Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eye make-up tutorial

(For any readers not interested in knowing techniques for doing eye make-up, you can just totally disregard this post.)

I frequently get told that people like how I do my eye make-up and/or asked if I can do other people's eye make-up for them. Since people seem interested, and my eye make-up tricks/techniques aren't really particularly complicated, I figured I'd share how I do it and then anyone who wants to try it out can.  In order to see the details more, I did this with Microsoft Paint, so the steps would be more obvious to see.  I also took photos of the actual steps, so you can see what they look like as they look in real life.

So, first things first: the tools you'll need

(You'll probably need to click on the photo to open it up and see the descriptions--sorry about that...)

Basically, you only absolutely NEED 4 of the items above, although I use all of them. If you want, you can skip the make-up brushes and the primer.  And you only need one of the "base" colors, not both.  So, you MUST have 1 base color (white, cream, etc.--something sheer and light); black/brown eyeliner; white pencil eyeliner; and mascara. I use the primer because it makes the eye make-up stay on better and not get all gooped up in the crease of my eyelid.  I like the make-up brushes because I lose the little applicators that come with eyeshadow all the time and I think they make it easier to blend.  But, they aren't necessary.  Just nice to have. 

You also MUST have one additional color.  Here are the colors I use:

Now you're probably thinking that those colors are much too bright and you couldn't ever pull those off or something along those lines.  Here's what I've learned about eyeshadow, based on years of trying out different types of eyeshadows in all sorts of shades: it's never, never, NEVER as potent as it appears.  In fact, when I want to really have color, I usually have to really layer it on thick and even then, it's still not enough to be really powerful.  Some of the newer eyeshadows claim to be high-intensity, etc.  If you're timid and trying out new/different colors, avoid those.  But, your run-of-the-mill eyeshadow will almost always be MUCH lighter and sheerer than it looks.  Plus, if it's too strong, we'll learn how to back the color up in this tutorial. 

So, now you're ready to begin.  

Step One: If you're using primer, apply it from the lash line to your eyebrow, like so: 

(There is no actual photo of this, because you can't see the primer once it's applied, since it blends into your skin. But, you get the idea with this...)

If you aren't using primer, you can skip that step and jump right in.  

Step Two:  You're going to want to take your base color and apply that from your lash line all the way up to your eyebrow.  Yes, I really mean up to your eyebrow.  This is just the base color, which should be pretty sheer and light, so you're fine.  You won't look weird. Just trust me and do it.    

Example of how to apply:

Actual result:

Step Three: Now you need to use your color.  Pick whatever shade you want to wear.  Purples tend to look good on any eye color and skin tone and they are an easy way to jump into color without feeling too overwhelmed or making too bold of a statement. If you are using brushes, this would be the point at which you want to use the smudge brush/smaller eyeshadow brush, so you can control the color better.  

What you want to do here is locate the natural crease of your eyelid, like so: 

Can't figure out where that is on your eye?  That's okay--you can use your brow bone instead.  Once you've found your crease/bone, you want to make a C shape w/ the color, with the bottom of the C being your lash line and the top of the C being your crease/bone.

You want the C to be the darkest part of your color.  Once you have a pretty good C, then use a little bit of color to fill in the C, without completely blending it all together.  You want just enough in there to give it some color, but you still want to be able to see the C.  Just like it looks in the photo above.

Here's an actual shot of the C, no fill-in yet

And here is a photo of the C after it's been filled in:

But, oh no--what if you've used too much color or it's too bold for your taste?  What can you do short of washing it all off and starting over?  The quickest and easiest way to back off the color is to use your base color over it.  Just go right over that C and the color and it will either lighten it up or it will almost completely hide it, depending on how heavy you go over it with your base color. Your base color will blend with the color to fix it if you've gone too heavy. 

Step Four:  Now that you've got your eyeshadow all done (that wasn't too hard, now was it?) it's time for eyeliner.  You will want to start with the white eyeliner and just use it in the corners of your eyes.  This looks a bit weird until it's all completed, but trust me--this trick will make your tired eyes look more awake and give you a brighter pop in your eyes.  I don't know why it works, but it totally does. So, just use a little bit of white eyeliner in the corners of your eyes, like so:

Example of how/where to apply:

Actual results:

Step Five:  Now you're ready for your main eyeliner.  I like to use black liquid eyeliner, but you can also use pencil eyeliner.  The main trick you want to go for here is the make the last 1/2 to last 1/3 of your line BIG and FAT but keep the first part of if thin.  This will give you the appearance of much thicker and fuller lashes, since it mimics the natural distribution of eyelashes (less at the inside corner, more at the outer corner).  So, this is what you're going for:

Notice how it gets much thicker and fatter at about the halfway point?  That's what you want.

Actual results:
Again, fatter, thicker, bigger towards the outer corner. 

Don't be afraid to do a thick, fat line.  If you're worried about messing it up, start by trying it with a pencil eyeliner.  If it's too thick, you can use a Q-tip to clean it up and then apply some of your eyeshadow to blend it in and try again. Pencil is more forgiving than liquid eyeliner so practice some with that if you're nervous.

Step Six:  This one is easy--just mascara the hell out of your eyelashes.  I would suggest doing both the top and bottom lashes.  Also, if you start by putting the mascara on the top of your upper eyelashes first, then applying by going underneath, it will give you a bit more volume to your lashes.  But, whatever you normally do is fine for this step, since mascara is pretty easy to apply. 

I really like the Lash Stiletto brand by Maybelline, personally.  I never have problems with it flaking or running during the day, so no raccoon eyes as the day goes on.  This is true even if I hold my eyelashes in two fingers and rub--the mascara doesn't leave my fingers all black.  I also like that it doesn't feel heavy and thick like most mascaras.  When I wear it, if I touch my eyelashes, it doesn't feel like I have any mascara on, which is really nice.  But that's just me.  Other people prefer other brands, so use whatever works best for you.

Actual results:

Step Seven:  Flaunt your sexy eyes all day long!

Actual and final results:


  1. Anonymous10:03 PM

    beautiful! do you think the white eyeliner and light basecoats work for dark skinned people? I've never worn much makeup...but now that I've hit 40 I'm needing to put a little more effort in :)

    1. Thank you! The white eyeliner trick will work on any skin tone or eye color. If you aren't the palest person on earth (aka me...) and don't think a white or cream base color would work for you, you can use any sheer, translucent neutral color as your base. One with some sort of shimmer will pick up the light and accent your eyes more than q matte color will. I would say if white isn't your color, maybe shoot for a taupe or a light brown. It needs to be lighter than your other color, but there isn't any rule that it has to be white or cream. even a peach, a light yellow, a light pink, or a light orange would work, although you may want to choose your other color carefully if you are using a yellow or orange. I hope that helps!

  2. Anonymous8:53 AM

    we use the same mascara! I love Sara Mercier colored primer, then I don't need eyeshadow. Urban Decay eye pencils are the bomb.

    Office Bestie