With masks covering the lower halves of our faces, eye looks are taking center stage.

While liquid lipsticks have taken a backseat, I enlisted local makeup artist Renee Pair to help with some eye inspiration. Pair has been doing makeup for years, starting on friends and family as a young teenager before creating her own beauty business. In between crafting her own fierce looks and working on clients, Pair also gives makeup lessons from how to do an everyday face to more advance techniques such as eyelash application and contouring. 

Whether you’re ready to try sleek brows or show-stopping sparkles, Pair lent her expertise to help us focus all eyes on eyes.


Even the most natch can get behind long, lush lashes. Glue can be a deterrent for a lot of people, Pair said, so she swears by magnetic lashes for easy, quick application that anyone, no matter their skill level, can do. Available at the drugstore, Pair prefers Eyelure, which comes in an array of styles from glam faux mink to more natural lengths and thicknesses. The lashes attach with a special magnetic liner (black so it looks like a regular liner) that comes with them. Pair advised to apply three coats of liner across entire length of lashline the same thickness as the band, allowing the layers a few seconds to dry between coats. Then, apply lashes directly to the liner with tweezers and press to secure. The lashes can be worn up to 15 times though Pair has used hers longer. 


The ultimate face-framers, brows are the perfect way to look polished and put together without any intense artistry skills needed. Pair advised to first make sure your brows are groomed and shaped before brushing up and outward. Then, fill in only where you need more hair, which is usually between the middle of the brow to the tail. She uses ELF Lock On Liner & Brow Cream, which has a creamy consistency to make light, quick, hairlike strokes with a small, angled brush. Then, she said to go back over your brows with a clear brow gel. She prefers ELF Clear Brow and Lash Mascara, but any clear gel will do.

Colorful eyeliner

A classic cat-eye is cool, but a bright blue wing is even better. Pair suggested adding a colorful eyeliner to your look to make your eyes stand out. She prefers to use NYX Epic Wear Liquid Liner or NYX Vivid Brights Liner. Both come in a handful of shades from pastel pink and purple to electric turquoise to stark white and include an easy-to-use  super thin brush. While felt tip liners tend to skip, a thin brush allows for smooth application as well as precision for everyone from pros to makeup novices, Pair said. Profusion Neon Liner, sold at Wal-Mart, is another affordable option. To apply, start with a thin line and build from there, Pair said. Also, arm yourself with makeup remover on a cotton swab to clear up any mishaps — practice makes perfect.

Highly pigmented shadows

For a pop of color, eyeshadows in deep, rich pigments are the way to go. Inspired by African culture, Pair said Juvia’s Place makes gorgeous palettes (including the Nubian 2 palette) that are inexpensive, but pack serious color payoff and can be worn on a variety of skin tones. Also, BH Cosmetics, NYX and ELF all have tons of colorful palettes to choose from and Pair is a fan of ELF Earth and Ocean Palette

To make the most of your shadow, the right tools are a must. Pair never applies shadow without laying down a base like BH Cosmetics Base Booster Glitter and Shadow Glue. Not only will it keep your eyeshadow from creasing or fading, but it also will help those pigments reach their full color payoff potential and help glitter shades stick to your lid. Pair said everyone should have one flat brush to pack shadow on the lid and one fluffy brush to blend. ELF and Sonia Kashuk (available at Target) carry affordable, quality brushes. 


There’s nothing like adding a little sparkle and Pair recommended adding some loose glitters such as NYX Face and Body Glitter and BH Cosmetics Glitter Collection to your beauty routine. There’s a few ways to incorporate this from a full lid to a glitter liner. For the latter, use a thin makeup brush dipped in glitter glue to paint it where you want it. Many people feel they have more control applying glitter with their fingers, but they also can use brushes. To avoid fallout, pack a loose translucent powder under your eyes before using any glitter. Sweep away with a fluffy brush when finished. Pair also warned not to buy glitter from Amazon or try to use project glitter on your face. Face and body glitters are finer and less heavy than their crafting counterparts and the latter can scratch up your skin or, worse, cause damage if it gets in your eyes.


Remember last year when we discussed the incredible, avant garde makeup of HBO’s “Euphoria”? Now is the time. Pair advised to use eyelash glue (she likes Ardell Duo Lash Adhesive Clear) on a toothpick to place down dots of glue and cover them with a gem. You can buy gems just about anywhere from cosmetics companies or craft stores.


Renee Pair, makeup artist

For more makeup tips, to see Pair’s work or to book a service, visit Penny in a Pinch on Facebook or follow her @rennypenny93_ on Instagram.