The brushes you require, how to shape flawless eyebrows, and the ultimate shadow tricks in the beauty biz.


Brush Up

Perhaps your fingers will do the job well, but good brushes are great for blending, lining, and building color. Following are the three you’ll surely need:

Flat Shadow Brush

It’s perfect for applying your base color. Go for one made with supersoft natural hairs, like sable or goat, if you’re working with powdered shadow. For creams, a brush with silky synthetic bristles will be good enough like nylon or taklon. Try Sonia Kashuk Tools Small Eye Shadow Brush, $10,

Blender Brush

Small and fluffy, this tool is awesome for shading your creases, accentuating the outer corners of your eyes, as well as blending shadows together. Try Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush, $30,

Liner Brush

Utilize this slim, pointed brush to work color between the roots of your lashes. Try Mark Eye Liner Brush, $6,

Beautiful Arches

Who would want to slap a dollar-store picture frame on a masterpiece. Moreover, you shouldn’ frame your beautifully made-up eyes with ungroomed brows. “A neater version of your natural shape is soft and youthful,” says Sania Vucetaj, owner of Sania’s Brow Bar in New York City. To get the right look follow these three steps:


Slanted-tip tweezers (try Tweezerman Slant Tweezer, $20, offers a kind of precision that no other wax strip can rival. In case you’ve virgin (never been plucked) eyebrows, get them shaped from a pro the first time. Thereafter tweeze strays that grow between and beneath the brows once a week, but steer clear of the top: “Taking too much off the top can drag down your brows, making your eyes look tired,” says Vucetaj.


Utilizing a clean mascara brush (also known as a spoolie), brush your brows up and examine them: “If certain hairs grow in unevenly or are too long, trim them,” says Vucetaj. Employ small scissors to snip off only the tips of the hairs that grow beyond your shape.


Vucetaj offers this two-step solution for sparse brows: Step 1: Outline your brows with a pencil that matches their color, and brush it in with a spoolie. “Penciling in the entire brow will make it look dark and unnatural,” she says. Step 2: Dip an angled brush into brow powder and lightly stipple it on, using quick, short strokes and blending as you go. Try Clarins Pro Palette Eyebrow Kit, $35, at Macy’s.

How to Shade Your Shape

Attuning your application technique to suit your eye shape can lift and open your eyes, boosting you entire look.

Small or Close-Set Eyes

Try this to make your eyes look larger or farther apart: Dust a pale, light-reflective shadow across the inner three-quarters of each lid, then apply a dark shadow from lash line to crease at the outer corner. Apply an extra coat of mascara to the outermost lashes only, and use dark liner only on the outer corner of your eye (top and bottom). “Lining the inner rims with a beige pencil will open up your eyes, making them seem larger,” says Kidd.

Wide-Set Eyes

“Draw your eyes in slightly by using a darker color and more mascara at your inner corner (near the tear duct), and a lighter shade from the middle of the lid to the outer edge,” says Kidd. Emphasizing the inner half of your crease and slowly fading the color out as you cross the lid can help as well.

Thin Lids or Monolids

If you don’t have a crease, you can impart depth to your eyes by working in a dark color at the lash line and a lighter shade exactly above it and up to slightly below your brow bone, says makeup artist Taylor Chang-Babaian, author of Style Eyes. “The lower portion of the top lid is hidden, so thin strokes of liner can disappear,” she says. “Look at yourself straight on to determine how thick the liner and shadow should be.”

Hooded Eyes

If your upper lids droop, masking the skin layering your eyeballs, keep light colors off that hooded portion to avoid magnifying it. Brush a base color from lash line to crease, then go over it with a darker shadow, blending the color over your upper lid and sweeping it along your lower lash line.