Day to day, I don’t wear much eye makeup.
A base eyeshadow and a little mascara maybe but generally that’s about it.
What I’ve discovered over the years, though, is that this is far from enough eye makeup for me when it comes to photoshoots or events – particularly night time events where you might end up being photographed.
For the big events and photoshoots, I don’t hesitate to call in the pros:
Makeup artists (the above eye makeup is by Meghan at The Blowdry Room) know all the tricks. They know that if they get the eyes right then the rest of the face will come together.
A well-applied eye makeup will enhance the eyes and make them stand out. In my case, when I smile my eyes all but sink and disappear behind my golf-ball-shaped cheeks so I need to counteract that for photography.
I’ve learned more than a few tricks over the years on how to define your eyes with makeup, so I thought I’d share them here as well some of the key products – or types of products that you need in your kit to create and master the defined eye.
It will feel very strange at first if you’re not used to applying SO MUCH eye makeup.
Playing – and seeing how a defined eye looks when photographed – will give you confidence to keep experimenting.
What looks too much in the mirror is actually subdued in a photograph.
The below steps – and makeup used – falls way out of my regular one or two-minute, fuss-free, everyday makeup zone.
Allow about 10-20 minutes to comfortably and methodically work through the steps. The more you do it, the more you’ll bring that time down.
I like to use an eye makeup primer to help keep everything in place for the duration of the event. Smashbox Photo Finish 24hr Eye Shadow Primer (not pictured) is a great one.
Create a canvas with a light vanilla or taupe shade across the whole eyelid area and up to the brow (use a palette like this Urban Decay Naked2 eyeshadow palette – pictured #1 – there will be a light neutral that suits you).
Take a medium neutral eye colour shade and apply across whole eyelid. I like a mix of taupes, coppers and browns. You might prefer greys.
Take a dark eye colour shade in the colour range you’ve chosen and apply in a side-ways “V” shape with the point of the V at the outer corner of your eye and the upper side of the V in the eyelid socket.
Apply a thick eyeliner like the L’Oreal Paris SuperLiner Smokissime (pictured #2) or the Maybelline Master Smoky Shadow-Pencil (not pictured) at the lash line and blend upwards into eye colour with the applicator. This colour should blend into the eye colour but add definition.
Use a gel eyeliner with small angled brush or liquid eyeliner with pen applicator (pictured #3 is the MUD eyeliner at Woolworths that I reviewed on A Current Affair last week – click here if you missed it) and define the eye at the lash line. At top, hold your brush or pen downwards towards the lash line and make small, feather strokes, working from the outside in, connecting the feather strokes as you go. This is far easier than trying to draw or paint a straight line.
Optional: repeat on the lower lid as well.
Curl the lashes with a curling wand (pictured #4 is the Ere Perez Spectacular Eyelash Curler). Once you get the hang of this and lose the fear that you’re going to clamp your eyelids, this works a treat as lifted lashes really do open up the eyes.
Apply mascara. Use a downwards and flicking out motion on top of lashes to cover any eye colour product fall-out from eye colour. Then work the mascara upwards under the lashes to open. (Pictured #5 Maybelline Volum’ Express Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara in Glam Black)
Optional: apply mascara to your lower lash line
Apply false eyelashes. Again this is a tricky step but, with practice, you’ll never leave home for an event without them (pictured #6 ModelRock Lashes). Just a few individual lashes on the outer lids can make all the difference to opening and defining the eyes. Apply more mascara if the glue from lashes is showing. To remove is as easy as using micellar water or an eye makeup remover on a cotton pad, swiping in a downwards motion. The lashes will just detach and fall away.
Use a eye brightening pencil in a pink colour (pictured #7 Benefit Eye Bright Pencil) on the lower waterline of your eye. This camouflages any redness and makes the whites of your eyes pop.
Do not forget the brows! Ideally, as a starting point, you have them shaped and tinted on a regular basis. Use a pencil or gel (pictured #8 Napoleon Perdis Browtox) to draw or paint in colour to improve thickness of the brow. Then use a mascara-like brush to brush brows up and out. Add a highlighter (pictured #9 Benefit High Brow Pencil) underneath the brow at high point to pop the eyes even further.
That’s it folks … the eyes really do have it.
Are you ready to play? Got any eye-defining tricks to share? Products you can’t live without?