24, knocks out those thin veins and discoloration on the eyelid to create a uniform canvas and it provides a grip to your shadow.

Benefit’s eyeshadow primer knocks out discoloration while giving eyeshadow ‘grip’ for make-up that lasts all day

How to create a clean canvas

Any eye look starts with a clean, even canvas whether you’re creating something simple or working your way up to a look that’s a little more smoky. Choose a matte shadow first, you can begin to build shimmer and dimension in later, as this will anchor whatever textures you put on top of it. Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Bone, £20, is a best-selling, one-shade-suits-all, that will wear best if pressed and pushed into the eye using a brush as opposed to swept on.

Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Bone gives a muted, clean canvas for simple or dramatic eye make-up looks

How to sculpt your eyes with eyeshadow

If you want to make your eyes look bigger it all starts in the crease. Blend a warm shadow into the crease and draw the shape slightly beyond the eye for an immediately larger looking eye. For even greater impact draw shadow under the eye and up to meet the extended crease line. MAC’s Eye Shadow in Cork, £15, makes a great sculpting shade. You can be quite bold with the application then go in with a fluffier brush to blend and soften the line.

A warm-toned shadow in the crease adds depth and definition

How to apply shimmery eyeshadow

Now you’ve created a canvas, sculpted and emphasised the eye, a wash of shimmer shade lifts and adds dimension. Charlotte Tilbury’s Starry Eyes To Hypnotise Eye Shadow Palette, £60, contains 12 versatile shades comprising of matts and shimmers, which can be used to create four different looks. Press shadow into the centre of the lid and blend out for a 3D finish. 

Play with light and shade on the lid to draw even more attention to the eye

How to give yourself an eye lift with make-up

To lift the eye and exaggerate the arch of your brow blend shimmer under the highest point of your brow. Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, £16, imparts a perfect pop of highlight which is not too heavy on the shimmer, meaning it won’t look brassy. 

A little shimmer shadow can heighten the arch of your brow

How to apply metallic eyeshadow

A little metallic shimmer on the inner corner of your eye is a make-up artists’ trick for making an eye look really stand out. Don’t be heavy handed, the look is meant to be subtle so use a pencil so you have more control over how much you apply. Rimmel’s ScandalEyes Waterproof Coloured Brow & Liner Kohl Kajal in Hypnotic Gold, £4.99, gives that metallic edge without overpowering the rest if your look.

A little ‘dot’ of metallic shimmer on the inner eye draws the eye

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