The Doe-Eyed Look That Makes My Eyes POP

Here's how to make your eyes look bigger and brighter in less than five minutes.
Publish date:
July 30, 2014
nars, How-To, eyeko, eye makeup, Smashbox, doe-eyed, makeup tutorial, Senna Cosmetics

One recent Throwback Thursday I went looking at photos of myself from 2007 and noticed that my eye makeup and haircut are pretty much exactly the same now as they were then. But I mean, if something works, you might as well stick with it, right?

I feel like my doe-eyed eye makeup look "works." It's slightly retro, with a bit of a cat-eye flick and ticked-on lower lashes, but it highlights my eye color and adds definition to my slightly almond, deep set eyes. That said, I've certainly improved upon my everyday doe-eyed look over the years, thanks to some tips and techniques I've picked up from makeup artists.

Of course I'm going to share all of that with you. Here's my step-by-step guide to bigger, brighter, more defined eyes.


(I used the products in the above photo and at right.)

- Eye shadow primer

- Eye shadow in the following colors: light shimmery taupe (with sheen), medium shimmery Champagne, matte dark brown

- Definition brush with long, fluffy bristles

- Small shadow brush with soft brushes (try this one)

- Waterproof black eyeliner pencil (I used Essence's Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof in Black Baze, which is available in August, but I also recommend Smashbox's Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Raven.)

- Fine felt-tipped black liquid eyeliner

- Eyelash curler

- Lengthening mascara

STEP 1: Primer, Medium Champagne Shadow

I start out by applying primer all over my lid and up to my brow bone. Next, I apply the Champagne shade (palette above, second shade from the left, bottom row) using the fluffy long-bristle brush, sweeping it all over my eyelid and upward along my crease in a circular motion. This application helps blend the color softly to avoid harsh lines. The top photo below shows my eyes after this step.

STEP 2: Matte Dark Brown Shadow

This step is shown in the latter half of the above photo. Using the same brush as in step one, I brush on the darkest shadow (palette above, far right shade, top row) in the same circular motion. I like to keep the dark shade close to the outer edges to give my eyes a lifted effect, which amounts to a more feline shape that makes my eyes look bigger.

STEP 3: Light Taupe Shadow

To really open up my eyes and add shine, I use the smaller brush to apply the lightest, shimmery taupe color (palette above, far left shade, bottom row) to the center of my eyelid. A makeup artist taught me to do this--it really helps catch the light and accentuate eye color.

I'm all done with eye shadow at this point. Yay! Easy, right?

STEP 4: Eyeliner Pencil

I always line my upper waterline and between my lashes with black pencil before I use liquid. It defines the lash line to make my lashes look thicker and longer. I use the pencil on the outer two-thirds of my lash line, following the path of the eye shadow in my crease to give the effect of larger eyes.

Definitely use a waterproof pencil to avoid bleeding. I really love the Essence gel liner that's mentioned above. I highly recommend picking it up when it's available this August. It's only $3!

STEP 5: Liquid Liner

Eyeko seriously knows what they're doing in this department. They're an eye-focused brand and they've truly perfected the felt-tip liner. Their Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner is extremely black, precise, and smudge-proof. Two thumbs up.

I line along the outer two-thirds of my upper lash line and extend out in an upward line to create a slight flick. I don't like big, extravagant wings for daytime. I prefer a line that is just a natural extension of my eye shape with a bit of a lift. I also add a few tiny ticks along my lower lash line for a Twiggy sort of vibe.

Last, I curl my lashes and apply two coats of mascara. Eyeko's Alexa Chung Eye Do Lash Enhancing Mascara is a glossy black that has lots of proteins and vitamins to nourish your lashes, and the brush lengthens and separates to make your eyes look so fluttery and doll-like.

It might seem like a bit of work, but I've got this down to such a science that I can finish my eyes in about two minutes these days. And I think the effort and the practice is worth it, especially when it makes a noticeable difference.

What's your everyday eye look, and how long does it take? Also, what techniques or products make your eyes POP?