At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
Does anything smack of ‘cool’ quite like a statement eye? We don’t think so.
And long have we tried to nail the trend. From the elusive smokey eye to the perfect cat-eye flick, it’s always been a struggle for us amateurs to capture the same fire looks as those blessed with superior hand-eye coordination.
But trends have shifted, and we’re seeing people start to have more fun with bold eye looks that subvert the cookie-cutter makeup standards we’ve grown up trying to replicate. More and more we’re leaning towards larger-than-life colours and artful designs — from the Picasso-esque sketches to the minimalist ‘floating’ liner looks. But if you too struggle enough with the basics, let alone the acrobats of a more intricate design, then you might have conceded to sitting on the sidelines as an observer of other people’s awe-inspiring work. None of that here, thank you!
You may not need a reason to get all dolled up right now, but what a great time to pick up a new skill. And no, you don’t need to be double-jointed or learn colour theory to give this trend a crack...just a nudge in the right direction.
So, to help us beauty tragics out, we tapped five pros who are constantly serving up fun and creative looks to dish on their favourite amateur-friendly hacks for perfecting their bold eyes, as well as the products that help them get it right.
All about that base
Do you ever look at the colour of someone’s shadow and think ‘wow’, only to have it look a hell of a lot less wow on your lids? It’s likely your base that’s the issue. And, according to makeup artist Rowi Singh (rowisingh), the application, too.
“My favourite tip for bold colours and making them pop is applying a white base or even just a super light concealer onto your lid. Secondly, pack the colour onto your lid with your fingers! Applying 2-3 layers of colour with your index finger, pressing it into the lid instead of blending it with a brush. Then softly blend out the edges for a cohesive look. This helps to bring out the pigment of any eyeshadow, no matter the quality."
Micellar, micellar, micellar
“Use pointed Q-tips with micellar water to define those edges!” Sean also shared that the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in black was his fav go-to product for a graphic eye.
“Keep cotton buds and micellar water on hand to clean it all up... Bioderma is my go-to!”
We’ve all seen many a TikTok hack promising the ‘perfect winged eye’ but for the easiest and sleekest lines, beauty ‘grammer Ruchi Page (ruchipage) suggests using household supplies to help.
“To create the perfect wing-turned graphic liner, place some sticky tape down along the side of your eye on an angle for no-fuss winged liner. You can then join that wing to your crease for a graphic liner that’s simple but also amplifies your look.”
"For the perfect graphic eye moment, a liquid eyeliner that has a thin brush is pigmented and holds the liquid is key. (Think a liner that doesn’t dry out and skip over the lid). I love the Bite Beauty Upswing Extreme Longwear Liquid Liner for this purpose."
Shaky hands? No problem
Even if you aren't that skilled with a pen, let alone an eyeliner brush, there is hope for you yet. According to Eishi — who certainly knows a thing or two about makeup experimentation — it's all about getting the right vantage point and leaning into mistakes.
“I find it helpful to use a tabletop mirror so I can get really close up (I wear glasses so I can’t see my eyelids from far away). I then like to rest my hand on my chin/cheek to stead my face since I have shaky hands.”
“Using easy shapes like dots to connect shapes together makes drawing a lot easier,” says Eishi, adding that if things go wrong, it's not always a bad thing. "If I stuff up, I like to just go with it sometimes. Flexibility and being able to just go with it helps a lot, actually."