How To Do Your Makeup To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

Your eyes are the window the soul, so says probably some old dead white guy from a million years ago. Somehow, not much has changed because we still are obsessed with making our eyes look bigger when putting on makeup. Focusing on your eyes makes a huge difference to your overall look. It makes you look more awake, alert, and often way prettier. I’m just basing this off my own experience when I don’t wear any makeup and people keep asking me if I’m sick or tired (f*ck you too). Spoiler alert guys, I’m an overworked insomniac, I am always tired. I’m just ugly today.

Regardless of the actual size of your eyes, there are many ways to emphasize them using makeup so that people will look in your soul windows (gross) instead of at the acne on your chin. Here are the best products to buy so you never get that “oh you look tired” comment ever again:

Step 1: De-Puff

Yeah, I get it, I’m supposed to sleep more and I won’t look tired, it’s not f*cking rocket science but it’s just not an option. When you’re exhausted, your eyes look small and puffy, so the first remedy in our line of defense to tired eyes is to use some kind of caffeinated cooling product, like this one from Milk Makeup. This is my new favorite product, actually. It feels amazing and calms the bags under your eyes. The caffeine will send that puffiness away and the cold is really refreshing. You can also use a gel eye mask that you left in the fridge or cold spoons to do the trick.MILK MAKEUP - Cooling Water 1.2 oz/ 34 g

MILK MAKEUP Cooling Water

Step 2: Whiten

Wasn’t there some stupid thing going around a couple years ago where dumbasses were actually putting bleach or lemon juice in their eyes to whiten their eyes/change their eye color? I’m going to just go ahead and call that Darwinism at its finest. Great job, everyone. Anyway, do not do that. If the whites of your eyes are looking super red, it will make your eyes look smaller. The whites of your eyes contrast to your skin tone, so use Visine (particularly on days you’re really tired) to neutralize redness and make your eyes look bigger and brighter.

Visine Maximum Strength Redness Relief Formula Eye Drops, 0.5 fl. oz

Visine Maximum Strength Redness Relief Formula Eye Drops

Step 3: Line *Correctly*

If you’re super pale like I am, your eyes probably just blend into your skin tone. Ugh. The key here is contrast, so regardless of your skin, you want to make your eyes pop as much as possible to get them to appear bigger and more awake. Use dark eyeliner to line the top of your lash line completely. When it comes to the bottom lashes, either skip them altogether or make sure you’re only lining below the waterline where your lashes start. If you line your waterline, it will actually make your eyes look smaller. Lining below the lashes creates the contrast you want but makes the waterline blend into the rest of your eyeball, making your eyes look bigger. This is the mistake we all did in middle school—no top liner, and super thick bottom waterline liner. It was gross and made you look trashy with teeny swollen eyes.

This is correct:

And use a smudgy eyeliner pencil like this one to achieve the perfect bottom liner (I like to use liquid for the top):

Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Perversion 0.04 oz/ 1.2 g

URBAN DECAY 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Step 4: Volumize Lashes

To further the contrast to the whites of your eyes, eyelashes make all the difference. This is why eyelash extensions make everyone so much prettier. However, those are expensive. And they rip out your real lashes. Leave those for people who don’t have any eyelashes on their own and tons of cash to blow, or Bachelor contestants. You can imitate the look with glue-them-on-yourself falsies or just a really great volume mascara. I switch mascaras often, but my all-time favorite is Diorshow. If you have a good dupe, please tell me in the comments.

To make your mascara look like falsies, do the following: swipe your lashes with translucent powder, then curl, then apply mascara. Let it dry, apply powder again, 2nd coat of mascara, dry, powder, third coat, dry, curl again. I also like to put a little powder on my eyelash curler before I use it with mascara on so it doesn’t stick (and rip out my eyelashes by accident). You are welcome.

Dior - Diorshow Mascara Black 090 0.33 oz/ 10 mL

DIOR Diorshow Mascara

Step 5: Bring Out Your Eye Color

There are two ways to really bring out your eye color: similar colors or complementary colors. I took years of color theory and got a painting degree for this very moment. I was like, hmm should I be the next Da Vinci or should I tell sassy betches how to make their eyes look bigger? And I chose you. Again, you are so welcome. Complementary means the colors are opposite on a color wheel, which provides maximum possible contrast. I trust you know what the word similar means.

So for blue eyes, you either need to wear a blue toned eye shadow (except not that frosted blue from 7th grade, please) or an orange based (or similar) color, like autumnal browns and golds. For brown eyes, they are considered a neutral and don’t have a true opposite, so you find a color within the brown to emphasize.

If you have warm brown eyes, you should wear gold tinged shades to make your eyes look more honeyed, or blue shades for contrast. If you have cool-toned brown eyes, try blues to make the the color deeper, or reddish purples to make them pop.

I am a green-eyed person, which makes my opposite red, and since I can’t seem to make green shadow or red shadow look good, I look for reddish pinks or purples to make my eyes look greener, like the new Cherry palette from Urban Decay. You could also do a colored eyeliner instead of basic black to really make your eyes pop.

Urban Decay - Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette 12 x 0.038 oz/ 1.1 g

URBAN DECAY Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette

Now that you know how to make your eyes look bigger using makeup, go out and take a bunch of selfies—you won’t even have to use one of those dumb animal filters!

Images: Alex Perez / Unsplash; Sephora (4); Amazon
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Holly Hammond
Holly Hammond
Holly is an ex-sorority girl with the personality of Elle Woods meets Wednesday Addams. She is an artist, writer, animator, and part-time magician. Her parents are v proud but also like to ask her when she's going to get a real job. Buy art from her so she can pay for her bulldog's dermatologist.