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Making Eyes: How to be Bold (& NOT Regret it!)


Across a crowded room, you spy an amazingly impactful eye, bright and bold or moody and melodramatic, you think: yaaas! And you’re off, trotting your way home to try it on for size.

Half an hour and much pigment later, you find that rather than giving yourself the glad eye, you’ve given yourself the bad, sad or heaps-mad eye. Instead of getting that funky-punk slick of pink, you look like you’ve caught a good dose of conjunctivitis. Instead of radicalising the neighbourhood with your aquamarine-themed peepers, you’ve got people crossing to the other side of the street. Instead of rocking smoky glamour, your eyes look like two piss-holes in the snow, as your dear old granny might say.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at one time or another – even the pros. So if you dream of being able to shrug on an avant garde lid with the nonchalance and comfort of an old cardi, don’t give up. Everyone has an eye for colour (so to speak), it just needs to be worked your way. You can be intrepid and you can bloody well pull it off too.

Here are our key hacks for making a statement with your eye makeup that doesn’t sat ‘I’m insane’, ‘I’m the walking dead’ or ‘I’m contagious’

Pink eye (the good kind)
People don’t usually associate the colour pink with fear, but when it comes to eyeshadow, many get the horrors at the thought of trying to wear it well. Which is a crying shame, because this colour du jour has the goods for a whole range of looks, from shimmery and feminine to daring and dynamic.

On the other hand, it can indeed make you look like you have pink eye – if you deviate too far from these two simple rules:

1) Stay away from the waterline (the inner rim of your lower lid).

2) Create a border at your upper lash line.

Basically, pink wears a lot easier if you’re not pairing it directly with your eyeball. Sexy as your capillaries may be, you’re better off contrasting with your iris than highlighting your blood vessels, and the best way to do this is to have a boundary line of upper eyeliner in black (or another complimentary colour) and steer clear of pink bits in your eye’s nether region.

Getting all jazz-eye
It’s true that eye makeup is often more easily paired to people based on their colouring – hair, skin, eye, lip. That doesn’t mean a blue eye can’t wear a cloak of green, or a redhead can’t amp up a sooty blue. It’s just a matter of finding the right shade, tone and intensity, and that comes down to one very important rule:

1) Experiment. Hard.

Spend some time playing in your makeup bag – or better yet, play in someone else’s. Mess about with warm tones even if you had your ‘colours done’ sometime in the nineties and we’re told to stay cool. It’s also worth while keeping in mind the principles for wearing pink when trying on other vivid or unconventional hues.

Gettin’ all smoky in the hood
Some of us are born with them, some of us develop them as we get older – either way, everyone with hooded eyelids knows that the standard smoky look isn’t as easy eye-pop trick for us all. In the (literal) blink of an eye, that saucy bedroom gaze can turn into an I-haven’t slept-this year squint, as colour transfers and things get a bit messy.

The good news is that those of us who are, shall we say ‘generously creased’, can still get all come-hithery without ending up looking strangely tired with unnaturally small eyes. Here are the tips:

1) Blend well, and above the crease for visibility of prettiness (but not to the brow, mind, never to the brow).

2) Keep the eyeliner on your upper lash line very, very thin – go too chunky and you just know you’ll end up with the double eyebrow.

3) Use a highlighter below the brow line and at the inner corners of the eye to retain them ‘awake’ feels we all know and love.

4) Primer! Is! King!

What are you waiting for? Try something bold and new for you – and see just how good your eyes can look… *winks*

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