You’ve wanted to speak up, dozens of times. Maybe you’ve even turned down the well-intentioned sales people, with their oh-so-annoying, “Can I help you find something?” All for fear they’d laugh at you. Those people who seem to have been born knowing the ins-and-outs of eye makeup application. And here you are, without the first clue about how to begin applying eye makeup! Well, rest easy. Not one of the brightly-colored, bold and boisterous, perfectly-powdered makeup techs at any counter, or in front of any celeb, was born with a silver-plated eyelash curler in their hands. Each one of them was once where you are…learning the basics of and order of eye makeup application. After all, everybody’s gotta start somewhere, so read our list of 10 tips for beginners!
1. Moisturizer – No matter what your age, you need to moisturize the delicate skin around your eyes daily! Most eye moisturizers will also have anti-aging benefits and ingredients, and the added moisture (once absorbed) will help products go on more smoothly. We recommend Cliniderm lotions (including the anti-aging line) due to their guaranteed irritant-free ingredients.
2. Primer – Any eye makeup application technique and eye look will benefit from a good eye shadow base (also called lid primer). Not only will it even out your lid, it will give your liner and eyeshadow extra staying power.
3. Conceal – While your primer is drying, it’s time to conceal your under-eye area. Even if you don’t necessarily have dark circles, under-eye concealer (one shade lighter than your normal skin tone) will even and brighten the whole look of your eyes.
4. Brows – One of the most important steps in the order of eye makeup application is to groom, fill in, and define your brows. The highest point of your arch should fall in line with the outer rim of your iris (when looking straight ahead). By holding a pencil or liner brush parallel to the side of the bridge of your nose, your inner eyebrow edge should start there. Holding the pencil diagonally from your nostril to the outer corner of your eye, you’ve just found the right end point of your brows. Remember not to over-tweeze, and use an appropriate (meaning=believable) shade of brow liner or eyeshadow to fill in. And that, my friend, is how to get perfect eyebrows!
5. Eyeshadow – A good basic eyeshadow technique uses two similar shades, one lighter than the other. Sweep the lighter shade over the inner three-quarters of your lid, then apply the darker shade in the crease (stop about halfway in), to the outer corner, then bring it in along the upper lash line, creating a sideways V shape. You can also line the lower lash line with the same darker hue. This technique works for most eye shapes, but to really learn the tricks of the trade, you can find dozens of how-to videos and tutorials online for making the most of your particular shape.
6. Eyeliner – Again, to really make the most of your eye makeup application for your eye shape, it would be worth your while to put in a little research. But, most eye shapes are safe with lining the upper lash line (about half way in) and smudging with a shadow brush. Follow similarly on the lower lashes. Applying liquid eyeliner can be a bit trickier, but can absolutely make more of an impact. Tutorials, how-to’s, and practice are beginners’ best friends, so keep reading our other articles for more eyeliner application tips for beginners and experts!
7. Curl – One of the most overlooked steps in eye makeup application tips for beginners and long time users is curling the eyelashes. There really is no secret in how to curl your eyelashes. A heated eyelash curler is the easiest and safest for your natural lashes (its application is similar to that of mascara – gentle upward strokes), but any drugstore curler should do if you are on a tight budget. With clean lashes, start at the base and gently squeeze. Hold for two seconds, slide the curler up to mid shaft and squeeze for another two seconds. This will give your lashes a graceful, beautiful curve that will open up the look of your eye.
8. Mascara – If you are unsure what kind to get, it’s best to start with an oil free mascara, one that is natural and hypoallergenic. Two coats should do it. One of the most crucial eye makeup application tips for beginners and skin health-conscious females is to always check with EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to find safe beauty products. If you think FDA has you covered for ingredient safety, think again!
9. Lashes – Now, if you’re feeling brave with your eye makeup application, or if you just want an extra bit of oomph, you can add some individual false eyelashes to the outer corners of your eyes, or accent lashes (A.K.A. half lashes). Dab a tiny bit of eyelash adhesive on the base of the false lash, and tuck into your lashes with a pair or tweezers (don’t worry…the glue will dry clear). We recommend practicing on cheap human hair eyelashes or even those made of synthetics, that you can pick up at your local drugstore. After a few application test runs, you are ready to switch to the most natural-looking and luxurious false eyelashes on the market – Minki Lashes made of authentic cruelty-free Siberian mink! With Minki Lashes, you can even easily skip step #9 and apply a full strip of falsies instead of mascara.
10. Highlight – The final touch is a bit of shimmer. Sweep a very light pearlescent shadow under your brow (from the arch outward) and in your tear duct area. Perfection!
And there you have it. The basic tips and order of eye makeup application for beginners! See? Not so scary or intimidating. Once you start to feel more comfortable, your tools and techniques will grow, expand, and so will your eye makeup looks. (And no one ever has to be the wiser about that whole “I don’t know how to apply eye makeup” thing!)