How to Apply Eye Makeup: What Products to Put Where

The task of applying your eye makeup can be daunting. There are so many products, and so many different beauty tips out there, that sometimes it’s easy to forget exactly what each item’s intended purpose originally was. So no matter how often you use makeup, or how amazing of a makeup artist you are, it’s necessary to go back to the basics and see a refresher on how to apply eye makeup, what makeup products to use where, how to execute simple looks and remember the easy purpose makeup can serve.

One of the trickiest things about all of the cosmetics out there is the amount of places to put eye makeup around your lids. In this quick and easy article, we’ll discuss basic tips for each area. We’ll start where you’d begin applying makeup for a full look, and move step-by-step until you’d have a completed look, covering the following areas: brow bone, eyelid, crease, outer v, upper lashline, waterline, lower lashline, and tear duct.

How to Apply Eye Makeup: Eye Makeup Guide

It is important to note that in this article the looks being referred to are either a deep smokey eye, or an easy feminine, nude color scheme. But remember, there’s always room for creativity! Adding color in is more than welcome (one of the best things about wearing makeup is the freedom of choosing your own colors, isn’t it?) so feel free to substitute the color-wording in for your shade of choice!

See also: How to Apply Eye Shadow

Products to Be Used on The Brow Bone

We’ll start all the way at the top and look at how to apply makeup to your brow bone or highlight. This is the perfect area for a pale eyeshadow with a hint of sparkle, or matte if you’d like to avoid the shimmer. The addition of a light color will leave your whole eye area open and looking awake, even if you haven’t had enough coffee yet to feel that way for yourself! Make sure to keep the shadow light and refreshing, so it doesn’t command your whole look. It more serves as a base to build off of, and can be a great launching pad for bold, sexy looks or soft, feminine ones.


Next we come to the eyelid. This is the part that will vary most between women, since it all depends on how your face is shaped. If you have more open space in this area of your eyes, you will be able to experiment a bit more, and you may even find some unique looks you didn’t think would work for you. You can play around with eyeliner or eyeshadow to let your creativity shine here.

If you don’t have time to play around with new designs and styles, you should know people will generally just reach for the eyeshadow and call it a day, which is perfectly fine. In this area you can use any shade you like, or a combination of your favorites to create an interesting ombre effect, a chic blend, or just using the two side-by-side. You can have some fun with eyeshadow here without having to worry too much about things turning out bad, but if you want to shake up your routine, grab that liner pencil and get creative.


The crease is the space between your brow bone and your eyelid. This is a crucial step to take with your eyeshadow, since it will be tying the two previous areas together. This is the place to use a darker eyeshadow, the placement of which will vary from person to person. You know the general area where you’ll be applying the shadow, but only experimentation will tell you where the best possible place for the crease line is; it’s all based on what looks great to you! Once you decide that, you’ll be able to see just how much depth was added to your eyes, and your eye makeup look will begin to come together.

Since your brow bone color was pale and your eyelid has more color (or at least more depth), finding a shade that meets the two halfway would be ideal for this area, so you don’t command your entire look, and you also don’t let one outshine the other.

Emphasizing the Outer V

Next, applying eye makeup to the outer v can sharpen or soften your overall look, depending on how you choose to use your makeup. Here you can use eyeshadow or eyeliner to outline your eye and to influence the shape for the rest of your makeup to follow later on. As its namesake, you apply your products in a “v’ shape, for a sleeker look, or you can adapt to a more curved “c’ to achieve a more feminine, softer look. Using the same eyeshadow or eyeliner as your lid could add an interesting effect, especially if your goal is to sharpen the edges.

For a softer look, using a slightly lighter shade than your lid can help further achieve your goal. Finally, if you use a deeper, neutral color, that also follows the same color scheme as the rest of your eye makeup so far, you’ll be able to create a bolder look. The trick here is to find the perfect shade that goes with your look, so many looking to the color for your crease could help guide your choice here.


Now we’ve moved on some from eyeshadow, and onto the waterline, where eyeliner is the star. This is your first point of action for underneath your eye, and is a key factor in how the rest of your look will be decided. There are different ways you can use eyeliner in this area, depending on what you need for yourself.

If you know you have tired eyes, in the morning especially, you might choose to go with a nude eyeliner, since the pale color will widen your eyes and make you seem more awake. But a bolder, more standard route for eyeliner is to grab a black or other dark color and work for the coveted smokey-eyed look. Regardless of which you choose, this is a bold part of your eye makeup, and can really lead the rest of your look to a fun new place.

Lower Lashline

Moving right below the waterline, you’ll begin work on your lower lashline. This is where you get to make some more choices. You can grab your eyeliner or your eyeshadow again, this time with the purpose of adding more depth and definition. This area works a lot like the crease on your top lid, so you know to choose a dark, neutral color that goes along with your current color palette.

If you choose to add some eyeliner here, since it is directly next to your waterline, make sure not to make it seem like a big block of liner. You want to ensure you have a bit of diversity between these two sections of your eyes, especially to add a great level of definition and polish off a sleek look.

Upper Lashline

To make the mascara pop and to create the effect of a brighter look, you might want to define your upper lashline with a darker color eyeshadow or eyeliner applied very smoothly. On a daily basis it’s a good idea not to apply any other product here except for the mascara that instantly elevates a look.

Tear Duct

And finally, we come to the tear duct. Adding a little bit of pale shadow, just like you did to your brow bone, will add the final touches to your complete eye makeup look. If you chose to use a shimmery eyeshadow for the highlight, the reintroduction will give you a fun recurring feature that will enchant others. If they notice the small detail of repetition, they’ll also be able to take the time and admire the fabulous work you’ve done on the rest of your eyes. They won’t be able to look anywhere else!

Photo courtesy of Vogue UK, Designed by Fashionisers

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Written by Courtney Dobrzykowski
Courtney is a student majoring in mass communication and professional writing. She works as a writer and editor, and has a wide variety of hobbies, such as fashion, reading/writing poetry, sewing, and playing video games.