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The Basics of Eye Makeup - Techniques to Master

Basic Eye Makeup

Basics of Eye Makeup - Part 1

Makeup is fun. If you find it daunting, then you are not looking at it correctly. Maybe if you tilt your head by say 27 degrees and then look at makeup, you'll see how much fun the whole process is :) Makeup is fun because it weaves magic... Because it can turn you from a white swan to a black one in a jiffy! I personally prefer the black version and hence the analogy btw. It is fun because it makes me feel like I hold the key to a lot of crucial things in life including showing the face I want the world to see one day and then an altogether a different on another day. It gives me that power.
And like they say, with great power comes great responsibility. But with makeup there is no responsibility and this is what makes makeup the most fun power to have :)   

This is the first post of the Basics of Eye Makeup series that I plan on doing. I shall be talking about the various techniques that one would need to get acquainted with in order to get comfortable and hence confident with basic eye makeup. But before that let's get acquainted with the various areas/regions of the eye. Here's a little image to make things easy...

Eye Map

Now with the various little techniques one needs a little practice with:

1. Applying a steady line of liquid liner

This of course is a no brainer :) Eyeliner I think can make or break a look. How much ever beautifully blended your eye shadows are, a crooked liner can take your look from a straight 10 to a 6 and we really don't want it, now do we? ;)

So what's the secret behind a confidently applied straight line of a liquid liner? Practice! Practice maketh a man perfect and I totally stand by it. What I really suggest is rather than doing anything else just buy a bottle of an inexpensive liquid liner and practice lining your upper lashline at least 7 times a day and you'll be a pro in a couple of days I promise :)
I practiced my lining using Elle 18's liquid liner. It used to come in this transparent glass bottle with a silver-gray colored cap and a short brush.

Also when buying a liquid liner, observe the brush. And now for the breaking news... Liners with felt-tip brushes should be avoided when you are just beginning to learn lining your eyes. I know this may be a shocker to a lot of you but the type of brushes that come with Maybelline Hyperglossy Liquid Liner or even the Lakme Black Impact Liquid Liner is the best types to get started with. They help you apply a liner in one stroke and a liner in one stroke will result in the steadiest line ever!

Why am I asking you to stay away from Felt Tip liners when you are just starting out? It is because many of your eyes have fine lines and wrinkles or the skin on the lids maybe loose. When a felt tip is used it, instead of giving a smooth line it gives a pixel-ed line due to the fine lines and wrinkles and hence can never end in a smooth finish. Of course, if you are one of the lucky few who have tight, unwrinkled skin on the eyes then play away with the felt tip :)


2. Waterlining & Tightlining

Now these are two terms that you may be hearing and reading about like at least 27,328 times in a day on beauty blogs and YouTube videos. So what is it exactly?

Effect of Waterlining and Tightlining

Waterlining is a fancy term that means applying a kohl in the inner rim of your lower eye or rather applying a kohl in the ridge that is behind the lower lashline and in front of your eye :)
Tightlining is the same as waterlining but it refers to the upper lashline.

Products Recommended: Maybelline Gel Liner (Review here), Kryolan Ikonic Gel Liner Pencil in Black (Review here), Faces Long Wear Pencil in Black

3. Grooming Your Brows

Not everyone is blessed with perfect brows. Heck! No one is blessed with perfect brows. Some have sparse brows, some have bushy ones, some have unruly ones and well some have no brows. But brows are one of the most important feature on our faces that determine how we look. 

Groomed Brows

They frame our face, highlight our eyes and have the power to make us look older or younger. Hence, the first step towards eye makeup must involve grooming/filling in your brows...

Products Recommended: Maybelline Define A Brow (Review here), Konad Eyebrow Pencil in Black


3. Blending

This is of course a very important technique that you MUST master if you intend playing with more than one eyeshadow simultaneously. There is just no way you can get around it. Blending is essential and it marks you apart from a newbie makeup enthusiast.

Eyeshadow Blending

I plan on doing an independent post on blending as a part of this series so stay tuned :)

Products Recommended: Any good blending brush. I use Faces Blending Brush No 106 (Review here).

4. Highlighting

Highlighting is yet another technique that can take your eye makeup from a mere 6 to a 9 on a scale of 10. It essentially means highlighting the various parts of your eye to give a dimension to your makeup.
Now highlighting generally is done in two ways...

      a. Highlighting the brow bone area

          This step is done to give a "lift" to your eye and to make your brows look more arched. This gives
          your face an illusion of youth and makes the wearer look younger. Secondly, it gives your whole
          makeup a more "complete" look by blending in with your crease color and giving the whole eye
          makeup a uniformly blended out look.

      b. Highlighting the inner corners of the eye

          Now this an optional step really and not everyone may want to do it. The practice of highlighting the
          inner corners is basically done to either open up your eyes if you have small eyes and have used a lot
          of dark eye shadows or is used to give an illusion of making your eyes seem far apart if you have very
          close set eyes. Other than these two reasons this particular technique has no other practical reason
          except if you are emulating Jennifer Lopez ;)

Highlighting of the Eye
1: No Highlighting; 2: With Highlighting

5. Applying mascara without clumping

Mascara clumps is one thing that I hate with all my life. It totally ruins the look... Imagine a sensually gorgeous green smokey eye with superb blending and splendid eyeliner application and then spidery/wispy lashes! Ughhhh... No no no not done!

So either you would need to master the art of expert mascara application or do what I do and look for and then stick to mascaras that simply do not clump! Simple :)

Products Recommended: Ellis Faas Mascara E401 (Review here), MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash mascara (Review here).

6. Concealing under eye circles

This step is important more out of necessity than vanity right! Eye makeup or no makeup, concealing is extremely important if you are looking to flaunt an even skin. And with the base right, any eye makeup looks beautiful :)
We Indians generally tend to have grey-ish dark circles under the eyes. For this an Orange corrector needs to be applied first and then the concealer. If your dark circles aren't grey-ish and are rather brownish and are just beginning to form then you can get away with just the concealer. There isn't really any ideal way to apply a concealer. You will rather need to experiment and find the best way that works for you.
However, I personally apply a concealer with a flat concealer brush and then pat on powder with a fluffy blush brush to set it and give it a more natural finish.

Now that we are drawing to the end of the post I would like to harp on the fact that there is no right or wrong way to do makeup. It is all about what works for you best! I urge everyone to keep on experimenting and learning new tips on your own. Unless you know your features well and what works for them best, no amounts of YouTube videos or tutorials can help you...

So go on... Experiment away to Glory :)


  1. You're one hot woman Samyukta..Totally loved this post!

    1. ha ha thank you Agnibanya :) Am so glad you liked the post... :)

  2. Superb... like it very much.. looking froward to more tutorials

    1. ooh so happy that you liked the post Pallavi :) Yup many more are coming up...

  3. such a detailed work u have done samyukta.. Great for beginners.. :D

    1. oooohhh someone noticed! :D It took me forever to complete this post... Siiiggghh am a little nervous about the others that are queued to follow suit ;)

  4. Thanks.. Very informative. Can you suggest products too.

    1. aaah! thanks darling! Yup updated the post with product suggestions as well :)

  5. Awesome post...thanks for sharing :):)

  6. just one more amazing post..:)

  7. What a post!!! super...but u make it all look very easy..I know first hand its not..
    eyeshadows are not easy to play with..ur amazing at this.

  8. such an informative post :) love the way you explained...

  9. awesome post!!! very helpful :)

  10. Love love the post, so good, informative and useful for beginners . All of these series I will bookmark Suma, Love your work as always. So looking forward to all the posts of this series ..
    Loved all the before and after pics :) ..

  11. very detailed! hats off to your effort sam! I absolutely agree with your last para! experimenting is the way to go until you find out what works the best for you!

  12. Super amazing post Suma. So detailed and well written!

  13. It is so true what you wrote in first few sentences. You re the one who pushed me into experimentin with my make-up & I m glad you re doing this series. It would help a lot to beginners & I still ve a lot to learn from you :)

  14. Excellent post.. Such a detailed explanation.. I think I'm gonna become a pro in makeup very soon..
    I'm sooo excited about this series.. Thanks for starting it up..

  15. loved the post..and how u compared both before n after :)

  16. Its awesome post. It will give way to those who are not able to do their eye makeup properly.
    Thanks dear for sharing all tips.

  17. Excellent post! I am not bad at eyemakeup but definitly picked up a few new tricks from your post. I am waiting for all the rest of the posts in your series. Write them fast becasue i can't wait! Bookmarking this! :) Are you on bloglovin? I tried to find your button for that.

    You can also check out my blog if you like:

    ~ Shivani

  18. Oops I just found you bloglovin button lol. Couldn't see it before! Following you now :))


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