How To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

May 6, 2015 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Our nation’s obsession with Kylie Jenner’s inflated lips will come and go, but one timeless beauty tip we’ll forever treasure? Bright, wide Bambi-like eyes. We all want ’em, but with so many general tips out there that rarely take eye shape into account, we may not be getting the most out of our makeup.

If you weren’t born with naturally large eyes (I count myself as a member of the hooded-eyed brigade, or as I prefer to call us: girls with bedroom eyes), there are a number of super-simple makeup techniques that will give you big, beautiful eyes in just minutes.

Before we focus on how you can enhance your distinctive eye shape, here are a few universal eye-widening tips:

1. Cover dark circles under your eyes. “Shadows or any dark coloring can make your eyes look smaller,” said stylist and wardrobe Consultant Allie Brandwein. “Use your ring finger to dab on your favorite concealer.” If you can splurge a bit, you won’t regret trying NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Otherwise, Neutrogena 3-In-1 Concealer for Eyes is a fabulous find–and priced at less than $10.

2. Fill in your brows. “If you have sparse eyebrows like I do, it helps to fill them in so they look more prominent,” Brandwein said. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo comes in 11 shades and will last you a gazillion years.

3. Swipe a beige or champagne liner on your waterline. I discovered this tip just a few months ago and, as a woman with smallish eyes, I have to tell you it’s a game-changer. It’s the number one way to look more alert in the morning after a rough night. Instead of using a white liner, which I find too harsh and unnatural, I swipe a bit of Tarte Inner Rim Liner on my bottom waterline, which is the bottom rim where your eyelid meets you eye, and–voila–I actually look alive and ready to face the world.

4. Use mascara–correctly. We all know we have to use mascara to achieve the ultimate eye, right? But I’m afraid there’s a right way and a wrong way to use this magic potion. “Place mascara on the outer corners of upper and lower lashes from center to corner,” says stylist Gretta Monahan, style expert on the new TLC series, Brides Gone Styled. “Make sure to pick an extra-long wear type so that it does not dull throughout the day.” One to try? Topshop False Lash Mascara Intense.  For a lash boost, warm your lash curler on medium heat with your blow dryer and press a curl into the center of your top lashes, Monahan suggests. “This will produce a big eye look, versus trying to curl the entire length of lashes.”

Okay, ready for your own, personalized guide to doe eyes? Ann Marie DeMauro, owner of PrettyCommittee, is here to break it down.

If you have hooded eyes (like me and Blake Lively!), here’s what to do:

– Apply a darker shade shade of eyeshadow close to the lash line, the a medium shade in your crease and the lightest by the brow bone.

– Tight line your eyeliner on your upper lid and give it a little wing to open your eyes even more. Place your thumb gently in the crease of your eyeball and expose the lash line, then smudge your pencil. With your eyes still open, mark where you want the wing be on the outer edge of your eye and work your way in. If you close your eyes to do this process you can lose the wing altogether once you open them.

– Line your lower lashes about half way just under the lash line and use a pencil in a lighter color than the top line. For example, if you use black on top, use plum on the bottom. Then smudge.

– Put a white or cream colored liner on the lower lashes above the darker line and into the corner, as it really opens the eyes.

– Curl your lashes and use mascara. Instead of using a second coat of mascara, add a second coat to the outer upper lashes, blending inward.

 If you have close-set eyes (like Jennifer Aniston), here are some techniques to try

– Apply eyeshadow to the crease of your eye–this is really important with close-set eyes. Keep your eyes open when applying to your crease so that you don’t bring it too close toward your nose. Once you have the shadow where you want it, feel free to close your eye and blend.

– Graduate the eyeshadow color on your lower lid from dark to light, working from the outer corner of the eye in.

– Use a neutral color on your brow bone, then blend a bit of shimmer on top from the arch out.

– Add a little dot of shimmer on the inner tear duct.

– Use a dark liner for the outer edge of the eye, both upper and lower, and about three quarters of the way through, change to a light pencil, bringing that to the inner corner. Greens and golds are great for this trick.

– Curl your lashes and use two different colored mascaras. “I like to use brown for the inner lashes and black for the outer lashes. It brings more light into that inner corner,” says DeMauro.

If you have mono-lidded eyes ( like Lucy Liu), try these tricks:

–  Think ombre. Graduate color up from the lash line to the brow, darkest to lightest. This will open the eye. And you don’t have to stick with two or three colors–go for four or five,” DeMauro says.

– Keep the darkest eyeshadow color at the lash line and don’t be afraid to pack it in low on the upper lid. Blend upwards and out as you graduate to the brows to achieve a sultry look to the shadow.

– Apply shadow on the lower lash line to open up the eye even further. Use the light color for your brows on the inner corner and work your way to the outer corner with the darker shades of shadow.

– Take your eyeliner and mark where your want the wing to be and then close your eyes and really work that liner in, tight lining in the upper lashes and giving yourself what seems to be a fat line. Once your eye is open it will look like a thin beautiful line and closed it looks dramatic, which is why so many people love this eye. Open and close your eye to check that you have enough.

– Line your lower lashes to polish the look. Work the liner into the lash line, then let the shadow you’ve applied do the the rest.

– Use all black mascara if you have wide-set eyes; If you have close-set eyes, use brown mascara on the inner lashes and black on the outer lashes. And don’t forget to curl!

Lastly, if you have almond eyes (like Natalie Portman), consider these tricks:

– Angle your eyeshadow and liner so it’s thicker on the outer corners and thinner on the inner corner. Start with a medium shade and apply it all over the lower lid and crease, then select a darker crease color and apply that to the outer corner of the eye in a sideways V-shape. Blend the color into the lash line halfway and also blend the crease toward the inner corner of the eye.

– Take the lightest shade of shadow and work that over the brow and pop a little on the inner corner. For a little drama, you can take a shimmer shadow and just pop a little directly in the center of the lower lid to open the eye up a little more.

– Follow the natural shape of the eye with eyeliner. Start with your eyes open and tight line your eyes, making sure to put your thumb gently in the crease so the lash line presents itself and fill it in. When you get to the outer corners, fatten your line a little and smudge away and repeat on the bottom, keeping it in the lashline. If you’re in the mood for more of a wing, make sure you create the line with your eyes open. “If you do it with your eyes closed, the wing may disappear as soon as you open your eyes,” DeMauro says.

– Add a cream or white liner above the dark line on the lower lashes to open up the eye even more.

– Curl those lashes and get them ready for mascara. Either apply dark brown mascara on the inside and a black on the middle to outer lashes or apply two coats of black on the outer lashes to give more volume on the outer corners of the eye.

Have any personal makeup tricks to create big, doe eyes that you swear by? Share them in the comments!

Be sure to check out how to prevent razor burn and the best deodorants that prevent sweating.


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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