defining your eyes part 1: shadow

If you’re a makeup aficionado, something like eyeliner techniques will seem very basic and obvious to you, but sometimes I’m surprised when I realize that all the women in my life aren’t as obsessed with makeup as I am, and don’t feel confident with many techniques aside from mascara and lip gloss. No need to be afraid! I agree that sometimes makeup techniques can seem intimidating, but what I love about makeup is that it’s a blank canvas to try anything.  I can’t say “you can’t make any mistakes!” because some things like too-dark foundation and stripes of orange bronzer, for example, really should be avoided, but the beauty of makeup is that if you don’t like what you’ve done, wash it off and start again!  No harm done, and at least you tried!

With this in mind, I’m going to start a series about some simple makeup techniques. Up first: using eyeshadow as an eyeliner.

What you’ll need: an angled brush and a dark eyeshadow – matte or shimmer are both fine.  I used the shade “Galaxy” from the Real Techniques Night Owl makeup kit.

Simple shadow eyeliner

This is the most simple and foolproof way to start to get into eyeliner and defining your eyes.  I’m sure you already have some sort of dark eyeshadow laying around, whether black, brown, navy… So just go get yourself an angled brush if you don’t already have one, and let’s get started!  This technique results in a fairly soft eyeliner look, so it’s great if you’re not used to wearing a lot of eye makeup and want to give your eyes some oomph!

The goal here is to draw a fairly thin line of dark shadow very close to your top lash line. Darkening the top lash line will define your eyes and will also make your lashes look fuller and thicker.  This step is usually done before mascara, but if having mascara on already helps you to really view your lash line, then put your mascara on first – whatever works for you. You can also do this once, apply your mascara, and then do it again to get it darker. You can see from the photo below that the line I drew is quite subtle and thin.

Simple black liner

Dip your angled brush in your eyeshadow of choice, position the brush as close as possible to your eyelashes, and push the eyeshadow along your lash line. The pushing action is important because it helps to build intensity and avoids eyeshadow fall-down onto your cheeks.  It’s usually easiest if you start from the inner corner and work your way outwards.  As always with makeup, it’s best to start light and built up, because it’s easier to add more than it is to take away. After pushing the product along your lash line once, inspect your work.  Did you do a straight line? Is the product even across the lash line?  Is it dark enough? Load up your brush again and repeat as many times as necessary, evening out where necessary, and going darker or getting a thicker line if that’s what your prefer. Once you’re comfortable with this process, you can even start playing around with it and trying out a more winged-effect, which means having a thinner line at the inner corner and building up to a thicker, winged-out line at the outer corner, kind of like a really soft, subtle cat-eye.

 

Eyeshadow as eyeliner

And there you have it – fairly simple, beautifully defined eyes! See how my lash line looks a lot fuller, with just a simple swipe of eyeshadow?

What do you think of this series – is it helpful?  How do you like to define your eyes?

 

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