How to Apply Eye Makeup

Three Methods:Eye Makeup ChartBasic TechniqueSpecific Techniques

Eye makeup can define how natural or dramatic your look is. Whether you want to learn a process you can use every day or look stunning for a special occasion, proper application of eye makeup is a useful skill that can both impress your peers and help you look and feel your best.

Eye Makeup Chart

Makeup Chart

Method 1
Basic Technique

  1. Image titled Apply Eye Makeup Step 1 preview
    Start with a clean slate. Wash your whole face with a gentle cleanser or makeup wipe before you begin, paying particular attention to any leftover mascara or eyeliner. If you're having trouble removing residual eye makeup, try using cold water or regular lotion on a cotton swab. If you have dry skin around your eyes or suffer from eczema, rub a little moisturizer underneath your eyes, as well as between the outer corners of your eyes and your temples. Don't put moisturizer on your eyelids - this will make them greasy, and the makeup you apply will run off.
    • Apply primer to your eyelids(optional). Primer or base smooths out your skin and gives the makeup something to stick to. If you do choose to use primer, apply it all over your eyelid and up to the brow bone.
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    Even out the skin tone around your eyes. Apply concealer to dark under-eye circles and to the area where your inner eye meets your nose. (Shop for concealer somewhere that allows you to test samples and swipe them across your inner wrists - buy the one that covers up the veins best.) Use your fingers or a concealer brush to blend the makeup outward to your cheekbones and nose. Set the concealer by brushing a loose, flesh-toned powder over it; apply some powder to your eyelids, as well.
  3. 3
    Apply eyeshadow. You can use one color, or several. Here's a basic three-color plan.
    • Apply a medium color on your eyelid. Your eyelid is the area running from your eyelashes to your crease (the slight dip between your eyelid and your brow bone). Pick a medium pink, light brown or any other middle-of-the-road hue for this area.
      Image titled Apply Eye Makeup Step 3Bullet1 preview
    • Apply a light color on your brow bone. Most people have an area of their brow bone that sits beneath the eyebrows proper. Highlight this area and make more light bounce off of it by brushing on a pearly off-white, light gold or other delicate color that matches your eyelid color in tone.
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    • Apply a dark color on your crease. Use light, little strokes to deposit little bits of darker powder on the crease of your eye. Go from the outer corner of your crease and follow the arch about 2/3 of the way in toward the inner corner of the eye. Try a violet, brown or other dark color that matches up with the first two colors you used.
      Image titled Apply Eye Makeup Step 3Bullet3 preview
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    Blend the colors. If you applied more than one color of eyeshadow, use your fingers or a fluffy, tapered blending brush to mix the colors a bit. This will create a more natural, cohesive look.
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    Apply eyeliner. You can use liquid eyeliner, a liner pencil, or even wet eyeshadow on an angled brush to line your eyes. Whatever you pick, move across your upper lash line in tiny, controlled strokes as if you're drawing a dotted line. Go back and fill in the blanks with more small strokes. For more drama, line your lower lashes as well.
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    Curl your lashes. Use an eyelash curler to grip your upper lashes. Hold the clamp for about five seconds. Accessing your lashes is easiest if you half-close your eyes. Remember, always curl before you apply mascara, never after.
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    Apply mascara. You can apply a little or a lot, and there are many different brands and formulas for volume, length and definition. Find a product you're happy with. Start at the base of your upper lashes and slowly sweep upward. For a more dramatic effect, apply mascara to the lower lashes as well. If you want to apply multiple coats, do it while the first coats of mascara are still wet - applying a new coat to dry mascara will result in clumps.
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Method 2
Specific Techniques

  1. Image titled Apply Eyeliner Step 13 preview
    Work on specific techniques for applying eyeliner.
  2. Image titled Apply Eyeshadow Step 20 preview
    Learn more tricks and tips about applying eyeshadow.
  3. 3
    Apply smoky eyeshadow without eyeliner.
  4. 4
  5. 5
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    Learn how to apply eye makeup on a creaseless eye.
  7. Image titled Make Eyes Look Bigger Final preview
    Use eye makeup to accentuate your eyes and make them look bigger.


  • Wash all eye makeup off before bed.
  • Use mascara and eye liner made for specific eye colors, they really do help make your eyes "pop".
  • Lining the tightline with a black pencil liner will make your eyelashes look naturally fuller. Lining your waterline with a nude pencil liner will make your eyes look naturally brighter.
  • Practice makes perfect. Don't expect to get it perfect your first time around.
  • Take your time and do not rush, or you will sacrifice quality for time, as well as make more mistakes, forcing you to start over.
  • If you have bold eyes to a light lipstick. If you have light eyes do a bold lipstick.
  • Put white eyeliner on the inside of your eyes to make them appear bigger.
  • Consider buying a small set of eye makeup brushes for easier application.
  • Don't be heavy handed and press down lightly on the eye as this will make the eye less likely to age as fast.
  • Ask your family or friends for tips on application and which products to buy.
  • If you are having trouble perfecting your winged eyeliner, try taking a piece of scotch tape, press it on your hand first to get rid of the excess stickiness and then place the tape and use it as a guideline to have perfect eyeliner.
  • If you want to forgo lash curling and mascara, you can put on fake eyelashes or get eyelash extensions.
  • Practice a special occasion look beforehand, so that you're confident in the result when the time comes.
  • If you don't have an eyelash curler, you can use the backside of a spoon.
  • Get rid of mascara/liquid eyeliner easily with a cotton pad and Vaseline. If you don't have those you can always use baby oil and a tissue.
  • Try starting with a base (the lightest color you have); apply this to the whole eye area (anywhere you will be putting eye-shadow on).
  • If you want your eyelashes to look longer and fuller, but you don't have the money or time for fake lashes, heat your eyelash curler for about 5 seconds on each side of the curler with a hairdryer. (Test how hot the curler is after heating it so you don't end up burning your eyelid.!) Then apply a thin first coat. Dry for a second with your hairdryer then make a thicker coat. And continue until your satisfied. I believe that eyelashes are way too expensive and buying eyelash enhancer is just a waste.
  • A well-shaped brow instantly enhances any eye makeup.


  • Applying eyeliner to your waterline is not recommended by ophthalmologists.
  • Try to avoid getting makeup in your eye.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Powder/concealer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner (liquid or pencil)
  • Eyelash curler
  • Mascara
  • Fake eyelashes (optional)
  • Primer (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Eye Makeup