When it comes to making up your eyes, there are a few insider beauty tricks you can use to amp up your eyes and your game. Here, I show you how to apply eye makeup using these tricks. If you do it correctly, your eye makeup will last all day.

The Secrets to Eyeshadow That Lasts All Day

Before I get into my step-by-step, I have to share my secrets to eye makeup that lasts all day.

  1. Eyeshadow primer. If you use a quality primer (I recommend Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion, your eyeshadow will stay put through rain, sweat, and even the heaviest of oil slicks produced by the skin.
  2. A quality eyeshadow. There are too many eyeshadows that hardly show up on the lid, or if they do, they seem to disappear within a couple of hours. Once you find a great pigmented shadow, you are gold. I swear the eyeshadow palette by Jaz cosmetics is very affordable and up to mark in terms of quality. See my list of The Best Eyeshadows on the Market Today.
  3. A dab of light color in the corner of the inner eyelid. This is a makeup artist’s secret to brightening eyes. More on this is below. Just make sure not to make it too obvious.
  4. Heat up your eyelash curler. I like to blow a burst of hot air onto my eyelash curler for no more than 3 seconds before I curl my lashes. Just make sure to test the metal on your arm before you clamp down. 

Now, onto the fun! It takes eight steps to achieve absolutely gorgeous eye makeup.

For tips on evening makeup, see my article, “How to Make Up Eyes & Face for Evening.”

Step 1: Apply Concealer to Your Dark Bits

This first step aims to make the skin around the eyes look even. This can be achieved by applying concealer and blending it in with your finger or a concealer brush in areas that appear blue or purple.

If your skin is already even and free of discoloration, you can skip this step and proceed to the next.

Here’s how to apply concealer:

  • Apply three dots of concealer under each eye. Start at the inner corner, where the skin tends to be darkest, then under the pupil, and the third on the outer edge.
  • Pat, never rub with your ring finger (this finger tends to have the softest pad) until the concealer disappears.

If you have dark under-eye circles, you should go a step further. See How to Cover Up Dark, Undereye Circles.

Step 2: Prime Those Lids

Just as you prime a wall before you paint, you can prime your face before you apply makeup. It goes on smoothly and lasts longer. Eyeshadow primer is the secret to keeping your shadow in place for hours.

The eye base will keep the shadow in place during workouts, torrential downpours, a good cry, and even a good night’s sleep.

Again, I recommend Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, which you can get at Sephora or buy online at Amazon. To apply, you just put a dot on each lid and blend it in.

Read more about primers in What is Makeup Primer? And Do I Need it?

Step 3: Line the Eyes

You can skip this step if you’re going for a casual, “I’m not wearing makeup” daytime look. But I do love a nicely lined eye. Liners help make your eyes pop; if you blend correctly, it won’t be obvious.

You can use liquid liners or an eye pencil, but I prefer dark eyeshadows as eyeliners. Wet a slanted brush like this popular eyeliner brush from Amazon, then dip it in a dark eyeshadow.

Line the eyes as close to the upper lashes as possible from the inner corner to the outer corner. Follow with eyeliner on the bottom lashes. Smudge the bottom line with a Q-tip or your finger. You don’t want a prominent line.

For a smokey eye, use a brush to pat in a dark eyeshadow along the upper lid and below the lid. You don’t want a stark line; instead, you want to blend it, so it’s “smudge-y.”

This is a basic application method. Check out my article, How to Apply Eyeliner, for many more eyeliner options.

Step 4: A Few Swipes of Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is great because it covers up any veins in your lids and helps make your eyes pop.

For daytime, I like to use a basic light shadow on my lid and nothing else. My absolute favorite eyeshadow is Stila’s “Kitten.” I’ve turned on so many people to this shade when they compliment my makeup.

For a bit more drama, try a three-toned eyeshadow palette and build from the lids to the brow. “You want to blend them into each other like a rainbow,” celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal once told me.

Start with a light color that almost matches your lid. Sweep the color across the lid and up to your brow bone.

Follow with a medium color across your lid only. Build on this with a darker color in the crease. Blend the colors well.

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Step 5: Highlight the Inner Eye

This step is a makeup artist’s secret and a trick I always use. 

This step involves only the inside part of the eye. Putting a bit of your lightest eyeshadow in the inner corner of your eye will brighten it significantly. I usually dab my finger into the lightest eyeshadow in my palette and then press it into the inner corner of my eye, where the upper lid meets the bottom lid. This totally makes eyes “pop.”

Step 6: Highlight Your Brow

Use the same light eyeshadow on your brow bone, concentrating on the middle and blending outward. Use your finger to blend it in. You can also use a product like Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat, placing it just below and above your brow. A light eyeshadow will also work well.

Step 7: Curl Your Lashes

An eyelash curler can enhance the appearance of even long lashes. Holding the curler under the blow dryer for a few seconds will make the effect last longer. But before you use the curler on your eyelashes, you should test it to make sure it’s not too hot and won’t burn you.

Step 8: Apply Mascara

To apply mascara:

  1. Start by positioning the brush wand at the base of your lashes and gently moving it back and forth.
  2. Make a few additional strokes with the wand, then apply the mascara to your bottom lashes as well.
  3. For detailed instructions and additional tips, refer to the instructions on how to apply mascara.
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