Choose eye-shadow colors that contrast with or enhance the color of your eyes rather than those that match it exactly. Violet eye shadow, for example, brings out the green in hazel eyes; topaz makes brown eyes look deeper. Mauve, coral, and gray are flattering to blue eyes.
Eye shadow should also complement your skin tone and the color of your clothing. Muted shades look best in the daytime; use iridescent or bright colors at night, if at all. If your eyes are the classic oval, brush a medium shade from the eye crease to the lashes, a slightly darker shade along the eye crease, and a light shadow along the brow bone. Blend the colors up and out.
If your eyes are less than perfect ovals, you can redefine their shape with shadow. Keep in mind that a light color will bring an eye area forward; a dark color will subdue it.
To make small or deep-set eyes seem larger, use a pale shade from the browbone to the eyelashes. Extend them even more by applying a small V of a slightly darker shade just beyond the outer eye corners. Prominent eyes will recede if you use a dark shade over the entire lid almost to the browbone.
To make close-set eyes seem farther apart, use a pale shade on the third of the lids near the nose, a darker shade near the temple. Reverse this to make wide-set eyes seem closer together.
Use a liquid or pencil eyeliner to emphasize shape. Make a thin line as near the eyelashes as possible, also on the outer third of the lower lid; smudge it gently for a natural effect.
For a wide-awake look, use an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Hold the curler near the base of the lashes and squeeze; count to three, then release. Move the curler farther out toward the tips of the lashes and squeeze again. Apply mascara with your eyes open. Holding the wand vertically, coat the tips of the upper lashes, then sweep the wand horizontally over the lashes from base to tips. If you like, you can also apply mascara to the lower lashes. Should any lashes clump, separate them with the wand tip. Use a cotton swab for cleanups.