“Considering that we’re probably going to be wearing masks for a while, it’s time to learn how to play up your eyes,” says Mary Irwin, celebrity makeup artist, who points out that switching from being a lip person to an eye person isn’t as hard as it may sound. Despite how advanced crafting a perfect smoky eye may look, there are hacks to nailing eye makeup as a newbie. It really all depends on the types of products you’re using.
The most foolproof of all eye makeup looks? Swiping on a cream eyeshadow. “I recommend these when teaching beginners, since they can be applied with a brush or your finger, and they’re easy to blend out,” says Lauren D’Amelio, a makeup artist. Keep scrolling for the easiest looks to try for yourself.
1. Use a cream eyeshadow stick
As D’Amelio suggests, a cream eyeshadow, as compared to a pressed powder, is the simplest way to add some pigment to your lids. “You can achieve a smoky or natural look using this technique,” she says. Her fave? The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow ($29), which melts into skin with the heat of your bod and gives a super buildable pigment so you can start out subtle and go wild once you feel comfortable with it.
2. Swap eyeliner for an angled brush
If you like the liquid eyeliner look but are intimidated by the steady hand required, take note: D’Amelio recommends using a dark eyeshadow shade and applying it with an angled brush as closely to your lash line as possible for some easy definition. Try the Sigma Beauty Professional Winged Liner Angled Brush ($15) plus a dark shadow like Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Mocha ($3). Dampen the brush, dab some color on it, and sweep it along the bottom of your lids, going beyond your lash line to widen your eyes and make them appear ever-so-slightly bigger.
3. Blend a little bit lighter
Yes, swiping some shadow over your lid is step one in crafting an easy eye look—but take it one step further with another touch of color in a different shade. “To keep attention to the center of your eyes, put a dab of eyeshadow right above the pupil on your lid,” says Courtney Dailey, a makeup artist and founder of Wondergloss. The pop should be a lighter shade than the base, but ideally in the same color family. She loves using a matte taupe, like Dash from the KKW Classic Eyeshadow Palette ($45) with the metallic copper shade North in the middle.
4. Blend some bronzer or blush
You don’t even really need to buy an eyeshadow to accentuate your eyes—you can repurpose your cheek go-tos as well. “You can use your bronzer as eyeshadow in the crease of your eyelid to create definition,” says D’Amelio. Reach for whatever you’ve got. If it’s a cream bronzer (we like Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino, $20), warm the formula up with your fingertips and gently pat it onto lids from lash line to brow bone. If you’re opting for a powder bronzer or blush, dust it onto lids using a fluffy eye shadow brush, applying more closer to the lash line, and gently allowing it to fade as you work your way up to the brow bone.
A bold brow never hurt anyone either. Here’s a quick-and-easy tutorial to nail the look at home:
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