All eyes on you: eyes to envy
If money were no object, the sky was the limit and the world my oyster, I'd fight Jennifer Lopez for her makeup artist.
Mary Phillips is a genius. The luminous look she creates for Lopez is beyond beautiful. Admittedly Jen has the genes.
But, made up, she's almost incandescent; a shining seraph sitting in judgement on American Idol. And who but Phillips could make anyone look good in matt mustard-coloured lipstick? (Check out Lopez's Live it Up video if you aren't convinced.)
But beyond the lippy and luminous skin lies Phillips' true talent: Lopez's eyes all but snap, crackle and pop with energy.
According to Phillips (who, uncannily, looks a lot like a lesser Lopez), it's the fine liquid-liner flick that makes them so fierce.
But we know better. There's a truckload of highlighter, primer and mascara on those eyes; expertly applied, but there nevertheless.
And so, because few of us are ever going to have the means to put Phillips on retainer (or the cojones to take on one of the world's biggest divas), we present our no-nonsense guide to beautiful eyes.
PLAY TO THE CREASE
Every woman should own at least one warm, medium-brown matt shadow. It's no news that when swept across the eye crease (from outer corner to centre), a soft brown smudge defines the eyes and makes their colour more intense.
BUFF YOUR BROWS
Few things frame the eyes like perfect arches. Strong brows make your eyes look bigger and your features fiercer.
First, using a round bristle brush, brush eyebrows upwards and check for symmetry and bald spots. Tweeze any strays, including from above the brows, and brush again.
Now, using an angled brush and shadow, or a soft pencil (we like Shiseido's Natural Eyebrown Pencil, $40, which comes in four shades), 'feather in' any missing hairs, working in the direction the hairs grow and
correcting any mistakes with a cotton bud dipped in makeup remover (pat, don't rub).
Finally, brush brows diagonally upward and outward with clear brow gel, or an old, clean mascara wand which has been lightly sprayed with hairspray.
A master of presenting herself in the best light, La Lopez's brow bones are always subtly illuminated with a pearly shadow; as are the inner corners of her eyes.
But be cautious if the area between the crease of your eye and your brows - basically, your brow bone - is puffy:
highlighting then, particularly if you use a frosted product, will have the opposite effect, closing down the eyes and
making them look baggy, not bigger.
BACK TO WHITE
Break out the white liner. Again.
Banished a few years ago, flat white liner, applied to the waterline of the eyes, is now back for good reason: it
brightens and widens the eye. (Black, used the same way, creates a smouldering effect, but it will also make your eyes look smaller.)
Try Dr Hauschka's Kajal Eyeliner Duo pencil in White/Anthracite, $39, which is made with natural plant waxes to help
Coloured liner is incredibly fashionable. Our pick has to be navy, which is softer than black and brighter than brown.
Changing your shadow shade, too, is a good way of getting out of a rut. Start with new-season lavender, an almost universally flattering shade that will brighten the eye area and add an
Super skinny strips drawn across the lashline might look cat-like cool, but their real purpose is to enhance the
lashes. Liquid liner like L'Oreal Paris Superliner Gelmatic, $24.99, applied along the base of your upper lashes, makes the eyes bigger and more dramatic looking. And then do as Phillips does for Lopez: add an upward flick at the
MASCARA TO THE MAX
Nothing makes eyes bigger than full lashes. Falsies are great, but best saved for the weekends.
When time is short, apply two coats of a lengthening formula like Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara, $58, to top and bottom lashes, then add an extra swipe to the centre of the upper lash line to really draw the eyes upward.
Very under-rated gadgets, lash curlers. Hands up who has one and forgets to use it? No matter how short they are, all lashes benefit from a 20-second crunch with the curlers. They open the eyes, making you look younger, fresher and instantly more alert. Try MAC's Full Lash Curler Black, $48.
Peepers cannot look good if they are puffy. Consider an eye mask to help calm inflammation and reduce
swelling and black circles.
Lie back and treat yourself to Shiseido's Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask, $98, which combines wrinkle-reducing retinol with intensive moisturisers.
Everyone benefits from concealer. To keep the under-eye area free of dark circles, you need a creamy,
hydrating formula which blends perfectly with your skintone. Back it up with dots of a sheer illuminating liquid,
such as YSL's Touche Eclat, $78, applied to the inner corners.