How to Apply Mascara to Make Eyes Look Big

by Dan Ketchum

If you're applying mascara to make your eyes look bigger, you're already on the right track -- this makeup staple increases the contrast between your lashes and your lids, which gives your peepers a more striking look. The key to nailing this doe-eyed contrast lies in giving your lashes the optimum length and thickness, which you can easily achieve if you apply your mascara just right.

Choose the right mascara and brush for the job. To create the effect of larger eyes, opt for a lengthening or volumizing formula with a big, bushy brush. Thinner brushes with less bristles create a more spiky effect, but you want thicker lashes for this particular look.

Clamp your lashes with an eyelash curler to give them an upward flare. Hold the clamped curler right at the root of your upper lashes for about five seconds, then repeat in the middle of the lashes nearer to the tips. Curled-up lashes allow more of your eyes' white area to shine through.

Dip the brush into the mascara, and apply to to the lower side of your upper lashes, gently pulling them straight outward for about three strokes. Start right at the base of the lashes, wiggling your way up. Then, fan the lashes upward and out for another three strokes. Allow the mascara to dry for about ten seconds, and repeat for optimal eye-popping thickness.

Hold the brush vertically, and lightly paint each individual lash. This separates and lengthens the lashes, enhancing the wide-eyed look.

Pull the brush through the bottom lashes with a wiggling motion to bolster the contrast between the whites of your eyes and the lower lids. This also heightens the smoky-eyed look.

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Items you will need

  • Eyelash curler
  • Mascara with brush


  • Add one final quick layer of mascara to the outside corners of your lashes if you want to make your eyes look further apart, a trick that can potentially bolster the youthful effect.
  • Enlarging your eyes doesn't end with mascara -- additional eye makeup certainly helps the cause. For instance, apply your eyeliner just below your bottom lashes and brush your brows slightly up and out for a wide-eyed look. Likewise, up that all-important contrast by applying just a bit of light powder on your lower lids.

About the Author

With a diverse professional background and a decade of experience as a freelance writer, Dan has contributed lifestyle content -- from fashion to travel to fitness and more -- to publishers including Chron, Fortune, Sony, GlobalPost, ModernMom, Moviefone, Salon.com, Techwalla and dozens of others.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images