UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beauty Column: Eye Makeup

Makeup For Your Eyes

If I hear about one beauty complaint above any other, it is, without question, how difficult it is to find the right eye makeup products.

“I always have a problem with my eyeliner smudging, whether it’s liquid or pencil,” one friend has told me. A myriad of others complain about flaking eye shadow and runny mascaras, of liquid eyeliner that is impossible to shape, and the emotional rollercoaster that is applying the perfect smoky eye for a night out.

It is difficult to navigate the expansive multiverse of eye makeup out there, but as an eye makeup junkie, I’ve built up an arsenal of go-to products over the years that has yet to fail me.


1. Eyeshadow Primer in 01 Nude by Milani, $6.49

Before I do anything with my eyes, I make sure to put a thin coat of primer on my eyelids. Just like face primer is critical to keep your foundation in place for as long as possible, eyeshadow primer solves a lot of eye makeup problems such as flaking or smudging, or at least minimizes them.

Since using this drugstore brand eye primer, I have never had a problem with any of my eye makeup—not just eyeshadow—smudging off!


1. Magic Ink Liquid Eyeliner in Jet-Black by Benefit Cosmetics, $20.00

You will almost never catch me out and about with bare eyelids. No questions asked—I live for liquid eyeliner. I’m all about experimentation and trial and error. From my point of view, it is go big or go home. Do not be afraid to rock a major range of styles, from a thick cat-eye to a subtle flick at the corners.

That said, I am extremely picky about my liquid eyeliners, and Magic Ink has been my staple product for years. I am all about minimal-shine and highly opaque color, and Magic Ink wins hands down in both categories. On top of that, the brush tip is very thin and precise, making it easy to draw the shape you want. The liquid does not dry immediately, so it is relatively easy to wipe away any minor mistakes before it sets.

2. Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black by Maybelline New York Eye Studio, $9.99 (brush included)

No matter what I do, I have never been able to wear pencil eyeliner. My biggest frustration for years has been finding a liner I can put on my lower and top waterlines without smudging. Since pencil never cut it, I gave gel eyeliner a try on a whim. I have not looked back since!

I use the Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner where makeup is most likely to smudge, and this liner lasts at least 12 hours with minimal smudging. Even when it does smudge, it is very subtle and easy to wipe away without ruining the rest of my makeup. I also use a tiny bit to touch up my eyebrows!


1. Smoky Extravagant Mascara by Make Up For Ever, $24.00

Mascara is one of my favorite products to experiment with, and despite the many samples I experiment with each month, I always come back to the Smoky Extravagant Mascara. What makes or breaks a mascara for me is the brush shape, and the Smoky Extravagant has the perfect shape for getting every lash. The base towards the stem is the widest part, and the brush narrows as it moves towards the tip. That way, most of the emphasized volume falls on your outer lashes. I also have never had issues with flaking, but the product does take a while to fully dry.

The only major drawback is that it is not waterproof and, if you get caught in the rain or snow, you can bet you are going to have to walk home with streaks of mascara under your eyes. Trust me.

2. Cobra Mascara by Lorac, $21.00

Another favorite of mine is the Cobra Mascara because not only is the name pretty cool, but the brush itself is shaped like a cobra head! The brush is excellent for adding volume, not necessarily length, so if you have naturally long lashes this mascara is perfect for you. I have also never had problems with the Cobra Mascara flaking, but I have noticed it dries out pretty quickly—I can only ever make it last a little over a month.

Again, the Cobra is not waterproof so be careful about the weather!


1. Naked2 by Urban Decay, $54.00 (double-ended brush included)

Anyone who has so much as said the word “makeup” has probably heard all the rave about the Naked Eyeshadow Line by Urban Decay. And let me tell you—the hype is not misguided.

Each palette has a different range of 12 eyeshadow colors with a general tone. The Naked2 consists of taupe and beige neutrals, half shiny and half matte. I would look at all of the palettes and select what works for you based on your skin tone. I have experimented with the original Naked palette as well, which I feel is better for lighter skin tones. The Naked2 is excellent for medium skin tones. I have not had a chance to try the Naked3 palette, but it consists mostly of rose-toned neutrals.

The Naked2 palette has just about every color you need for any kind of event. I use the Golden half/baked, matte Foxy, and shimmering bootycall for a subtle daily look, and use the brown shades of Snakebite, Pistol, and Busted with Blackout to achieve my smoky-eye look. The colors are vibrant, easy to build, and easy to mix and match. It is incredibly versatile and absolutely worth the investment!

The only problem with the palette is that, if using a heavy hand for layering colors, the makeup can flake a little bit during application. However, once the eyeshadow is in place, it stays all night without a problem.

As a final bit of advice, when doing the smoky eye, put little pieces of scotch tape at the corners of your eyes before you apply your eyeshadow. After you apply your desired colors, peel the tape away for a sharp and striking smoky eye!