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Colorful, Graphic Liner

If you’re wearing a mask, you’re probably already playing up your eye area (see: Fluffy, Full Brows). But sometimes, you really want to go for it. Enter boldly drawn eyeliner in shades beyond the typical black and brown. “It’s a super-impactful way to draw attention to the eyes,” says Jenny Smith, global makeup artist at Nars. “And it’s easy.” Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone when it comes to color. Vibrant shades can be just as easy to pull off as your standby charcoal. “White, cobalt, green, gold, copper, metallic red—they’re all wearable for day or evening,” Smith says. “I use Broadway on everyone.”

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What The Pros Know

Keep shadow simple. A neutral backdrop lets your colored liner take central stage. “I suggest eyeshadows that are close to your skintone,” Smith says. “On my own lids, I love something really light with no shimmer, so that no matter what eyeliner finish I choose—matte or metallic—it’ll still look good.”


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Start subtle. In makeup, there are no rules. And there’s definitely not one that states you have to line your entire eye—or even the top lid. “You can easily apply just one or two swipes of bright eyeliner inside the lower lashline for a pop of color and a brightening effect,” Smith says. “And if you don't like it, you can quickly take it off with a little micellar water and a cotton swab.”

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You don’t have to go it alone. Smith often combines a colored liner with a black one, especially for those easing into the trend. “Start with a thick line of your bright color, like cobalt, and get it to the intensity you want,” she says. “The apply your black pencil right against the lashline, which will make your lashes appear fuller and thicker, but also make that edgy blue seem a little more sophisticated.”

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Mascara is your forever friend. When you opt for colorful liner, you need to finish off your look with that Smith terms “a good amount of mascara.” Because while your bright liner will emphasize your eyes, definition usually comes from a darker shade, such as black or brown. The voluminous, high-impact lashes you’ll get from the right mascara are “going to give you the definition you need.”