Going all out this New Year’s Eve? We’ve already given you a little inspiration for over-the-top statement eyes. And whether you’re using bright pigments, glitter, eye liner, or all three, mastering the application is essential to achieving flawless results (like Angela J., above). Make Up For Ever artist Lijha Stewart shares simple tricks that will help you create a masterpiece—not a mess!
To really make your color pop, use a primer that has a similar hue to your brightest shade. "The bold base will boost your look from underneath, especially in the inner corners where shadow is lightest," says Lijha. But the most important step when creating statement eyes? Blending! “No matter what look you’re going for, you always need to have a medium color to bring the darkest and lightest shades together.” Also, it’s wise to have a tissue nearby so you can wipe your brush clean for better blending. "Stretch your product—don't over-apply," says Lijha. "I use a tapping motion with my brush to first press then pull the shadow rather than the traditional windshield wiper strokes."
Loose glitter can be difficult to apply but the sparkling effect is more head-turning than any shimmering shadow. To keep the teeny glitz in place, "use a clear liquid adhesive like eye seal," advises Lijha. "Apply less than a drop of it onto your fingertip and gently tap the moisture onto each lid." Don't worry, it won't smudge your shadow! Then use a clean finger to press glitter on each lid. "I always suggest using a finger—not a brush—when dealing with glitter. That way, you can feel what you are doing for a more even distribution of the product." Use a strip of tape to remove the bits that fall onto your cheeks. "It will pick up the particles without removing the rest of your makeup."
"Start applying your eye liner along the center part of the lids," says Lijha. "This will establish thickness." Use a makeup brush handle to determine the correct angle for your wings. "Create a 45 degree line by placing one end of your brush at the outer nostril of your nose, and the other end of the brush at the outer corner of your eye," says Lijha. "This will help you find the right balance when drawing the extended line.” Be sure to tightline the both lash lines so there are no gaps in color.
"An important step that many people skip is applying shadow along the lower lash line," says Lijha. "Mimicking your lids underneath creates balance and makes the makeup look finished.” Dust the lightest color in the inner corner and black along the outer corner. The medium shade should be used in the middle to blend the two together. If you want a bit of bling, apply micro rhinestones in the middle of your lower lash lines—one for each eye.