FEMAIL tests best cosmetics for creating the illusion of wider eyes

Say goodbye to tired eyes! FEMAIL tests the best cosmetics for creating the illusion of wider eyes – from £300 lash extensions celebrities swear by to £60 masks that claim to transform dark circles in just 20 minutes

  • FEMAIL gives verdict on a selection of cosmetics for the illusion of bigger eyes 
  • PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream was voted best skincare product 
  • Huda Beauty and Edy London Eyelash Extensions were rated the best make-up

Since the government implemented the rule of mandatory face masks in many public places across the UK amid the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a greater focus on eyes – with reports suggesting there has been a slump in lipstick sales.

While makeup fans are aware that certain products can be used to draw attention to the eyes, there are also a variety of other new innovations that promise to give the illusion of making them instantly bigger. 

From eye masks that claim to transform tired eyes in just 20 minutes to a lash kit celebrities swear by, FEMAIL gives their verdict on a selection of cosmetics for the illusion of wider eyes. 


Instant Effect Eye Masks 

katherinedanielscosmetics.com, £60 / 4 treatments

Claire said she was unable to see a real difference before and after using Instant Effect Eye Masks. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

KATHERINE DANIELS, CO FOUNDER OF KIRSTI SHUBA CLAIMS: ‘The skin around our eyes is much thinner and more fragile making the area more prone to dryness, puffiness and dark circles, showcasing our inner fatigue and ultimately making our eyes look smaller. 

If you’re looking for a quick fix treatment to transform and revitalise tired, dehydrated eyes our Instant Effect Eye Masks will deliver instant visible results in just 20 minutes.’ 

CLAIRE’S SAYS: ‘I couldn’t see a real difference between the before and after putting this mask on. While it was easy to apply (after a perilous first try) it didn’t reap amazing results as my eyes seemed as small as they were before. 

‘I did feel fresh and pampered after putting it on, but it didn’t make my eye magically three times wider.’


MONAT 30 Second Miracle Instant Eye Perfector  

monatglobal.com/uk, £85

Hayley said MONAT 30 Second Miracle Instant Eye Perfector didn’t deliver the results she had expected for the high price point. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: MONAT 30 Second Miracle Instant Eye Perfector claims to be a remarkable temporary quick-fix that instantly tightens and smooths the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, puffiness, under eye bags and wrinkles for a refreshed, youthful appearance that lasts for hours. 

HAYLEY’S VERDICT: ‘For the high price point I had high hopes for this product and its lauded “instant tightening.” I applied it after cleansing and to be honest, I did experience ‘tightening’ but it wasn’t particularly pleasant. 

It felt like I’d applied a light layer of glue to keep my skin in place, and when I smiled it was a crinkling sensation – worsening the appearance of my fine lines, in my opinion. 

I also felt it didn’t provide a great base for my foundation, as when I layered over the top it looked like my skin was a bit dry and patchy underneath. 

It’s possible I used a bit too much, but when I applied less I didn’t really notice much of a difference. 

The second time I put moisturiser on top and that helped the dry feeling. On the plus side the serum is light and it dried very quickly. It left a sheen reminiscent of a highlighter, and the packaging is lovely.


Aurelia Skincare Brightening Eye Serum 

aureliaskincare.com, £48

Nicole said Aurelia Skincare Brightening Eye Serum made the skin under her eyes feel more hydrated. Pictured: before left, after right

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Aurelia Skincare Brightening Eye Serum is a nourishing serum that promises to hydrate, smooth and brighten eyes for the illusion of a more youthful and rested appearance. 

NICOLE SAYS: ‘Under my eyes does feel plumper and more hydrated than before, however I don’t think there is a noticeable difference in wrinkles or anything. 

‘It had an over powering rose scent that you could still smell an hour after putting it on which is was very off putting. 

I also put some in my eye by mistake and it stung a lot, again not something you want in a product that goes by your eyes! 

‘Make up applied nicely over the area but I can’t say that it’s any different to any other eye cream I’ve used. Will continue to use but definitely not worth the price tag.’


PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream 

pcaskin.co.uk, £84

Bridie said PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream smells divine and she would add it to her skincare routine. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream claims to have a unique formula that is able to firm and lift the entire eye area, while treating the common signs of ageing for a dramatic improvement.   

BRIDIE’S SAYS: ‘This is a really lovely cream and it felt great under and around my lashes, but unfortunately I’m not sure how much of difference it made to making my eyes bigger.

It has a real luxurious feel to it and smells divine, I would definitely recommend adding it to any skincare routine, and I think it could feel great on droopy baggy eyes after a night out, but I’m not sure if it’s quite the ultimate quick fix I’d be keen for (I’ll just stick to concealer for that).

I think if you used this everyday for a long time it could definitely reduce circles and make you look more awake, but like most face creams, it’s no overnight miracle!’




Hudabeauty.com, Legit Lashes £20, Sand Haze palette £23, Get Even rose oil £46 

Huda Beauty’s range of eye cosmetics instantly gave my eyes the illusion of being bigger and isn’t too dramatic for everyday wear. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Huda Beauty’s range of eye products includes a mascara clinically proven to lengthen and curl lashes, Sand Haze eye shadow palette and rose oil blended from 15 oils that claim to have skin enhancing benefits. 

LATOYA SAYS: ‘I don’t usually wear eye shadow but I have been using Huda Beauty’s Legit Lashes for a few months. I was excited to put the brand’s full list of recommended eye products together for a finalised look. 

I prepared my skin using rose oil and then applied a range of the gold shades from the sand haze palette for a brighter appearance.  

I finished the look with the mascara and noticed the length of my lashes instantly doubled, for an overall wider eye look. I was pleased with the finished results and didn’t have to reapply the products throughout the day.’



bobbibrown.co.uk, Golden Slipper eye shadow palette £36.50, Vitamin Rich Eye Base £34, Smokey Eye mascara £25.50

Bobbi Brown’s eye base instantly moisturised my skin and made applying make-up easy, however my eyes didn’t look as wide as I expected. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Bobbi Brown’s range of eye products includes a Vitamin Enriched Eye Base that promises to instantly deliver an awake appearance, as well as an eye shadow palette and mascara.   

LATOYA SAYS: ‘I applied the eye base and then began placing a gold shade on my eye lids. I was slightly disappointed with the eye shadows because I had to apply a lot for the colour to show. 

I loved the primer and the mascara gave my eyelashes more length and definition to draw attention to my eyes. 

I think the range of products slightly helped to make my eyes look more awake, however they weren’t as wide as some of the other items I tried.’



NYX jumbo eye pencil £5.50, NYX inner eye brightener £6, Maybelline The Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Volumising Mascara £9.99

I probably wouldn’t wear white eye liner on my eye lid and my water line in the future but this look definitely made my eyes look bigger

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: From NYX Professional Makeup, the Faux Whites Eye Brightener Pencils promises to brighten up your eyes. Meanwhile, Falsies Lash Lift mascara aims to give an instant lash lift effect both lengthening and volumizing lashes. 

LATOYA SAYS: ‘The camera doesn’t do my eyes justice. The white NYX pencils definitely made my eyes look brighter and the mascara made my lashes look longer.  

I’m not a big fan of white eye liners for an every day look but I would try these products again for an instantly wider eye look.’



cultbeauty.co.uk, Climax mascara £24, Rue Bonaparte eyeliner, £19, eye shadow, £17

Claire said she liked the brand’s eyeliner but was less impressed by their eye shadow, overall her eyes only looked slightly wider. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

RACHEL FROM NARS CLAIMS: ‘There are plenty of makeup artist tips to make your eyes bigger. I always think defining the lashes is the quickest and easiest way. 

I like to line underneath the lash line with the High Impact Longwear Liner Via Vaneto. This gives the illusion of a thicker lash, but keeps also opens up the eye. 

Always add mascara to the top and bottom lashes when you want to go for a bright eyed look. I love to use Climax as you can really build these lashes and sculpt them in the direction you want too.

‘To instantly appear awake and help your eyes to sparkle, add a touch of the High Impact Longwear Liner Rue Bonaparte to the bottom waterline. 

This is a nude liner, so instantly removes any redness around the eye area. You can always use a subtle pop of brightness to the inner corner with Isla Bonita Single Shadow, this will wake up the entire look.’

CLAIRE SAYS: ‘If like me, you struggle to apply the most basic of make-up, the idea that you can utilise mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow to make your eyes look wider can sound a bit out there.

‘I really liked Nars’ creamy eyeliner. It was easy to apply and did add some pop to my eye. But I would keep it for special occasions rather than for a quick makeup before running to the post office.

I was less impressed by their eye-shadow, which had a big fallout on my cheek and made it look like I had just sprinkled my face with a bottle of glitter.

The Climax mascara, which is one of the brand’s best-sellers, did not disappoint. It did make my tiny lashes longer and was easy to apply.

Overall, I do believe it made my eyes slightly wider, however, the fallout from the shadow made the look slightly less natural/messier than I’d have wanted.’


Revolutionary Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes Kit  

dollbabylondon.uk, £44.95

Monica said Revolutionary Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes Kit were more difficult to apply than regular lashes but created a fuller eye look. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Dollbaby London lashes have been worn on the red carpet by Poppy Delevingne and Cardi B on her European tour. Dbl boasts that they’re the first UK brand to develop its revolutionary Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes Kit ‘No-Glue Fuss-Free Lashes’ specifically designed for those who cannot use eyelash glue.

MONICA SAYS: ‘I love wearing false eyelashes but tend to avoid them as they take a lot of time and aggravation to apply and usually end up with me having to redo all of my eye make up, never mind falling off half way through the night.

I was really excited to try these but sadly they were just as difficult to apply, if not slightly more, than regular lashes. 

‘The instructions say to trim the lashes if need be, which I did and apply two layers before using tweezers to add the lashes when the eyeliner is tacky.

The magnetic piece had come off the end while trimming the lashes and by the time I’d started to apply them (instructions says 30 seconds) the eyeliner seemed pretty much dry and I had to try and reapply more with half of the lash stuck to my eyelid.

However once I’d managed to apply them, the lashes looked amazing and are definitely a great balance of creating a fuller eye look while still looking relatively natural.’


Milk Makeup Kush Liquid Eyeliner 

selfridges.com, £20 

Abbey said Milk Makeup Kush Liquid Eyeliner has good potential, however it smudged easily. Pictured: Before left, after right 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Milk Makeup’s Kush Liquid Eyeliner claims to be a clean, waterproof felt tip liquid eyeliner pen formulated with hemp-derived cannabis seed oil and blackest black pigment for up to 24-hour wear.  

ABBEY SAYS: ‘I was really looking forward to trying this product as I have heard very good things about the brand before, and the fact that it is vegan and cruelty free was also a massive tick for me.’

‘However, the tip was extremely dry, even once I turned it around and used the other end it soon dried out, which made it hard to apply.’

‘I’m not sure if there’s a proper way to swap the tip around, but when I was using it, it was very messy and ended up all over me.’

‘Despite how dry the formula was, it remained sticky throughout the day and it smudged very easily.’

‘It’s a shame as the eyeliner does have good potential, the colour is very black and opaque and the idea of being able to use both ends of the tip is great, but it’s just not there yet.’


Westman Atelier Eye Pods in Les Jours and Les Nuits 

westman-atelier.com, £80 

Nicole said Westman Atelier Eye Pods in Les Jours and Les Nuits are beautiful but the shades need to be piled on. Pictured: Before left, after right 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Westman Atelier’s Gucci Westman works side-by-side with skilled chemists to develop makeup looks good and benefits skin. Their eye shadow palette includes three rich shades that can be mixed and matched together to create an array of different looks.  

NICOLE SAYS: ‘All three shadows are beautiful, but I was expecting something hugely impactful and they’re a bit tame.

There’s no mattes, so really difficult to create a look with just three shade. The black is disappointing – it’s sheer and shimmery, almost grey unless I want to keep piling them on. 

‘Love the packaging and that they are magnetic and can be stacked for travel. Although probably wouldn’t take travelling due to the lack of a matte shadow. 

They’re nice, I will continue to use them, particularly the shade champagne, but think you can get a lot better shadows for a quarter of the price. Also this eye look used a lot of product, there is a significant dent in each of the shadows for a relatively basic look.’


Edy London Eyelash Extensions  

edy.london, £130-£300

Bridie said Edy London Eyelash Extensions are expensive but look natural and doubled the size of her eyes. Pictured left: before, pictured right: after

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Edy is a highly regarded make-up artist and eyelash technician who has worked with some of the world’s top celebrities and beauty brands, including representing Maybelline at London Fashion Week and working on numerous photoshoots for leading names such as Essie and Nyx.

BRIDIE SAYS: ‘I’m quite lucky that I have naturally big eyes, but I my eyelashes, although black, are very short and no mascara can do much for them. Edy’s extensions were completely transforming and made my eyes look twice as big.

Edy’s extensions look natural, and I can’t feel them at all once they’re on, as far cry from the one-night only strip lashes that get glued on before a night out.

The treatment itself, applied at a central London salon, is easy, relaxing, and while they were applied Edy explained to me how she applies them individually – rather than as strips – and even explained tips like adding coloured lashes can make your eye colour pop. I have green lashes and Edy added some blue and purple ones which made my colour look brighter and better.

She also revealed how she looks at a client’s eye shape, and fits them accordingly, rather than a one-size fits all attempt. A real treat.

It’s on the more expensive end, but definitely worth it!’


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