Eyes are my favorite part of the face when applying makeup. Eye makeup is where you can be as creative as you want to be, by blending different shapes, colors, and finishes for a positively endless variety of looks. The classic eye uses the principle of contouring and highlighting to sculpt and define any eye shape. While this look is most commonly seen with a neutral palette, any color combo can be adapted to this scheme. In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a classic eye look that you can follow or tweak to your own personal tastes as much as you'd like!
Step 1: Eyeshadow
First, prime your lids! Foundation and/or concealer will work, but there are many high-performing eyelid primers in every price range. These will increase the wear of your eye makeup, keep eye makeup from creasing, and even deliver a higher color payoff to your shadow application. Apply primer to eyelid and blend with a clean cosmetic sponge. Lightly powder your lids (loose or pressed, colored or translucent, doesn’t matter) before shadow application to help increase wear time even more. Curl your eyelashes with your preferred eyelash curler, squeezing at the base of your lashes for several seconds, then moving outward on the lash.
Start your color application by applying a light-colored eyeshadow color from lid to brow. (You can use a variety of brushes for this step, whatever you are most comfortable with.) Using a larger-sized crease brush, apply a midtone color (color slightly darker than the light-colored eyeshadow you applied first) just above and slightly dipping into the crease of your eye. You can extend this color as far inward, towards the inner corner of your eye, and wing it outward towards your temples as much as you’d like. Next, take a smaller crease brush and sweep a darker color directly into your crease, from the outer corner of your eye to somewhere around the midpoint of your lid.
Step 2: Finishing Touches: Mascara, Liner, & Lashes
If you like, you can blend well at this step, apply mascara, and be done with your makeup application, but there are a few more optional steps that add extra oomph to your look. Dip a small brush in a light color (metallics and pearlized finishes are great to use here, even if the rest of your look is matte) and apply to the inner corner of your eye and just below the arch of your brow. Add eyeliner—white in the inner waterlines to make your eyes appear larger; shades of brown for a natural defining look; brightly colored to add a dynamic splash of color; black goes with any look. False lashes can be added, either in a strip or individually, in a vast range of colors and styles.
When applying mascara, first clean any fallen powder out of your lashes with a clean spoolie, then apply mascara, sweeping the wand from the base of your lashes out, both the top side and bottom side of your upper lashes. It helps to look straight ahead or slightly downwards during this step. Then, ONCE YOUR MASCARA HAS DRIED (otherwise you'll get lovely mascara spots all over your eyelids), look up at the ceiling and apply to lower lashes.
Step 3: Variations
As I said, you can use any colors you’d like. Here’s a classic eye using yellow, lime green, and emerald green.