Find Your Shape
“Just about every shadow look works with this shape,” says makeup artist Troy Surratt. We say, go for the classic: sultry, smoky eyes. For a not-so-rocker approach, Clarins makeup artist Pati Dubroff uses a mix of medium and deep bronze shadows (we like Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad in Sueded Browns, shown, $30) or violet and dark purple shadows. Dust a medium color on your lids, then work the darkest tone into your top and bottom lash lines, outer corners, and creases. To blend, use a shadow brush with a long, domed head (like Giorgio Armani Beauty Large Eye Contour Brush, $41); sweep it back and forth like a windshield wiper to blur lines.
This happens when the skin on your brow bones folds over onto your lids near the outer corners (it could be your natural shape; it also happens as we age). This creates natural shadows on your lids — which means you don’t need much eye makeup, just subtle brightening to keep lids from looking heavy. Try Dubroff’s eye-opening formula: Pat a concealer with light-reflecting particles at the outer corners, below the hooded skin (try Yves Saint Laurent Touche éclat, $40). Then sweep a matte shadow one shade lighter than your skin (e.g., for fair skin, Estée Lauder Pure Color Shadow in Summer Linen, $20) on lids using a brush with a domed head (like Sonia Kashuk Pointed Blending Brush, $5.99). Finish with lots
For this wide-open shape (picture Nicole Ritchie), keep it light. “A sweep of just one soft color — whether it’s a pretty pastel or neutral taupe — across lids is all you need to enhance round eyes, says Dubroff. Apply the color up to, but not in, your crease.Try CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast cream shadows ($7.99 each) in Forever Pink. And while Dubroff warns against applying a dark color all over these lids — “it can make round eyes look hollowed” — if you crave a sexier look, she offers this tip: “Concentrate a deep shade just on the centers of your lids, then fade it outward in both directions.”
To add depth and drama, use several shadows from the same color family to create an ombré effect, which is a gradation of color. Try the silvery blue, ocean blue, and navy shades from Maybelline New York Eye Studio Color Plush Eyeshadow in Sapphire Stylist, $9.99. Smudge the deepest hue along your top lash line, the medium color right on the crease, and the lightest shade from the crease to just beneath your brows. Once the colors are in place, blend like crazy! “For eyes to appear beautifully doe-like, this look has to be soft,” says Surratt.
Ruddy or Dark Lids
Eyelids that appear darker than the rest of your skin are a bittersweet deal: On the one hand, your lids are naturally smoky. On the other, it can make you look exhausted. To perk things up, blend a dot of concealer or foundation on lids before putting on shadow. For a night out, “Go with shimmery shades that aren’t too pale,” says Dubroff. “The shimmer’s reflection will brighten skin.” If redness on your lids is a problem, makeup artist Maria Verel suggests dabbing on a yellowish eyeshadow primer (try Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Lemon Drop, $18). “It cancels out the redness and makes eyeshadow a cinch to blend.”