Eyes Up

Bold Eye Makeup Looks to Wear With Your Face Mask

Cyndle K with rainbow smoky eyes and a surgical mask on
Stas Komarovski 

If makeup is an art, then a protective face mask would theoretically remove half the canvas — right? Not so fast. You may feel sad waving goodbye to lipstick and bronzer, but makeup artist Cyndle K wants you to channel that experimentation-friendly energy from two months ago and get creative with your lids and lashes.

No matter where we're going lately, slipping on a mask or protective face covering has become part of the routine. With half of our faces covered while out and about — a measure recommended by the CDC to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus — the way we do our makeup is changing alongside everything else. Lipstick and highlighter are now relegated to at-home use. Foundation isn't the best idea anymore, either. (It can make surgical and N95 masks ineffective.) Our eyes are still wide-open canvases, though, so why not get creative?

New York City-based makeup artist Cyndle K recommends considering your mask as an extension of these looks rather than a hindrance or a competitor — a mindset that balances out the practicality of face coverings with some playfulness and personality. To show how you can switch up your makeup routines to better suit the new layer on everyone's faces, she created five stunning looks perfect for wearing with a mask, including glitzy graphic liner, playful neon blush, and rainbow smoky eyes.

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Before You Begin, Prep Your Base

For the base of all the looks, Cyndle K applied a lightweight moisturizer, like the Glossier Priming Moisturizer Balance, followed by sunscreen. Her favorite SPF at the moment is the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, a transparent formula that doesn't change the color of base makeup. 

Next, Cyndle K skipped foundation all over in favor of spot-concealing. She only dabbed the Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid where she felt was necessary — from the bridge of her nose up. (We love the Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Concealer, too, for its broader shade range and lightweight, satin finish.) 

Concealing her undereyes came with a caveat, though. Cyndle K preferred to do so after perfecting her eye makeup to avoid muddying the concealer with pigment fallout. Then, she focused on brightening the area as much as she could because masks can cast a shadow there.

Cyndle K first tapped on the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème, which has a color-correcting yellow tint. "It almost acts as a little bit of a highlight," she explains. Then, the Hourglass concealer was layered on top. 

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Brow grooming stayed the same across the board, too. Cyndle K filled in her arches with the Laura Mercier Blonde Eyebrow Pencil. Then, she brushed them up with the clear Chanel Le Gel Sourcils Longwear Eyebrow Gel for a flexible, pomade-like hold. Another impressive power duo for sculpting and taming is the Mented Cosmetics High Brow Pencil and Milani's The Clear Brow.

1. The New Dew
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Dewy skin has become a look in and of itself over the past couple of years. Whether you indulge in an extensive skin-care routine to achieve it or amp it up with highlighter, the coveted glassy complexion effect can still be played-up on your lids while most of your radiant face is obscured. 

Starting with the Chanel Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in Talpa, Cyndle K blended a light wash of the rich taupe all over her lids. Next, a waterproof taupe eye pencil, like the Sephora Collection 12hr Colorful Contour Eyeliner in Flirting Game, was etched along her lower waterlines "for definition without feeling like a heavy liner," she says. You can also swap out the taupe eye products for vivid colored options, such as fuchsia, tangerine, or lime green, for more of a jelly-like effect.

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Stas Komarovski 2020

To get things glowing, Cyndle K slicked the beloved Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream all over her lids. "It's not as tacky as a gloss," she explains of her choice. "It is a little bit smoother." Although it will still crease like a gloss, it's more hydrating, and you can easily tap the creases away with your fingertip. "It actually doesn't look so bad when it creases," she adds. "It's kind of like another whole look."

A waterproof mascara finished off the glossy eyes — an intentional choice to keep the pigment on Cyndle K's lashes from bleeding into the cream.

2. Bright Here, Bright Now
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Ease into the world of rainbow makeup — or explore a new, subtle side of it — with Cyndle K's technicolor smoky eye. You'll need a rainbow palette, like the Ben Nye Studio Color Eye & Cheek Rainbow Palette that Cyndle K used, or the Coloured Raine Vivid Pigment Palette, as well as a nude palette to make it happen.

To kick things off, Cyndle K reached for the nude palette (The Nubian from Juvia's Place is a great option) and added structure and shape to the eye makeup by sweeping taupe and chocolate brown onto her outer corners and into the creases.

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Then, bold hues were built around the neutral shadow while keeping the center of the lids clean: blue on the inner part of Cyndle K's creases and a dash on the outer part of her lower lash lines; yellow framing the taupe and blue; orange on her inner corners; and red along the lower lash lines "for a bit of contrast" and an unexpected brightening effect. 

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This bird of paradise moment doesn't call for any specific type of mascara, so feel free to use your favorite formula or try an Allure editor selection.

3. Pink Paradise
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With the apples of our cheeks hidden under face coverings, Cyndle K reimagined blush placement for our new reality with an incredible '80s draping vibe.

To achieve her hot pink flush, Cyndle K coated a fluffy brush with the Make Up For Ever Artist Color Eye Shadow in M-853 (matte neon pink) and swirled it around her temples — working from the outside of her face inward toward her eyes. "You can build up the look a little bit better that way," she explains.

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Then, Cyndle K carved out the creases of her lids with the Artist Color Eye Shadow in S-814 (satin light rosewood). By adding the brown-toned pink here, you create a separation between the blush and eye shadow, she says. Next, she diffused the rosewood by blending the neon pink on top of it.

In the center of her lids, Cyndle K pressed on Rose Gold from the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Eyeshadow Palette to add dimension to the otherwise matte look. Then, she framed the inner corners of her eyes with 24K (gold) from the same palette. Finally, complete the flushed look with a couple of coats of mascara. 

4. Celestial ‘60s
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If winged liner has always been your signature look, mix it up by adding some retro elements next time you draw on your flicks. Cyndle K painted hers on with Stila's Microtip Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Instead of closing her eye as she did so, she looked into the mirror to ensure peak evenness and sharpness. Another tip: start from the bottom lash line and draw upward.

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From there, Cyndle K accentuated her inner corners with the same black liquid liner by bringing the line down toward her tear ducts. Then, she outlined the outer half of her creases to balance out the glitter placement.

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The flecks of shimmer are a combination of Ben Nye's Sparklers Loose Glitter in Silver Prism and Gold Prism. She glued it on with Lashify's Whisper Light Dual Sided Bond along with a silver "exclamation point" — aka a Swarovski crystal — underneath her left brow to keep the look from being 100 percent symmetrical. (Any lash glue will do the trick, though.) 

With the same glue, Cyndle K also tacked on two individual false lashes from Lashify (you can sub in Ardell's) on the outer corners of each eye to up the foxiness of the liner. Then, she swiped on the Chanel Le Volume Revolution De Chanel Mascara.

5. Mid-'90s Blues
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Enter Cyndle K's 2020 homage to 1990s runway beauty moments courtesy of Kate Moss. "She had this blue smoky eye, and I always was obsessed with that," Cyndle K recalls.

A palette decked out in blues and greens is key for this look. Cyndle K is a fan of the Huda Beauty Sapphire Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette, but the Ace Beaute Oceanic Palette works too.

Begin by blending the darkest blues in the palette onto the outer corners and creases of your eyes. Next, layer lighter blue shimmer on the center of your lids.

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If you look closely at Cyndle K's eyes, you'll notice the lower lash lines are rimmed with a rich seafoam green. She dipped the brush with blue still on it into the green shadow in the palette to concoct the dreamy hue. Then, she ran it along her lower lids.

To amp up the smokiness of the look, the Fenty Beauty Flypencil in Cuz I'm Black was smudged along the upper lashes. Cyndle K also drew the same pencil along her water lines. 

While a waterproof mascara topped her upper lashes, Cyndle K coated her tiny lower lashes with the skinny brush of the It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer. To avoid smudging, she recommends scooting a tissue under your lashes as a shield, so that stray pigment will hit the tissue — not your skin.

Now, keep up the spirit of beauty experimentation that you felt so deeply while sheltering in place (congrats on your newly acquired at-home facial, hair-coloring, and manicure skills, by the way), and enter the newly reopened world with one of these makeup-and-mask pairings.


Read more stories about masks and makeup:


Now, see Skai Jackson's 10-minute makeup routine in action: 

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