The Writerri small bird

Health and Beauty Articles

I don’t know about you, but I’m a self-confessed impulse buyer. On my quarterly visit to Glasgow, I disembark the airport shuttle bus and make my way to The House of Frasers, with my heart beating in my chest and my bank card at the ready. Once I’ve got my Bobbi Brown, NARS and Estee Lauder fix, I make my way to MAC where I get lost in a sea of colours, lashes and products. And without a huge amount of thought, I pick up the eyeshadow shades that I like the most. But often, to my dismay, they don’t quite suit me once I try them at home. Classic mistake: try before you buy!

So in this make up masterclass, I’ll focus on the colours that are right for you, then divulge a few techniques and of course keep you in the loop of top rated products and brands. If the eyes are the window to our soul, then we had better make them look the best we can!

Eye primer

On average, we blink 28,000 times in a day. It’s the area of the face that moves the most, so it’s important to prep this area before any product is applied, similarly to your facial primer before foundation.

Eye primer is an absolute essential. It provides a smooth surface for eye make up to glide onto, and it helps keep eye shadow and eyeliner in place, despite the efforts of our blinking eyes!

Recommended eye primers are:

· Urban Decay Primer Potion original £8 (best seller)

· Smashbox Photo Finish Under Eye Primer £21

· NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base £16

Eye shadow

First things first – know what colours suit you. Once this has been established you can experiment to your heart’s desire. Complimenting your eye colour is an obvious full-proof way of choosing eyeshadow colours. However, if you are a bit like me and don’t have a stand out eye colour (I think mine are green, but after close scrutiny today I’m not entirely convinced) then a general comparison I go by is that blonde and red hair suits similar colours to blue eyes, and brown hair suits colours similar to those with green and brown eyes.

Blue eyes

While blue eyes get a little lost in blue or green eye shadow, they thrive in rich browns, gold and light pinks. For a subtle daytime look, opt for neutral with a bit of sparkle. Apply a light dusting of a golden colour over the eye lid, such as Bobbi Brown’s shimmer wash eye shadow in Champagne (£17.50), followed by a darker brown along the lash line. For a more evening appropriate look, you could create a smokey eye using a combination of 4 pink/purple shades from the Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Spices (£40), or better yet, apply a dab of black into the outer corner of the eye.

Green eyes

Greens most complimentary colour is primarily red, so anything with a red undertone is good, which is why purple shades are a great choice. My personal favourite is Jane Iredale pressed eye shadow in Dawn (£10). Other good colours are taupe, silver and, you guessed it, green – but keep it soft, such as an olive green instead of a bright one. A good rule of thumb is to focus on warm tones instead of cool - so blue, be gone!

Brown eyes

As brown is a mix of all of the primary colours, there are many different options. Warm metallics offset any undertones of gold in the eye colour, such as L’Oreal Paris eye shadow in Eternal Sunshine (£5.99). Purples with a blue tinge are also brilliant for making the brown in the eyes stand out, such as Mac eyeshadow in Purple Haze (£13). If you have more hazel in the eyes than brown, then gold eyeshadow can bring out the yellow tint in the eye.

Day time eye make up

Now that you’re armed with your appropriate colours, it’s time to put them into practise. It can sometimes be difficult to apply a daytime look, as there is a fine line between daytime and night time – one eyeliner layer too many can look obvious and by the end of the day can look very tired. Some daytime rules to stick to are: avoid black, glitter and dark smokey eyes as well as eyeliner under the eye, but apply a thin layer to the lash line and opt for softer shades such as browns, purples and pinks.

An example of day time make up for blue eyes:

(I’m using Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette, and yes, the shadow names are very strange!)

1. Apply a layer of Urban Decay primer potion in original all over the eye and allow drying.

2. Using an eyeshadow brush, such as MAC 239 (£20), apply a small dab of a white/pink, such as ‘dust’, in the inner corner of the eye, and blend lightly into the eye socket using a sweeping motion.

3. Next, switch to a blending brush such as MAC 217, and blend ‘liar’, a slightly deeper mauve-brown colour, again into the eye socket to create a shadow effect.

4. Now, add your darkest colour, such as ‘factory’, a pink-brown satin, to the outer corner of the eye to add a subtle depth.

5. Sweep a small dab of ‘strange’, a white/translucent shadow, just under the brow to create a highlight effect.

6. Apply a small amount of gel liner to the lash line, such as Bobbi Brown long-wear gel eyeliner (£18) and finish with plenty mascara - I love Maxfactor’s 2000 calorie in black! (£8).

An example of evening make up for green or brown eyes:

(I’m using all MAC eyeshadows for this look)

1. Again, apply a layer of Urban decay primer potion all over the eye and allow to dry

2. Tear off about two inches of sellotape, and apply to the back of the hand, and then remove (this removes the stickiest layer).

3. Apply the sticky tape from the lashes on the bottom, going up towards the eyebrow in a diagonal direction. This is your full proof guide for your eyeshadow and eyeliner to create the perfect smokey eye!

4. Using an eyeshadow brush, as above, apply a neutral tone such as ‘vanilla’ all over the eye socket and lid.

5. Now choose a dark grey colour, such as ‘typographic’, and apply using a firm pencil brush along the sellotape line, coming slightly out from the natural edge of the lash line, and stopping about a quarter of the way in towards the eye socket.

6. Next, load a blending brush with ‘wedge’, a mid-tone brown colour, and blend just over the sellotape line and into the outer corner of the eye. This helps to blend the grey to avoid a harsh line.

7. Using ‘carbon’, a deep black, and follow the same steps that were used with ‘typographic’, but this time applying it more into the crease of the outer eye socket.

8. Using your blending brush, thoroughly blend all of the colours until you get a seamless finish.

9. Next, use a black kohl pencil and apply onto the lash line, right into the eye socket, and blend with a pencil brush. For added depth, apply a black gel liner onto this line.

I could talk for hours about eye makeup, as it’s the most expressive and exciting part of the application. When in doubt – rock the colours that make your eyes pop and you’re half way there!


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