What are Dramatic Eyes?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
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Dramatic eyes is a cosmetics industry term that usually refers to intense evening eye makeup. The eyes are accentuated in a bold, yet smoldering way with a combination of eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara. Although the same products are used in daytime makeup looks, darker colors and bolder techniques create dramatic eyes for evening.

Smokey or sexy eyes are other names to describe the dramatic eye makeup look. A dark eyeshadow shade such as smokey gray, midnight blue, cocoa brown or deep plum is applied in a swirling, cloudy way that sweeps upward over the lids just past the eyelid creases on the outer third of the eyes. The crease of each outer eyelid should have a smudged line of dark eyeshadow to create a dramatic, deeper-set eye look.

To complete the smokey eyeshadow technique, the same color should be carefully swirled along the lower third of each eye right next to the lash line. The color should end at the outer corners of the eyes. There are different products that can be used for the lower eye technique when creating dramatic eyes. If powdered eyeshadow is on the upper eyes, the same product can be applied to the lower parts with a damp foam applicator. Alternatively, the lower color can be added with a liquid eyeliner or eye liner crayon in a matching color.


Some people prefer to line the entire eye with color rather than just the outer third. This technique does create very dramatic eyes; it may not be attractive on everyone though. It's important for individuals to experiment with different eye shadow techniques, since what suits one person won't necessarily be the best evening look for another. For instance, people with already deep-set eyes may want to try applying a lighter eyeshadow color to make their eyes stand out.

While dark eyeshadow shades are used for the outer eye in creating smokey dramatic eyes, a medium shade in the same color family should be applied to the rest of the eyelid. For example, if a smokey charcoal is the outer lid and crease color, a medium gray can be used on the rest of each eyelid. A light, yet slightly sparkly or shimmery, shade such as silver can be used under the brow bone to finish the eye makeup before adding mascara.

Black mascara used to create the longest lashes possible further accentuates dramatic eyes. A metal tool called an eyelash curler can help create the illusion of longer eyelashes because it curves the lashes upward right from where they meet the eyelid. An eyebrow pencil can be used to darken the brows. Matching eye makeup to clothing colors or using bold lip or cheek color should be avoided; the idea is to make the eyes stand out.



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