5 Easy Ways to Fake the Appearance of Bigger, Brighter Eyes

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With age, the skin around our eyes starts to soften, and as a result, using harsh colors or strong lines can call attention to that contrast. “It’s way more flattering—and easier to apply—if you use short, soft strokes and then softly smudge your eyeliner,” says celebrity makeup artist and author of Lazy PerfectionJenny Patinkin. Here are four other simple tips for making your eyes look bigger and brighter, especially as you get older. 

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Curl Your Lashes
“When your lashes are straight, they can cast a shadow under your eyes, but when you curl them, it lifts the shadow away so that more light can get to your eyes,” says Patinkin. “Eyelash curlers come in different shapes, and if you use the wrong shape, that’s how you can pinch your lid. For deep-set or hooded eyes, Shiseido’s curler is the best; Surratt Beauty’s is great for almond-shaped eyes; and Kevyn Aucoin’s works for a broad range of shapes.”

Try Tightlining
According to Patinkin, tightlining (applying liner under your upper lash line, right at the roots of your lashes) adds definition to the shape of your eyes and makes your lashes look thicker and darker, which makes your eyes look bigger and brighter. Her product picks to get the look? “I like to use Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner or MAC Fluidline applied with my own Pin Point Liner Brush, and Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners work great as well,” she adds.

Use Highlighter
Whether you’re wearing eye shadow on your lids or not, Patinkin says, “Dabbing something shimmery right on the center of your lid, just on top of the iris, creates a subtle reflective flash every time you blink. If I highlight the center of the lids with powder, NARS All About Eve is a go-to, but if I’m using cream, then RMS Magic Luminizer or Glossier Haloscope are my favorites.”

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Swap Out Your Basic Black Liner
“People forget about navy and gray, but the cool tones in them make the whites of the eyes look particularly clear and bright,” says Patinkin. Her must-haves: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel in Denim Ink and Laura Mercier Stormy Grey.

Know Where Your Eyelid Crease Is
Patinkin says it’s very easy to confuse where the actual “crease” is in your eyelid. And, most eye makeup tutorials use the crease as a major point of reference, so it’s important point to know. “It’s not where the skin folds; it’s where the orbital bone/socket line is—higher up than you’d think,” she explains. “If you keep your eyes open and then apply a matte taupe shade in a rainbow motion, tracking in your socket line, you’ll create the illusion that your lids are taller.”

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