Eye Makeup for Beginners – Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Eye Makeup

What’s the first thing you look at when you look at someone’s face? Their eyes, right? We all, at least most of us, instinctively first see the eyes. Now I’m not saying that that’s why you should apply eye makeup. It’s just that women have more color variation very naturally around the eyes, so makeup can really enhance that appearance.

Many women also wear eye makeup to make the eyes look smaller/bigger, more youthful, etc. So whatever your reasons, it’s time to finally learn how to apply eye makeup – Eye Makeup for Beginners Complete Guide.

The application of not just shadow but also liner, mascara, etc. is very intimidating at first. So, at such times, if you have the right set of tools, techniques, and products, you can learn the beautiful art of painting your eyes and creating all those attractive eye makeup looks you find so desirable!

And this complete guide is here just for that. With step-by-step instructions at every step of the way, be it putting on eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, etc., you can actually boost your confidence levels as a beginner. And this means eventually acquiring the required skills for experimenting with all sorts of eye makeup trends!

So let’s start from the most basic thing…

Understanding the Shape of Your Eye First

Eye Makeup

The first part of every such tutorial should be explaining the anatomy of your eyes. It’s the most essential thing simply because you get to know what the exact terms are for all the different sections of the eye. You can then locate these parts, which helps when applying eye makeup in the right place.

The Outer “V” Shape

Imagine there’s a line starting from the end of the upper lashes till the crease. And then imagine this line connecting with another crease line, thus forming that sideways “V” shape.

The Inner and Outer Corners

The former is where your tear ducts are present, the inner area of your eye.

The outer corner is the eye’s outer section of course.

The Waterline

That inner rim present between your lashes and eye.

The Upper and Lower Lash Lines

Where the eyelashes grow on the upper eyelid is the upper lash line.

And the area just under and below the lower lashes is your lower lash line.

The Crease

The section that slightly sinks in, that has a natural indentation above the eyelid is the crease. Touch the section right above the eyelid with your finger, just at the eye socket and above the eyeball. Generally, that’s the natural crease spot, which falls along the bone horizontally.

The Brow Bone

It’s the visible bone area located below the eyebrow. And that means between your crease and brow.

Getting Started with Essential Eye Makeup Brushes/Tools

Simple eye makeup for daily use requires the right products at your disposal to make the application more convenient and quicker. And this includes brushes and tools not just for applying makeup easily but also blending it like a pro!

So if you’re new to this whole scene of wearing eye makeup, put together the perfect eye makeup application kit with the following items…

Eye Makeup Brushes

Sure you can do almost everything you want with a simple eyeshadow brush or a basic angled eye or blending brush. And even with your go-to eyeliner pencil! But then it’s always better to own more, different types of brushes that allow you to easily and more confidently try new looks and techniques.

And when you have this variety handy, you don’t even have to always clean every brush after every application. You know what I mean? After all, let’s admit that we’re all lazy or just don’t have the time to clean makeup brushes, let alone eye makeup brushes!

Also, more brushes equal to using more than just one shadow color on the lids!

So what are some basic eye makeup brushes for beginners? The list includes a regular eyeshadow brush, another eyeshadow brush but a smaller one this time, at least 2 blending brushes for eyeshadow, angled brush, and smudger brush.

These, and this goes without saying, should be high quality if you really care about intricacy, consistency, and your eye makeup going on the most evenly during the application process.

Eyelash Curler

Now, why is this essential? Every eye makeup toolkit is incomplete without a lash curler. Think of this particular product as your very own push-up bra. The eyelash curler will lift your eyelashes to make them appear longer, more defined.


You are a beginner, right? This means mistakes are certainly going to be made, even experts falter sometimes. And what better than Q-tips at this point to very conveniently, quickly, and un-messily clean it all up, especially eyeliner blunders.

Eyeshadow Primer

If you want your eye makeup look to stay put throughout your long day or a special occasion/event, then applying a good eye primer is not optional, to be honest (it’s mandatory!).

This makeup product has become such a must-have that now there are eyeshadow primers for oily lids too, so no more creasing, fading, etc. You can also get eye primers that don’t set into fine lines and wrinkles anymore, meaning those specially formulated for mature, aging skin.

Whatever the case, what an eyeshadow primer does best is make those shadow colors pop by adding more vibrancy to them.

Translucent Powder

Not really convinced to use an eye primer? If so, how about just some translucent powder then? This comes on after applying concealer and then foundation to the eye area. And it sets your makeup alright, without adding any color or cover.

Sheer, colorless translucent powder knows how to control shine i.e. oily lids and it gives your complexion a very natural-looking matte finish.

  • Pencil Brush: For all those times you want to apply some eyeshadow in your lower lash line.
  • Flat Eyeliner Brush: Obviously, this one’s for liner application.
  • Large Eyeshadow Brush: Full lid application becomes much easier with a large-sized eyeshadow brush.
  • Blending Brush (Rounded): To blend your crease area, this works like a charm!
  • Blending Brush (Small and Tapered): You can add more depth/definition into the outer corner and crease of your eyes using a small tapered blending brush.

Simple, Complete Eye Makeup Tutorial for Beginners – Eye Makeup Step by Step

How to Apply EyeLiner

First of all, you should wear eyeliner before your eyeshadow comes on. Because in case something goes wrong when applying the former, the mistake won’t seem so dramatic plus it’ll be easier to fix.

Secondly, not every woman wears liner I know yet you can still learn how to put on eyeliner since it’s the most basic part of doing eye makeup. With liner, it becomes possible to change the shape and size of the eyes. Even filling in scanty-looking lashes is something that many women do with the help of eyeliner.

No doubt, what type (texture) of liner you use also matters. For instance, the gel-based form is the most suitable for older women since it glides on easily without stretching delicate, wrinkled, aging skin. But, on the whole, liner looks great both smudged or when clearly defined.

Now here are the step-by-step instructions…

  • On clean, primed eyelids, start applying the eyeliner by keeping the line the closest as possible to your upper lash line. And always tilt or angle your face during application. Meaning face up but keep your eyes looking down into the mirror. This helps in achieving symmetry.
  • Since you’re a beginner, first try making dots (in a line) across from outer eye to inner corner and then slowly connect those dots. Using a stiff angled brush really helps for blending the dots to create an effortless, flowy, soft line.
  • The liner you use should have a thin, blunt tip for precision and that perfect shape.
  • What about winging your eyeliner? Needless to say, for this, choose a liquid-based liner. Begin on your pupil lash line all the way to the corner.
  • And once again, since you’re new at this, use pencil eyeliner first for lining your eyes, so it becomes easier to trace over this line with the liquid liner.

BUT please skip liquid if you don’t have the luxury of time for your eye makeup!

  • Pencil eyeliners, on the other hand, are the most fitting choice for a smoky eye makeup look since the texture here is creamier and softer. Plus, you can easily smudge it with the help of a smudger brush.

How to Apply Mascara

Mascara works like a magic wand, it can really make your eyes look more youthful and brighter. No doubt, wearing mascara adds drama and totally transforms the appearance of the eyes!

And please note that mascara is a step that comes after eyeshadow.

So here’s how to apply mascara like a pro!

  • Before application, get rid of excess mascara by wiping it off the wand using tissue. This makes the task of applying it easier, manageable, and clump-free.
  • Another thing, curl those eyelashes of yours with an eyelash curler. Pinch the curler at the last base of the lash, make sure you’re holding it tight and rotating upwards.
  • You should always start with mascara from your lash roots moving upward to their tips. This technique of applying mascara increases the volume of your eyelashes instantly without weighing them down.
  • Apply this one coat, wait for around 10 seconds, and then apply the second coat. Why the double coat? So your lashes avoid looking clumpy.
  • There’s a proper way to hold the mascara – the wand should be held horizontally if you want thicker lashes. While for a more natural-looking appearance, hold it vertically. The latter is also suitable for when using mascara on lower lashes.
  • As for how to make mascara last longer? No need to pump the mascara wand when pulling that out. Because when you do this, what’s happening is that air is entering inside and drying out the product. Instead, swirl for preventing the mascara from getting invaded by air.

How to Apply Eyeshadow Step by Step for Beginners

For depth and dimension, nothing works better than eyeshadow. But only when applied correctly! When done right, it can actually make the eye color look more accentuated and the eye shape/size bigger.

To help you get started, let me first list down the 4 essential, beginner-friendly eye makeup brushes you’ll need in your kit…

  • A fluffy, wide-domed eyeshadow brush (covers the whole lid with color).
  • A small tapered blending brush (perfect for blending).
  • An angled blending brush (for blending in those difficult-to-reach spots in the inner/outer corners).
  • And a stiff angled eyeliner brush (defines and emphasizes the lash line).

Now I don’t want to make it seem like a basic, multipurpose eyeshadow brush just won’t work. Of course, it does. Only make sure it’s oval-shaped to pack on more pigments (one of the best ways to make your eyeshadow look more pigmented) and is designed with longer bristles to pave the way for smooth blending.

In short, such an eyeshadow brush allows you to experiment with all kinds of looks. And no need to switch from one brush to another either!

Now time to learn how to put on eyeshadow perfectly like an expert!

Step #1 – Priming Your Eyes

The staying power and opacity of your eyeshadow color increases when you prime the eyes. Eyeshadow or eye primers make sure the shadow lasts longer by preventing the color pigments, despite moisture, heat, oil, etc., from fading or sliding off the lids.

Much like facial primers, an eye primer keeps your eye makeup in place.

For application, take a very small amount and sweep this primer gently over the whole eyelid with the ring finger (perfectly light and irritation-free for eye makeup). Sweep it upward as well till the brow bone, around your inner corner, and along the lower lash line (in that case, there are under-eye primers too!).

Step #2 – Building the Base

How to go about adding color now? With eyeshadow looks, most of them, you work with 4 different shades. This includes neutral for the lids, medium for the crease, dark for the outer corner, and then light for highlighting the inner corner plus brow bone.

So the first layer, that’s the base, is the neutral eyeshadow color. Sweep this across your lid using a wide eyeshadow brush. The natural tone you choose should be the closest to your actual skin complexion. Or you could opt for a darker shade if you want smoky eyes or lighter shimmer colors to create a more glamorous look.

For example, these cool-toned eyeshadow palettes if your natural skin undertone is more green. Those light-skinned or fair-skinned prefer pink-ish eyeshadow shades while darker and medium skin tones seem to look great in beige or gold colors.

Many women also pick their eyeshadow palettes based on their eye color. So grey, gold, purple, and green for brown eyes. Yellow, orange, red, and purple for blue eyes. As for green eyes, grey, purple, yellow, and red seem like the most suitable options.

Step #3 – Defining Your Crease

Time to define that crease, so the entire eye makeup gets more definition to make those eyes look bigger and wider. Remember to keep the eyeshadow pigments light at first, you can always build up on it later if needed.

Choose a contrasting shade darker than usual. Meaning go for a heavier approach when defining your crease. And use an angled or fluffy crease brush for application.

For a more natural-looking appearance, dip that brush into a medium eyeshadow color. Close the eye, then apply your shadow along the area where the lid meets the brow bone i.e. the crease. This gives you a burst of color, and not just a thin and hard line.

Those with hooded or deep-set eyes, do the same thing but with the eyes open. Because this way, you can see where that medium crease shade is the most visible, which is the eyelid on your lower portion of the brow bone.

For more definition to the shape of your eyes, with an angled brush, apply a dark color into the outer corner. So you’re forming a “V” between your lash line and outer crease.

Step #4 – Blending & Defining

The most neglected step of them all, blending!

If you want your eyeshadow shades to work together (where one color flows very naturally into the other), then perfect the art of blending (for which, there are separate blending brushes indeed).

Make sure the brush is cleaned before use. Now, using this blending brush, diffuse the eyeshadow shades you added to your outer V and crease. Keep at it gently till the colors seamlessly blend into the lid, which is a very important part when creating some really colorful eyeshadow looks.

Over-blending, at this point, shouldn’t be of any concern to you. Because if that happens, you can easily then, with the help of that crease brush again, pat a little bit of shadow onto your eyelid. And then once more, blend, blend, and blend some more!

As soon as you get that perfectly smooth eyeshadow texture, move on to defining the lash line. Decide between the pencil or liquid eyeliner. Decide between stopping right at the end of the lash line or creating a winged look. Then, using an angled eyeliner brush dipped in dark or medium shadow (decide between that too), set the liner.

And if you’re not so keen on eye-lining with pencil or liquid, just take that angled liner brush with color and sweep it across both the upper lash line and lower lash line (soft, subtle line).

Step #5 – Highlighting Away

You’re almost reaching the end of your eye makeup routine. The final step is to use a lighter shade under your brow. What this does is make the eyes POP! Some even apply this kind of highlighter into the inner corners for giving tired eyes a more cheerful look.

So choose a light-colored eyeshadow, mostly matte, for a fresh and natural daytime look. And if you want more drama, then opt for a shimmery finish instead of matte. A normal face highlighter also works by the way to add the same shine!

For application, apply the highlighter shade along the brow bone i.e. right under your eyebrow arch. This makes the face look wide-awake by creating the appearance of lifted eyes.

And if your eyes look really tired, don’t fret to dot this highlighter along even those inner corners. Both techniques, no doubt, make the eyes look more alert, bigger, and brighter.

In the end, blend out harsh edges, and that’s about it!

You can apply your mascara now (instructions already discussed) and even define the eyebrows if you want.

What About Removing Eye Makeup?

What is the correct way to remove eye makeup? There are two most common methods…

How to Remove Eye Makeup with Eye Makeup Remover

A high-quality, non-irritating eye makeup remover is a must if you’re fond of putting on eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, etc. Because face wash does not and will not remove eye makeup, at least the majority of them.

On the contrary, rubbing the highly sensitive and delicate area around your eyes with your face wash only leads to dryness and the loss of lashes.

Instead, follow the correct instructions listed below…

  • Use a wet wipe for removing all the makeup on your eyes. Make sure to wipe it all off gently with minimum pressure, and no rubbing.
  • Now add some of that eye makeup remover on cotton and wipe your eyes with it.

Coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil also works as eye makeup remover alternatives. Even Vaseline petroleum jelly works when it comes to taking off eye makeup!

  • And then wash the face with a gentle cleanser. If you have hyperpigmentation, then use an even milder face wash.
  • Use some toner post-cleansing for closing the pores.
  • Next, moisturize. And then finally, apply a little bit of under-eye cream for some relief.

How to Remove Eye Makeup WITHOUT Eye Makeup Remover

You can opt for baby shampoo too if you don’t have or don’t wish to use an eye makeup remover.

  • Splash water over your eyes.
  • Now, using the rich lather produced by baby shampoo, gently wash the eyes (to-and-fro or circular motion).
  • Splash water once again for getting rid of all that soap content.
  • You can repeat, meaning wash the eyes again with the baby shampoo, if needed.
  • Then cleanse your whole face with a mild, pH-balanced, skin-friendly face wash.
  • After that, use toner for closing the pores. Apply moisturizer and then your under-eye cream (this keeps dark circles and eye bags at bay).

Naturally, an eye makeup remover is more effective than baby shampoo in the case of eye makeup products that stay on for a longer time.

How to Avoid Creasing of Eye Makeup?

If you don’t want your lovely eye makeup to crease, no matter why it’s creasing, then just use a primer (mattifying primer, to be more specific) before you apply the eyeshadow or any eye makeup.

Also, your makeup stays crease-free for longer if you choose cream-based shadows and not powdered ones.

How to Instantly Fix Eye Makeup Mistakes?

Your eye makeup toolkit is incomplete without Q-tips. These are super-handy when it comes to correcting overdrawn liner strokes. And you can also spray some makeup remover on a Q-tip to fix any eyeshadow blunders.

How to Make Eyelashes Look Fuller?

A combination of volumizing mascara and eyelash curler – this, no doubt, is a short-term fix of course. For a more long-term solution, try applying castor oil or olive oil to the lashes. Just make sure the oil doesn’t enter your eyes!

How to Cover or Hide Under-Eye Bags?

The word you’re looking for is ‘conceal’. You can conceal your under-eye bags with the help of, as you might be able to guess, a concealer. But apply this concealer below the under-eye bags, and not on them since this only makes them stand out even more.

As for how to hide bags under eyes without makeup, use a good night cream. Along with keeping your body and skin hydrated by drinking lots of water on a daily basis and making sure that you’re getting your “beauty” sleep.

Are You Now Ready to Try Out Your First Eye Makeup Look?

Eye makeup looks very attractive when done right, there’s just no denying that. It can make your eyes look younger, brighter, bigger, and more awake and radiant overall.

At the same time, there’s also no denying that applying eye makeup (liner, shadow, mascara, etc.) seems quite intimidating at first. It’s not easy or quick, especially if you’re a noob at this! But the good news is that there are instructions that you can follow – easy, straightforward instructions. And I’ve made it a point to add them all here in this guide!

The general rule is to apply your eye primer first, then eyeliner, then your choice of eyeshadow, and finally curl and mascara those lashes. Easier said than done, but keep practicing till you perfect it. And believe me, you will perfect it!

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