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How to Apply Eye Makeup: Beginner’s Guide

Sep 30, 2020
How to Apply Eye Makeup: Beginner’s Guide

From the time we were small, we watched with wonder as our older family members applied makeup. We were so enthralled by the process and dreamed of the day when we, too, could wear makeup and create gorgeous looks just like them. 

By the time most of us were old enough or skilled enough to use makeup, we were either too busy to learn how to correctly apply it, or ended up learning from sources like friends, family members, and YouTube videos. All of this can be information overload and there is sometimes lots of conflicting information telling you how to do one certain thing. Learning to properly apply makeup is truly an art form and allows people to express their personal style.  If you want to be able to develop your look and hone in on your particular sense of style, you’re going to need to know some makeup basics.  

Not only can applying makeup be daunting, applying eye makeup is especially difficult. How many of us have had a “raccoon eye” experience trying to perfect a sultry smokey eye? No matter how many Instagram tutorials you watch, chances are your eye makeup skills are not where you want them to be. With so many eye makeup products available on the market, it can even be a huge decision just trying to determine which eye products are good to use and which are not worth your time. In this tutorial, we will try to help you make sense of eye makeup and help you determine which products you need for a beautiful look, and which aren’t always necessary.

Whether you are a makeup queen who uses every product possible, a no-nonsense lip balm and mascara girl, or a fresh-faced newbie, this guide will help you determine how to properly apply eye makeup so that you can create dramatic looks of your own.

Eye Makeup: The Basics

There are probably over 100 different types of eye makeup products available on the market primers, shadows, bases, highlighters, eyeliner, mascara, lash lengtheners, and of course, eyelash enhancements. You could quite literally spend hours every day creating a different eye makeup look and style. If you are like most of us, you don’t have time to apply that much makeup unless it’s for a special occasion.  As such, you need to know the basics. 

Essentially, you want the products that will give you the most bang for your buck and net you the most style and beauty for the time you have. Here is our list of must-have eye makeup products that you should be using right now.

  • Primers. It’s tempting to skip the eyeshadow primer because it can seem like an unnecessary step. However, we all know how frustrating it is when our eyeshadow creases within half an hour of being applied. Primers help reduce the amount of natural oil that your skin produces which can interfere with your eye makeup, and create a smooth base that is better for eyeshadow application. No matter what kind of shadow formula you are using, whether it is cream or powder, a primer can help your shadow stay on longer and look just as it did the moment you put it on.

  • Shadows. This goes without saying, but a definite must for any kind of eye makeup look is a great shadow. If you are very low-key and prefer a look that is more natural and simple, you can probably get away with one to two different neutral shades. However, if you are more adventurous, or have a special occasion, three to four colors will create a dramatic eye look from the base of your lid all the way to your eyebrow. Eyeshadow has the ability to transform your eyes, draw attention to your irises, and create a completely original look.

  • Liners.  Eyeliners are great products that help define and give shape to your eye. Not only do liners add shape, but the use of liners and the way they are applied can also actually make your eye look bigger.  If you apply them incorrectly, they can make your eye look smaller. Additionally, eyeliners can create dramatic looks when they are applied in different colors.

  • Mascara.  Possibly the most popular eye makeup product on the market today is a great tube of mascara. Our fascination with and desire for long, full, voluminous eyelashes dates back for centuries. Mascara was one of the first cosmetic products that promised people with lashes more sparse than they would like, the opportunity to have the lashes of their dreams. Mascaras are available in a plethora of different formulas and shades and can be purchased in both waterproof and non-waterproof formulas. A great coat of mascara can make you look more awake than a strong cup of coffee.

While we include eyeliner and mascara on our list, there is a way to eliminate the need for both of these products with the use of just one. If you invest in a great pair of false eyelash strips, the need for eyeliner and/or mascara will be obsolete. Minimalists, rejoice! Not only will this save you time and money, it will also create a more dramatic and noticeable look than the use of both eyeliner and mascara together.

Application: How to Create a Simple, Beautiful Eye Look


You can create a beautiful eye in less than five minutes without any prior make up experience. If that sounds too good to be true, read on. We have a step-by-step guide to teach you how to apply your eye makeup from start to finish, and when you’re done, you’ll be able to apply your eye makeup like a professional.

  1. Prime it. The best type of primer is usually one that dries quickly and has a great anti-creasing formula. Using your finger is the best method of applying a primer. Swipe one coat of primer on your entire lid from the corner of your eye to the other corner, and from the base of your lid to the top of your eyebrow. Be sure to blend it out! Setting your primer is a great way to ensure you won’t crease in the middle of the day, especially if you have oilier lids. 

Doe tip:  If you don’t own a primer, you can use your concealer or foundation and a little bit of translucent powder to get the same effect.  

  1. Shadow. To create a beautiful eye look, you will need three to four colors of shadow.
  • Highlighter. A highlighter should be a few shades lighter than your skin tone, and compliment your undertone.  Use this shade on the extreme inner corner of your eye, just under the inner corner of your lash line, and on your brow bone. 

Doe tip:  If you don’t have an eye highlighter, you can use a facial highlighter to do the job. 

  • Midtone. A midtone shadow should be matte and slightly darker than your skin tone.  It should be placed on your lid in and above your crease.  Blend it from your inner eye to just outside the corner of your eye. If you have less eye space, or no crease, put this shade in the outer 2/3 of your eye up to where your crease would be.

  • Contour shade.  This shade should be two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone.  Blend this shade in the outer corner of your eye to the middle of your lid.  If your eyes are smaller, this should go in the outer corner of your eye and blended into the midtone shade. 

  1. Eyeliner. Eyeliner should be applied directly above the natural lash line.  You can choose how far from the outer edge of your eye you would like to bring your eyeliner in, but try to avoid fully rimming your eyes in liner, as that can make your eyes appear smaller than they actually are. 

  1. Mascara.  No matter what mascara formula you pick, you can always apply it the same way. Curl your lashes, then start applying your mascara as close to the root of your lashes as you can.  After the initial coat dries, apply a second coat if needed.  

Doe tip:  If you constantly get mascara on your lids or under your eyes, you can use a mascara shield or a piece of cardstock to prevent that from happening.  

How to Get the Most Striking Eye Looks Possible


If you want eyes that are more noticeable with less makeup, you’ve got to use false eyelash strips.  Nothing creates more noticeable, beautiful lashes than a great set of falsies, like Doe Lashes’ Cloud 9.  And the best part is, you won’t even need eyeliner or mascara.  Your false lashes will look perfect on their own.  

If you still prefer to wear eyeliner and mascara, you definitely can, but if you’re trying to save time and effort, you can skip those steps.  

To get the best eye makeup look possible, apply your primer and eyeshadow as you normally would, but stop before you get to the eyeliner and mascara steps.  Then, apply your Doe Lashes.  Doe Lashes are super easy to apply and virtually fool-proof.  All you need is a little eyelash glue and maybe an applicator tool, and you can apply eyelashes like a professional.  Here’s a great tutorial if you’ve never applied false eyelashes before.

Eye makeup can be intimidating, but once you understand what products are available and how they work, you can feel confident in knowing which ones you need and work best for you.  With a little practice, you can create stunning eye makeup looks in very little time.  The use of false eyelash strips will always make your eyes look more noticeable, wider, and more glamorous than simply mascara and shadow alone.  


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