#1 Prime your eyes
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $33
Those of us with oily eyelids will know just how crucial a good eye primer is. I started using eye primers in my teens and have almost never gone a day without (unless i’m just skipping makeup entirely). A good eye primer should even out the discolouration on your eyelids, be easy to blend (so you don’t tug on your eyelids), keep your eye makeup in place all day, and not cause your eye makeup to crease. My personal favourites are Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
#2 Try a cream base colour
Nars Eye Paint in Porto Venere, $40
I love using cream eyeshadows all over the lid as a base for the rest of my eye makeup. Anything from Mac Paint Pots to Nars Eye Paint or Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Sticks will get the job done, as long as the colour is something neutral like a beige or nude. I’ve found that a shade slightly lighter than your natural skin tone will brighten up the eye area and make the shadows stand out more.
Layering a cream shadow underneath the rest of your eye makeup will help the colours look more vibrant, keep the makeup in place longer, and provide an even canvas for the rest of the shadows.
Cream shadows are also perfect for lazy days. Lightly dab some on your eyelids with a fingertip, set it with some translucent powder and you’re good to go.
#3 A wash of colour
Bobbi Brown Sandy Nudes, Shimmering Sands Eye Palette, $108
Smoky eyes can be tedious to get right, with the amount of effort required to blend all those different eyeshadows to perfection. The easy option is keeping it simple while still looking like you made an effort. For this I like using a more nude eyeshadow with a bit of shimmer.
A wash of subtle colour all over your eyelids to just above the crease (such that it’s visible when your eyes are open) and a little highlight on the inner corners of your eyes so they look brighter and wider is all you need. Just be sure to blend out the edges of the eyeshadow with your fingertips or a blending brush so there aren’t harsh lines. Need a visual guide? Here’s a step by step on how to apply eyeshadow for different eyelid shapes.
#4 Define your eyes
Shu Uemura Maison Kitsune Play & Remix Drawing Pencil Eyeliner in Plum, $33
This one goes without saying. Whether your poison is a cat-eye, smudged out eyeliner, or something simple, go with the one you love best. If you need help deciding which type of eyeliner best suits the look you’re going for, take a look at our handy guide.
Switching things up with a colour that isn’t black is one way to stand out, and a deep flattering shade like plum is perfect the perfect compromise for those of you afraid of going too far outside your comfort zone.
#5 Amp up your lashes
Chanel Le Volume De Chanel in Rouge Noir, $52
Curling your lashes is an important step if you want your eyes to look bigger. Straighter lashes tend to cast a shadow beneath your eyes which can look unflattering. Apply one or two coats of your favourite mascara and you’re all set. If you love a little more drama, you can always throw on a pair of falsies.
Just like my eyeliner, I love playing around with coloured mascara. This deep purple shade from Chanel’s Rouge Noir collection is so dark it looks black from afar, but just knowing I have purple lashes is enough to make the experience fun for me.
#6 Fill in your brows
Lancome Le Crayon Sourcils in Brun, $30
Doing your brows is possibly one of the most important steps in my book as far as looking put together goes. Even if i’m going out on a regular day with nothing but undereye concealer, i’ll fill my brows in just to look a little more polished. Undone brows can detract from perfectly done eyes.
The trick to getting them to look more natural is filling in your brows with short hair-like strokes that mimic your natural brow hairs. Don’t forget to use a spooly brush (often found on the other end of most brow pencils) to blend it all out for a more seamless look.