Hair & Makeup

6 Easy Eyeshadow Hacks To Instantly Enhance Your Eyes

When it comes to making the most of your eyes, forget smoke and mirrors: great makeup applied with a little know-how is all you need to make them pop like a pro, says GEORGIA DAY


If you’re looking for a makeup refresh, the chances are a bold new lipstick or fresh foundation will be your first port of call. But why not consider the transformational power of a few small (but mighty) tweaks to your eye-makeup kit instead? Here’s how…

Highlight strategically

Before thinking about eyeshadow, use concealer to accentuate the areas around your eyes. Areas like the inner corners and outer edges tend to have more natural darkness, which steals focus from your eyes themselves. Gently buff a creamy concealer in these areas using a small-tipped fluffy brush and blend until you have no visible lines. Next, add a little highlighter to the inner corners, the center of your eyelids and your brow bones – this will give your eyes an instant lift and help you look brighter and more awake. A champagne- or gold-colored highlighter works well on mid to deep skin tones, while paler skin benefits from the cool sparkle of a pale-pink highlighter.

Define the crease

Cut creases may be a term more at home on YouTube tutorials, but adding definition to your eyelids is a smart way to disguise various issues, from hooded eyes and drooping skin to eyes that have lost their shape. Use a powder or cream eyeshadow a shade darker than your natural skin tone and buff it into the line where your eyelid meets the base of the brow bone. The color will sculpt your eye and slack skin will appear to recede. “I like to draw a creamy eyeliner into the socket line so I can be precise, and then blend it out with a small eyeshadow brush,” says makeup artist Valeria Ferreira. “Then, once I have my outline, I go over it lightly with a powder eyeshadow in the same shade.” One caveat: “Hooded eyes will naturally get a bit oily, so lightly dust them first with translucent powder so that your makeup stays put.”

Summon your inner artist

Now you’ve sculpted, employ the painterly technique of ‘chiaroscuro’ [an effect of contrasted light and shadow], which, as well as using deeper shades to create depth, also uses paler shades to create volume. Contrasting light shades with darker tones will make your eyes appear larger than they are – and it’s a technique that’s surprisingly easy to master. “Apply a bright, luminous shade to your lid and inner corner of the eye where you want to create the illusion of volume,” explains Ferreira. Use a small flat brush to pat on powder shadow for the best result.

Disguise dark circles

Using the right eyeshadow can help to counteract dark circles and make your eyes pop. If your dark circles have a faint red or purple hue, then an eyeshadow with green tones will correct the problem. If your dark circles contain a bluish tinge, then shadows with a red undertone will help, whether that’s summery corals or shimmering garnets. Puffy eye bags can be corrected, too, but Ferreira recommends utilizing distraction techniques, rather than being tempted to try to cover them. “Covering [bags] with a light concealer will only highlight them even more,” she says. Instead, apply eyeshadow that’s a shade darker than your skin tone beneath your lower lashes to create a subtle shadow. “It’s like a ‘contour’ for your eye bags,” she adds.

Trick the eye

Eyes can droop with age, but you can make them appear lifted with nothing more than brown eyeliner. Brown is softer and less intense than black and, depending on its shade, adds a subtle definition to all skin tones. Begin your liner in the inner corner, then bring it out to about two-thirds along your lash line, stopping before you reach the tail end. Ending it there creates the impression of roundness, which won’t accentuate the tilt. If you are partial to a flick, then extend the line up towards your brow rather than straight across – this will help create the illusion of a lift.

Offset tired eyes

Whether you’ve had too many late nights or spent too long staring at your screen, red eyes aren’t to be entertained. Invest in a navy-colored shadow or liner and apply along your upper lid to help offset the redness by making the whites of your eyes appear more prominent. If you prefer the understated look, then navy-colored mascara is the perfect alternative. Finish with a nude eyeliner on the lower waterline to neutralize redness and brighten eyes.


The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown