Makeup is an art form and your face is the canvas. With certain techniques and the right contouring, products and patience you can turn yourself into a scaly dragon, a gory zombie or even your favorite celeb. Using makeup as an optical illusion is also a great way to enhance your everyday makeup through hacks and tricks to expertly overline your lips or make your eyes look bigger.
Whether you have small eyes and want to make your eyes appear wider, or you want to try the doe eyes trend that’s still popular on TikTok, makeup will be your greatest tool. If your eyes don’t look quite as large as you’d like, don’t fault your natural eye shape, everyone is different and small eyes are as beautiful as large eyes. Here, learn how to make your eyes look bigger with 10 easy-to-do tips and eye makeup techniques.
How to Make Your Eyes Look Bigger
1. Replace Your Black Eyeliner With Lighter Colors
Black might be your go-to color when it comes to eyeliner, but using brown or colored eyeliner can also help make your eyes appear bigger and brighter. Think of it like this, if you choose a colored liner that mimics the natural color of your eyes, it can create bigger-looking eyes since the color liner lightly matches your iris, creating the illusion of a larger eyeball.
If you have baby blue eyes, for example, reach for L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Cobalt Blue. For green eyes, use L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in Emerald Green. If you prefer more neutral makeup looks, then you’re on the right track for bigger-looking eyes (more on that later). But brown liners like L’Oréal Paris Easy-Glide Mechanical Eyeliner, Waterproof in Brown Denim is also a good alternative to black eyeliner since it gives a softer look.
When using a liquid liner, opt for a dark color without reaching for a black color. We recommend L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner in Brown for its long-wear formula and pointed tip that allows you intentional application so you can go as thin or thick as desired.
2. Know the Three-Fourths Rule
If you really want to make your eyes look bigger, try lining only the outer three-fourths of your lash line, which can help draw attention to the wider, outer corners of your eyes. Sometimes when you draw one solid line across your lashes, this can make your eyes appear smaller in the same way that lining them all the way around would.
Apply eyeliner from the midway point of your lash line to the outer corner using a creamy eye pencil like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner in Brown. Use the built-in smudger to lightly blend the color out for a natural-looking ombre on the lash line. The darker outer corners provide shadow to the lighter inner corners to the point that they seem almost highlighted.
3. Swipe on Volumizing Mascara
No eye makeup look is complete without mascara. First, use a lash primer like L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Primer/Base to condition your lashes and prepare them for your mascara. Once you’ve applied your lash primer use a volumizing mascara like L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara to contribute to your wide-awake look. Place the brush at the base of your lashes and work your way toward the tips to completely cover your lashes with the clump-resistant formula.
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4. Tightline With White Liner
One of the staple eye makeup looks in the 60s was a bold eyeshadow color outlined with black eyeliner and white eyeliner on the waterline. The white eyeliner, along with carefully applied bottom lashes, created a wide-eye, baby doll look. As established, you’ll want to steer clear of dark eyeliner on your waterline that makes eyes appear more narrower.
Instead, try lining your waterline with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in White which leaves a pigmented white line in one swipe to help make your eyes look bigger. What this does is create the illusion that the whites of your eyes are longer than they actually are. If you’re not into the appearance of white eyeliner, you can create a more natural makeup look with a nude eyeliner like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in Nude.
Follow up with a few swipes of mascara on your bottom lashes to round out the look. We recommend L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara for its ability to instantly lift and add volume to lashes, and the narrow brush that makes application easier — no under-eye mascara smudges here.
5. Highlight With Eyeshadow
Similar to how you highlight your face, you want to use eyeshadow to highlight certain parts of your eyes to give them a larger look. By using a bright shade you add touches of highlight to your skin. Select a white or neutral eyeshadow, like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Paris Beach. Apply the eyeshadow to the inner corner of your eyes, below the arch of your eyebrows, and on the center of your eyelids to leave your eyes appearing more open and awake. This is the brightening portion of an eyeshadow contour which is another way to make eyes appear larger.
6. Contour Your Eye Area
Just as highlighting is important, contouring your eyes is a must to fake a larger appearance. Use a dark brown shade, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe, to define your eyes. Apply the shadow just slightly above the crease of your eye to create the illusion that your eyes are larger. Then drag the shadow upward and outward for a brown smoky eye that will widen the appearance of your eyes. Take the same dark brown eyeshadow and apply it along your lower lash line from the outer corner to the middle of your eye.
7. Keep Your Makeup Neutral
The social media beauty gurus were onto something with the latte makeup trend that puts a glamorous spin on neutral makeup. Beauty looks like the coffee-inspired makeup trend uses brown, bronze and nude eyeshadows for a soft smoky eye. By using neutral eyeshadows your eye makeup blends into your natural complexion with highlighting points that create the illusion of bigger eyes. This is the same concept as using brown and nude eyeliners on small eyes to keep dark colors from being too overwhelming.
Pick up a palette that features multiple neutral shades, like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Boudoir Charme, for various eye looks, from full-glam to no-makeup makeup. This palette contains two shimmery shades and two matte shades with a buttery texture that won’t crease.
8. Apply Dark Eyeliner Sparingly
For those who have an affinity for dark eyeliner, especially if you prefer siren eyes and grungy makeup over anything else, you can still use dark shades. You just need to be intentional about how you apply them. When you apply dark eyeliner to your bottom waterline this can actually shrink the appearance of your eyes. As shared above, using neutral colors is the way to go. If that isn’t working for your small eyes, avoid applying any shades on your waterline altogether. Instead, apply your go-to eyeliner just below your lower lashes to help make your eyes look bigger.
9. Avoid Overlining Your Eyes
The issue with dark eyeliner is it can make eyes look smaller if a thick line is drawn on. If you’re not ready to give up your dark eyeliner, draw a simple, thin line on your top or bottom lash line using a liquid eyeliner with a precision tip, like L’Oréal Paris Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner. If you’ve lined your upper lash line and still feel like you need more of an accent on your lower, use a medium-toned brown eyeshadow or nude eyeliner instead of applying any dark colors.
10. Extend Your Liner
To make your eyes look bigger, another tactic you can try is extending your eyeliner beyond the outer corner of your eyes. This will help mimic a wider gaze. If you decide to try this, just remember that it can take some practice. This is a makeup look that you want to draw on carefully because even the slightest variation could make your eyes look lop-sided.
Use a liquid liner with a precise tip, such as L’Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner in Brown, for this technique. Applying Liquid eyeliner can be tricky since it requires a steady hand for the evenest line. But you can always wipe away any mistakes with a makeup remover wipe to quickly erase residue and makeup around your eyes. The more thin and precise your eyeliner, the better.
What Mascara Makes Your Eyes Look Bigger?
Based on the previous section, you already know that mascara makes a big difference in making your eyes appear larger. However, not just any mascara will do it. Reach for lengthening and volumizing mascaras that will separate and elongate your lashes so that your eyes look as though they’re wide open.
Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara offers clump-free, fanned-out lashes. It’s gaining in popularity online for its ability to elongate lashes without black smudges or product flaking on your under-eyes. The multi-level bristle brush makes it easy to coat every lash while keeping lashes from clumping together for a stretched, voluminous look.
For added drama apply a light coat of mascara to your lower lashes so your look can really scream big, doe eyes.
Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier
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