Now that masks are the new normal and I'm rarely leaving the house, it's safe to say the wear and tear on my makeup bag has significantly decreased. In fact, when I did venture into my collection just days ago, there was legitimate dust on some of my favorite products, which, in a weird way, was a little heartbreaking. That said, I'm still applying some makeup here and there, but rather than playing up my lips (which was always the most fun for me), I've been honing in on my eyes. Anyone else?
Previously, a little bit of mascara and maybe a flick of black liquid eyeliner was about as fancy as I'd get when it came to decorating my eyes, but now that they're pretty much the only feature people see when I venture into the wild, I'm feeling like I could maybe step up my game.
Since I'm not well-versed in the art of enhancing my eyes with makeup, I reached out to one of the best celebrity makeup artists in the industry who is. Take a look at Vincent Oquendo's Instagram, and along with his stunning range of clientele (think Hailey Bieber, Ella Balinska, Bella Hadid, and Winnie Harlow, just to name a few), you'll notice a glittering collection of truly stunning eye looks. Naturally, I did what any sane eye makeup–challenged girl would do, and I asked him to share his best tips for enhancing the eyes with makeup. Keep scrolling for all of the tips, tea, and must-know products.
Tip #1: Don't Use a Heavy Concealer
"One of the biggest mistakes, if you're concentrating on enhancing your eyes with makeup, is using very heavy concealer," Oquendo tells me right off the bat. "Even when I’m using a full-coverage concealer on my clients, I use it very lightly, and I will usually offset the weight of the concealer with a lightweight brightener. I personally love the Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Corrector for Eyes ($65)."
Our editors also love Yves Saint Laurent's cult-loved Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen ($35) below!
Tip #2: Make Eye Drops Your New BFF
"One of my favorite tricks to enhance my clients' eyes is using one drop of Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops ($12) in each eye before makeup application," says Oquendo. "The drops reduce any redness and help provide the perfect bright-eyed canvas for any eye makeup I’m about to apply.”
Tip #3: Use 2 Different Colors of Mascara
"I love to use two different mascara colors on my clients to make their eyes pop," Oquendo adds. "First, I apply a generous coating of black mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. Then, I take a navy blue shade and apply it as a topcoat to the bottom lashes. This trick really makes the whites of my clients' eyes stand out, and since the black mascara is still the star of the show, it doesn’t end up looking like you're wearing blue mascara."
Tip #4: Make Your Brows Longer Than You Think You Should
"I am a huge fan of classic Hollywood starlets, and one thing they all did was extend their eyebrows a bit further at the end to make their eyes appear bigger on camera," Oquendo tells me.
"I love to give my clients this Old Hollywood type of glamour because it makes their eyes look huge on the red carpet," he says. "Shiseido's Brow Ink Trio Pencil, Pencil, Powder Brush ($24) is perfect because it has a powder applicator you unscrew in the middle to give your brows amazing shape."
Oquendo recommends starting at your arch and going against the grain of your eyebrows (toward the nose) to fill them in with one clean sweep. Then, use the brush on the other end of the pencil to brush your brow hairs up and feather your shape. Finally, use the mechanical pencil part of the tool to extend your brow from your arch straight out towards the top of your ear. "With most of my clients, I will only extend a few hairs, but it can make a really huge difference," he explains.
Tip #5: Use a Beige Eye Pencil to Neutralize Pink Tones
"I absolutely love adding a swipe of a beige pencil to clients' waterline before I finish off their makeup," says Oquendo. "This helps neutralize any pink tones and really makes the eyes look larger, especially if you add black mascara."
Oquendo recommends the Nars High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte ($24).
Tip #6: Mix the Textures of Your Eye Shadows
"Another favorite tip of mine is mixing different textures of nude eye shadow," shares Oquendo. "One of my favorite palettes is the Maybelline Nudes of New York Eyeshadow Palette ($14)—it has tons of matte and shimmery nude shades, which are great for building a soft nude eye that really enhances the eyes."
As for technique, Oquendo says to start by applying the lightest matte beige color all over your eyes. Then, wet your brush and using the lightest shimmering shade of beige, tap it into the inner corner of the eye as a highlight. For the crease, opt for warm cinnamon-hued matte tone and then finish with black mascara.
Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.