The Trick to Making Your Eyes Look Bigger

Woman applying mascara
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Ever look at those pictures of celebrities before makeup and after? My favorite celebrity is Gwyneth Paltrow and I was thrilled one day to see her without makeup. Her eyes just disappeared. Yet in photos, she has luminous eyes. So what's the secret?

There are actually several. To get huge eyes try these tricks:

Curl Eyelashes

If you don't have naturally long, perfect eyelashes, curling them before applying mascara will really open up your eyes. You can actually curl lashes AFTER mascara is applied, as long as your mascara is dried (a good tip to know if you want to curl your lashes later in the day without removing your mascara). I usually blast the eyelash curler for three seconds with a hair dryer for extra staying power. Just test the metal to ensure it's not too hot before you clamp down on your upper lash.

Invest in a Great Mascara

I never leave the house without mascara. Eyeshadow? Meh. Lipstick? Sometimes. But mascara, never, ever, ever. Nothing opens up the eyes more than a few swipes of a great mascara.

It's important to choose a great one. I sometimes go for more drama at night with a super thickening formula (Lancome's Hypnose, for example) and stick with a basic lengthening mascara for daytime.

I believe in investing in a good mascara, but if you are on a budget, you can find a decent mascara at the drugstore.

What to Do with the Bottom Lashes?

Many makeup experts avoid mascara on the lower lashes because they believe it actually closes up the eyes. This is true for some women, but for others, mascara and eyeliner on the lower lashes can make a dramatic difference. Try it out for yourself and see if you like it.

To apply mascara on lower lashes, hold the brush vertically, then sweep it back and forth. If you wear eyeliner on the lower lashes, try a pencil eyeliner, which tends to be softer. Then smudge the line with your finger so it looks more natural than a straight line.

Don't Be Afraid of False Eyelashes

Individual false lashes are exotic, gorgeous and can look natural if applied correctly. Large cities offer "lash bars" in the hottest department stores. (Henri Bendel, Bergdorfs and more, for example) but I expect the counters at most department stores will have experts in false lashes. Ask at yours.

Don't want to go to the department store? Drugstores carry false eyelashes. If they're too long, you can trim them with scissors.

Why White Shadow Is the Makeup Artist's Secret

When I go out for the evening, I always put a bit of light eyeshadow right at the inside ridge of my eye, where the upper lid meets the bottom lid, near the tear duct. It's amazing how that bit of white brightens my eyes and makes them look whiter. This is an old beauty secret of makeup artists and if you look closely at photos of celebrities on red carpets you can see that tell-tale light shade in the inside corner of their eyes.

For a doe-eyed, seductive look, makeup artist Paul Starr suggests in Harper's Bazaar that you try lining your lower lids with a creamy beige eye pencil.

Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat: Another Makeup Artist Secret

A few years ago, when everyone was going ga-ga for Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat calling it the "best concealer ever," I bought it thinking I'd use it to conceal any spots on my face.

I hated it. It hardly concealed anything and I couldn't see what the big deal was. I went back to the store to return it when the women at the counter told me it's actually supposed to be used as a highlighter, not a concealer. She did me up and I was blown away by how awake I looked. It's now a beauty staple in my arsenal and I use it every time I go out.

To use: Dot along the brow bone just below the brow and blend in. You can also dot along the bottom of the eye and even above the brow bone. One trick with Touche Eclat is to fill in the shadows that naturally occur when you tuck your chin and look into the mirror. Tuck your chin, look into the mirror and swipe a line of Touch Eclat where the shadows lie. Blend the lines with a tip of the finger.

Keep Your Brows Manicured

You'd be amazed at how manicured brows can transform your face. I've seen it happen with so many women. They think their brows are fine even though they never get them tweezed or waxed. Perhaps they're afraid of over-tweezing or they are unsure of what shape is right for their eyes. They don't realize how much better they could look until I convince them to get their brows done. Wow.

It's perhaps my single most important advice to you: Get thee to a professional for waxing, tweezing or threading and then keep it up with touch-ups with your own tweezers by following the "map" they create.

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