Last week, I had my makeup done for the Skin Cancer Foundation Gala where I was a guest of honor and speaker.
Sitting robed and restless in a N.Y.C. salon two hours before the event, I worked on putting the final touches on my speech and my face in the hands of a staff makeup artist (difficult for a control freak like me but I needed rehearsal time ). She asked what look I wanted. “Bigger more dramatic eyes that would connect with the audience from the stage but not smudge if I got a little teary.”
When I finally looked up and into the mirror, my eyes were smoky and huge, highlighted with gold and fringed with individual fake lashes -- perfect for the over-the-top mood of a black tie party, but just not me. I did a quick fix in the ladies’ room, taking it down a notch with Q-tips and powder, pulled off the falsies, and had a great time.
Most women know that a well-done, clean eye makeup enhances their looks and their communication skills. Check out the current makeup of news anchors and women in the political arena -- eye makeup, not lips, are the focal point of the face.
Neutral shades work for everyone, are hard to overdo, and convey confidence whether you’re wrangling a settlement in divorce court, nailing that final bid for a new condo, or attending your college reunion. Experimenting beyond your comfort zone keeps you looking modern and contemporary but it does not have to be complicated.
Rethink and refresh your basics with one or all of these eye makeup changes. They’re easy and get the balance of news and flattery just right.
1. Get a Neutral Shimmer Eyeshadow
Subdued low-watt metallics make eyes sparkle better than flat earthtones. Try an “evolved” brown like Bobbi Brown Metallic EyeShadow in Brown Stone (a silvery beige brown) or Burnt Sugar (a deep golden brown, both $20 at bobbibrowncosmetics.com). Use a flat firm brush to blend shimmer shadow lash to crease on your upper lids — then use whatever residue remains on the brush to trace a subtle haze beneath your lower lashes. For a quickie alternative, try Clinique Touch Tint For Eyes Shimmer Formula in Sable Shimmer ($15 at clinique.com), a sheer cream. What if you can’t ditch your stash of brown powder shadows? Simply add more depth and dimension by layering on a sheer shimmer topcoat like BareMinerals Glimmer Eyeshadow in Bare Skin ($13 at sephora.com)
2. Use a Super-Skinny Eyeliner
For intense definition without an obvious line, get a super-skinny automatic pencil that darkens the ridge where lash roots meet lids. Tarte EmphasEyes High Definition Eye Pencil in Brown or Black ($18 at Sephora.com) is the finest, glides on easily, won’t give you a hard, retro look, and requires no smudging or blending. For a slightly more emphatic line try MAC Technakohl Liner ($14.50 Sephora.com, MAC counters). Work these fine-tipped liners slowly in tiny back and forth strokes along the upper lashline.
3. Get a Truly Fattening Black Mascara
Racing ahead of all the new lash lifters with spinning, angled, and fiber-filled brushes you don’t need are two definitive winners you do. Choose Dior DiorShow Black Out Mascara in Waterproof ($24 Sephora.com or Dior counters) or CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara ($6.88 at drugstores). One coat is all you need and black is the eye-popping color you want. Nestle the wand close as possible to the base of your curled lashes and slowly wiggle it up to the tips.