I am fair-skinned, blue-eyed and a blonde, which is about as far from emulating the Kim Kardashian look as you can get. Although my look suits me just fine, there are times when I am trying to keep up — not with the Kardashian clan — with Kim’s makeup looks.
How does Kim wear so much eye makeup and not seem to be in pain? Not a grimace, nothing watering, no redness… It appears that she does have talent after all!
It is no secret that I have the world’s most sensitive left eye: I cannot wear contacts and have been sporting glasses, which have morphed into my trendiest and best accessory for over eleven years.
When it comes to makeup, I wear very little around the eyes and I’m extra selective about products that cater to sensitivity. More often than not, I skip eye makeup altogether. For special occasions (i.e. weddings and parties), I use a tiny bit of primer under my brows and a very light pink shadow over it. I’ve been trained to stick with Clinique for my sensitivity, but when daring to use eyeliner, Make Up For Ever is the only brand I trust — it stays put without a smudge through rain, sleet and tears and I know it won’t migrate into my eyes.
Then, I make sure my brows are groomed perfectly. Mostly satisfied with this routine, I still wonder if it is possible to enhance my lashes and line my eyes, to give myself that sculpted, almost alien-like high cheekbone appearance that instills envy (yes, come on, admit it – Kardashi-envy).
I decided to seek out the advice of sought-after makeup artists and ask them:
“Is it possible to get Kim’s look if you have sensitive eyes?”
Realize, when reading the responses that follow, eyes have varying degrees of sensitivity. If you are as highly sensitive as I am, you might want to skip eye makeup altogether and focus on the rest of your visage: a clean looking face with the right blush contouring and brow shaping will naturally draw attention to your eyes anyway.
According to Meira Joselit, a New Jersey based makeup artist and Arbonne consultant,
“Fake lashes and glue, so obviously a part of the Kardashian routine, hurt sensitive eyes!” So skip it, she advises. “You can get the smoky look, but a tight line (which is inner-rimmed and basically touching the eye) in addition to fake lashes with glue will really irritate your eyes.”
She recommends Arbonne’s water resistant and super-gentle mascaras, and she herself has extremely sensitive and easily irritated eyes. If you want to get a good line and a “big draw” on the upper eye lids, Joselit likes Smashbox’s black gel liner because it stays put. She also recommends Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner ($28.00) pencil as another non-smudge pick.
Celebrity makeup artist Alison Raffaele, who was Bobbi Brown’s head assistant for three years and who employs techniques that have graced famous faces (i.e. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Sigourney Weaver and Giselle Bündchen), points out that it is important to understand which types of eye makeup cause sensitivity:
“Among those that are irritating are powdered eyeshadows, particularly ones that contain shimmer or sparkles (the particles can easily get into your eyes when applying) as well as anything purple (purple pigments are well-known allergens).”
She adds that anything with fragrance — the latex in eyelash glue, fast-drying eyeliners (liquids, gels) and mascaras with fibers — are seldom compatible with sensitive eyes.
“Now, this is not to say that every person with sensitive eyes will necessarily be sensitive to all of these things; this is simply a list of the most-likely culprits,” explains Raffaele.
So, What’s A Sensitive Girl To Do?
Raffaele delineates the following steps for getting Kim Kardashian’s look:
1. “Use cream shadows and liners. These fly around less than the powdered kind, making them less likely to get into your eyes. To set them in place and keep them from smearing (particularly darker shades), set cream eye shadows with a colorless setting powder like my own brand’s Transparent Finish ($28.00)
The best way to do this is to dip a velour puff into the powder, work the powder onto the puff (don’t use too much) and then press the puff onto closed eyelids. To get a major highlight under your brow bone, use a luminizing product like my Incandescence Luminizer ($28.00). The optical diffusers in it reflect light without the use of potentially irritating shimmer particles.
2. “A big part of Kim’s look is an obscene amount of lashes, but many sensitive girls are not able to tolerate lash glue. To make the most of your natural lashes, curl them with a good eyelash curler (I like the ones by Tarte, Kevyn Aucoin & Shu Uemura), then apply your mascara.
To make your lashes thicker, you can dust them with a bit of powder (like Transparent Finish) in-between coats. Just make sure you are not using a loose powder with its first ingredient being mica.
3. “For eyeliners, the safest best is to use a cake liner with a brush, which is a powder you dampen with water to make a paste. Pencil liners can work for sensitive eyes, too, but they tend to smear and melt down more quickly than cake liners.
4. “One thing a lot of people don’t realize: natural bristled brushes must be sprayed with loads of chemicals to make sure there are no bugs in the hairs when they are imported into the US. An easy way to avoid these chemicals is to use only synthetic bristled brushes, which do not need to be fumigated.”
Photo Courtesy of KimKardashian.Celebuzz.com
“As much as you first notice her smoldering, smoky eyes, Kim’s killer contouring and perfectly sculpted brows are what really make her a makeup icon.
If you have sensitive eyes and rimming your inner and outer lids with dark liners is a no-no. Don’t worry, just focus on skin, brows and lip techniques to get the Kim K. look.
First thing is mastering the extreme contouring and complexion perfection. The basic principle of this look is to have the center of your face highlighted with lighter shades and have the perimeter sculpted with darker ones.
– Select a yellow-based concealer two to three shades lighter than your natural skintone and blend it under your eyes, down onto the cheek along the edge of your nose, center of your forehead, down the bridge of your nose and mid chin.
Watch a video tutorial on how to contour like a professional –> HERE!
– Then, take a face powder/bronzer two to three shades darker than your skin and blend it across your hair line, on temples, into the hollows of your cheeks (the indent under cheekbones from the ear to corner of the mouth) and onto your jawline.
– Finish off with a soft highlight on the cheek and brow bones and a nice peachy-pink blush on the outer apples of the cheek.
A Tip For Getting Stand-Out Brows:
Once you’ve shaped them, either by tweezing and/or filling them in, outline the skin around them with your concealer. This leaves them perfectly polished.
When she goes lighter on the eyes, Kim is known to wear a beautiful, bold lip in shades of bright reds/crimsons and plums.
When wearing a bold color you always want to line and fill in the lip with a pencil in a matching shade. This helps to keep color from bleeding. Kim always has full lashes, and no makeup look is complete without them.
If you find mascaras way too irritating, I highly recommend lash extensions. These are applied by a qualified technician who permanently attaches all-natural hair to each lash. After about an hour, you have lush, long lashes. You don’t have to worry about irritating mascara or glue from false lashes that you apply on your own!”
Do any of you lovely ladies suffer from sensitive eyes? How do you pull off a smoky eye look? Let us know by commenting below and re-Pinning this on Pinterest (you just might win a free sample)! Make sure to follow us on our Pinterest page by clicking HERE! And don’t forget to get the latest beauty and skincare news by following us on Twitter @BeautyStat!
– Shira Hirschman Weiss
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