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Makeup Tips to Make Your Eyes Appear Brighter, Wider and Bigger

by Celeigh O'Neil, studioD

When experimenting with makeup, it is the most fun to play up your individual features, which often means the eyes. Regardless of the size or shape of your eyes, you can use makeup to make them appear instantly brighter, wider, and bigger. Emphasizing your eyes can detract from a bad skin day, draw attention away from uncooperative hair, or simply open your face up to the world.


Highlighting is key to opening up the eye area. Adding an all over, off-white highlighter with minimal shimmer to your makeup bag is a great place to start. Use your finger to pat it onto the inner corner of your eye, and just below your brow bone to give your brows some lift. Next, use a large powder brush to sweep it underneath your eyes and over your cheekbones, angling up toward your hairline. This will soften your features and make your eye area brighter without being obvious.


Eyeliner is the secret weapon that will truly make your eyes stand out. Hold your lid straight across, and draw a thin line from the inner corner to the outer corner using a black or brown liquid liner to make your lash-line look thicker and your eyes wider. Hold your lower lid down, and run a waterproof nude liner along the waterline just above your lower lashes. This will appear to be an extension of the whites of your eyes, making your eyes appear bigger. Next, take a black or brown pencil liner and line below your lashes from the outer corner just to the middle of your eye. This will add natural definition and frame the look seamlessly.

Shadow and Mascara

The shade of eye shadow that you choose is key when playing up the shape of your eye. One sweep of color works best, as too much dimension will close the eye. Opt for pale, neutral shades with minimal shimmer for the biggest eye-opening affect. Beige, pale pink and champagne work universally. Cream shadows are convenient as they can be applied with your fingers and dabbed on as a highlighter when necessary. Alternatively, opt for a powder and sweep it on with a domed shadow brush. Apply the shadow all over your lid, right up to the brow bone. Always finish your look by curling your upper lashes, then applying mascara to your upper and lower lashes which opens eyes wide.

Other Makeup

All other makeup should be kept minimal, in order to keep the eyes the focal point. Conceal any darkness around the eyes by patting a concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone into the area with your finger. Dark circles and blemishes can really drag the face down and detract from the eyes, so massage a foundation into your skin if necessary, using your fingers for a natural finish. When applying blush, start at the apples of your cheeks and blend it upwards into your hairline. Opt for a nude lipstick or tinted balm to avoid competing with your eyes. Always finish your look by wiggling a thick coat of mascara into your upper and lower lashes.

About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.

Photo Credits

  • Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images