Bright Eye Makeup: What’s One Makeup Tip or Technique That Adds a Lot to Your Look?

Published in: Just For Fun

Wearing greens, purples and an orangey copper eyeshadow with a brown liner on my water lines

Wearing green, purple and coppery orange eyeshadow with brown liner on my water lines

Most of the time when I wear bright eyeshadow, I like to add liner along my water lines or top lash lines to ground the look.

Granted, this is not a hard and fast rule. It’s makeup; you can do whatever you want. But when I’m wearing a color that isn’t brown or beige — something bright, like a green, blue or purple — I’ll line it with black or brown eyeliner, or sometimes a darker version of whichever eyeshadows I’m wearing.


I’m always thinking about the transitions between colors when I do a look, like from light to medium to dark — that kind of thing — and when I have, say, a purple or a green eyeshadow on my lids or lower lash lines, and the color runs flush up against the whites of my eyes, that transition seems very stark to me. The green against the white.

MAC Moody Blooms Eye Shadows in Artistic License (inner corner near the tearduct and on brow bone), Deep Fixation (lid and outer crease), Blooming Mad (inner crease), Hidden Motive (outer part of lower lash line) and Lucky Green (inner part of the lower lash line)

That’s MAC Costa Riche Eye Kohl on my water lines

I think that adding a liner smooths out the transition between the shadow and the whites of the eyes, and sort of marries the two together, kind of like stitching.

What’s one bright eye makeup tip or technique that adds a lot to your look?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Mary says:

    Even if i am not wearing makeup I wear a lip balm or some gloss or lipsticks and it makes me look more alive even if i am not wearing makeup at all 😛

  2. I’m often running late in the mornings so don’t have time to do this before I rush out the door, but I find that highlighting the inner corners really brightens up my eyes (especially when I haven’t slept much the night before)!

  3. Agata says:

    Adding a light beige or white color to your inner corner brightens up the whole look immediately.

    What eyeshadows are you wearing in these pictures Karen? The look is beautiful!
    Agata recently posted … Smokey Grey Eye Look Tutorial with Lorac Pro2 Palette

  4. I was going to say the exact same thing! That, and adding some highlighter in the inner corners of the eye to open your eyes.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Another dark smokey eye with glossy lips

  5. Arianne says:

    Yes, this! I totally agree. For me, it’s to put down a transition colour between the crease and highlight eyeshadows. I can’t skip this step especially when I’m wearing a smokey eye. It just makes everything look more blended and polished. My favourite for this is MAC Soft Brown for medium to dark skin, and MAC Omega for lighter skin. 🙂
    Arianne recently posted … DIY Luxurious Milk Bath For Super Soft Skin

  6. Trisha says:

    I do that when I use bright eye makeup, too: a darker eyeliner. Usually black.

    A big tip for those new to bright eye shadow: use clean eye shadow brushes! Remnants of a brown eye shadow will mix with the bright stuff and muddy the look you were trying to create.
    Trisha recently posted … Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Swatches

  7. Izzie says:

    My one rule is to keep dark shadows away from the inner quarter of my eye. Definitely don’t want to emphasize my dark circles!
    Izzie recently posted … Review: Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette

  8. Natalie says:

    What blush and highlighter are you wearing? I NEED TO KNOW! You look gorgeous! Nice tip!

  9. Ericca says:

    to my eye looks it would be MAC chromographic pencil in NW 25/NC30

  10. Amber says:

    Similar tip — I’m not always comfortable with bright liners but I am drawn to them (ha!), so I do my initial line & wing in black and trace it with a very thin line of the bright liner, right where the black meets the lid so they sort of overlap. I start it as a hair-thin line right about where the lashes really begin. For some reason it just seems to make bright colors much more wearable.

  11. Bee says:

    I just cannot live without eyeliner… And I’m loving my 2nd Costa Riche just because of you :*

    I personally am addicted to blue liner/shadow combo…. when in doubt- go blooo
    Bee recently posted … The Summer of Blue Eyeliner!

  12. Alison M says:

    I agree that liner makes one heck of a difference. I feel like I can also get away with more if I wear bronzer. It makes colorful eyeshadow or bold lips somehow more wearable. But the one thing I suggest for everyone is filling. those. brows. ‘Nuf said.
    Alison M recently posted … Chocolate, Coffee, and Too Faced

  13. Denise S. says:

    I love wearing bright eyeshadow’s ( looking at you UD Electric palette)and sometimes it can look overwhelming. I read in a magazine once to dust lightly a brown shadow over the bright one.And it tones down the color but still looks great for everyday wear. Now I can wear my bright eyeshadow colors without looking all crazy, lol.

  14. kellly says:

    I LOVE the colors you are wearing on your eyes! That pink looks like it has maybe a purplish duochrome and the gold looks beautiful with it. What are the colors of the shadows? They are awesome!

  15. Divya says:

    I always pop something on my cheeks blush or bronzer that always makes me look put together with our without any or other makeup! instant beautification! 😀
    Divya recently posted … Shopping at Duty Free

  16. JaeIsFancy says:

    Karen, pleaaaase break down the products and placement of this look. I need to replicate this, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

  17. fancie says:

    The typical bright color on the bottom lid lol. It can really transform a look! That pink eyeshadow is to die for btw. The sheen is so beautiful!
    fancie recently posted … Revlon Cappuccino Nearly Naked Foundation Review

  18. Sylirael says:

    Loooove that beetle-wing effect you’ve got there with those shimmering colours! 😀 I agree that a nice neutral liner really helps if you’re going a bit out there with the shadow colours. It helps make them more wearable for every day, and fit with whatever outfit I’m wearing!
    Sylirael recently posted … The Rogue at the Social – Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Have We Met?

  19. Michele DiCola says:

    Somehow , when I use green eyeliner That’s all I need ! I swatch it on & smudge it .
    And the rest of the day it looks even better !
    Why I don’t use this look everyday is so beyond me .
    But I guess I want to spoil myself !

  20. Donna says:

    If I’m using a color then yes, I use a mid-tone liner (cool would be a steel gray, warm would be a mid brown) but to really brighten up the eyes I use a very light highlighter (MAC Lightscapade) under my brow and then at the far outside corner of the under eye area. This really helps to brighten up the eye area without looking too obvious, especially in the summer with the bronzers going.

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