Close your eyes and picture a baby. Scratch that—picture a really cute baby. We’re willing to guess that if you had to describe its features, one of them would be “big eyes.” There’s an evolutionary reason babies have big eyes, and it boils down to: It makes them adorable. In other words, we’re biologically hardwired to find doe eyes appealing. Knowing this, it’s unsurprising that the quest for bigger-looking eyes is a pretty common one, at least in the beauty world. Thankfully, it’s also totally achievable—with the right makeup. Here, we’ll teach you how to make your eyes look bigger. You’ll also get the scoop on some of the best eye-opening NYX Professional Makeup products, from eyeshadows and eyeliners to mascaras and brow products (because, yep, properly-shaped brows can open up your eyes, too). Keep reading to learn how to use makeup to make your eyes look bigger.
Tip 1: Wear Shimmery Eyeshadow
Glittery, sparkly, and shimmery eyeshadows aren’t just great for the wow factor: They can also make your eyes appear bigger and brighter. That’s because shimmer reflects light, and this creates an illusion that what the light bounces off of is larger than it actually is. In practice, this means shimmery eye makeup equals bigger-looking eyes. To add some glimmer to your eye makeup routine, we recommend reaching for Ultimate Glow Shots. Available in 13 shimmery shades, this liquid eyeshadow delivers high-impact glow with zero flaking or fallout. Just swipe your favorite shade over your lid with the included applicator for up to 12 hours of lustrous, luminous wear.
Alternatively, try one of the shimmery shades of our Jumbo Eye Pencil, such as Yogurt (a soft pinkish nude), Donut (a shimmery blue-purple), or French Fries (a luminous chocolate brown). These multi-purpose crayons work as eyeshadow, eyeliner, and even eye primer, making them a great pick for multi-taskers.
Tip 2: Line Only Your Outer Corners
Eyeliner is a makeup bag staple for many, and applied properly, it can help make your eyes bigger-looking. One simple way to get big eyes with makeup—especially if your eyes are naturally smaller—is to apply eyeliner just to the outer third of your upper lid. This simple trick helps draw attention to the outer corners of your eyes, which in turn creates the illusion of wider eyes.
For added lift, try creating a wing with a sharpened eyeliner pencil, like our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick. It’s available in 27 pigment-packed shades and offers up to 36 hours of smudge-proof, transfer-proof wear.
Tip 3: Curl Your Eyelashes
One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to make your eyes appear instantly bigger is by curling your eyelashes. It’s simple: the more lifted your lashes are, the more open your eyes will appear. To curl your lashes, reach for our Eyelash Curler. Steady your elbow on a hard surface and lightly grip your upper eyelashes between the two “arms” of the curler. Then, gently rotate the curler upward, clamping along the base, middle, and ends of your lashes to help them curl. Once you’re pleased with the results, apply a coat of mascara (we love Worth The Hype Waterproof Mascara) for added volume, length, and definition. For doe eyes, add a coat or two of mascara to your lower lashes, as well.
Tip 4: …Or Try False Lashes
If curling your lashes isn’t something you’re comfortable with, that’s okay—false lashes will get the job done, too. Try our Jumbo Lash! Vegan False Lashes, which come in four different styles to complement a variety of eye makeup looks. The cruelty-free lashes are stackable, reusable up to 15 times, and apply easily—no unwieldy glue needed . Just line your upper lid with our Jumbo Lash! 2-in-1 Liner & Lash Adhesive, let it dry for two to three seconds, then pop on your lashes. Feel free to trim the lash strip, if needed, for a more precise and natural-looking fit.
Tip 5: Use White Eyeliner
Often considered the best eyeliner for small eyes, white eyeliner is well-known for its ability to make eyes brighter looking. Applying it to your waterline creates the illusion that the whites of your eyes are larger than they are, providing a wide-awake, doe-eyed look.
As for how to execute this trick, it’s super simple. First, grab a waterproof pencil eyeliner , such as Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in the shade Pure White (or, for a slightly subtler option, try a nude shade that closely matches your skin tone). Then, color in your bottom water line (in other words, that narrow strip of skin between your eyelashes and your eye). You should immediately notice an eye-opening effect—but of course, feel free to take it a step further by combining this trick with one or two of the others we’ve compiled here.
Tip 6: Darken Your Crease
If your eyes are small, darkening your crease can help add depth and create the illusion that your eyes are larger than they are. The key, though, is to keep it subtle: Too dark, and you could end up overwhelming your eyes. We recommend reaching for an eyeshadow palette that has multiple nude shades, such as Ultimate Color Palette in Warm Neutrals. Cover your lid in a color that’s close to your skin tone (bonus points if there’s shimmer!), then reach for a hue two to three shades darker to define your crease. Blend well with a brush (we recommend our Pro Blending Brush) to ensure the color is well-diffused for a soft, natural-looking finish.
Tip 7: Highlight For Wider-Looking Eyes
A touch of inner eye highlight can go a long way in making your eyes look bigger. The subtle illumination helps draw attention to your eyes, making them appear more open and awake (this is especially true if you’re wearing a darker shadow on your lids—the brightness of the highlighter adds some much-needed contrast). For a precise inner eye highlight, we recommend using our Wonder Pencil. Part matte concealer pencil, part shimmery highlighter, this dual-ended pencil comes in five shade combinations and allows for precise highlighting, detailing, and illuminating.
Tip 8: Blend Eyeshadow To Your Brow
If you have hooded eyes , it may look like you don’t have much eyelid space (which, in turn, can make your eyes look smaller than they are). To counteract this, when wearing light-colored eyeshadow, try blending your lid shade up past the crease, toward your brow. This helps give the appearance that your lid space is larger and visually brightens and enlarges the eyes. Complete the look by sweeping a bit of highlighter just below your brow bone for added illumination.
Tip 9: Avoid Overly-Thick Liner
Bold eyeliner has a time and a place, but it can be overpowering if you have smaller eyes. That doesn’t mean you can’t rock liner, though: just try to keep your lines on the thinner side. To help avoid overwhelming your eyes with liner, use a thin-tipped liquid eyeliner, such as our Epic Ink Liner. The waterproof eyeliner pen glides on easily and creates ultra-precise lines for a sharp, seamless finish.
Tip 10: Shape Your Brows
Last but not least, don’t ignore your brows . Thick, straight brows can visually weigh down your eyes, making them look small or closed off. Creating an arch, meanwhile, has the opposite effect: It literally creates more space, which helps make small eyes look bigger. For the best results, we recommend styling your brows with a brow gel (like Thick It. Stick It! Brow Gel) to help keep them tamed and lifted all day.
Next: Flushed cheeks are the perfect complement to a doe-eyed look. Check out our article How To Apply Blush And Flatter Your Face Shape to find the best blush placement for you.