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How to boost your Specs appeal

I thought differently a couple of seconds later . . . after I had heard the crunch.

If that little story sounds familiar or sends a shiver of horror down your spine, it's a fair bet that you're a fellow glasses wearer, in the same club as myself and 30 Rock's Tina Fey, Hilary Duff and Criminal Minds' Kirsten Vangsness.

Wearing glasses can sometimes be a pain in the proverbial, but, on the plus side, it helps to focus attention on your eyes. As long as you keep your specs clean and don't allow them to slip down your nose, they do a beautiful job of framing your eyes.

Of course, the need to wear glasses presents its own particular challenges when it comes to eye make-up -- and not only because mistakes are more noticeable thanks to the extra attention glasses draw to the eye area. Improperly applied, it can make small eyes look minuscule and large eyes distinctly owlish behind lenses.

It's a make-up minefield, but before you throw in the towel and consign all your eyeshadows and eyeliners to the bin, have a read of this guide to make-up especially for glasses wearers.

Having glasses doesn't change one of the fundamental rules of make-up application, which is that you should choose colours that complement your eye colour and skin tone.

Blue eyes like Meryl Streep? Browns and taupes are grand on blue eyes, but to make your baby blues stand out try versions that veer into peachy or golden territories. Bronzes can also be really gorgeous on blue eyes.

Green or hazel eyes like Hilary Duff and Demi Moore (although Moore's eyes are heterochromatic, so she has one of each). Plums and purples will really make green and hazel eyes pop. If your skin is ruddy or the whites of your eyes are less than sparkling bright, steer clear of shades that have very red undertones, as they can make eyes look pink and tired. Greys look great on green and hazel-eyed gals too, while the best metallic shade for them is copper.

Brown eyes like Jessica Alba? Bronzes, browns and greens, especially golden greens, should be your go-to shades. For a smoky eye with a twist, try blues and navys.

Light or bright shades of eyeshadow and those with a shimmery finish tend to make eyes look bigger, so they're good if you're short-sighted as your lenses can be inclined to minimise your eyes. However, they're not great on long-sighted ladies: your lenses tend to magnify the eyes anyway, so stick with more muted tones. The good news is you can get away with darker, more dramatic eyeshadow shades than your short-sighted sisters.

For best effect, glasses wearers should use a minimum of two and ideally three shades of their chosen eyeshadow colour. The simplest way to do this is to work from an eyeshadow palette which already contains a few variations on a colour theme; most brands offer these products in a choice of colourways.

Take the lightest shade right across your eyelid, graduating to the medium shade in the centre of the lid and towards the outer corner, and using the darkest shade at the very outer corner.

Short-sighted girls need to be careful just to use a small amount of the darkest shade to define the eye socket, otherwise eyes can appear to recede. If you're long-sighted, use the darkest shade more liberally across the crease of the eyelid and into the eye socket. This will make eyes appear deep-set and help offset the magnifying effect of your lenses.

The secret to creating a flawless finish is to start with a light hand, build colour up gradually, and then blend, blend, blend -- you want to ensure that there are no hard edges of colour.

> Only got five minutes?

1> HIDE anD seek Start with concealer: any shadows that your frames cast on your face will make naked dark circles appear far more severe than they really are.

3> LINE UP Eyeliner will add definition to your eyes. While it's tricky to get right, practice really does make perfect, so keep trying! A slick of coloured eyeliner is an easy way to work some subtle colour into your look; just add a thin line of your usual dark liner along the lashline, too, for that all-important definition.

Newcomers to the world of liquid liner should try dotting it along their lashline and then simply connect the dots.

If you're short-sighted, try to incorporate a cat's eye flick at the outer corner of your eye. This will help to make the eye appear larger and create the illusion that it's almond shaped. Using a creamy white eye pencil on the inner rim of the lower lashline can open up the eye, too.

If you're long-sighted, avoid black liners which can appear too harsh under your lenses. Try browns, greys, or navys instead, in a pencil or powder formulation which you can smudge for a softer effect.

4> FLUTTER TIME Curl your lashes. This will help to make your eyes look wide open, even if you feel less than wide awake.

5> LASH OUT Take care to avoid clumping when applying your mascara, and use Tweezerman's Folding Eyelash Comb, from €8 from online stockists and available in pharmacies nationwide, to remove any clumps that do appear.


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