Some eyeshadow basics
- Beauty experts agree that eye-shadow, applied properly, can enhance and emphasize your beautiful eyes. Whether you wear makeup on a daily basis or only on special occasions, following the principles below will result in a great look:
Easy does it. Even for evening, one of the worst mistakes anyone can make is applying eye-shadow (or any other makeup) too thickly. Start slow and add cautiously. Too much eye-shadow will cake and darken, overwhelming your eyes, making you look startled, depressed or very tired.
Generally, application of more than one shade of eye-shadow will give you better results. For example: you've chosen blue eye-shadow. Apply the lightest shade of blue to the area above your lid and below your brow. The next darker shade goes in the crease above your lid.
The darkest shade goes on your eyelid. The general effect becomes a blue glow that radiates and floats from the eye to the brow. (A makeup artist once suggested that shadow should follow the line of the lashes, predominately above and to the outside of the eye, rather like little wings.)
Visual basics: light colors of shadow tend to make your eyes more prominent; dark colors make your eyes seem more deep-set.
Your eye area isn't just where the shadow goes. A great look depends on blending the areas under your eye and between your eyes and the bridge of the nose into your whole picture. These areas can be blended in with your regulalr foundation. In cases of chronic dark patches under your eyes, consider using a concealer-stick under the foundation.
Allergy-prone? Allergies sometimes show up as dark "shiners" between the inner corners of the eyes and the bridge of the nose; this is another good area for concealer.
In general, blue eyes are best highlighted by a shade of eye color darker than eye-color, and brown or black eyes may respond better to shades lighter than eye-color. Green or hazel eyes respond to either strategy, producing very different results depending on color-choice.
For daytime wear, complementary colors are a good choice: blue with blue eyes, brown with brown. At night, contrast, sparkle and shine all come into their own.
You and the basics
- You may know the generalities but still need to work on your own look.
Here's the plan:
Choose eye-shadows in several different colors. Make sure that at least one shadow complements your eye-color and that one contrasts. (While it is tempting to choose a contrasting shade to "match" a special outfit, your look will be better if you concentrate on eyes only and restrict the "match" to a playful smudge close to the brow.
Set aside some time to work on this. Often, we all tend to buy an eye-shadow that looks good on the store counter, put it on our dresser and grab it with only five minutes before the bus to work arrives. A good look shouldn't take more than five minutes to apply, but it takes a lot more time to decide what that look should be.
One good strategy is to plan a spa-morning: bath, shampoo, conditioner, and an extra coat of moisturizer on your face to allow you to play with your shadows. Don't forget a coat of mascara--your lashes play an important part in the overall look.
Using the general principles listed above, work out a complementary daytime look: shadow-color close to that of your eyes or in the same color-family: brown plus brownish-greens, -golds, and -pinks.
Work out a second daytime look that contrasts with your eye-color. Again, stay with a single color-family: blues ranging from greenish to silvery-gray.
While you are doing this, step back from the mirror often, so that you can see yourself as others see you. Your look should be subtle--definitely there but making you look ready for work, alert, and cheerful.
Making the look work for you
- Before you leave your daytime look behind, take one more look and ask yourself "If I were my cosmetologist, what else might I do?"
Again, see yourself as others do. Eyes a little close together? See what happens when you move shadow above your eyelid a little short of the inner edge of your eyebrow.
Eyes a bit far apart? See what happens if you fan color all the way to the inner and outer edges of the brow.
Eyes still just a little undefined? Rather than adding lots more shadow, plan to collect some eyeliners to try on your next spa-session.
Evenings--having lots of fun!
- Clean your eye area completely with lots of moisturizer and get out your glad-rags! It's time to throw the basics out the window or at least let them slip quietly out the door.
Where will your beautiful evening makeup go? Darkly-lit clubs? It's time to reach for the sparkle--and it's okay to come up under your brow with a color that repeats in your great dance-dress.
Local dinner parties? A little more subtle, please, and remember that evening light plays a part in your look, too.
The light in your bedroom more closely resembles dinner-party light--move out of the bathroom and see how you look in warmer, softer light.
Again, easy does it at first, but nighttime lighting permits a bit more color. Got a great idea? Now's the time to try it--yes, you truly do look fabulous!