Most great, dramatic eyes have one thing in common: under-eye makeup, and I don’t mean concealer on your dark circles. I mean the shadow/liner/mascara along the lower lash line that rounds out all of the best smoky, slept-in, and reverse cat eyes. But am I alone in thinking that, in real life, under-eye makeup is an almost guaranteed disaster? On me, lower-lash mascara or smudged black shadow tends to make me look sad, visually dragging down my eyes (and therefore my whole face). Or it seems to advertise that my makeup unintentionally fell, because maybe I just cried or sweated it off. Not a good look. For the latter concern, there’s party-proofing. As for the former—that sagging effect—as a mere mortal, I've historically just steered clear of anything on the bottom half of my eyes, out of fear of drawing comparisons to nocturnal mammals and Basset hounds.
Well, if you must know, it’s almost my birthday. And as I’m getting older, more sophisticated (ha!), wiser (bahahaha!), and better moisturized (this one is true), I’d like my makeup to reflect this new me: capable of doing anything, including tackling those under eyes. So I put my pupils' fate in the hands of lovely Welsh makeup master Wayne Goss (the man who told us we'd been using Touche Éclat all wrong), who gave me the following advice to live by:
Get the Ratio Right: “You should always have more makeup on your upper lid than on your lower lid. My golden ratio for upper to lower application is two to one.”
Waterline, Every Time: “I don’t know about the States, but in the UK there’s this awful trend among teenage girls and women over 50 where they line just their bottom lash lines with black. It’s a very strange look—I’m not quite sure what they are trying to achieve—but it gives the appearance of someone pulling their eyelids down. Kohl is much more successful when applied to the waterline, almost inside the eye. That makes your eyes stand out, not fall.”
What to Use: “Go for products that are waterproof or really long-wearing. You don’t want a tear to mix in it and then find that your makeup is suddenly halfway down your face. I like Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners paired with Hourglass Mineral Veil, which is an amazing product for people with oily skin or people whose makeup tends to slide off their face very easily.”
Beware of Bottom-Lash Mascara: “If you’re not endowed with a lot of bottom lashes, I wouldn’t even touch bottom-lash mascara. You’re just drawing attention to a feature that isn’t great, saying ‘Look: I’ve got no lashes.’ Don’t do that. [Laughs] If you’re lucky enough to have the lashes to support the look, go for it—just make sure that the mascara is waterproof and that the wand is completely clean of excess makeup, so you don’t have clumps.”
Stand Still: “Don’t move your face when you’re putting on makeup. For example, when you are applying blush, don’t smile, because once you stop, the apples of your cheeks will lower, and suddenly your blush will be hovering right over your mouth, instead of on the tops of your cheeks. That’s actually a theater makeup trick for giving a sagging-face effect. [Laughs] The same rule applies to your eyes—try to keep them open while putting on shadow and liner. You’ll have more control over getting the results you’re looking for.”
And, for extra defense against droopy face, I will be brushing up my brows.