‘Covid Skin’ was actually a thing, in a good way.

With lockdowns in most of NSW and Vitoria, most of us had more time to spend on our skincare regime. It gave many a chance to  experiment with new areas of skincare – sales of masks, devices and tools increased – I love this!

But now we are all plump and hydrated from lots of ‘self care’ moments since last March, it’s time to let the eyes shine this summer and remind ourselves of some important eye makeup do’s and don’ts.  Plus, let’s see what’s trending in the eye-makeup category.

Eyes, but still skin

Firstly, just because I am focusing on eye-makeup here, doesn’t give anyone an excuse to forget about skin. We can’t let all that good work go to waste.

As a makeup artist across fashion, celebrity and media, skin prep is so important for the success of any makeup, as is the correct complexion product textures and shades. Your eye makeup will pop so much more if your skin is even and correct in texture and tone.

If skin is too shiny or oily,  tad blotchy with redness, or overly powdered and appearing dry, it will shift focus from the eye area. And this new season, we want the eyes to pop.

Whenever I was on the retail floor and a customer’s focus was on eye makeup, I would always directly link back to concealer and then foundation. Concealer, for some (if not too light in texture and shiny) can act as an eye-shadow base for eyelids, plus it also can correct (in a warmer shade) then brighten (in a lighter shade over the top of correct shade) any dark circles that are present. This makes the eye makeup look clear and will pop with no other colour distraction around the eyes. After the concealer chat for a customer to consider, I would link back to foundation. The face needs to be the correct shade for a uniform look – it’s so important to link relevant products to the initial customer request.

Trends

We’ve had lots of skin trends thrown around, such as glass skin and even dolphin skin. With so much love going into skin care lately, our makeup looks have become  skin focused with more love going into primers, concealers and skin that looks like skin – I am all for this.

But these glowy, glassy and metallic trends we are seeing on the skin are now so important to introduce to the eyes.  It’s crucial to consider placement and balance for eye-makeup success.

We will always have some that love the ‘over-made up, super heavy, one dark shadow eye-makeup’ look, but I feel most consumers are now wanting structure and definition, especially at the  upper outer eye line and the socket for a ‘lift’.

Many more are embracing a different tone and even a highlight/metallic shadow finish on the upper central mobile eyelid, that give a sectioned look to the eye, for ultimate dimension.

When applying a highlighted or metallic shade on the mobile eyelid, it is totally enough to only place low, close to the lashes centrally.

A highlighted/metallic finish pulls focus, so using these finishes minimally works best. That way, the other parts of the eyes, mainly the eye socket area, is matte which will give a sculpted effect.

Another trend is lashes. We’re seeing long and feathered, rather than thick and bulky.  This reminds me of eyeliner – when liner is smudged into the eye area it often opens up the eye much more than a one dimension, block liner.

With makeup as a whole giving off a ‘meant to be there’ or ‘lived in’ vibe at the moment, a softer, separated, feathered lash is more eye opening than overly chunky lashes.

I still love using individual false lashes for this exact reason over strip lashes, as they are more customised to the person’s eye look, than what can sometimes look very obvious in strip lashes.

Do’s & Don’ts for Striking Eyes

Do’s

  • Always ask the customer the level of shade density they currently wear.
  • Map out eye area and see where they need highlight to bring forward and shade to recede.
  • If someone is used to wearing a ‘one toned’ shadow combination, introduce a highlight or metallic shade in a different, contrasting shade to their eye colour for more pop.
  • Use a minimum of two shadow shades on the eye to create more dimension, preferably three shades for best results.
  • Always use matte shades where ‘lift’ is needed, usually at outer eye and socket area, this includes inner eye socket for a sculpted effect.
  • Only use highlight/metallic shades on light pop points of the eye, such as  inner tear duct, under peak of brow and mainly low on central mobile eyelid for a 3D effect.
  • Brows are a part of eye makeup, so include brushing up or filling in gaps when completing eye makeup.
  • Always discuss the benefits of creating an even skin tone to avoid eye makeup getting lost or not popping – concealer and/or foundation is needed for a high quality eye makeup look.
  • Blur primers under skin for a smooth finish and setting sprays are a godsend in warmer months to keep makeup fresher for longer.

Don’ts

  • If a customer is only used to wearing particular tones on their eyes, don’t erase these completely, use what they are used to and slowly introduce new shades to give more ‘pop’
  • Do not assume a person understands the importance of highlight and shade, as this determines ALL placement of eye shadow tones and finishes.
  • Avoid doing eye makeup under down lights or harsh overhead lighting, try to have front-facing light to get the true structure of their eyes in view.
  • Don’t apply a lot of highlight, especially metallic. Shades are better applied with fingertips to avoid flicking fallout with brushes. Don’t then allow the fingertip to place light reflecting highlight shades on areas that actually need matte tones, like a puffy or heavy eyelid for example.
  • Even though 3D eye makeup gives more structure, lift and shape to the eye, don’t forget to blend! It’s great to show colour difference, but edges are better when seamless.
  • Try not to match your eye shadow tones to your eye colour, this will give no contrast and therefore the eyes (and colour) won’t pop.
  • Don’t over makeup the brows. Instead fill in any gaps and brush up for an eye framing effect.
  • Don’t let dark circles, redness or blotchy skin take focus away from eye makeup, if possible conceal and even out for better results.

Always remember

  • Eye makeup is about balance, structure and lift.
  • The shades you choose can really make or break your look, no matter how beautifully they are applied.
  • Less is often more, but playing with light and shade and a hint of metallic is perfect for the warmer and summery festive season ahead.

This article was published in the Summer issue of Retail Beauty.

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