When it comes to eye make-up there are four basic products to consider: eyeliner, eye shadow,
mascara, and eyebrow pencil. Each of these serves a specific purpose, and when used together – in a proper balance – can create
very appealing looks – both natural and dramatic. These products are used on the face to define, enhance and emphasize the look
of the eyes. This statement seems simple, but is deceptively so, because many women don’t understand the boundaries involved when
we talk of “the eyes” and discuss the landmarks used in applying their eye make-up.
The orbs through which we see are inset into sockets within the skull, and cushioned by a series
of muscles and fatty tissues that mark their prominence within the face. This is overlain by a protective layering of skin which forms
moveable covers for the eyes called lids. The opening and closing of the lids over the eyes constantly distributes lubrication and
moisture to the surface of the eyes keeping them comfortable. The lids of the eyes are edged by tiny hairs (we call eyelashes) that
protrude outward to form protective screens and help block irritants from getting onto the sensitive surface of the eye.
There are also trimmings of short hairs that form along the bony ridge above the eyes that
perhaps originally served a purpose to protect the eyes, but which have evolved into a more decorative function. These we call
the eyebrows. The eyes themselves – the orbs through which we perceive light and images – contain lenses and components that
contract to adjust to the level of light around us and to focus the images more clearly. These appear as a circular area of
color on the white orb of the eye, in the center of which is a smaller black circle which varies in size according to the
brightness of the surrounding light sources. The colored portion, called the iris actually contracts and expands, which creates
the appearance that the inner black portion – called the pupil – grows and shrinks. The iris changes in size to restrict the
amount of light that is admitted into the receptors.
The make-up used on and around the eyes is generally intended to serve two purposes:
First, it is meant to enhance the shape and color of the eyes, either by complimenting the color
or by making the color appear brighter and bolder.
Second, it is meant to mimic the look of sexual arousal. When the body becomes sexually aroused
there is an increased flow of blood into the face and the soft tissues surrounding the eyes will darken. This appearance generates
a primal response in members of the opposite sex and has adapted into a desirable beauty trait.
When applying your make-up on or around the eyes, the first step will be eye shadow. Depending
upon the look you are trying to achieve, you will apply eye shadow to the lids (the upper and/or lower) the creases, and lower
ridge of the brows. Generally this is to enhance the shape and contour of the eyes, making them appear more deep-set and romantic.