Danessa Myricks, a makeup artist, was a matte skin devotee until about three years ago.
“I saw the difference in my own skin as I got older,” Myricks said. “I realized glow gives you the illusion of more hydration, and it adds life to the face.” Her Instagram account is a feast of illuminated skin, eyes, lips and cheeks.
Our collective obsession with “glass” this and dewy that stems from our attraction to light, how it dances off a glassy finish. And glossy eyes are the easiest of all luminous looks to achieve — most simply, by tapping a layer of gloss onto your lids.
“Gloss changes everything,” Myricks said. “It elevates. It emphasizes the shape of your eyes.”
A glossy eye is simple to achieve, but because of the properties and texture of gloss, it’s not necessarily easy to wear. It doesn’t need to be scary, though. Here are a few strategies for making the glossy glow work for you.
Think of eye gloss as lip gloss
Like a lip color or lip gloss, you’ll have to reapply it. A shiny lipstick like Perricone MD No Makeup Lipstick ($30) is designed to last longer than a gloss, so it sticks around on your eyes better than a regular gloss and creates a pretty wine halo. Bonus: The lipstick has a mineral-based SPF 15.
Alternatively, a true gloss, like Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly ($14) can be your go-to. This formula isn’t as tacky as the average gloss.
Yes, gloss will feel weird at first
Initially, you’ll feel a distinct tackiness. And you may have a destructive urge to wipe it off. Resist. After about 15 minutes, you get used to the feeling. (It’s like that transient weighed-down lid you get when you first apply a strip of fake lashes.)
Myricks designed a collection of glossy toppers, Danessa Myricks Beauty ColorFix Glaze ($18) specifically for this purpose. They have a balmy texture, a dense pigment and fine glitter that make their glossing effect last longer.
Fake lashes help. Brows Are flexible.
Any product you use to gloss will break down other makeup it comes in contact with (like an oily makeup remover). So on a day you’re doing glossy lids, it’s a good idea to skip mascara.
The Lashify Control Kit ($145) is a DIY lash extension system that would be worth investing in if you’re completely sold on glossy lids. You clamp them on with adhesive, then apply a clear waterproofing top coat. (It’s pretty easy.) They won’t smudge under your gloss, and the effect is effortless, as if your lashes just happened to be long, curled, dark and dense.
As for brows, Myricks advised: “You can wear any style — boyish, groomed. You can even brush some gloss through your brows. Don’t think much about it.”
Eye glossing is versatile
“I can give an eye gloss to my daughter, who doesn’t wear much makeup, or you can go dramatic with a glossy, smoky eye,” Myricks said. Because pastels already give a gossamer, undone vibe, they look just right paired with gloss. Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadow ($28) in 333 (lavender) and Waterfall (baby blue) are deeply pigmented, which is key for layering under gloss because it has a diluting effect on color.
Dense glitter shadows, like Milani Hypnotic Lights Eye Topper ($11) also hold up well under gloss. (It’s a liquid, so let it dry first.) And the intense glitter adds another dimension of shine.
For a more theatrical glossy eye, use a waterproof eyeliner like Kat Von D Ultra Ink Liner ($20) and top with a glitter-flecked gloss like Flesh Beauty Fleshpot Eye & Cheek Gloss ($20).
Gloss what you want to emphasize
Myricks says the beauty of gloss is it that it draws attention to wherever you apply it. “Say you have a larger eye,” she said. “Tap gloss just in the center of the lid, below the crease. But if you have a smaller eye that you want to make look larger, bring the gloss all the way up to the brow bone.”
The rest of the face is up to you, but know that the more you gloss, the less impact any one area of gloss will have. Cupid & Psyche Creme Lipcolor ($23 is a moisturizing formula of carnauba and shea butter. The semi-matte finish balances glossiness and is available in 11 shades that can be built from sheer to deep.
Fake a gloss with dense shimmer
If all of this glossing sounds like too much, a dense shimmer in a metallic shade has a similar effect because of how it reflects light. The Laura Mercier Caviar Chrome Veil Liquid Eyeshadow ($29) in Night Sky, is an easy one-step glossy, smoky eye. Apply it on the lid up to the crease and blend in with your fingers. Stila Heaven’s Dew All Over Glimmer ($25) is a whitish silver glimmer cream-powder that mimics a gloss. Apply it to your lids solo, or swap it for glossy toppers.