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Eye Know-How

Noreen Young May 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

It’s a beauty jungle out there, filled with so many products that women are not sure what to buy or what they actually need. Allow your clients to benefit from your professional expertise, and feature both an easy makeup look and a more advanced one on your spa menu. Keep one simple and the other more intense—covering a day and an evening application.


In order to give a professional eye makeup lesson, you owe it to your clients to be armed and prepared with the following tools.

  • An assorted array of eye shadows (matte, shimmer and glitter)
  • Mascara (black/brown, black, navy, eggplant and teal)
  • Eye liner pencils (gray, mink, aubergine, midnight blue and white)
  • Eyebrow colors in pencil, shadow or brow tints
  • Concealer
  • Disposable mascara brushes, disposable eye shadow brushes and cotton makeup swabs that are pointed on one end and oval on the other
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Eye gel or cream
  • Eye liner sealer
  • Eye firming or moisturizing mask
  • Eyelash curlers
  • Eyelash separator brush
  • Brow brush
  • Brow conditioner
  • Lash conditioner/primer
  • False eyelashes
  • Glue for false eyelashes
  • Angled soft-yet-stiff detail brush
  • Hand-held magnifying mirror


Eye makeup lesson

Have the client come in for her appointment with a totally clean face or at least with no eye makeup on. Ask whether she ever has had an eye makeup lesson, and inquire about the kind of look she is seeking. Also, find out how many minutes she wants to spend when applying eye makeup, and identify her general style.

All of these factors will make a difference in your session. See Eye-Q for information on dealing with special eye shapes.

Step 1: First, apply eye cream or gel, depending on the client’s skin type. If she is really dehydrated or has a lot of puffiness, offer an eye mask treatment initially in order to prep the eyes for color.

Step 2: After prepping with treatment, apply a concealer around the eyes, not just underneath them. Doing this opens up the eyes and evens out the complexion, enabling makeup to glide on during application and to last longer.

Step 3: At this time, begin with the actual shade. Prompt the client to look in a hand-held magnifying mirror and watch as you place one color all over the eyelids with an eye shadow brush. Sweep a light or medium highlighting color from side to side over the lids. Another option is using the finger method—applying one color over the lids with the ring finger.

Step 4: Next, show the client how to apply eye liner. You can make it out of any type of eye shadow. This is a great trick for those who live in humid locations and for people who work on computers or rub their eyes a lot. With an angled soft-yet-stiff detail brush, apply some eye liner sealer. Next, dip it into a medium or dark shade, and apply on the lids where you would place eye liner. An eyeliner pencil or liquid eye liner can be used, as well.

Step 5: To make your clients’ eyelashes appear even longer and lusher, use a brow conditioner—it lifts the lashes and also helps prevent them from drying out.

Step 6: Show your client how to use an eyelash curler to define the lashes and eyes.

Step 7: Applying mascara to accent and tint the lashes is the next step. Sometimes, clients will avoid mascara due to laziness, skin sensitivity and the messiness of the product. They may comment that they don’t like the “raccoon look.” In these instances, opt for clear mascara that also can be used for grooming the eyebrows and keeping them in place.

Colored mascaras are popular again, but in more muted and eye-opening hues, including navy, teal and eggplant, which tend to enliven a tired appearance. The darker the mascara, the smaller or more deep-set the eyes will look. Don’t use black if your client is a redhead or a very fair blonde. Always coat the tops and bottoms of the lash line, as well as underneath it, or your client’s eyes will look dark on the bottom and light blonde on top, or vice versa.

Mascara comes in all shapes and forms. If your client prefers a dark shade on the rims of the eyes, use a white eye pencil—or you simply can apply it in the corners of the eyes. If she likes a celebrity or “Cleopatra” kohl look, use a dark black color on the inside rims of the eyes.

Step 8: Define eyebrows with a brow tint in a universal color. This works wonderfully as a filler and provides a more natural look.

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Following are a few guidelines for applying eye makeup.

The hooded lid. Apply one medium shade entirely over the eyelids. Draw attention away from the lids and toward the lashes by wetting shadow with an eye shadow brush in the eye liner method that is detailed in Step 4. Use it as a liner on the outer corners, just above the tops of the lashes.

The puppy eye. When the outer edges of the eye tilt downward, you need to lift them up visually with color. Choose a shadow that is a bit darker than the one you used on the lids, and place it in the creases. Blend well.

Very round eyes. Play up the roundness by using a black, brown or deep purple pencil to line the lower inner rims, close to the lashes. Add mascara, concentrating from the outer corners and working in.

Almond eyes. Exaggerate this exotic shape by applying a rich, dark pencil of your choice to the lash line. It will bring out the striking goddess within.

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