How to Apply Eye Makeup to Small Eyes

By LeafTV Editor

Some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood have small eyes, including Keira Knightley and Taylor Swift. These ladies have mastered eye-opening makeup to create a fresh, natural look that directs attention straight to the windows of your soul. From simple daytime makeup to a smoky evening look, make your eyes the focal point.

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How To Apply Eye Makeup To Small Eyes

Light colors create the illusion of space and dimension, so start off your makeup routine with a shimmery pink or champagne eye shadow. Sweep the eye shadow across your entire lid and just slightly above your crease with a small eye shadow brush. Apply a smooth, even layer over the eyelid. Focus a little more of the shimmery color on the inner corner of the eye to brighten and open up your eyes.

For an evening out, you can change this eye shadow shade to one with flecks of gold or copper in the mixture. If you prefer to leave the shimmer out of the equation, you can apply a bone shade of eye shadow or a very pale baby pink to create a matte effect.


Keep your eyebrows groomed and shaped. If you have sparse brows, fill them in with an angle brush and a matte shadow close to your brow shade. Brows anchor the face and make eyes appear larger.

Now that your lid is bright and highlighted, you can sculpt more dimension into the look. Dip a fluffy dome-shaped blending brush into a very light brown or olive matte eye shadow. Sweep the brush over the crease of your eye, working from the outer corner to the inside of the iris using windshield wiping motions.

You want a light wash of color to build subtle depth without creating a fully smoky look. The color you choose should only be a shade or two darker than your skin tone. You can stop the shading process here for a daytime look.

If you are going out for the evening and want to build up a smoky look, dip a stiff, domed brush into a smoky slate gray, rich brown or dark eggplant. Tap off any excess. Buff the eye shadow into the outer corner of the eye, focusing the color along the very outer edge of your crease and along the first 1/4 inch of your eyelid. Don't build the color in very far. Keep the focus and dimension on the outer corner without taking up precious real estate on your lid. Blend in this shadow until it looks soft.


Build up the smoky look a little more by dipping an angle brush into a soft purple, taupe or light brown shimmery color and smudging it along your lower lash line as close to the lashes as possible.

Full lash lines build dimension and create emphasis in all the right places. Apply a creamy black eyeliner pencil to your upper lash line. Start the line at the middle of your eye and work your way out to the edge using small dash strokes. Work as close to the lash line as possible and keep the line thin and even. Blend away any mistakes with a clean angle brush.

To build up your lashes during the daytime without wearing the full liner, apply this same creamy eyeliner along your top waterline, which is the line of skin below where your lashes extend right next to your eyeball. This technique is called tightlining, and builds up your lashes nearly invisibly and without bulking up the cosmetics on your lid.

If you want a little more of an open look on your eyes, invest in a flesh-toned light cream eyeliner pencil. Apply this color along your bottom waterline to open up your eyes and create a wide-awake effect.


Highlight directly under your brows, on the inner corner of your eye and along the top of your cheekbone with a light, soft highlighter shade. This technique opens up the area around your eyes.

Lashes open up the eye and create full dimension along the top of your eye. For the daytime, curl your lashes with a curling wand. Apply two coats of black volumizing mascara to your top lashes. Focus a little extra attention on the outer lashes.

Amp up the look with some false lashes for a night out or when you want extra volume. Invest in some lashes with a little more volume along the outer edge. For a subtle look, you can also opt for a slightly thinner pair of lashes that add a small amount of volume without looking heavy. Apply a thin line of lash glue to the lash strip and allow the glue to get tacky for a couple minutes. Apply to your lash line as close to your natural lashes as possible. Use some tweezers to get them snugly in place.