To me, the eyes are so important that I seem to always (or at least 99 percent of the time) make them the focus of the face. I think it is because I truly believe they are the windows to the soul. Your goal with applying eye makeup is to open the eyes up, lift them, and make them appear their most youthful. Now to achieve this, there are a couple of key things that we need to consider.
The first is their shape and where we need to apply your eyeshadow and eyeliner to really bring them out and open them up. The second is which shades of eyeshadow and eyeliner will best enhance and intensify your eye color. I want someone looking at you to say your eyes look beautiful, not your eyeshadow looks pretty. Makeup is always about enhancing your personal beauty.Let’s first talk about choosing the right shades of eyeshadow and eyeliner. There is a short list of what to consider when making your color choices.
The most important thing to remember about choosing eyeshadow and eyeliner is your own eye color. You want to select shades that will bring out the natural color of your eyes. Your goal is to make your eye color “pop” or stand out — not for your eyeshadow to compete with or diminish your natural color in any way.
Need help selecting eyeshadow shades to enhance your natural eye color? The chart on the next page can help guide you. Notice that there is no blue shade suggested for blue eyes or green shadows for green eyes. The key is to select a color opposite from your own eye color.
For example, the opposite of blue eyes is a warm shade of brown, or tawny or golden shades. This is actually a theory discovered and proven by Leonardo da Vinci (so I am not making it up): Whenever you pair two opposing (opposite) colors, they intensify each other. So by using shades of eyeshadow or eyeliner that are the opposite of green (coppery warm browns or purple), they will make the green in the iris of your eyes look brighter and much more green.
If you have brown eyes, lucky you! You can experiment with a variety of colors and still enhance your natural eye color. So play to your heart’s content with purple, green, gold, navy, silver, copper, or brown. Any color looks beautiful around brown eyes; you will not be competing with your natural eye color.
If you are wondering why you do not see a category on the chart for hazel eyes, it is because they are not just one color. Hazel eyes are a mixture of colors, either green and brown or green and blue. Depending on which color you want to enhance, choose your eyeshadow to bring that color out, and place your eyes in the color category you want to enhance. If you have blue-green hazel eyes, you can choose shades from the blue or green category. If you have green-brown hazel eyes, you can place them in the green or brown category. So you get to pick; don’t be afraid to experiment.
You will see that there is a grey category. For me, that is an eye color that is very pale. It could be pale blue or pale green, but what makes it special is that the iris of the eye is always surrounded by a dark ring. So surrounding this eye color with eyeshadows and eyeliners that are deep and rich in depth will make it appear as if your eyes glow.
When choosing eyeliner, you should follow the same rules as when choosing eyeshadow. I will say, though, that in my opinion, natural, more neutral shades (like bronze, brown, black, and charcoal) will do more for defining your eyes than bright colors, although I do love a deep burgundy liner with every eye color as well. You can feel free to play with color if it is appropriate for your eye color. Just remember, if you want more definition, the more basic shades will give it to you.
Skin tone is another factor to consider when choosing your eyeshadow. When I say this, I am actually talking more about the depth level of your skin. Depending on how dramatic you want your look to be, your shade choices will make a difference. Women with dark ebony skin might want to stay away from eyeshadows that are too white or light. Likewise, women with fair, pale skin might want to stay away from eyeshadows that are too dark, unless they want a really dramatic look.
I personally prefer a little more natural look (especially if you are trying to look younger), so I usually choose shades that tend toward neutral (at least for daytime) and aren’t too high a contrast with your skin’s depth level. Save your dramatic looks for those special evenings out.
One more thing: You do not have to match your eye makeup to your clothing, although some women think you should. Makeup is an accessory to you, just like your clothing is. Makeup is not an accessory to your clothing. Matching your makeup colors to your clothes can sometimes wash you out and may not always flatter your best features. Once again, the theory about opposites complimenting each other applies here.
Choose what looks best on you. When you choose your makeup shades, imagine that you’re wearing white. That way, you will choose shades that will compliment you, and your real beauty can shine through instead of taking a back seat to your clothing or eye makeup.
You are trying to achieve two things when applying your eye makeup. The first is to give your lid shape by visually “pushing away” the areas you don’t want to see and “bringing forward” the areas you do want to see. Actually, achieving your first goal will greatly help you in achieving your second goal, which is defining and opening up your eyes.
Proper application will make your eyes appear more open, so they look awake, and in the end this will make you appear years younger. That is why we will first discuss application of eyeshadow on a basic eye shape, and then move on to discuss every other eye shape in the Master Class section, “The Eyes Have It, Again.”
The application for all eye shapes is very similar, because you always use the same three key ingredients; you just slightly adjust their placement for each individual eye shape.
It takes three shades to shape the eye: a highlight, a midtone, and a contour shade. The basic rule to remember is that everything you highlight will visually come forward or become more prominent, and everything you contour or darken will recede or move away from you. Using three shades creates a subtle visual trick to help bring out one of your most beautiful features and help draw attention to your eyes rather than your eyelids. While there are thousands of shades to choose from, everyone should use the three-shade application technique for best results.
Your highlight shade is the lightest of the three eyeshadows. Everything you highlight comes forward visually. It can be more or less dramatic, depending on the shade and the finish you select.
A matte finish will give you a much more subtle look than a shimmer finish. The shimmer will be more dramatic. For example, I usually use a shimmer highlight on deep-set eyes, because it opens up the eye more than a matte shade. Also, the lighter the highlight shade is, the more dramatic your end result will be. A softer or more flesh-toned shade will give you a less dramatic look. So depending on how much you want to pull an area forward, you should make a more or less dramatic shade choice.become your own makeup
Once you’ve chosen a highlight shade, you should apply it to your brow bone (the area immediately underneath your brow’s arch) and your eyelid. However, you should not apply it all the way from the lash line to the brow, because such a sweeping application can be unflattering to your eye shape. Also apply your highlight shade to the inside corner of the lower lash line. This will really help open up your eyes, making them appear larger and more youthful.
Your midtone shade is your most important shade. It is the middle shade of your three eyeshadow colors, deeper than your highlight shade and lighter than your contour shade. It’s the first step in the blending process and in creating definition in the crease of the eye. This shade should be the most natural – an extension of your skin.
You’ll change your highlight and contour colors more often than your midtone shade. Most of the time, it is best for your midtone color to have a matte finish, but it does not always have to be matte. A matte finish gives it a more subtle and natural appearance. The application of your midtone will start the reshaping of your eyelids, because everything we add depth to will visually recede away from us.
To apply it, start from the outside corner of the eyelid, so that area will get the most midtone color, because the first place you lay your brush receives the highest concentration of color. Gently move your brush along the crease into the inside corner of the eyelid (from the outside corner all the way across to the inside corner).
If you want a very defined crease, you can apply a few more layers of your midtone shade (feel free to layer for more definition), always making sure to blend it where it meets the highlight shade. Then, take your midtone and apply it all along your lower lash become your own makeup.
line. Once again, start your application from the outside corner, sweeping it across to the inside corner. Applying midtone here before you apply eyeliner or your contour shade will help create a blend, because you are building depth of color.
The contour shade is the deepest of the three shades. It’s not necessarily stark or dark — it can even be metallic — but it is the eyeshadow that is the deepest color of the three. The contour eyeshadow is the shade you can have fun with and change with your mood. You’ll find that most makeup lines offer more contour colors, because they are the most eyecatching and exciting to use. Your contour shade does the most dramatic reshaping of your eyelid because of its depth. This shade really helps define the eyesTo apply, take a brush with shadow and move it across your top lash line from the outside corner toward the inside corner (you are brushing along your lash line to help create a more blended effect with your eyeliner, which is always more flattering and more youthful). Then, bring the color up into the outer portion of the crease and blend it inward (about a third or, at most, halfway across).
Your goal is to create a gradation of color, with the outer corner of the eye being the darkest and becoming lighter as you move in towards the inside of the eyelid. By layering your contour shade on top of your midtone shade, you’ll get the blended, defined look you want. You can also apply the contour color underneath and along the lower lash line to define your eyes. (Blending it over your eye pencil will also help give you a softer, more subtle lined effect).
For a more dramatic eye, you can always apply several layers of color to build the shade’s intensity. Add color in small amounts. You can always add more for extra drama, but once you’ve applied it, it’s difficult to remove. If you need to soften your application, simply take a little loose powder and a clean brush, and brush the powder over what you just applied to soften the color.
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