5 More Tips to Step Up Your Eye Makeup Game

May 8th, 2013 By  |  24 Comments   

Getting fired up and ready to face the day would probably be a lot tougher for me without makeup. It cheers me up and keeps me entertained, especially eye makeup. Doing my eye makeup in the morning sets the stage for my entire day, and next to treating my cheeks to blush and bronzer, it’s probably my favorite morning ritual.

And since one can never have too many eye makeup tips, here are five more to add to your repertoire.

1. Dear brows, can I give you a lift?

Sometimes, it’s the subtlest things that make the biggest differences, ya know? Like this little trick to try when you have a few extra minutes to get ready. It appears to lift your brows, and helps to define your arch.

When you’re finished applying your eye shadow, apply a thin line of under-eye concealer a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone along the bottom of your brows using a skinny concealer brush. If you see any harsh lines, gently blend them away with a finger.

For extra pizazz, like for bold brow looks, I might even go a step further by running the concealer along the top of my brows.

En lieu of concealer, some brands make pencils designed to lift brows in a similar way. Benefit makes one for $20 called Highbrow Lifting Pencil, and NYX has one they call their Eyebrow Push-Up Bra, which sells for $10.

Another option? MAC’s $16 Chromographic Pencils, which come in three shades — NC15/NW20, NC42/NW35 and NW25/NC30. Like concealers in pencil clothing, they’re creamy, flesh-toned and matte. I really like how precise I can get with the thin pencil tip, and I think the shades look quite natural on skin tones from light to dark. I use the one in NW25/NC30 (which is lighter than my usual NC42 skin) on my brows almost every day.

Being MAC Pro products, the pencils are exclusive to MAC Pro Stores and also online.

Benefit Highbrow on the top and MAC Chromographic Pencil in NW25/NC30 on the bottom

2. Lock in that lash curl

As a daily lash curler, I’ve found that when I apply several layers of mascara quickly without waiting for the first layer to dry, my mascara weighs down on my lashes, relaxing the curl.

Not good. To avoid this, I’ll give my first coat several minutes to dry before applying a second, and so on, for as many coats as I want.

It really helps to lock that curl — even more so when I only use a minuscule amount of mascara for that first layer, so I’ll remove most of it from the wand before applying.

The timing is also crucial; otherwise, I’m just sitting around waiting for coats of mascara to dry, so I’ll usually apply my first layer when I’m about halfway done with my eye shadow. Then, I’ll finish the rest of my look, and top off my mascara with a second layer (and maybe even a third after that one dries).

A couple of great mascaras that work well with this trick — MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash ($16) and Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof ($7).

Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof on the top and MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash on the bottom

3. Defeat disappearing liner along your water line

This trick’s actually similar to the previous one, and it’s all about drying. If you like to line your water lines for extra definition but don’t like having to touch up during the day, try this one on for size.

Apply a layer of your favorite water line eyeliner, and wait for it to completely dry before applying a second layer of liner on top. It helps set your liner and hold it there all day long.

I have a long list of liners I like, but my favorites for water lines are Bobbi Brown’s soft and smooth Long-Wear Eye Pencils ($24 each).

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Jet

4. Bringing new life to brights you almost never wear

Too bright to wear. What a shame, but I bet you probably have at least a few shadows in your makeup collection — maybe in palettes, or as colors that came as gifts with other purchases — that you just feel are too bright to wear.

Well, next time you feel adventurous, try layering one of ‘em on top of a dark base, like a black liner.

Et voilà! That crazy bright shadow gets a lot more wearable when it has a dark base toning it down.

This one’s really easy to do, too. Just apply your favorite black or brown smudgy liner on your lids first, blend out the edges with a finger or a domed shadow brush, and pat your bright eye shadow right on top.

Urban Decay Eyeshadows clockwise from pink pan in the lower left: Woodstock, Peace and Fishnet

5. Better together: layer black and brown liner

As much as I adore black liner, it can look a little harsh at times, and when I think it does, I’ll temper the look with a layer of a dark brown liner on top. That way, I still get the strong dark liner definition I like, but with a little less impact.

The “Secrets of the Eye Makeup Mavens!” series features simple tips, makeup tools and product recommendations to master popular eye looks, like smokey eyes, pastel peepers and cat liner looks.

For more in the series, check out…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


24 Comments + Add Comment

  • Awesome tips! Gonna have to try these tomorrow…

    • Hi Cara,

      Thank you! It’s nice to see you here. Let me know how the tips go! :)

  • Great eyebrow tip. Thnaks.

  • You are full of great tips, Karen! I love the tip for extra brow definition. I’ve never heard that one before, but I’m gonna try it out. :)

    • Hi Arianne,

      That brow tip will change your life! It looks really cool, especially in pics. :)

  • Great tips, Karen! I’ve been doing that concealer trick on my browbone lately & I prefer it to a powder highlight. It looks more natural.

    • Hi Danielle,

      Thank you! :) What concealer do you use? Try it sometime along the top of your brow…totally makes them pop!

  • love the tip about using both black and brown liner! I don’t typically reach for brown eyeliner because it takes more work to get a dark enough look but sometimes black can be a bit too harsh. Will definitely try this out in the next couple days! :)

    • Hi Jenna,

      Great! I hope you like it. It works great with smokey eyes too, by the way.

  • Loved the eyebrow tips…I’m def going to give it a go!! Thanks!

  • The brow tip intrigues me. I will try it post-haste!

  • Great tips, as always, Karen! I’ve actually done the liner layering trick (using darker brown as a base instead of black, and lighter brown over it). :)

  • I haven’t been able to make liner look good on my waterline, so I’ll have to check out the Bobbi Brown pencil. Also, you’ve made me curious about Benefit Highbrow. Thanks for the tips!

  • Great tips! I will give #4 a try! I have so many pretty bright shadows that I barely use!

  • I did the bright shadow over black liner this week and it was a success! Thanks for the tips.

  • Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  • [...] 5 More Tips To Step Up Your Eye Makeup Game [...]

  • [...] 5 More Tips To Step Up Your Eye Makeup Game [...]

  • [...] 5 More Tips To Step Up Your Eye Makeup Game [...]

  • Thanks for the tips! My lashes always fall too, I’m gonna try these soon!


  • Great tips… your eye makeup in the first photo is amazing…. could you please share what you used? Thanks

  • Btw I have all 3 of those bright colors!!!! I am going to try the liner and bright color on top! Where did you get your earrings!?!?! I have to have those!

  • Yap! All these tips are excellent to do perfect eye makeup. Thanks for sharing.

Post a Comment


Beauty Videos