Inspired by the Ancient Egyptian ruler, Cleopatra eyes are bold, dynamic, and seriously fierce. Whether you feel like rocking the traditional version in full force as part of a Halloween costume or toning it down for everyday modernity, Cleopatra eyes have the power to transform an entire look.
Channel classic Cleopatra cool by opting for harsh geometric lines and vivid colors. Achieve a graphic aesthetic that will make your eyes pop.
- Prep your lids with an eye primer like the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eye Primer.
- Brush a light shadow (such as white or cream) over the entire lid and blend to the brow bone.
- Apply a rich, dark shadow to the inner and outer eyelid and blend into the crease. Take it almost as high as the brow bone, but leave a thin strip of your white or cream shadow exposed just below your brow. Choose a punchy hue like cobalt blue or mermaid green for maximum impact.
- Use a thick, dark eyeliner (a liquid is ideal) to draw a thin line across the upper and under the lower eyelid. Once this is in place, start at the outer corner of eye and wing your eyeliner out at a 45-degree angle. Keep thickening this wing to produce a colored-in upside-down triangle for dramatic effect.
- Grab a felt tip-style eyebrow pen like the Ardell Stroke A Brow Feathering Pen and start filling in your brows. Square them off at the front and exaggerate the top and bottom line to achieve a daring, standout aesthetic.
- Finish with two generous coats of a thickening mascara, such as Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash.
A slightly more feminine, contemporary take on Cleopatra eyes, this look is softer but still makes a serious style statement.
- Use an eye primer and light shadow across your lids and up to your brow bone to prep the eyes.
- Then create an intense smoky eye. Sweep a warm shadow in the crease, such as purpley-pink or orangey-yellow. Build on your smoky eye by with a pigmented dark gray or charcoal shadow and cover the entire lid.
- Draw over each lid from the lash to the crease with a strong eyeliner pencil before extending the liner out at a 40-degree angle to develop the winged effect. Repeat with the lower lash line, extending each wing past the natural end of your brows.
- Define your brows with an eyebrow pencil and polish the aesthetic off with several coats of volumizing mascara.
More simplistic than the previous Cleopatra eye makeup ideas, but still just as stylish, this look is all about letting your eyeliner stand out.
- Prep your eyes as above with eye primer and light shadow as a base; however, this time, opt for a more neutral hue that complements your natural skin tone, like beige or ivory.
- Dust a darker shade of the same hue across your eyelid to contour. Choose the glittery version of the same color for added pizzazz.
- Grab a heavy, black liquid eyeliner, like the M.A.C Cosmetics Liquidlast Liner, and draw a thick line just above your upper lash line, starting at the inner corner and extending out at a 40-degree angle from the outer corner. Do the same under the lower lash line; but exaggerate the line towards the outer corner as you gradually extend it out.
- Go back to the inner corner of your eye and draw a line from the top lash line that extends towards the center of your nose. Repeat for the bottom lash line so that it meets the top lash line at a point. Fill in the gap with a white pencil to accentuate and brighten up your eyes.
- Fill in your brows with a natural-looking eyebrow pencil and generously apply black mascara.
Flash of Gold
Focusing primarily on metallics, this powerful aesthetic is undeniably worthy of royalty.
- Prep your eyes as in previous steps. Sweep this base hue underneath each bottom lash line to open up your eyes.
- Take a rich gold eyeshadow cream, like NYX Lid Lingerie Eye Tint in Gold Standard, and sweep it over each eyelid. From the middle of the top of your eyelid, extend the color out towards your hairline at a 45-degree angle. Do a similar extension from the outer corner of your bottom waterline at the same angle. However, this time, stop one centimeter before the top gold line, and then create a curved line up to meet the original. Fill in the empty space between the two gold lines.
- Line your upper lashes with a dark metallic eyeliner in purple, dark gray, or black. Start at the inner corner all the way to the outer corner, and then create a short, curved wing that reaches the end of your brow line.
- Grab a light green metallic eye pencil, like the Ulta Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Peacock, and delicately line the inner corner of each eye and underneath the lower waterline until you meet the gold color.
- Use a brow filler that is darker than your natural eyebrows to provide contrast with the metallic hues. Over-exaggerate your authentic brow lines to create a striking effect.
- Complete the look with a slick of mascara across both your top and bottom lashes.
Get the Look
Cleopatra eyes are exceptionally dramatic and demand great attention to detail, but are relatively easy to wear. If you're headed to a costume party and want to try an Egyptian makeup look, you can go with an authentic Cleopatra style or try something completely new and different. Either way, you'll be all over this enticingly bold eye makeup.