8 Tricks To Make Your Eyes Look Bigger & Brighter

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Some would argue that Tami Taylor’s hair was the biggest source of beauty inspiration to have come out of Friday Night Lights. (And yes, Connie Britton's 'do is off the charts.) But we’re also feeling the cult show's go-to mantra: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” Because clear, bright eyes not only make you look more lively — they make you look downright victorious.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be born with saucers the size of Emma Stone’s (or clock a full eight hours of sleep) to get eyes that look so bright and clear, you'll feel like they belong on primetime TV.
In fact, with the help of some key makeup techniques, and the right products, you can make your eyes pop. Want to nail a sultry, sooty look that works for every eye size? Proceed to tip two. Want to make your eyes shine brighter than a diamond? Click forward to slide five.
Ahead, three celebrity makeup artists share their top tips for making eyes shine. The "full hearts" bit? Well, let's just say our hearts are full of love for these gorgeous looks.
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To Elongate Your Eyes, Find A Flick-Friendly Liner

Dainty, stretched-out flicks at the corners of the eyes elongate any eye shape, and liquid liners do a bang-up job at nailing the thinness required for a subtle effect. However, many liquid formulas require an unflinchingly steady hand. Think of gel eyeliner as liquid liner’s easygoing sister: It offers the same color payoff, but with a more controlled glide.

Makeup artist Blondie, who works with Cara Delevingne and Karolína Kurková, turns to this gel liner as her weapon of choice. “The pen’s angled tip makes it easy to take the liner out into a flick at the end,” she says. “This not only elongates the eye, but gives a lift at the same time.”

Benefit They’re Real! Push Up Liner, $24 , available at Macy's.
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To Supersize Your Eyes, Opt For The Outer Third

Give yourself a look straight out of a Margaret Keane painting by supersizing your eyes with this liner trick: Instead of lining your entire eye, stick to the outer third. “Lining the entire lid will make eyes look smaller,” warns Misha Shahzada, a makeup artist who works with models like Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk. This outer-third-only technique works with any liner look — on the waterline, gently smudged into the lashline, or just outside the lashline — the choice is yours.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $20, available at Nordstrom.
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To Brighten Your Eyes, Follow The Light

Open your eyes even more by selecting a lighter liner shade, suggests Blondie. In other words: Bypass black for browns, golds, or grays. To keep your look intact all day, opt for a smudge-proof pencil with staying power — because nothing makes your eyes look sleepy quite like downward-migrating, messy liner.

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, $25, available at Sephora.
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Tightlining your waterline with a sharp pencil really makes eyes pop — but it's time-consuming and, if you're not careful, a little painful. Which is why this new mascara from L'Oréal is pretty genius. The asymmetrical brush pushes the formula right into your lashline, lending that inky, tightlining effect. And at the same time, the plumping formula lifts lashes up and out, making your eyes look wider and brighter.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara, $8.99, available at Amazon.
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To Fake 8 Hours, Skip The Top

If your eyelids feel heavy from last night’s party, or you have a pretty prominent browbone and want to achieve a more lifted eye look, opt for strategic lining.

Makeup artist Kerrie Urban, whose clients include Mandy Moore and Hannah Hart, suggests completely skipping eyeliner on the upper lids. “Just line the bottom lid from the outer corner halfway inward with a dark-brown or black pencil,” she advises. This will give definition without weighing down the eye.

MAC Pro Wear Eyeliner in Rich Experience, $20, available at MAC.
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To Widen Your Gaze, Just Copy Kate

Kate Moss’ famous feline gaze? Um, yes please! Luckily, you don't have to be a Super to master her signature flick, which makes eyes appear wider. (Jessica Alba had the look at the Billboard Music Awards, too!)

Urban suggests lining the upper lashline from the center of the eye outward, extending the line just slightly past the corner of your eye. “It’s almost like a cat-eye, but without the upward flick at the end,” she explains. If drawing a continuous, slim line is tricky, try working from the extended outer corner inward, connecting smaller strokes instead, Shahzada suggests.

Both artists prefer using a potted gel liner and an angled liner brush for this look. “Having a sharper, cleaner line helps create the illusion that the eye is continuing past where your actual eye [ends],” Urban notes. To exaggerate the shape even further, create a light-to-dark contrast by highlighting the inner corners of the eyes. (We like Tarte's Etch & Sketch Double Ended Bamboo Liner Brush for this technique.)

ColourPop Crème Gel Colour in DTLA, $6, available at ColourPop.
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To Hide A Hangover, Pick Peach

You've probably heard that white liner will make tired eyes pop, but opting for a softer shade, like peach or beige, will do the same thing minus the stark effect — no matter your skin tone. (Think of it as highlighter for your eyes.)

Here's how it works: When the whites of your eyes look cloudy, no matter how much REM you got, up the amperage with a liner in Champagne, peach, or even cream, liner. “Line the inner rims of your upper and lower eyelids for an instant lift,” says Shahzada. “This will neutralize any redness or fatigue in the eyes.”

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil, $18, available at Sephora.
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To Wake Up Tired Eyes, Try A 2-Tone Look

Fun fact: You can awaken your eyes and try a new look by stacking your liners. How? If your eyes look like they need a wakeup call long past you’ve gotten out of bed, cop Urban’s trick for making them appear less tired: Layer two different colors of eyeliner on the upper lashline.

“This will help draw out any attention from any undereye puffiness or dark circles,” she says. For example, try lining your upper lashline with a dark-brown shade, then top the line with a bright-blue or purple liner. Gel pencils make great bed buddies because they glide smoothly when stacked.

Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner in Deep Aubergine and Arabian Nights, $28.50, available at Trish McEvoy.
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