How to Apply Eye Makeup Like a Professional

Here are 6 tips on how to apply eye makeup using professional techniques, specifically for BROWN eyes, BLUE eyes and GREEN eyes, as well as how to achieve those gorgeous SMOKEY eye makeup looks, plus tricks for NATURAL looking eye makeup.

1. How to Apply Eye Makeup Like a Professional – techniques you can use at home

1) Apply a Light Base

Using a medium brush, start by apply the lightest shadow {a very natural shade}from the roots of the lashes, spreading across the entire eyelid upward to just under the brow. Don’t forget to dust the corners of the eye and blend the entire area evenly.

2) Choose Two Eye Shadow Colors that are Closely Related

Use TWO different eye shadow colors to give the illusion of a larger eye. For soft natural looks that work with most eye colors, the best color choices will be two shades of brown or one with a slight grey tinge. {See ideas for other shadow combinations in the segments devoted to the three main eye colors below.}

3) Appling the First Shadow – a Medium Color

First apply the medium brown color using a large/medium eye shadow brush, pressing into the crease with firm strokes from side to side. Work the color under the brow along the crease line but don’t spread all the way up to the edge of the lower brow line. Use the brow bone as a guide. Don’t be afraid to use sweeping strokes so the color blends along the edges while paying particular attention to depositing the majority of shadow in the crease and just below the brow bone to define the eye.

4) Create an Eye Circle

Before setting aside the large brush with medium brown color {and without re-dipping into the shadow}, make a few strokes under the eye to create a full eye circle. It just requires a little, and don’t press color into the inner corner of the eye. The inner corner should always be lighter.

5) Apply a Darker Second Color

Now you’re ready to dip into the darker brown or grey color. Fill your brush and start working from the outer area, only as far out as the natural lash line, and create a triangle from the outer edge of the lash line, then working up into the crease and brow bone area, blending the color as you go. Leave the area closest to the nose as light as possible – without color so that the darkest areas will be at the outer edges of the eye. In the outer area, blend by alternating small circular movements of the brush with longer strokes so you can’t see where one color begins and the other ends. Learning how to apply eye makeup like a professional depends on this key factor: LEAVE NO SHARP EDGES.

6) Glam without Glitter

In general, avoid eye shadow with glimmer, shimmer, and sparkle. This is an especially important tip for mature eyes {which may have a few wrinkles}. Mature women will do well to choose matte shadows. Why? Because shimmer makes eyelids appear heavier.

Now WATCH how to apply eye makeup like a professional and observe each of the 6 {above discussed} techniques in action. This tutorial comes to us courtesy of Make That Change and Oriflame Natural Swedish Cosmetics.

Professional Make up tips: How to apply Eye Shadow:

2. How to Apply Eye Makeup for BROWN Eyes

WATCH the BASICS you MUST know in this Mahalo video presentation.

How to Apply Eye Shadow:

Now, follow Taylor Babian, Celebrity Makeup Artists, as she offers tips and a demonstration on how to apply eye makeup for brown eyes that creates a daytime look. This video tutorial is courtesy of L’Oreal Paris.

How to Put on Eye Shadow for Brown Eyes in the Daytime:

Notice these steps which you can practice at home:

1) Choosing the Color

Color choices should be in the bone and brown tones for a soft daytime look that’s versatile and not too dramatic.

2) Layering the Brown Tones

Instead of contouring the crease and brow bone, notice how Taylor Babian works in layers, concentrating on the lid with the first soft chestnut brown color, using a full brush to blend with a patting technique, then adding a teeny bit of shimmer on the brow bone area {for youthful eyes} to make them appear wider and more open. Mature eyes should avoid the shimmer and instead a similar matte shade.

3) Highlight Specific Areas

Add a lighter color to specific points such as the center and inner corner of the eye, using the same patting technique, and layering to help shadows last longer throughout the day.

4) Top Liner for a Day Look

Finish off the day look with a dark brown eye liner – not to stark – and only on the top of the lid. For an evening look, add eyeliner to the bottom lash line as well as the top. Accent the lashes with mascara, if lash hairs are blond. Dark lashes can be left without mascara for a really soft look.

3. How to Apply Eye Makeup for BLUE Eyes

The biggest challenge to learning how to apply makeup for blue eyes is choosing the right color palette to accent the blue without overshadowing it.

Choose complimentary colors {opposite to blue on the color wheel} which means that corals and peaches {even wine colors} can be used for excellent results. Just don’t overdue it – keep it soft. A coral color for the base will work to open the eyes and add brightness.

Step by step guide on how to apply eye makeup for blue eyes:

1) Eye Base

Coat the lid with an eye base so that shadow goes on smoothly and creasing will be minimized throughout the day. Blue eyed women usually have fair complexions with pink, red or blue undertones. Using an appropriate foundation and pre makeup eye-base is very important for fair complexions because balancing undertones is essential to obtaining an even-toned surface on which to work.

2) Coral Shadow

Start with the lid or the outer corner using a coral color shadow – for youthful eyes use an iridescent product {which you’ll see in the video at the end of this segment} but for mature eyes stick with a matte color. Blend softly into the crease, darker on the outer areas, lighter toward the inner corner. Keep it light and natural.

3) Eyeliner

Highlight blue eyes with a liner, above and below, smudging it slightly – you can use your finger. Keep eyeliner thinner in the center part of the eye and thicker toward the outer edge. Darker outer corners will open the eyes. Smudge, smudge, smudge – on the lid using an upward stroke. Smudging eyeliner gives a smoky effect without destroying the subtle coral shadow on the lid.

4) Cleanup

If you think that learning how to apply eye makeup like a professional is about never making a mess on the cheeks, having eyeliner smudged a little too low under the eyes, or having to clean up, then it’s about time you realized that many professionals work quickly to blend shadow colors and liners, but come in after and do a little clean-up work with a cotton swab, pad or facial wipe. You can also use a soft fluffy brush to lightly dust away powdered shadow and apply a teeny bit of concealer to finish off the look under the eyes if the smudging has made them a little too dark.

WATCH these techniques in action with divine caroline by Mahalo in this video presentation that begins with some practical tips on how to choose shadow colors specifically suited to blue eyed gals.

How to Choose the Right Eye Shadow for Blue Eyes:

4. How to Apply Eye Makeup for GREEN Eyes

1) Choose Color Palette / Use a Dark Shadow Base

Create a darker color base, and as with blue eyes, choose complimentary colors. For green eyes the most complimentary colors are those with mauve, plum and violet tones, but these cool shades can be warmed up with gold-tone and rusty brown accents.

2) Layering the Shadows

Layering shadows works well, just keep the darker areas nearer to the outer edges. Try not to go beyond the natural outer lash area and leave the inner corners lighter.

3) Third and Forth Color Layering

Green eyes can handle quite intense colors but don’t forget to blend well. Choose a third color in a similar tone, something with wine, burgundy, violet or rusty mauve. A forth color can be added, such as a darker reddish-purple shadow as an accent especially to the lower area of the lid – applied with an angled brush, worked into the lash line and thoroughly blended.

4) Eye Liner Trick

Line the eyes with a darker color, like a rusty brown or deep golden brown. A trick to getting a non-powdery finish when applying liner with a brush {not using a liquid liner or pencil directly}is to gather color from an eyeliner pencil, using a small angled brush, and applying little by little into the lower and upper lash line to define the eyes. This eliminates some of the cleanup work that powdered shadows may create when applied in a similar fashion.

5) Mascara

Finish off the green eye makeup look with a dark brown mascara.

Watch how to put these suggestions into practice in this video presentation courtesy of Makeup Designory and makeup artists Riva.

Eye Makeup Tutorial for Green Eyes:

Learning how to apply eye makeup for green eyes takes a bit of practice to get a look that doesn’t appear overly “purple” yet provides eye-popping contrast for the green.

If you’re hunting for shadows, try the latest Almay Smoky Trio that has a really great dark rusty mauve tone and two lighter shades for blending. It’s specifically made for gals with gorgeous green eyes.

5. How to Apply SMOKEY Eye Makeup

Learning how to apply smokey eye makeup so it looks like Kim Kardashian’s {and not like you’ve had a fight and received two black eyes} can take some practice. Here are some smokey eye makeup tips that can help you get a professional look that’s dramatic and sexy without being trashy:

1) Apply a Creamy Base and Accent the Brows

Coat the eyelids with a creamy base. Then accent the brows with as dark a color as possible – which will depend on your natural coloring.

  • If you have dark hair and brows, highlight the brows a couple shades darker to provide a textured body that’s full and rich.
  • If you’re blond, don’t go too dark – just 2 / 3 shades darker than your natural color.

The eyebrows are mentioned specifically in this tutorial on how to apply smokey eye makeup because part of the “Smokey” look has to do with adequately framing the eyes so that the darker shadows will be a fluid extension of an overall look. The shape and coloring of the brows is one of the main elements that will differentiate elegant smokey eye makeup from “Raccoon Eyes”.

At this point, you may want to pay a little attention to the brows before proceeding. {For ideas, go to Different Eyebrow Shapes and Tinting Products or other related eyebrow shaping and coloring posts.}

2) Mastering the Art of Creating a V – Triangle

Because you’ve applied a creamy base, applying the first color at the outer edge to form a V from outer corner to the crease area should spread smoothly. The best color for making the V isn’t black or dark grey, but a deep golden or rusty brown. Use a brush or sponge applicator to get enough color into the area. Work the dark color up in a line that rests just below the brow bone, leaving a center gap, concentrating on working it into the lower lash line. If you really want to know how to apply smokey makeup, you’re going to have to master the V-shaping technique.

3) Forming the Eye Circle

Now using the exact same deep rusty brown shadow used for the V, take a small eyeliner brush and connect the upper outer edge of the V with the lower lash-line, creating an outline that forms an eye circle. Now you’re ready to apply the liner.

4) Dark Liner into the Upper lash Line

Using a brush and multiple small strokes, apply a dark brown or black liquid liner to the upper lid. Build up the line slowly. The eyes will be dark enough even if the line isn’t very thick – the key is to work it into the lash area so it appears to be an extension of it. The outer edges {cat’s eyes tips} can be brought up slightly, but don’t go too far beyond the natural lash line if you want an elegant look. At this point, you may apply a coat of mascara to the upper lashes, or choose to add it at the end {or finish with some fake eyelash enhancements}. In any case, the eyeshadow application isn’t quite finished yet.

5) Add another Shadow – Deeper Brown, Smokey Grey or Navy

Add depth by layering the shadow once more, only in the outer V area. The best colors to choose are deep browns, darker than the initial brown, a smokey grey or a deep navy blue. Blend, but don’t loose the lighter areas in the center and inner corners.

6) Lower Liner

The lower eyeliner application is very important when learning how to apply smokey eye makeup in the Kim Kardashian style. First, you can take a very dark brown pencil and fill-in the lower lash line as close as possible to the waterline. Blend and smudge outward. Don’t overdue the smudging and don’t forget to cleanup the lower area if it’s too much, too dark or makes the eyes look overly bottom heavy. How much smudged liner can be left below the lower lash line depends on the size and shape of the individual’s eye, the wearer’s age, and skin-tone factors that vary from person to person.

7) Finishing with False Lashes

It’s not essential, but it can be a great finishing touch to add false lashes for a sassy, sexy cat’s eye look.

For more information regarding false eyelashes, extensions and DIY kits, go to related posts such as:

  1. Fun Fabulous Semi Permanent Eyelashes
  2. False Eyelash Extensions Eyelash Extensions Kits, Adhesive, Self Application and Salons

Now that you know the basics, watch as a professional goes through each step slowly so you can clearly see how to apply smokey eye makeup at home.

Smokey Eye Makeup Tutorial:

{courtesy of howdini}

6. How to Apply NATURAL Looking Eye Makeup

1) A GOOD BASE is the Key to Natural Looking Eye Makeup

It can’t be over emphasized. A good base is very important. Pay special attention to your skin undertones, using a concealer or green/violet eye-base if necessary, and blend it thoroughly, using sponges then brushes, until the lid and eye area has an appearance of smooth flawless skin. Conceal flaws below the eye as well as above and on the eyelid and all surrounding areas. Use a variety of personalized flesh-tones, then finish with powder.

2) Define the Eyebrows

Not many of the tutorials that teach how to apply natural looking eye makeup focus on the brows, but in fact, this is the second most important feature – the skin tone and texture being the first. You must shape and define your brows, going one or two {no more than 3} shades darker than your natural color, and not more than two shades lighter if your brows are dark. If you regularly pay attention to brow maintenance, defining well-shaped brows can be done quickly during a makeup application routine by accenting with a little eye shadow or eyebrow powder using a small angled brush to fill them in.

To get Tips on How to Shape Eyebrows with Tweezers or to get Step by Step Instructions on How to Pluck Eyebrows, or to find out the best Tools and Products to Prepare Before Starting to Pluck Eyebrows, or to learn How to Use Eyebrow Stencils and Where to Buy Eyebrow Stencils Kit, please choose a related post.

3) Apply Soft Color

Using a medium brush, apply a light coat of a soft peach or dusty-pink grapefruit-like color to the lids, darkening the lash line more and sweeping upward a little, but not going beyond the crease line. Keep it soft, not too defined and blend – blend – blend.

4) Eyeliner

Create a soft line using an angled brush and a medium brown or light rust color that goes with your skin tone. Use powder, not a pencil, to achieve a softer, more natural, look. Apply this soft powdered liner in both the upper and lower lash lines.

5) Curl and Darken the Lashes

In the video below {which demonstrates all the above techniques}you’ll notice that makeup expert Pamela Hackeman uses a sanitized spoon to curl her model’s lashes, however, if you’re not quite as talented with spoons as Pamela, then use an eyelash curler and finish with mascara. Sometimes it’s necessary to use mascara first and then the curler. To get a really natural look, if you have blond or light red lashes, it’s worth tinting or dying them to avoid having to wear mascara that may end up looking goopy. The most natural daytime eye makeup look is one without mascara if you can get away with it. Get information and shop for the Best Eyebrow Tinting Kits and Products and learn where to Buy the Best Eyebrow Dye Kits in related posts.

If you follow the above tips on how to apply natural looking eye makeup, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference they make to your everyday routine, and the results are – soft, youthful, radiant, without looking made-up.

WATCH as professional makeup artist Pamela Hackeman {form Makeup Designory} takes you through each of the daytime eye makeup steps as she works on her gorgeous Asian model.

How to Create a Natural Daytime Look:

Need More Eye Makeup Tips and Shopping Ideas?

Find related topics to help you create YOUR very own look using the best available products by getting suggestions from other Eyebrow Tattoo posts:



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About the editor

Nena Argent, editorial director of EbT magazine since 2009, oversees online editorial content in English and Spanish. She joined EbT after ten years as an investigative journalist in Asia where she researched oriental health, nutrition and beauty treatments. Now based in Europe, she reports on the latest beauty trends, health issues, high-tech medical advancements and state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures from around the world.

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