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If your eyes are windows to your soul, you want them wide open and popping, garnering you the attention you deserve. Most girls learn how to apply makeup at an early age, but it takes experience and knowledge to create looks that make your peepers pop. Too bad they don’t squeeze that lesson in between science and English, huh? Even if you aren’t in touch with your inner Max Factor, you can quickly learn how to make your eyes dramatically noticeable with just a few simple tricks and tips.

Tools of the Trade

Don’t overlook the importance of the tools you use to create your sexy, dramatic eye makeup looks. At the minimum, every woman should have a good set of eye brushes, an eyelash curler, and a brow styler — the implement that looks like a comb on one side and brush on the other. Your brush kit should include a smudge brush to smudge shadow or liner for the smoky look, a crease brush for applying eyeshadow to the crease of your eye, a blending brush to blend contrasting shades and a shader brush to apply the shadow. Some brush kits also include an eyeliner brush that allows you to apply your eyeliner precisely or to use eyeshadow as a liner. You’ll also need a brow brush to fill in your eyebrows, and consider an eyebrow stencil to help hold the right shape if you have trouble shaping your brows.

Color Selection

It’s important to select the right colors for creating your look. If you’re going for daytime wear, you’ll want subtle shades than for nighttime, but you still want your eyes to pop. Instead of selecting a matching eyeshadow that can blend in with your eye color, choose one that is complementary, like a darker shade, or even an entirely different color. For example, try bronze or gold shadow with brown eyes. Just make sure the color complements your skin tone, too. Determine if you have a warm or cool skin tone by examining your bare skin in natural light. “Warms” have peach or yellow undertones, while “cools” have pink or violet undertones. Mauve or dark blue can look good with blue eyes, while green eyes might benefit from earth tones or even purple. Hazel eyes are perfect for pastels, including pinks and purples, but steer clear of shades of blue.

Smoky

Smoky eyes have the impact that will get you noticed. Often reserved for nighttime, this technique can be appropriate to use during the day too, as long as you use colors suitable for daytime. One simple way to create the smoky look is to use two shades of the same color, like beige and tan, with one lighter than the other. Apply the lighter shade completely over your eyelid. Using an angled brush, apply the darker shade from the outer corner of your lid just to the middle. Smudge the colors until you get a smoky, smudgy look. Use the darker shade to outline your upper and lower lash line, taking care to blend well. The greater the difference in shades between your lighter and darker shadows, the more dramatic your eyes will look. You can also boost the fun factor by choosing a lighter and darker color that look good together, like pink and dark gray, but reserve those combinations for evening wear.

Browse and Lashes

It’s important to make sure your brows are neatly groomed, and your eyelashes are displayed to the full extent if you want your eyes to pop really. Try for a natural shape by following the arch of your brow. Tweeze away the stray hairs and fill in any thin or missing sections using a brow brush and a shadow that enhances your natural eyebrow shade. Ideally, you want to use a color no more than two shades darker than your natural brows, or you risk standing out in a bad way. To get dramatic lashes, curl your eyelashes first before applying mascara. To maximize your lash length, stroke from root to tip in an upward motion for the upper lashes and downward for the lower lashes, wiggling the spindle slightly as you go to get every little lash. Go slowly to ensure even coverage and to make sure there aren’t any stragglers evading the spindle. As a final step, comb through your lashes with an eyelash comb to separate the lashes and remove any clumps. Always make sure you pick an appropriate shade. Very black is perfect for nighttime, while brown-black is better for day wear.

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