A few simple steps to help accentuate the eye without leaving you feeling too overdone
Photos: Jenelle at Inspiring Wit
Personally, I am so scared by the idea of eye makeup. Experimenting with new colours and looks is quite daunting (honesty, can someone tell me how in the world you are supposed to wear pink eyeshadow properly?!), and I feel like I am about to waltz on stage for my solo if I get a bit heavier handed on the brush and palette. I have even had friends, family and strangers tell me that ‘your smokey eye makeup is cool, but I prefer you natural’ – and in the case of the keyboard warriors, the same sentiment was put across in not so friendly terms. I envy the girl that can pull of a smokey eye, or a Kim K look on a night out, but such intense eyes don’t feel quite right on me.
Throughout my years of dance, heavy eye makeup was a standard. All of the makeup techniques we learned were done with the intention of making your features appear larger, so this meant lots of makeup (and I mean lots), lots of overdrawn lines and ridiculously long false lashes. It is amazing how many tricks there are to making your features more distinguishable under the harsh lights of the stage. If there is one thing I took from the weekend ritual of applying my over-the-top stage makeup (aside from my belief that any eye makeup makes me feel like I am wearing heavy stage makeup), it was a host of techniques that you can use to make your eyes appear larger.
Without going overboard and taking you into contouring and eyeshadow techniques (I am not qualified to do so because I have absolutely no idea how to do it nicely!), here are a few of my hints and tricks – to be mixed and matched at your leisure – to help accentuate accentuate your eyes:
Pull out the ‘cat eye’ look
I have mentioned the cat eye in previous beauty posts of mine and that is because, in my eyes, it is the best way for me to foray into eye makeup without feeling too over done. The cat eye takes a little bit of practice to nail, but when you have the hang of it, it is the fastest and simplest ways to add a little bit of drama to your makeup. For dance, we would have to line the entire eye, waterline and all, to make the eyes more visible. For an every day look, a simple line drawn from the very inside corner of the eye, along the top and out to a gentle flick is enough. If you are feeling bold, try making the line thicker in the middle section of the eye lid, leading to a heavier flick at the end. Make sure you keep the line on the inside corner of the eye quite fine though, as this gives the illusion of an almond shaped eye!
A shimmery white highlighter and some white shadow dabbed on the inside corner of your eye gives the illusion of bigger eyes. The more white you apply to the inside corner, the stronger this illusion becomes. For every day wear, and for those a little more apprehensive about heavy makeup, I would suggest just a little dab of a highlighter instead. You can also run some highlighter along the underside of your brows to give a little more oomph.
They say to ‘fake it til you make it’. Because I absolutely refuse to wear falsies anywhere but the stage or on set of a photo shoot, the next best thing is a set of eyelash curlers. A quick crimp with curlers, and your eyes immediately look wider and more awake. With a good lashing of mascara, your lashes will look long and plump, and your eyes nice and wide.
Do you have any secrets to making your eyes look larger and more accentuated? I would love to hear how, so leave me a comment below!