Pretty as a Picture

My one and only actual Super Power is makeup application. I’m going to share my secret weapon with you.

How to apply eye makeup:
This tutorial includes my basic look, which includes a light color eye shadow, eyeliner, and contrasting shadow in the crease.  Once mastered, you too can have dramatic, classy, or smokey eyes in less than five minutes!

Use a good quality product. Quality does not mean expensive, although it can. Choose a pencil or sharpen-free crayon that can be applied easily to the back of your hand using little pressure. I like Benefit’s Bad Gal (it’s a basic black), but Ulta makes a good line for less, and I’m learning to forgive Max Factor for discontinuing my favorite eyeliner/eyebrow pencil combo. You can also use your favorite eye shadow to line your eyes if you use a bit of water and a stiff brush. Pick an eye shadow that is not chalky and distributes even color. I like samples and freebies, but avoid Cover Girl at all costs. I have never had luck with their line. Ulta and MAC have a wide variety of colors, but for decadence you could pick Chanel or Lancôme—they have really pretty sets.

Work with a clean and even-textured surface. Wipe all residue of yesterday’s makeup away and pat eyelids dry. If you have dry or oily skin you should apply a base. With any dry skin, makeup will stick no matter how much you blend. With oily skin, makeup will slide right off and hang out in creases. Gross. You can use a multitude of products for a base. I’ve used Max Factor’s Erace in White and Neutrogena’s Color Cream Shadow in Champagne or Golden Gleam. Use a light, neutral product so that color will show up easily. Apply a thin layer. Set with a very fine dusting of powder if your skin is very oily. Sweep your lightest shade of eye shadow from lashline to browline. I like MAC’s Llama (a very neutral beige).

Using your eyeliner of choice, line your upper lid at the lashline. I don’t think it matters where you start, just as long as you get a uniform line from end to end. If you’re using a chubby stick, make sure you feather on the product. There are advantages to the size—there’s more stability and control than with a thin liner—but you also run risk of making a big, thick line. Remember what it’s like to color using a crayon! The more pressure you apply, the thicker and darker the lines you’ll make. Don’t worry if your line is not even or if it looks a bit bumpy. Next, take a stiff brush and smooth the product starting from the inside corner of your lid to the outside. You may choose to extend the liner past the natural corner of your eye (just slightly arching upward—think Barbie and not Cleopatra). This is purely for style and a matter of preference. If you have large eyes and long lashes, this may be overkill. If your eyes are on the smaller side or your lashes are sparse, it’s not a horrible idea. Under no circumstances should you ever have downward sloping eyeliner. This look is strictly Precious Moments.

To apply a dry shadow as eyeliner, wet the end of a stiff eyeliner brush (I like my angled Maybelline brush). The bristles should be damp, not dripping. Gather product on the tip and draw a test line on your hand. It should come out crisp. If it’s runny, you have too much water on your brush. If the line is not uniform in color, the brush is probably too dry. Tap the brush to rid it of excess product. Apply an even line to your top lid as described above.

Lining the bottom lash line is a matter of preference, but I think it provides a more striking appearance. Follow the aforementioned instructions, but stay on the inside of the lashline. You’ll have raccoon eyes if you color outside the line!

Additionally, you can apply a darker color in the creases of your eyes. Again, don’t sweep in a rounded motion. Work the shadow in an arch. You can smudge the outer edge with your finger for a softer look. This will also extend the shape of the eye and give the illusion that it’s bigger.

Have patience and remember that makeup is absolutely removable. Your fingers, tissue, and Q-Tips are great tools.

If you’re a newbie to eye makeup, stick to neutral colors.

Curl your eyelashes and apply mascara, too. It’s optional, however, for this tutorial.

Practice makes perfect. Who says you can’t put on makeup to watch TV?

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