Teen Makeup Series: Eye Makeup

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Teen Makeup Series: Eye Makeup

I've been working at my "real" job quite a bit lately (and then was busy with guests and such), so the teen makeup series took a back seat for a bit. Today we're getting started again, you can check out previous posts in the Teen Makeup series.

Once I've applied my face moisturizer/BB Cream, I move on to my eyes. I'll share what I do for a very basic eye look, but you should know that you can do as little or as much as you want. My personal preference for myself is some shadow, eyeliner and mascara (here's my basic everyday eye look, which is more than I ever wore as a teen).

Things to keep in mind:

a) You can go very minimal or very over the top, but it is best to use those looks for the appropriate occasions. You might love the look of a winged eye liner and blue eye shadow with glitter, but I can guarantee that you will get a few strange looks from people if that's what you're wearing to school each day. The look would be much better for going out at night.

b) In high school, there are always eyeliner girls. You know who they are, and you might even be one of them, they have thick black eye liner around both the top and bottom lash lines. Because they think it adds emphasis to their eyes and makes them look bigger. But, it doesn't. It actually makes your eyes look much smaller. What does make your eyes look bigger is blending your eye liner. Over at Maskcara there's a great post on how to blend your eyeliner, which is what I've done for years. Watch and learn! Personally, I skip eyeliner completely on my lower lash line and just use mascara there.

c) There are certain steps to eye makeup, that if you're going to do them, you need to pair them with other steps. Otherwise, you're either wasting your time or something is going to look a bit strange.
• If you're going to wear eyeshadow, take the 30 seconds to apply a shadow primer first. The primer means that your shadow will blend more easily, evenly and will last hours longer.
• If you wear eyeliner, you need to also wear mascara (at least on your top lashes). Wearing eyeliner alone looks a little strange and unfinished. Note that the reverse isn't true, you can definitely wear mascara without eyeliner, it's a very pretty look.
• If you wear mascara, you should also curl your eyelashes. The whole point of mascara is to call attention to those lashes, and that works much better with lashes that have been curled.

Teen Makeup Kit: Eyes

How I Do It (with Product Recs):

My go-to daily primer is NYX Eyeshadow Base (at ULTA, NYX, and Target). I use the nude skin tone, and it is a perfect match for my skin. I pat it on to my lid with a fingertip, you only need enough to barely cover the skin! It hides any visible blood vessels that I have and is a great primer under my shadows. Note, I use a glitter primer (from ELF) for glitter shadows.

There are some great shadows out there at a reasonable price, but I am very picky and admit that it took me much trial and error to find them. I want shadows that are well pigmented, blend well on my lid and last all day (with my NYX primer). There are some brands that make great palettes, some have really compromised their standards in those palettes. It really just depends.

My Favorite Drugstore Shadows Are:
All Wet'n'Wild Color Icon shadows, their palettes are amazing and the single shadows are also great. The big Comfort Zone palette (at WnW, Amazon) is incredibly popular for a reason. Nutty is my go-to taupe shadow (at WnW, Amazon).

Pretty much any shadow from L'Oreal is a good buy. My personal favorites are the Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Amber Rush and Iced Latte (at Amazon or ULTA), and Colour Riche Dual Effects in Absolute Taupe (at Amazon or ULTA).

Finally, I also like the CoverGirl Eye Enhancements trios and quads. My favorite is the Shimmering Sands trio (at ULTA and Amazon).

Once I have shadow on, I line my eyes. I go for a pencil, either dark brown or black. You really want to draw it *right* at the base of your lashes, I basically draw on my lashes, just pushing them around. I like to use a smudge brush over it to blur out the line a little, then it doesn't matter how perfect (or imperfect) my line is! It's also fun to experiment with dark but not black colors like dark purple, grey and green.

I mentioned this above, but I don't usually use liner on my bottom lash line. It closes the eyes in and makes them look smaller (which is the opposite of what I'm trying to do), and if you rub your eyes and it smudges... disaster! So, if I want to add emphasis I might use a mid-tone shadow with a smudge brush right at my bottom lash line (for going out) otherwise I just put mascara on those lashes. That's it!

My favorite liners: Cover Girl Queen Vivid Impact are basically dupes of the Urban Decay liner's formula, they come is some fun colors! Get them at Amazon or Walmart. For black or brown, CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus is my favorite (at Amazon).

If you are wearing liner, you definitely need to wear mascara! Mascara looks great alone as well. Mascara looks much better and makes more of an impact if you have curled your lashes first. Unfortunately, a lash curler isn't something you can skimp on. The results will be better, longer lasting and you'll have a much smaller chance of pulling out your lashes on accident (yes, really) with a better quality curler. My all time favorite curler is the Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler (from Sephora or Barneys), but that's a splurge even for my doctor friends! The other curler that I recommend is the Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler (at Sephora). Not pulling out eye lashes is worth the extra money!

In terms of actual mascara, I'm of the opinion that CoverGirl, L'Oreal and Maybelline can do no wrong. All three make great mascaras, and they're all well worth the money. My favorites (if I had to pick) are CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara (at Target or ULTA), L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara (at Amazon or ULTA) and L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara (from Target or ULTA).

Product Sent for Review, I Bought It, Affiliate Links


  1. I'm the parent of a young teen who's just starting to wear makeup. THANK YOU for backing me up on the "thick black liner all around is unflattering and makes your eyes look smaller". Thank you also for pointing out that there are perfectly good makeup options available at Target at reasonable prices - she doesn't have to spend all her birthday money at Sephora to get good products!
    My daughter and I both really love your blog and we love talking about your posts and trying the techniques and products you recommend. It's great to have something we're both interested in that we can share and talk about - it helps prevent that "teen alienation". So thanks for that too!

  2. You're so sweet! I'm so glad that my posts are good for both you and your daughter! I"m slowly working my way through the teen beauty posts (I think there will be 3 more) and there are soooo many good products at Target! I think the only product in the whole series that I'm recommending to splurge on is the eye lash curler. Because really, cheap ones are easy to get your lashes stuck in, and who wants to pull out an eye lash? NOT ME. Splurge on that, find something affordable for the rest. And save the money to spend on a good curling iron, that's a better investment! LOL


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