Eye makeup has the unique ability to transform our look (and arguably our mood) in a matter of minutes. Applied correctly, eye makeup can be romantic, sultry, dramatic, sexy, or chic, serving as the perfect accessory to any outfit.
A nice variety of eye makeup techniques in your professional repertoire will earn you a loyal clientele and help secure your place as the go-to artist for clients looking to refine their look for any occasion – from the first day on the job to a night on the town.
Eye Makeup Techniques Every Makeup Artist Should Master
Although you can expect that your initial makeup artist training program will offer plenty of instruction in eye makeup techniques, all good artists know a career in makeup artistry means making a commitment to lifelong learning.
Enrolling in a one-day workshop or short course in advanced eye makeup techniques will provide you with plenty of ideas and inspiration for creating the looks your clients see in their favorite magazines.
Some of the topics covered in advanced training courses in the art of applying eye makeup include:
- Prepping the eye
- Blending techniques
- Colors that complement the eyes
- Which techniques work best for specific eye shapes
- Specific eye makeup techniques, including cat eye, gradient, double wing, cut crease, and more
Mastering a core set of eye makeup techniques needs to be part of any makeup artist’s repertoire. Develop mastery of a variety of eye makeup looks – both trendy and timeless –and you’ll gain a reputation for being able to effortlessly create gorgeous looks worthy of a wedding or a runway.
Some of our favorite eye makeup techniques include:
Liquid eyeliner is what cat eye dreams are made of. So grab your favorite eyeliner pencil and get to work. A good cat eye begins with a thin line and gets thicker toward the end of the eye. Regardless of what type of cat eye you want to achieve, you will always stick to this technique.
There are a few different cat eye shapes, depending on the depth of the crease, the thickness of the line, and “wing” shape at the end of the eye. However, the two basic cat eye shapes are:
- Curvy: A curvy cat eye wing curves up at the end of the eye like the letter J.
- Triangular: A triangular cat eye wing comes straight up at the end of the eye and then turns inward, similar to a small hook.
You will ultimately find a cat eye shape that you prefer, although for the best effect, stick with a jet back liquid eyeliner with a flexible, thin tip.
Dramatic and bold, the smokey eye is one of the most popular eye makeup techniques. Performed properly, the smokey eye creates a beautiful effect; performed improperly and the result is anything but (think raccoon eyes).
The secret to creating the perfect smokey eye is blending. With a dark eye pencil, line the upper and lower lids and use a finger or cotton swab to smudge the line. Then using three colors from the same color family, apply:
- The lightest color over the entire lid, all the way to the brow bone
- The second darkest shade to half the eyelid to the crease, blending upward
- The darkest color to the outer corner of the eye, blending until the desired color is achieved
Finish the look with a couple coats of dark mascara.
A shimmery eye is timeless and romantic, making it a popular look for many women, regardless of their age. The key to achieving this look is, of course, shimmery eye shadow.
Begin with a light champagne shimmery shadow. Brush it on the inner half of the eyelid. Next, using a shimmery gold color, sweep it across the outer half of the lid. You can create more depth by using a darker eyeshadow to accentuate the crease in the upper eyelid. This can be achieved with a neutral brown or even a pop of color.
Blend the darker shadow to soften the line in the eyelid crease and brush it around the corner of the lower lash line.
Complete the look with a couple coats of black mascara.
The natural eye never goes out of style! Think of a natural eye as highlighting the eyes without making them look made up. Matte eye shadow is best for achieving this look.
Sweep a dark shadow from the crease of the eyelid to the brow bone. If you use only one shadow color, layer it more heavily along the lash line and then softly blend until it fades naturally at the crease.
Another way to achieve a natural, feminine look is to use a light pink shadow across the entire lid and then line the lash line with a dark pencil.