How To: DIY Bright Colorful Eyeliner

The farthest thing from clown makeup

When it comes to making more adventurous style choices for your wedding, makeup is probably the last place you’d think to experiment. I see the nightmare forming now: Oh, you want a bold eye? Here, let me make you look like one of the Real Housewives for your wedding. You’re welcome! But in a lot of ways, makeup can be a subtle way to make your outfit feel special without having to commit to something large-scale like an ornate dress or a fancy hairpiece. (Though, fair warning, this look definitely falls under the “Your Wedding Is Not Timeless” influence of wedding style. But, you know, on the tasteful side of that scale.) If you’re anything like me, lipstick is never going to happen on a day that involves crying, sweating, eating, drinking, and photography (one time I tried to wear read lipstick to a BBQ and I ended up with so much lipstick on my face I looked like a three-year-old who’d broken into her mom’s makeup drawer), but I’ll also wear Google’s version of “bold eye makeup” on the third day of never.

So whaddya do? Well, I’ve been trying to figure that out for twenty years to no avail, so we asked our resident makeup expert Nikol Elaine to come up with a colorful eye tutorial that looks nothing like the circus and keeps the rest of your face looking like… your face. Here’s the bonus gift though! You can try this tutorial with products you probably already have in your makeup drawer, which means you can trial and error it as many times as you want before your wedding until you get the color/thickness/shape exactly the way you want it. Free is truly my favorite category of makeup tutorial.

How You do it:

1. To actually make the eyeliner, it’s as easy as scraping a bit of eyeshadow onto a palette or mirror and mixing it with a drop of water. Voila! Instant eyeliner. Nikol is using a hot pink Mac eyeshadow, but you can use any color you already have.
2. Next, prime your eyes with eyeshadow primer to make sure it stays put. If you’re worried about the aforementioned crying and sweating, this will keep your liner from crying with you.
3. Using a small angled brush, take a bit of your homemade eyeliner and starting on the outside corner of your lid, draw a line toward the center of your eye. Stop halfway, then starting at the inside corner, draw a line toward the center of your eye until the two lines meet in the middle (is this a game-changer technique for anyone else?)
4. Curl your eyelashes by pumping a rubber-tipped eyelash curler five times at the base of your eyelashes. Switch and curl the other side.
5. Finish with a bit of mascara. If you’re pretty sure that the sweating and crying is a definite for you, use mascara on the top lashes only. No raccoon face for you!

Bonus Step: If you’re really into color, you can add a lipstick in another bright shade, just as long as it’s not the same color as your eyeliner (no matching!) We used Revlon’s new matte balm crayon in “Audacious” on our model, Kit (below). Just make sure to keep your face and cheeks very neutral if you’re doing both a bold eye and a bright lip. Otherwise you verge on clown territory.

Bold wedding makeup may not be for you. Or maybe it is. There’s plenty of time to decide. In the meantime, you can play around with this technique to your heart’s content. I’ll be over here trying to figure out which shade of purple eyeliner I like best on myself. (Jury’s still out.)


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