Our beauty writer reveals how to make your eyes sparkle and shine above your face mask
Never before has Tyra Banks’ ‘smize’ (a smile with your eyes) been more relevant than in this time of face coverings. Several times a week I find myself desperately attempting to channel all the happiness and positivity I’d normally demonstrate via my facial expression into my eyeballs. The “I wasn’t staring at you, I was admiring your beautiful coat” smile. The “don’t worry about your screaming child, I have a screaming child of my own and understand that tantrums happen” smile. The “I’m not a scary adult, I’m a nice one — don’t be scared, child!” smile. I’m not sure if I’m succeeding, but I’m certain that my make-up is helping.
A pop of colour or sparkle can go a long way to demonstrating your temperament. Who could ever think a person wearing sparkly gold eyeliner was anything but friendly? The wonderful thing about colour and glitter on the eyes is that they’re rarely difficult to apply, so anyone can get involved.
Eyeliner is a dream product in this regard, and I’ve been relying heavily on Glisten Cosmetics’ Wet Liners (€7.95) in this era of face coverings. These little pots of colour come in over 70 shades and are like watercolour paints for the face. Simply wet a liner brush (the brand has its own but any thin brush will do) and run it across the product to pick it up. The wet brush should glide across your skin, leaving a bold streak of colour. I find these incredibly easy to use, and my Instagram followers agree. Several of them have gotten in touch to say that they were nervous about it but found them very simple to apply in the end.
If the precision of a liner still feels like too much for you, I highly recommend lashing a bright colour all over your eyelid, from the lash line to the crease. Any bright shadow will do. If you’re using powder, the BPerfect Carnival XL palette (€46.95) is hard to beat for bright, high-impact colours; a wet brush will increase colour impact while a pale concealer or eyeshadow primer will punch up bright shades on darker skin.
My personal favourite for this technique is liquid or cream shadow as it is easy to keep the colour within the confines of the lid. I adore Huda Beauty’s Matte & Metal Melted Shadow in Minted (€27) used this way. I then use a blending brush along the edges of the product to smudge it and blend it out slightly. This is an easy and high-impact way to brighten the face.
If it’s sparkle you’re after, KVD Beauty’s new Dazzle Sticks (€24.50) are very easy to apply and won’t end up all over your face. These cream shadow sticks are rich and opaque, and offer sparkle rather than full chunky glitter, for the sophisticates among us.
However, if you want to sparkle more than Santa’s Grotto (me, I do), then a proper loose glitter may be what you require. I love NYX Cosmetics’ Metallic Glitter, and MAC’s Galactic Glitter (€18.95) comes in a great range of shades. Eyelash glue works as a safe, effective base for glitter, so apply it first where you want the glitter to go, then use your finger to press the sparkle on top of it. Once it dries, it shouldn’t budge. If you end up with glitter on unwanted sections of your face, use some sellotape to remove it!
Cleaning make-up brushes isn’t exactly a task that many of us relish, but it is something we should be doing on a regular basis. Irish brand MuMe’s brush cleansers take the hard work out of this necessary job. Cleanse your brushes as you use them with the Daily Brush Cleansing spray (€13.50), and then do the big job with their solid cleanser (€12.95). Simply wet your brush, swirl it across the cleanser and rinse. Vegan options are available, the products are cruelty-free, and refills are available. I’m a huge fan.
There are few things more classic than a black flick on the eyelid, and Chanel’s Signature de Chanel Intense Longwear Eyeliner Pen (€40) has been a favourite of perfectors of this look for many years. Its intense black pigment lasts fantastically, and the sharp nib makes its precise application relatively easy.
... something new
I have turned to Rimmel many times over the years for liquid eyeliner because, despite the price tag, their products frequently compete at the highest level. The brand’s latest eyeliner pen, Wonder Ink, is definitely one of them. It’s black, matte, easy to apply and lasts really well. For €9.50, you can’t go wrong.