This story was updated in January 2019.
If you are new to the world of makeup, eye makeup is the perfect place to start. It’s easy, hassle-free and a little bit of it makes all the difference to your face. They say that your eyes are the windows to your soul, so why not dress them up? Makeup is the easiest to wear your personality!
No matter how old or how young you are, adding a little drama to your eyes is always a good look. Kajal is the starting point for all Indian women. But there’s a world beyond just kajal and eyeliner, waiting for you to explore. There are so many kinds of eye makeup looks one can create. With the hundreds of eye makeup products on the market…be creative and experiment; let those creative juices flow!
There are broadly 4 categories of eye makeup products available in the market. To cover and conceal your eyes there is concealer, colour corrector and foundation. To prep and set your eyes for makeup, you have eyeshadow primer and setting powder. To line and define them, you have eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow and eyebrow products. The tools at your disposal are makeup brushes, makeup sponges, false eyelashes, glitter glue and eyelash curlers.
Almost all eye makeup products, in the market, are available in multiple finishes.
Pencil eyeliners are available broadly in three finishes namely matte, coloured and shimmer. A matte eyeliner pencil is perfect for every day while coloured and shimmer finish eyeliners are good statement eye makeup pieces you should own.
Liquid eyeliner is available in five finishes - matte, shimmer, glitter, glossy and coloured. One can use matte, glossy and shimmer finish liquid eyeliner every day and keep the glitter and coloured eyeliners for special occasions.
Eyeshadows are available in matte, shimmer, glitter, pigment and glossy finishes. Matte and shimmer eyeshadows are the easiest formulas to work with. Glitter eyeshadows and loose pigment powders look absolutely beautiful on the eyes but they require a little more practice. You also need to use a glitter primer or some glue to ensure that these stay put on your eyelid. Glossy eyeshadows are very trendy and runway-inspired, but you can’t wear them every day. A glossy eyeshadow is a very statement eye look that is best reserved for special occasions.
There are hundreds of different brushes available in the market to apply eyeshadow. Each brush is used for a different purpose. While some brushes can be used for a number of things, certain eye makeup looks require specific brushes. For eg. smokey eyes you need a smudger brush and a pencil brush for precision. Still confused? Keep reading while we break down exactly what each eye makeup brush is used for!
A concealer brush is a fluffy brush that is used to blend out your concealer and clean up any mistakes you made while applying eyeliner. You can even use a concealer brush to apply your eye primer and setting powder.
A blending brush is a multi-tasking eye makeup brush used for many things. You can use it for concealer, or to set your eyelids with loose powder. Its main purpose, however, is to blend out your eyeshadow. It is used to diffuse your eyeshadow on your eyelid and blend out any harsh lines. Use it to blend out transition colours into one another or to apply a single base eyeshadow.
A crease eyeshadow brush is a tapered brush that allows you to focus eyeshadow and deposit color into your crease. It allows you to give your eye makeup looks more depth and dimension by depositing more color. Since the shape of this brush is smaller, it fits in the crease of your eyelid easily.
A smudger brush is a small brush that allows you to diffuse color. It has short tightly packed bristles that make it easy to smoke out eyeshadows on your eyelid and under your waterline. You can use the brush with cream, powder or pencil products. This is a brush that you must have if you love to recreate smokey eyes.
As the name suggests, this is a flat brush. Its main purpose is to apply pigment to your eyelid. It picks up and deposits more product than other brushes. So if you want to apply a shimmer eyeshadow or a glitter eyeshadow, this brush would be your best pick. Spritz your brush with a little water or makeup setting spray to get more payoff from the pigment in your eyeshadow.
This brush helps you apply eyeshadow to a concentrated area. It’s densely packed and pointed on the edge, looks pretty similar to a pencil tip. Use it to concentrate, diffuse and blend eyeshadow in your inner corner, crease, lower and upper lash line.
An eyeliner brush is a fine tip brush that is used with liquid and gel eyeliner. It’s the easiest and best makeup brush to use when you are trying to create precise eye makeup looks like winged eyeliner and graphic eyeliner.
An angled brush is a flat brush whose bristles are tightly packed together and shaped into an upward angle. You can use this brush for eyeliner and to apply eyebrow pomade. It makes it easier to brush on eyebrow pomade for a natural look.
A spoolie is an essential eye makeup brush that all of us should have at our disposal. It looks like a mascara brush and it is actually a great brush that can be used to diffuse and distribute makeup. You can use it after you apply mascara to distribute the product evenly across your lashes and to take off clumpy mascara. You can even use the spoolie after applying eyebrow pomade, it will help distribute the product across your entire eyebrow and make it look more natural.
An eyebrow brush has a bristle brush on one side and a comb on the other side. You can use it to brush your eyelashes and your eyebrows and distribute product evenly. Usually, these brushes have a spoolie on one end and a comb on the other.
There are so many different eye shapes and what works for your face may not work for someone else's. Here are a few eyeliner styles you can use according to your eye shape.
The idea with close-set eyes is to make them appear more wide apart. Do this by using some shimmer to brighten up the inner corners (so they look further apart). Wings look amazing on this eye shape, and if you use eyeliner, make sure you only line 3/4th of the eye leaving the inner corners alone.
You have gorgeous, symmetric eyes that suit practically any eye make-up look. Accentuate your eye shape by lining the top and lower lids. On the upper lid, thicken your line as you reach the outer edge. Then, smudge the outer corners of your upper and lower line for a sultry effect.
You have to try to lessen the gap between your eyes, so line your eyes but don’t extend it beyond the outer corner, as this will make them look even wider apart. Make sure the line is of even thickness throughout. If you do want to try something fun, then small flicks upwards rather than dramatic wings. Smudge your kajal along the bottom for a sexy, party look.
If you have big beautiful round eyes, make them, even more, striking with thick wings. This will add a perception of length to them. Line three-fourths of your eyes on the top and bottom to help them look more almond-shaped, then extend the line beyond the outer corner for pretty wings. The key is to extend it towards the end of your brows and not with an upward flick. A dark, liquid liner will help make this look even more stunning.
The simplest trick for you is to focus on adding length and drama to your lashes to make your peepers pop. Curl them before swiping on the mascara to really make them open up your eyes. Then, line your upper lids and try and stick as close to your lash line as possible. A liner on the top as well as the bottom will only make them appear smaller, so avoid that.
Hooded eyes are characterised by a fold in the skin, which means they have smaller lids compared to others. To give the illusion of more open eyes, “less is more” is the rule to follow when it comes to your eyeliner. Don’t apply liner on your lid but on the upper waterline instead, since you have limited lid-space. This will help open up your eyes. You can use some shimmery eyeshadow in the tear duct area to open up your peepers even further. Wings and flicks at the other corners look incredibly sexy with this eye shape.
It is important for every beginner to know and understand the different terms used in eye makeup tutorials. Every part of your eye is referred to by a certain term and understanding the language will make it easier for you follow tutorials and know how to apply eyeshadow.
Your eyelid is the area above your eyelashes, that is your entire lid. Usually, you apply eyeshadow primer and a base eyeshadow over your eyelid.
Open your eyes and look straight into the mirror. The part of your eye that folds into a crease is called ‘the crease’. This area of your eye is the part where you distribute and focus eyeshadow on.
This refers to your the inner and outer corner of your eyes. The inner corner of your eye is your tear duct area; the part where your eyeliner clumps up. The ‘V area’ where your eyes meet your nose. You usually apply a highlighter shade to your inner corner to make your eyes pop. Your outer corner is the outer ‘V area’ that is usually used to concentrate colour for smokey eye looks.
Your brow bone is the area just along the tail or the arch of your eyebrow. It is the area you apply a matte white eyeshadow or a light shimmer eyeshadow to. Applying eyeshadow here highlights the area and brings together your entire makeup look.
If you are just starting your journey with eye makeup, you will need a few basic products to get you started. All you need is a little eyeliner, mascara, 3-4 eye makeup brushes and a basic eyeshadow palette.
Concealer is an essential element in your makeup look. Most of us suffer from darkness, discolouration and dark circles under the eyes. Concealer helps cancel out any uneven skin and sets a good base for your eyeshadow look. A little concealer before eyeshadow ensures that you get the richest colour pay off from the eyeshadow. Concealer is the first step in your eye makeup looks. Keep these tips handy while applying concealer.
- Use a concealer after applying foundation if you want to apply eyeshadow.
- For the most natural effect, pick a shade that is right for your skin tone. If you have darkness and discolouration, use a colour corrector first to cancel out any uneven skin.
- After you apply corrector, apply a concealer that is the same colour as the skin on your face under your eyes. Apply your concealer in a triangle shape under your eyes and blend it out with your fingers or a concealer brush. Use a blending sponge for the most natural effect.
- Always set your concealer to avoid any creasing. Gently dust some loose setting powder around your eyes to ensure longevity.
Eyeliner is one of the most basic parts of eye makeup. While it may seem very intimidating to get your eyeliner looking even, it’s really not that hard. Whether you like a classic winged eye or a subtle line across your lids; these eyeliner tips will help you perfect your line.
- For the most precise application of eyeliner, make sure your eye pencil has a well-sharpened tip.
- Start as close to your eyelashes as possible. This will also make your lashes look thicker.
- If you don’t want to apply eyeliner to your eyelids, line your upper lash line using a kohl pencil. This automatically makes your eyelashes appear fuller without using mascara.
- If you are trying to get your eyeliner look even, draw ‘dots or dashes’ across your eyes and then connect them. This is the best way to ensure the width of your eyeliner is even.
- If you are applying winged eyeliner, start at the outer corner and then work your way in. Use a felt tip eyeliner pencil or a liquid eyeliner pencil for best results. Use the ‘dashes or dots’ method to line your eyes. Then, place the brush on the outer corner of your eye and angle it (upwards) to the tip of your eyebrow. Once you have drawn the wing, connect it to the rest of your eyeliner.
- For a smokey eye effect, use a pencil eyeliner to line your eyes. Once you have done that, use your fingers or a smudger brush soften and blur out the line.
Mascara is one of the best eye makeup products to use. It opens up your eyes, makes your lashes look thicker and more voluminous. A little bit of mascara, eyeliner and lipstick is a perfect everyday makeup look for beginners. Applying mascara the right way can be a little tricky for beginners, check out our tips on applying mascara. Use these tips and your lashes will always be flutter and flirt-ready.
- Use an eyelash curler to curl your eyelashes.
- If you want a false lash effect, apply a little bit of baby powder to your eyelashes. Apply one coat of mascara, apply more baby powder and repeat until you are happy with the results.
- Always apply mascara from the base of your lashes to the tip.
- Hold the mascara wand between your thumb and your index finger, place it at the base of your lashes and rotate it as you move to the tip of your lashes. This way, your lashes look fuller and the mascara coats every eyelash making it look most natural.
- Keep an old mascara wand or a spoolie handy. Once you have applied one coat of mascara, use the clean wand to go over your lashes. This way you can avoid your mascara from looking clumpy and spidery and it also takes off excess product.
- Don’t pump your mascara in and out of the wand too many times as this can trap air into the mascara making it dry up quicker.
Eyeshadow primer is that product that helps your eye makeup last longer. It has a smooth, slippery consistency that feels almost like silicone. Some eye primers are tinted, this helps hide discolouration on your eyelids. It is exceptionally required if you have oily eyelids.
- Use primer only on your upper lid.
- Use a primer before applying any powder or shimmer eyeshadows to avoid creasing and caking and increase the longevity of your makeup
- Use your fingers to apply a shimmer shadow. It gives the best colour pay off.
- Invest in a good set of eyeshadow brushes. They will last you for years.
- If you want more colour payoff from your eyeshadow, use a white eyeshadow base or a white coloured eyeshadow primer. You can even use a white eyeliner pencil as your base.
Filling in your eyebrows has become a huge trend in beauty lately and the easiest way to do it would be using a quick and easy eyebrow product. It's a great way to look groomed without trying too hard. There are so many eyebrow makeup products to choose from… eyebrow pencils, powder, pomade, mascara and gel. How do you find your match? Eyebrow pencils and pomades are best left for the experienced makeup addict. All you beginners look for a brow gel or a brow mascara. These formulas are the most beginner friendly and forgiving ones.
- Use a brown eyeshadow to fill in your eyebrows when you don’t have any eyebrow products handy
- Use a spoolie to comb through your eyebrows after applying any product. This will ensure even distribution of product
- Use an angled brush to apply eyebrow pomade for the most natural effect.
- The easiest way to fill in your eyebrows would be to use a brow mascara. Simply brush the mascara through your eyebrows for a darker and fuller effect
Removing your makeup is the most important step! If you don’t remove your makeup properly it could lead to complications like acne, clogged pores and eye infections.
- Use a waterproof and oil-free makeup remover for long-wearing formulas such as waterproof mascara, gel eyeliner and kohl pencils
- Use micellar water for regular makeup like eyeshadows and concealer
- Use a cotton pad to remove your makeup. Don’t use loose cotton or cotton balls. The fibres from those can get loose and get caught in your eye causing irritation.
- If you wear a lot of makeup daily, it may be worth it to invest in a makeup remover balm. Apply it onto dry skin and massage it well. It will break down all of your makeup. Once this is done, rinse with warm water and use a mild cleanser.
Use a makeup remover depending on the type of makeup you wear. If you wear minimal and easy to wash off makeup then the Garnier Micellar Water is great. If you wear long-wearing and waterproof formulas, you will need a makeup remover that’s oil based. Try the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover or the Garnier Oil-Infused Micellar Water.
While looking at those elaborate smokey eye tutorials on YouTube can easily overwhelm most people, there’s an easier way to perfect the cult favourite makeup look. This hack on perfecting an easy smokey eye involves drawing a hashtag on your eyelid. Draw a hashtag on the outer corner of your eyelid and use your fingers or a brush to blend it out. If you want more colour pay off, repeat the process till you’re satisfied. That’s it.
Looking for a breakdown of a celebrity smokey eye makeup look? We’ve got Namrata Soni, Celebrity makeup artist breaking down Sonakshi Sinha’s brown smokey eye for us. Check it out.