Let’s call a spade a spade here. As we get older our eyes begin to sag – but thankfully eye make-up can compensate by creating the illusion of ‘lift’.
Much of this can be achieved using your trusty old eyeliner, although a few other make-up tips help, too. (See below.)
It’s not difficult to do. As international MUA Louise Constad explains, ‘Once your eyes start to droop, your eyeliner then needs to extend a little past the end of the eye so it doesn’t disappear into the wrinkle. You also have to give it an upward flick to add the illusion of lift.’
There’s a technique to suit nearly everyone. Begin near the inner corners and draw outwards, always making the start of the line as thin as possible. If you like a heavier-looking eyeline, you can gradually thicken it as you draw. Tip: If eyeliner makes your eyes seem too close together, begin the line nearer to the middle of your eye to create the effect of more space.
There should be no gap between your eyelashes and your eyeliner. If you can see skin between them, adjust your technique by looking downwards into the mirror and use one finger to lift your eyelid slightly so you can get your pencil or brush tip closer to the lashes. Tip: If you have hooded eyes on which eyeliner doesn’t usually show, try a ‘tightlining’ technique instead. This means lining underneath, rather than above, your upper lashes, again achieved through the the technique of lifting your eyelid slightly. Tightlining creates the effect of a naturally thicker, denser lash base.
As for creating that perfect flick in the outer corners, Louise says, ‘‘The best way to do this is by using your lower lashline as a starting point to the flick. Draw a pencil line from where your lower eyeliner should end and take the line upwards towards the end of your crease. That’s the trick. Then, when you apply your liner along the upper lashline, you simply join it up.’
As Louise explains, ‘Eyeliner was originally created to define eye shape by making the base of the lashes look thicker and darker, but the flick was designed to resemble the shadow made by curled lashes at the outer corners. It’s an illusion that helps make your eyes look more lifted. It’s also why eyelash curlers help lift your eyes as well and make them look more open.’
Other ways of adding ticks, flicks and ‘lift’ with eyeliner is by using clever products. Try Rimmel Wonder Wing Eyeliner, £5.99 a two-in-one liner with a wing-shaped stamp that you simply place (or ‘stamp’) on the outer corners instead of drawing on the tick freehand. Ciate Chisel Eye Liner, £16, can also be used to ‘stamp’ on the shape of your flick. Alternatively, if you can find it, Kiss Wing It, £7.99 from Amazon, comes with a choice of brilliant stencils that you can follow for different sizes and styles of flick.
Worth bearing in mind as well is that, depending on the shape of your eyes, lining the entire lower lid can have the effect of narrowing and ‘closing’ them. It’s therefore sometimes best not to line the lower lid at all, or to at least line only the outer third, preferably using a softer, lighter and/or smudgier colour than the one you’ve used on the upper lid. So, instead of using black eyeliner, sludgy brown or grey may work better.
Finally, if you’ve used pencil liner, once you’re happy with the effect, set it with matching eyeshadow powder so that it resists smudging and lasts as long as possible.
5 more ways to lift your eyes…
1. Draw attention upwards with a high clean eyebrow arch that should peak above the outer edge of your iris as you look directly forwards into the mirror. Use a highlighter concealer pen underneath it to add extra lift and light.
2. Apply highlighter concealer also to undereye troughs and shadows, as well as to dark inner corners, to ‘lift and rejuvenate the entire area.
3. Apply illuminator around the V of the inner corners as well to make your eyes seem wider apart.
4. Restore the contour and definition of your natural crease by adding darker brown eyeshadow slightly above your natural socket line so that it can still be seen when your eyes are open. Keep it mainly to the outer third, fading it up and outwards toward the end of your brow.
5. Focus mascara on the outer two-thirds of your eyelashes to help open up ageing eyes – and always use lash curlers.
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