They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so it’s no surprise that you’d want them to be as big, bold and beautiful as possible. Sure, you know how to throw on some eyeliner and swipe on some mascara, but achieving that doe-eyed look takes a little more than that. So we talked to Alicia Hunter, eyelash extensionist to celebrities like New York Housewives’, Sonja Morgan and former Bachelorette Ally Fedotowski, to find out the best ways to make your eyes pop.
1. Lash extensions
Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are all the rage, and they’re perfect for anyone who loves luscious lashes but hates using mascara. An extensionist will apply lashes individually, and with proper care, they should last a few weeks. If that isn’t for you, though, you can always use the strip falsies, which are typically much cheaper and can be easily applied and removed. Hunter says to look for specific types of falsies that will enhance your eye shape and make them appear bigger. “For strips, I love Ardell’s Demi Wispie,” says Hunter. “It is natural-looking, enlarges the eye, and the ‘cat-eye’ shape of the strip (shorter inner-eye lashes gradually increasing in length to the outer-eye lashes) makes eyes appear wider-set, which is sexy.” By adding fuller lashes, your eyes have the perfect frame to make them appear bigger and more voluminous.
Eyeliner is always a nice finishing touch to any look, but the way you apply it can make a huge difference. “If you use a heavily pigmented dark shade, you can achieve a super smoky look without liner,” says Hunter. “However, for more foxy drama, adding liner over the line where the lash strip is affixed is an excellent way to ramp things up and also to camouflage the glue line.” If you want even more drama, opt for a winged look, to help mimic the “cat-eye” look.
3. Enhance your brows
By filling in your brows, you’ll draw attention towards your eyes. The trick is to accentuate what you have—you don’t want to overdo it with too much filler. By adding a little color to your brows, you frame your eyes, making them the center of attention. Try out different pencils, powders or eyebrow mascaras to see what works best for your brows.
4. Waterline liner
Using a flesh-colored liner on your waterline is a great way to wear minimal makeup while still accentuating your eyes. “Lining the water-line with a dark liner or a shimmery lighter color also makes the eyes pop and can even make the whites of your eyes appear brighter!” says Hunter. Light liners are great for an extra pop during the day, while the darker liners are a great addition to a smoky look. Apply dark liners from the outer corner to the middle of your waterline to make your eyes appear wider and bolder.
5. Highlight the corners
Opt for a white liner or iridescent powder for the inner corners of your eyes. Not only does it create a brighter effect, it creates the illusion of larger eyes. The light color opens up your eyes for a rounding effect.
6. Use lighter shades on the lids
When applying eyeshadow, you want the middle part of your eye to have the lightest color, creating the illusion of a larger, rounder shape. “Us[e] a lighter shade such as a taupe or pearly nude on the entire lid,” Hunter tells us. “Then smudge a much darker pigmented shade, such a deep rich brown, slate, navy or dark green in the mid- and outer crease. Blend the darker shade upwards and outward at the lids to create a large and sexy cat-eye.” An easy way to remember how to apply shadow is to go from lightest on the inner corner to darkest on the outer corner.
Whether you’re going for a full glam or dewy look, your eyes will look bolder and bigger than ever before. And if anyone asks… it’s natural *wink, wink*.