How to Put on Eyeliner & Eye Shadow

As the eyes are one of the most defining features in one's appearance, it is often desirable to enhance their natural beauty or create dramatic effects with eye makeup. Additionally, making beautiful eyes a focal point can minimize the look of other facial flaws. Read on for tips on how to put on eyeliner and eye shadow to obtain a most desirable look.

Select eyeliner and eye shadow colors that compliment the iris color and facial tones. Guidelines to follow include avoiding eye shadow the same color as the eye and avoiding stark colors with fair eyes or complexion. Look to an eye shadow color chart for more information (see Resources).

Determine what clothing is to be worn for the day, both color and style (such as business, casual or evening wear). Optimally, select shades of eye makeup that will complement the outfit or at least not clash with it. Meanwhile, recognize that flattering your eyes and natural skin tone trumps clothing selection when selecting eye makeup colors.

Gather makeup supplies before putting on eyeliner and eye shadow. Also, start with a clean face to remove dirt and facial oils inorder to allow eye makeup to better adhere. Perform any necessary eyebrow tweezing.

Apply the eye makeup base or foundation on the eyelids (from lash to brow) as well as under-eye concealer, if desired. Lightly dust the area with loose translucent face powder to set.

Put on eye shadow first. Select a medium to medium-light base (eyelid) color, a darker color to shadow or enhance the crease and/or draw out the corners of the eye (doe eyes), and a light eye shadow for highlighting under the brow.

Use an eye shadow applicator to apply a light coating (tap brush if needed) of eye shadow, adding another application if necessary. Begin with the base color and cover the eyelid from lash to brow bone, then apply the highlighter under the arch of the brow. Finish with the shadow color---apply this darkest color to the crease and/or outer corners of the eyes.

Blend harsh lines and lighten overshadowed areas with a cotton swab or sponge wedge, using minimal pressure and short strokes. Optionally, coat a blush brush with a light pink blush powder and lightly sweep it over the eyelids one or two times to soften and set eye makeup.

Put on eyeliner pencil. Line both the upper and lower lids near the base of the eyelashes. Start at the inner corner of the eyes and work outward, using a thin line first and smudging or adding more later, if necessary. Optionally, for a wide-eyed effect, line the outer corners of the eyes only, from the center of the iris to just past the outer corner.

Smudge the pencil eyeliner towards the lashes and follow the shape of the eye for a softer, more natural effect. Extend line slightly past the corners of the eyes to enhance their size.

Apply liquid eyeliner using a fine, steady line. Begin at the inner corners of the eyes and follow the base of the lashes. Subdue the effect by dotting on the eyeliner instead. Optionally, put eyeliner on the inner lids only for a different effect.