APPLYING EYE MAKEUP - Absolutely Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Eye Makeup

The focal point of any makeup look is the eyes. In this article I will take you step-by-step through the eye makeup process. As always we start with a good base: clean, moisturized skin. Then we apply the foundation.

No matter what makeup style you wish to achieve: dramatic, subtle, light or whimsical; every look must begin with a good foundation. See my article on How to Apply Foundation and Concealer.

Concealer or Foundation
First let's define the eye area; it's from just below the brow bone (you can feel it with your fingers) until the edge of the sunken area under the eye / the top of the cheek bone (again you can feel this area with your fingers).

You can apply the same foundation around the eye area as to the rest of your face or apply concealer. What's the difference? Concealer is designed to be applied to the area around the eyes and as the name suggests, is designed to conceal any discoloration around this area. It is usually a more oily or heavier consistency than foundation and is not kind to older skin, since, as it dries, it tends to forms cracks in and around wrinkles. Concealer can be used on young skin, which may not always have what to conceal, but some amount of cover or base MUST always be applied in order for the eye makeup to be applied smoothly and be absorbed as little and as uniformly as possible. What about the shade of the foundation/concealer? As with all life, there are two schools of thought: the shade should either be a half a tone lighter or exactly the same shade. I believe that for an everyday makeup look, you should choose a shade that is the same as your foundation. For photo opportunities, use a shade half-a-tone lighter.

Now there are some interesting rules of thumb here:

No matter what the age of the skin, once the foundation/concealer is applied, it should be gently patted down and smoothed again just before applying makeup, as creases will form and the eye makeup cannot be applied as smoothly as it should.

Eye shadow
Today's idea of beautiful eyes is roundish, almond shape eyes, angled slightly upwards at the corners. Any and all eye makeup will help enhance or create the illusion of this eye shape (as much as possible).

As with all makeup, there are basically two types of eye shadow (there are in truth many more types, but they can nearly all be divided into these two categories): powder and cream. As always, the powdered version is much easier to apply and blend and kinder on older skin. Shiny, metallic eye shadows can be found in both cream and powder versions and should be avoided like the plaque on older skin and for photo opportunities, as the camera flash will reflect off this area and the optical illusion created is of a big blank spot. Not attractive on anyone.

Applying eye shadow – where to "put it all":

Confused about where to put "it" all? First 'divide' your eye into three sections measuring from the top of your nostril to the top of your brow with a makeup brush. Section 1 is from your nostril straight up to the beginning of your brow and until the beginning of the iris. Section 2 is from your nostril across from the beginning of your iris to the end of your iris, including the highest point of your brow. Section 3 is from your nostril, past the end of your iris and through the corner tip of your eye and to very end of your brow. These section divisions are also excellent guide lines to determine how to shapes your brows.

Most eye shadows will be applied in sections 2 and 3. Eyeliner will be applied along the top of whole eye. Under the eye you can apply eyeliner or eye pencil, either along the length of the longer lash line or under just section 3.

Start with eye shadow, either a light shade on the eyelid and a darker shade along the crease or the opposite: the darker shade on the eyelid and a lighter shade along the crease. Apply color a bit at a time with a brush or your finger and blend it in to this area of your eye and a little at the edges of the area; each time adding a bit more color and until you get the shade you want. The end result should be a smooth, blended look of color.

The eye shadow illusion:

On your eyelid

When thinking about applying shades – dark vs light - (not colors), take into consideration your eye shape and whether your eyes are set close together or wide apart, sunken or protruding, drooping or slanted. Now look over the following optical illusions eye shadow shades can create.

Remember makeup is there to help us accentuate what we like about our faces and help disguise what we do not. See my site for before and after shots to see how makeup can make the difference.

• Dark eye shadow makes your eyes seem more sunken in, wider and closer together.

• Light eye shadow makes your eyes seem more protruding, smaller and further apart.

Make sure that the outer edge of your eye shadow ends on an upturn. This means that the eye shadow from the tip of your eye till under your brow should be on an angle facing up towards your brow. Don't try to create this angle while applying the shadow. First apply shadow and then "clean" the line using your foundation sponge. Some makeup artists use a business card – you heard right – and apply the shadow on the eyelid and over the business card and once it is removed, the shadow is on a neat 'incline'. I recommend you clean the angle and then gently and lightly brush the eye shadow brush over this line to create a less 'demarcated' area and a more natural-looking eye.

Another makeup tool that can change the way your eyes appear is a line of eyeliner (with an eyeliner pencil or non-metallic liquid eyeliner) drawn above the bottom lashes; from the tip of the tear ducts to the outer corner of the eye. When choosing a shade for this area, consider the following:

• A dark line (black or dark brown/blue) above the bottom lashes, makes the eye look smaller but more angled upward.

• A light line (white) above the bottom lashes, makes the eye look larger and more open.

Tip: When you have some 'extra time', experiment on which eye shadow effects are best for you. Draw a dark line in one eye and a light line in the other and then see which look is better for your shape eyes.

Under your lower lashes:

A line of color under your bottoms lash line creates a more complete eye look. You can either draw a line with an eye pencil or eye shadow. There are two kinds of eye pencil (aren't there always?): a chalky dry consistency and a waxy, smoother consistency. Many times the waxy version has shine or sparkle to it. I personally recommend using the waxy version as it rolls on smoothly and gently. Once applied, you can either rub it gently to give a more subtle look to the eye or you can put powdered shadow on top of it. The wax of the pencil helps the powdered shadow adhere to the area and last longer.

When eyeliner is applied properly, it can create a flattering and attractive look to your eyes. Don't apply to eyes that are too small or sunken in or wrinkled; eyeliner will just your eyes and your whole face look older. Applied well, it can give the illusion of altering the shape of your eyes. Eyeliner comes in a variety of forms: liquid with its own thin brush applicator, pen-like with a thin marker applicator, a nearly solid form that is applied with a thin brush. You'll need to find the product that works the best for you.

The trick to applying eyeliner:

Here is a nearly fool-proof way of applying eyeliner: apply the eyeliner beginning in the middle of your eyelid and then apply to the outer corner of the eye; just until the end of the lash line and then apply from the middle to the inner corner of the eye. Apply a thin line and then if you wish you can retrace the line to create a thicker and more dramatic line.

Now, you can also create a pointed upward tip at the outer corner of the eye by continuing upwards from the point you stopped. First draw a line perpendicular from the end of the outer corner to the highest point you want for your tip. Then draw a line across from this point back to your lash line and fill in the triangle. The maximum height of the point should be determined by whether you have wrinkles in this area or not. Eyeliner in wrinkles will crack and look very bad. In this case, keep the eyeliner at a minimum.

Instead of standard eyeliner, you can use an eye pencil, as described above in Under your lower lashes, as an eyeliner and draw a line of color across your eyelid. You can smudge this line gently with your fingers to get a less defined, more subtle definition to your eyelid.

False lashes
False lashes are great for simachot. For everyday makeup, I would consider false lashes overkill. If you are considering wearing false lashes, have them applied professionally. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, practice applying and wearing the lashes several times BEFORE the big event. As with everything else in life: practice makes perfect.

What to buy?:

For practice sessions buy cheap lash sets you find in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. For the real event buy only good quality name-brand lashes. These will have a realistic look and feel. Lashes come in the usual set of two upper lashes or as a package of individual lashes to fill out sparse areas/or thicken the outer edge of the lash area. In all cases, buy ONLY good quality glue – the glue should dry clear and clean and be approved by the Ministry of Health.

How to apply?:

Whether this is a trial session or the real event: Lashes should be designed like real lashes: shorter lashes at the inner corner and long/slightly thicker lashes at the outer corner. Check the length of each lash line to your eyes, by lining it up across your eye lash line. If the lashes are too long, cut the OUTER edge. I recommend applying a line of eyeliner before you apply your lashes, as the eyeliner will help give the optical illusion that the lashes are your own and cover up any slight mistakes in application. If the mistake is too glaring, take off the clashes and START AGAIN!

First curl your lashes. You will not be able to do this AFTER you apply the lashes, without pulling them out. Apply a thin layer of glue to the edges of the lashes and let dry for a few seconds; until the glue is tacky. Then apply the lashes, either with lash tweezers or your fingers to a closed eye (this is the reason why it is reasonably hard to apply your own lashes) as close as possible to your natural lash line. Apply beginning at inner corner and then patting down gently as you move towards the outer corner.

Once the entire lash line has been applied, pat down gently and hold in place for some 20 seconds. Then open your eye s-l-o-w-l-y. You many need to "pry" your eye open a bit, as some of the glue may have seeped onto your bottom lashes. Work slowly and gently. Once lashes are applied to both eyes and you are happy with the results, you should reapply eyeliner to ensure the lash line looks realistic and then apply a coat or two or three of mascara to ensure that the lashes are 'integrated' into the lash line.

If you applying individual lashes, first apply mascara to your real lashes and then the fake lashes. If you apply mascara afterwards you may mistakenly pull out these lashes with the mascara brush.

Should you apply mascara to both your top and bottom lashes? If your eyes are round and somewhat bulgy, then apply mascara to the top lashes only. This same rule is true for droopy eyes. However with small and/or 'normal' size eyes you can apply mascara on both top and bottom lashes. In all cases, the best way to get that long lash look is to curl your eyelashes with a quality eyelash curler and then add at least two coats of mascara and you're set.

Brush your brows with a brush comb. You can fill in sparse areas or lengthen a too-short brow with eye shadows in shades close to your own natural brow color. Mix a darker and lighter shade to produce a more natural effect.

Great Hint:
 Use baby wipes without alcohol to clean any mistakes/smudges on your face (remember to reapply foundation – you can also use your foundation sponge to clean mistakes), as well as to clean your hands and surfaces when you are finished applying makeup. Make sure the wipes are packaged as alcohol-free, as the alcohol tends to dry out your skin. Even if you have oily skin, this product is not recommended for use.

Check out my article Makeup and ROI (Return on Investment) or Do I really need to buy everything the ladies in the "Pharms" try to sell me? to understand which eye makeup is worth investing in and which are not.

See and learn more on Styles by Yochi: Your makeup artist, hairstylist, wig stylist for all your weddings and simchas

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