Lockdown or no lockdown, face masks are sticking around for the foreseeable and that places our eye area well and truly in the spotlight. It’s no coincidence that after lockdown 1.0 eye make-up sales in the prestige sector jumped noticeably, at a time when make- up sales were declining elsewhere. So, if you too have found yourself favouring eyeliner over lipstick recently, it’s likely you’re on the lookout for a few new eye-area buys.
Stuck for inspiration? Enter the Grazia beauty team with their tried and tested favourite finds (scroll down if you can't wait) as well as make-up maestro Kate Jane Hughes' top tips and tricks to amp up your eye game...
It's All In The Prep
The secret to making your shadow stay put? ‘Make sure you prepare the eye area appropriately,’ says Katie, ‘meaning, stay away from creamy textures and lots of shine as this can cause your products to slip and slide throughout the day. Rather, opt for just a dab of eye cream, a little concealer and some setting powder.’
Perfect A Flick
A slick of liner may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s also one of the best. ‘It really works to enhance the eyes by elongating the shape and giving them that feline, sexy feel,’ says Katie. To get it right, go in with a soft black kohl pencil first.
‘Sketch your shape as close to the lash line as possible. Clean up any bits you don’t like with a cotton bud dipped in micellar water, before you seal the deal with a liquid liner of your choice.’ Katie loves Surratt Auto Graphique Liner, £40.
Experiment With Colour
Forget playing it safe with soft, muted tones and inject some fun into your look with bright accents. ‘Begin by experimenting with colour close to your lash line,’ advises Katie, ‘and, as you get more comfortable, expand the colour up and out.’ Top tip? ‘Keep the skin light and fresh and the brows quite natural, as this will allow your eye make-up to do all the talking.’
Try Some Eye-Lights
You don’t have to go the whole hog and use multiple shadows, eyeliners and brushes to make an impact. As Katie points out, ‘Something as simple as a light colour pencil along the waterline can really open up the eyes and make them look brighter. Just don’t go for white. Stick to a nude for a more natural and subtle effect.’ To widen the eyes even further, load on mascara in the middle of the top and bottom lashes.
Shop: Grazia's Beauty Team Ultimate Eye Buys
Best Eye Make-Up
'This is no wallflower wand. This mascara makes your eyes look bigger and lashes more voluminous, without ever going clumpy. We're talking full, fluttery and budge-proof.' - Joely Walker, Beauty & Health Director
'If you're looking for a total failsafe, this formula has never, ever let me down. So creamy. So brightening. So blendable. It's a global best-seller.' - Joely Walker, Beauty & Health Director
'I like my brows bold, full and fluffy – and this makes it so easy to achieve. First, I brush the Tinted Brow Gel through my brows from the base upwards before going in with the Charlotte Tilbury Brow Fix, £19.50 (to fluff them up and keep them in place).' - Joely Walker, Beauty & Health Director
'The easiest route to a subtle smoky eye ever created. I'll either scribble this stick all over my eyelid before blending in with my middle fingertip or, for a more day-to-day look, I'll trace it underneath my lower lash line to quickly frame my eyes with a subtle hit of sparkle.' - Joely Walker, Beauty & Health Director
'In lieu of my usual lash extensions by Edy London, lockdown had me trying new mascaras galore. My favourite? Lancôme's latest wand – featuring 360 tiny bristles, the curved brush curls every single lash, while the smooth gel formula serves up flake-free volume and length.' - Annie Vischer, Beauty Editor
'I go through under-eye concealer like there's no tomorrow so a bargain buy is a must. My other requirements? A super-lightweight, silky formula and peach undertones to counteract the purple tinge of dark circles. This ticks every box.' - Annie Vischer, Beauty Editor
'First, I add both definition and volume with Glossier's cult classic Boy Brow. Next, I use the super-fine tip of Huda's new pencil, £15, to fill in any gaps and the spoolie at the other end to brush the hairs up.' - Annie Vischer, Beauty Editor
'I'm a liner girl through and through. This iteration is soft enough to be applied then blended with a fine brush for a diffused finish that lasts through countless Zooms. I use it sparingly on its own after applying my under-eye concealer, concentrating on the outer sides of each lash line before blending. If I want to look more awake, I apply to my top lash line only or, for a more intense effect, I slick it across both top and bottom waterlines.' - Annie Vischer, Beauty Editor
'I'm a big fan of L'Oréal Paris mascaras and its latest offering is up there with the very best. The chunky brush gives you that doll-like, wide-eyed look with only a few sweeps. As for the formula, it's smudge-proof and waterproof, delivering a glossy black finish that stays put come rain or eye water.' - Emma Stoddart, Senior Beauty Writer
'As someone with genetically dark under-eyes, I'm always on the lookout for brightening concealers. New in from bareMinerals, this creamy formula is amazing at instantly masking dark circles (that's the light-reflecting mineral pearls at work) while targeted ingredients leave my skin hydrated, too. I apply and pat in with my ring finger (it's the weakest, so ideal for the eye area).' - Emma Stoddart, Senior Beauty Writer
'After seeing this brand all over social media and hearing rave reviews from a friend, I had to give it a go. The three-step brow ritual, founded by influencer Jess Hunt, includes a pomade, a gel and a pencil. The pencil, in particular, really impressed me. The super-fine, skinny tip can be used to mimic hair-like strokes and fill in sparse areas for a natural finish.' - Emma Stoddart, Senior Beauty Writer
'Ideal for lazy make-up lovers like me, this pot of creamy shadow, rich in pigment, is the easiest way to elevate your make-up in seconds. Truth, my everyday go-to shade, is a warm caramel-chestnut brown that I smudge across my eyelids before taking a thin, angled brush to run the colour under my eyes for definition.' - Emma Stoddart, Senior Beauty Writer