How to Make the Whites of Your Eyes Even Whiter


Getty Images / Design by Michela Buttignol

Having clear eyes might not be a top priority for you. It may not even be the first thing you think of when you get out of bed and start the process of getting ready for the day, but you can’t deny the effect a bright-eyed gaze has on your overall look. Picture this: you're out for drinks, your outfit is on point, and you're really feeling yourself. But when you catch a glance of your reflection in the bathroom mirror, you see someone who looks, well, tired and already hungover—even though you're not. The telltale signs? Bloodshot eyes and dullness around the eye area. We put our eyes through a lot on any given day. All those hours in front of the computer screen, exposure to environmental irritants, and even makeup mishaps can lead to dullness, redness, or a yellowish tint. But no matter the reason for your tired-looking eyes, dull eyes can be a mood killer.

But, there are a few beauty tricks that can revive your tired eyes. From eye-brightening drops to makeup hacks, we've got tips to help your eyes look white, sparkly, and worthy of their own close-up.

Ahead, makeup artist Matin shares seven tips and tricks to make your eyes look whiter.

5 Makeup Tips for Brighter Eyes
Getty Images / Design by Camden Dechert

Meet the Expert

Matin is a celebrity makeup artist and non-toxic beauty advocate, with clients among the likes of Angelina Jolie, Rebel Wilson, Awkwafina, and more.

01 of 07

Use Eye Drops

lumify drops
Bausch + Lomb Lumify Eye Drops $12

This one might be a no-brainer, but when it comes to itchy red eyes, nothing works as efficiently as eye drops. You might see improvement from using whichever bottle you find first at the drugstore, but for really noticeable results, ditch your standard eye drops and pick up one of the formulas beauty editors and makeup artists rely on instead. Matin's personal pick is Lumify but makeup artists also love Rohto’s Cooling Eye Drops ($5) and Innoxa’s Gouttes Bleues ($24), a French secret for canceling out hints of red and yellow.

02 of 07

Open Your Eyes With a Curler

curler lashes
Preo Curl Up Pro Eyelash Curler $19

Never underestimate the power of an eyelash curler. If you have a history of bad experiences with lash curlers and have sworn off of them because of it, consider giving the makeup tool another shot. Lifted lashes open up your eyes, which combats shadowing as a result and can help your eyes appear brighter and whiter. For the best results, start with the right tool.

Clamp the curler at the base of your clean lashes with your wrist slightly elevated for the perfect crimp-free bend. Hold it in place for 30 seconds before releasing for a no-fail lift and curl.

03 of 07

Dot Your Upper Lash Line with Liquid Eyeliner

Surratt Beauty Auto-Graphique Eyeliner $42

While mascara might cover a good bit of your waterline during the application process, it definitely leaves some blank spots on your upper lash line. Filing in those blank spots with black eyeliner will help create more contrast, making the whites of your eyes look more starkly white against a black lash line.

04 of 07

Apply White Eyeliner on Your Waterline

Surratt Inner Light Baton
Surratt Beauty Inner Light Baton $45

If you're someone who prefers to wear eyeliner along your bottom lashes, be careful when tracing your waterline (the area inside the rim of your bottom lashes) with a dark pencil. Many makeup artists use this technique when outlining the eye to create a smoky effect, but the end result can close in the eye and create darkness, as well as irritate the eye. And if you've ever applied makeup to your waterline, you know how easy it can be to poke yourself or get makeup fallout inside your eyelid, which in turn makes your eyes watery and bloodshot. So, for brighter, wider looking eyes, leave the waterline of your eyes bare and focus the line below your lashes. If you desperately want to correct redness along the lashes, lightly fill in the area where you need to with a bright white (or flesh-toned, for a more natural look) pencil to neutralize redness and contrast the blue eyeliner.

05 of 07

Highlight the Inner Corners of Your Eyes

marc jacobs highlight
Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Glaze All-Over Foil Luminizer $25

A pop of highlight on the inner corners of the eyes can make the whites of your eyes look whiter, as well as help you achieve a more generally bright-eyed, awake-looking appearance. Using a tapping motion, gently pat a small pop of highlight into the inner corners of your eyes. You can use a sweeping motion to blend if you go a little too heavy-handed on your first go.

06 of 07

Use a Mascara With Maximum Impact

nars climax
Nars Climax Mascara $24

When trying to make the whites of your eyes appear brighter, the contrast of mascara will do wonders. Opt for a formula that's lengthening and volumizing for maximum impact. Matin recommends Climax from Nars.

07 of 07

Finish Off With a Shimmery Shadow

Surratt Beauty Artistique Eyeshadow in Soie $22

Per Matin, look for a shimmery (but sheer) eyeshadow to finish off the eye. This will help brighten the overall appearance of the eyes, with the whites of your eyes "picking up" the glitter on the lid and vice versa.

  • Can you brighten your eyes using makeup?

    Yes, you can. All you need is a white or flesh-toned eyeliner applied right underneath the waterline, a pop of highlight in the inner corners, and a shimmery eyeshadow.

  • How does an eyelash curler help brighten eyes?

    When your lashes are lifted, it helps combat the shadows and help you look more awake and well rested.

  • What causes bloodshot eyes?

    A lack of sleep, stress, excessive drinking, being in a smoke-filled room, looking at a computer screen for a long time, and environmental allergens are all causes of bloodshot eyes.

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