How To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger With Makeup, According To Makeup Artists

How To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger With Makeup, According To Makeup Artists

When it comes to eye makeup, many of us have the same end goal: Eyes bigger than Bambi’s. 

And while comparing ourselves to a cartoon deer may not be very realistic, achieving bigger, brighter, more fluttery eyes, definitely is. All you need is a few insider tricks of the trade…

We asked a few of our favourite makeup artist’s to spill the beans on the best hacks they know for making eyes (of all shapes and sizes) look bigger.

Buckle up.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about tightlining

RELATED: The makeup artist’s guide to keeping mascara off your eyelids

#1 Get yourself an eyelash curler

It’s an absolute must-have according to Carol Mackie, MAC Senior Global Artist. “There are so many little techniques to really open up the eyes, but this one simple tool will do it in a second.”

She finds it particularly useful if one eye tends to appear smaller and more closed than the other. “Simply by curling the lashes on just that eye, it will make it appear more open and balance out the eyes.”

#2 Steer clear of dark eyeshadow

If your eyeshadow collection consists of black and navy, you my friend just gained an excuse to go shopping. 

“My biggest tip for making eyes appear bigger is not making the eyeshadow too dark”, says Serena Wyllie, who has over 120k followers on Instagram thanks to her breathtaking artistry skills.

MUA Marnie Avagiannis seconds this, saying “lighter shades and reflective eyeshadows will make an area appear bigger. I like to apply a light, champagne colour for a soft but glamorous look.” 

#3 Swap black for brown eyeliner

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your beloved eyeliner too, but Carol does recommend swapping your trusty black for a dark brown instead, such as M.A.C Coffee Pencil.

“[Apply it] through the lash line from a third of the way across the eye and very softly under, then blend out with a brush to soften.”

Or if you’ve already got some dark eyeshadow in your arsenal, this can also make for a softer substitute.“Instead of liner, try taking a dark eyeshadow and placing it right on the lash line to add definition, this is far more subtle and will not make the eye appear smaller in any way”, says Serena. 

#4 Try tightlining

If the technique above don’t quite work for your eye shape, tightlining could be your saviour. This is when eyeliner is applied to the top waterline, just beneath the root of the lashes (and yes, very close to your actual eyeball – not one for the squeamish). 

Marnie says this method  “can create the illusion of fuller lashes without taking up space on the eyelid.”

#5 Eye-light

Just the same as you highlight your cheekbones for dimension, your eyes can benefit from the same kind of treatment. 

Try keeping your shimmery eyeshadows targeted to the centre of the lid, and finish with a “shimmery pearl shade on the inner corner of the eye”, says Serena. “The light will reflect off this and instantly give your eyes an extra pop.” 

#6 Colour correct 

If your dark under eye circles are distracting from your big, beautiful eyes, you may need to camouflage with a colour corrector before applying concealer.

“I like to hide discolouration with a peachy coloured corrector”, says Marnie.”Apply it to the darker areas only and then you can apply a brighter concealer on top. Thin layers always work better than a thick coat of makeup.  I love the concealers and correctors from the Bobbi Brown BBU Pro Face Palette.”

#7 Double check your concealer shade

A ‘bright’ under eye concealer doesn’t translate to going a shade lighter though… 

“I often see concealer looking ashy below the eye because the colour selected is too light”, says Carol. Look for words like ‘illuminating’ instead of switching shades.

Prepping the eye area with a good eye cream can also make a big difference and will ensure the concealer glides on smoothly. 

#8 Add lashes to the outer corners

Last but not least, adding some strategic falsies can also help give the illusion of larger eyes. 

“Softer, wispy lashes that are longer on the outer corners and then taper in towards the inner corner will open up and reveal the eyelid area”, says Marnie. 

If you’re not into strip lashes, individuals are also a good option (like Ardell’s Duralash Starter Kit). “I take individual lashes and apply them to the outer third of the eye to lift and elongate the eye shape”, says Serena. 

And if all else fails, curl and coat them in mascara. 

Have you tried any of these hacks before? What’s your best tip for making eyes look bigger?

Image credit: @serenawylliemakeup

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Comments 42

  1. With hazel eyes (brown/green tones) I have been using violet/purple eyeliner to bottom lid only and recently only using mascara on top lashes – that’s an eye opener too – teamed with a much lighter beige tone on jpper lid and then darker mauve toned in the crease – works wonders!

  2. I love tightlining! I’ve been doing it ever since I started makeup. Another little tip for when doing a nice light glam look is placing a ivory or white eye-liner on the bottom waterline. I even do it for day makeup looks sometimes.

  3. I should definitely try some of these (apart from false lashes) as I have all the tools and products at home anyway. When I was a teenager (a long time ago) we always did tightlining although we didn’t call it that then.

  4. I always use a light coloured shadow on the inner corner. It suits my eye shape. I feel like my eyes are a little too close together (I’ve got a very narrow face) & it seems to widen my eyes a little, too.

  5. All these girls would look beautiful “No Matter What ” ! I wonder if we could see some more “Senior” models with “before and after” tips please. Would be most helpful x

  6. In relation to #3, I started using the Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes in Chocolate Lustre recently. I’m in my late fifties and it is easy to apply, unlike some eye pencils that tug or feel scratchy.

  7. Ahh, so much to do. I can’t use an eyelash curler and not for lack of trying, several times. I am lucky to get my eyes looking normal with eyeshadow and mascara. Anything more will make me look ridiculous.

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