Advanced Eye Makeup Tips

Taking Your Technique And Style To The Next Level

Ready to dial up your makeup style with these advanced eye makeup tips, tools and techniques? Lets review the basics so we can build on each type of application.

There are the six general makeup applications to the eye area:

1.  Base/Preparation; primer, foundation, concealer, eye brightener, loose powder
2.  Eye Shadow; liquid, cream, powder
3.  Eye Liner; pencil, gel, liquid
4.  Mascara; primer mascara, color mascara
5.  False Eye Lashes
6.  Brows; pencil, wax, color mascara for brows, setting powder, gel.

(Want to stick to the basics?  Here are eight, great, easy to follow eye makeup steps that will deliver beautiful results.)

Each application has endless creative possibilities and every style element you choose will create a distinctive look and feel.

  • color choices can be bright, earthy, pastel, metallic
  • color combinations can be low key blend or high contrast
  • lines can be thick, thin, stylized, or smudged
  • lashes can be natural, have multiple coats or be larger than life
  • brows can be natural, minimally groomed, shaped with precision, or reinvented

Eye Makeup Tips & Technique II 

creative eye makeup Photo: © Copyright Dashek


BASE- Quick Review

PRIME for staying power...

Always begin with a base if you plan to wear any eye makeup beyond mascara. I can guarantee you will be much happier with both the application process and the results. Not only do you even out your skin tone and eliminate shadowy undertones, makeup will apply more evenly, be more easily visible and stay put much longer.

i) Primer preps the canvas which in this case is your eye area.  Usually a polymer base formulation that improves the skins surface, creates an even hydration surface, smooths out rough texture, reduces fine lines and leaves a matte finish. (Make sure you choose a formulation that is suitable for the eye area).

ii) Foundation evens out general facial skin tone.  Use as sheer and as lightweight a formulation as possible, enough to meet your skin concerns, AND please make sure it is a good match to facial skin tone.

iii) Concealer covers what foundation doesn't.  Darker eye circles, blemishes or marks and is usually a heavier consistency for durable coverage. Placed strategically, as needed, to address dark shadowy areas of eyes; under eye circles, between bridge of nose and inner corner of eye, directly under lash line, and any other marks/ blemishes. (Avoid area under outer corner of eye because of potential for makeup collecting in creases and exaggerated fine lines, crows feet etc.

iv) Eye Brightener illuminates the eye area.  These are products that have "illuminating" qualities; light reflective properties that can freshen the look of skin around the eyes, hydrate, as well as brighten the appearance of the eye itself.

v) Loose Powder sets the wet makeup phase. This final step for base, lightly dusting the eye area with translucent loose powder, sets the products beneath for staying power, and creates a surface to latch on to for product such as liner and shadow. Again, keep it light with minimal dusting under outer corners of eye area.

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Get The Right Tools

This is the difference maker.  Not only do they really make the task of eye makeup application MUCH easier, they also allow inexperienced hands to perform far more complex eye makeup tricks.

illustration of brushesDifferent eye makeup styles will still share common tools.  There are specialty brushes that will do very specific tasks too (like a fine liner for thin precision or a smudge brush for softening hard lines).  The shape, size and bristle firmness will indicate the eye application job of the brush (general brush head shapes shown in illustration.)

For a list of some my favorite products and tools, click here.


i) Essential Brushes & Tools

eyeshadow tools Image: ©

noteThese are the three essential eyeshadow brushes for blending the general larger zone of the eye.  The flat head brushes can be turned on their sides for smaller definition too (crease or under lower lashes).

  • medium head flat tapered -for upper lid placement, end can be used for crease
  • cream eye shadow brush with synthetic bristles-for cream/liquid applications and blending
  • blunt head shader- blending whole upper lid area

Three essential smaller eye shadow/ liner brushes, like the small angled eye liner brush, fine liner, and smudge, that usually work the lash line area, have been included in the eye liner information below, but are also used to apply shadow.

Great product examples? Eye makeup tips suggested brushes- Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura / Good value brushes- Sephora Brand, Sonia Kashuk

ii) Eyeshadow Formats

Cream- Lightweight look... Since their arrival, I have been loving these cream to powder shadows for their durability, intensity, and ease of application. You do need a special cream eye shadow brush (as suggested in the essential eyeshadow brush list).
Great product example? Shiseido Hydro Powder Eye Shadow

Liquid-Sheer Finish... There have been a handful of liquid shadows that come with a wand as a means of application. They are very sheer and can be thinned out for low key summer shimmer as well as, layered for greater intensity.
Great product example? Jane Iredale Eye Gloss

Powder- Heavier appearance relative to above...
Matte- Not reflective, ideal for daytime
Satin- Some shimmer, can be worn in day time
Frost-Very reflective, night time only

noteGreat product examples? Eye shadows made by NARS, MAC, Cargo are all fantastic quality shadows.

iii) Eyeshadow Design

Eyeshadow is a makeup medium with the function of bringing definition to the eye. That definition can be in the form of line or color or endless combinations of both. Colors are generally layered with color shades having a value of light to dark.

Need a quick review on how to apply eyeshadow?

apple graphic Eyeshadow Color, Value and Contrast

Understanding color values will help you understand the nature of contrasting between shades.  High contrast will be a combination of a light color value with a dark color value ( ex. light taupe with dark gray) contrast ranging from low key  to dramatic.   Low contrast will be a combination of closely related color values (ex. light taupe, medium taupe).

Mid Range Color Values

As well, colors can be layered in a variety of different sequences that create emphasis on a light, medium or dark color, and resulting style possibilities.

apple graphic Eyeshadow Color Sequence and Placement

eyeshadow application sequence Diagram: ©

Here are three great eyeshadow sequences. Each give rise to endless possibilities of eye makeup looks.

In the image you see to the right, the first  column uses a classic sequence where emphasis is on the light shade.
The second column sequence demonstrates an increase in drama, with emphasis on the medium shade.
The third column sequence is very dramatic with emphasis on the dark shade.  The location of emphasis is in the upper lid zone of lash to brow bone.



Eye liner is a great medium for creating more dramatic definition and is placed along the lash lines.  Liners are used, most often to thicken the appearance of the base of your lashes. The thickness of the lines, will generate different degrees of drama.

eyeliner tools Image: ©

i) Eye Liner Formats

apple graphicEye Makeup Tips &Technique II

Pencil is the easiest to use since its makeup and a tool, all in one.  A pencil is also a tool you have been using a very long time.   Choose a pencil that has a  firm makeup 'lead' but still soft enough to smudge (good option Nars Eyeliner Pencil).

Keep your pencil sharpened for precision application ease and a professional finish.

Shadow can be used to line eyes by applying with an angled eye liner brush (or a flat tip, but the angled brush is more versatile if you want to keep the number of brushes you have in your inventory, to a minimum.).  Some powder shadows are suitable for adding a little wetness which can create very fine lines.

Gel has excellent staying power and can create very wet, dramatic, rich lines, both fine and thick (it all depends on the application tool). For wet classic eye liner style, gel is also more forgiving in less technique-able hands.

note graphic Great product examples? Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner is a great product option for both classic styling and others, and can be applied with a small fine liner brush.

Liquid liner is in a format that comes packaged like a mascara tube and wand (the wand has a very fine point brush). Liquid formulation is just that...liquid and a little trickier to apply than gel.  A good steady hand is needed and will need some practice but the results are classic.

ii) Eye Liner Styles

Eye lining can be hidden with precise, tight, placement at the lash line, line can be tight along the lash line but thick and notable, that same thick line can be smudged for blur and softer blend with the rest of the eye makeup, line can curl at the outer corner of your eye ... it really is ALL up to you.



I think mascara is a must. Even if its the only eye makeup you wear. Wearing it alone or as the final touch, sparse lashes or not, dramatically improves the definition of your eyes.

apple graphicEye Makeup Tips &Technique II
Here is a quick review of how to apply mascara:

  1. Remove wand from tube and dab end off on tissue (avoiding a blob of mascara on your lashes).
  2. Hold wand in a horizontal position, and start with upper lashes gripping close to the ends by wiggling wand and stroking up through tips.
  3. Immediately follow with wand horizontal and gripping the very base of your lashes (closest to your lid) and wiggling all the way up, and through the tips again.
  4. Repeat to desired effect, working the lashes with the wand to separate them and place them.
  5. For lower lashes, hold wand in a vertical position and 'touch' lower lashes as desired (pinch off the ends to avoid too long/spider leg/cabaret look).

apple graphicEye Makeup Tips &Technique II
Don't forget to use an eyelash curler before you apply mascara! 
Consider the high impact, eye opening effect of an eye lash curler (again I think, along with mascara, they are an absolute must).



Experience will be your best teacher with these fiddly things. I do think placing them one at a time or in small sections is your best route (albeit the longest ), to blending those pretty, fluttery, big lashes into your own natural lashes.  That will give you the most discreet result.  But wait a minute, maybe discretions isn't what you want when you use false lashes?  You be the judge.

Other wise, using a full strip will require very steady placement along your lash line, and a little adjusting to create a curve and fit along your natural lash line's arc (followed by black eye liner to help conceal the lash strip).

apple graphicEye Makeup Tips & Technique II
When using false lashes, this is the general rule of thumb for application:

  1. Curl the eyelashes with an eyelash curler .
  2. Complete base makeup for eye zone prior to eyelash application steps.
  3. Either with the application tool provided or slant tweezers, remove the lashes from the adhesive.
  4. Try to work curve into the lash strip for easier fit and placement (have a pair of scissors ready to trim a strip that is to wide for your eye or create smaller pieces to work with).
  5. As directed, apply glue to false lash base line.
  6. Placement starts at the outer corner and is worked towards the inner corner.
  7. Allow specific product directed drying time before continuing with eye makeup.
  8. Careful eye makeup sequence of shadow, liner and mascara.


Definitely part of eye makeup tips, grooming your eye brows, does make a big difference to the end result of not only your eye makeup, your face as a whole.  They really do "frame the eyes" as well as add some style dimension to your eye makeup.  Grooming is simply styling them into place, filling in gaps, removing strays and adding color if needed.  

Two main factors that determine the look of your eyebrows;

  • The characteristics of the brows that you were born with
  • your personal style; stylized or natural looking

apple graphicEye Makeup Tips & Technique II - When in doubt of how to deal with your eyebrows...
Keep it simple.  Stick closely to what you were born with shape wise... a little thinning, trimming, filling, and/or coloring maybe necessary.

Eye Makeup Tips 'Advanced'  Last Word... THE FINISHING TOUCHES

You have learned more advanced styles and technique with these eye makeup tips, dialing up both your personal expression and application skill BUT don't forget the finishing touches.

Be sure to give your handy work a check for touch ups/ clean up.  Clear away shadow dust, mascara marks, corner of the eye build up, do needed further blending, remove excess etc.  Polished precision will guarantee effortless looking style.

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Spring 2018

Happy Spring 2018!

I would like to let all of you know how much I appreciate your support:) Please enjoy this west coast beach sunset as you soak up the beauty info. Grab some quick makeup tips or give your look a complete overhaul.

Something beautiful is on your horizon.



Yasmin, Editor

P.S. Visit my Facebook and Twitter pages. I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. The mystery girl strolling the beach? My sister Sarah, who has been my "go to" model over the years. Thanks Sis!



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