Whitening Your Eyeballs Is the Makeup Trick You Never Considered Before

Liz Taylor swore by it.

Nose, Lip, Mouth, Hairstyle, Skin, Chin, Forehead, Eyebrow, Eyelash, Style,
(Image credit: Archives)

Celebrities, particularly those of the Old Hollywood persuasion, have been known to go to extreme lengths for the sake of vanity. But I can assure you, while the latest secret we've unearthed from decade's past may sound crazy, it is *totally* painless and pays off big time in the sneakiest of ways.

Until recently, I had never thought of eye drops as a beauty essential, just a thing that comes in handy for stoners or, like, allergy season. Then I became privy to the industry folklore behind Rohto Eye Drops—a mainstay in many a celebrity makeup artist's kit, I've since learned—as they yield the sleeper hit of desired facial features: stark white eyeballs. 

Once I learned of this low profile trick, I found myself going down a rabbit hole of different ways to really make the whites of your eyes pop, which ultimately lead me to the most famous pair of eyes in the world—yes, the violet gaze of Elizabeth Taylor.

Hair, Face, Eyebrow, Skin, Forehead, Hairstyle, Beauty, Nose, Eyelash, Head,

(Image credit: Design by Katja Cho)

According to legendary makeup artist, chemist, and Gállány beauty founder Ida Gàl-Csiszar, Taylor swore by whiter-than-white sclera for her trademark stare. Her secret? A super deep indigo eyeshadow. "She wouldn't leave home without pressing that shadow into her upper membrane," says Gàl-Csiszar.

Then, there's Cleopatra—you know, the ancient Egyptian queen whom Taylor played in the 1963 film, where she made history as the first woman in Hollywood to receive a million-dollar contract—who was also a stickler for the exact same trait. "Eyeballs indicate health and vitality," explains Gàl-Csiszar. "So Cleopatra would only engage female servants with bright eyes."

In other words, two of the most glamorous women in human history swore by the bright-eyed technique. Convinced? If so, here are a couple of ways to get whiter eyeballs.

Do the cold spoon trick

You've heard about it a million times, but that's because it works.  "A chilled spoon relaxes capillaries that may be expanded," says Gàl-Csiszar. At home, massage a teaspoon of olive oil into the undereyes, then take a large spoon (which you've cooled with ice or in the freezer) and place it underneath your eyes to get rid of puffiness.

Use a blue-black mascara

When it comes to accentuating the whites of your eyes, Gàl-Csiszar says blue-black is the best eye whitener. "Blue is on the opposite side of the color wheel and balances a red eye," she says.

Try: Gállány First Class Lash Mascara, $19; gallanycosmetics.com.

Metal, Beige, Still life photography, Cylinder, Silver, Cosmetics, Steel, Circuit component,

(Image credit: Archives)

Use a nude eyeliner

Smudging flesh-toned liner on your waterlines will whiten your eyes and neutralize redness, brightening them up in the process.  

Brown, Product, Tan, Beige, Maroon, Peach, Bottle, Cylinder, Cosmetics,

(Image credit: Archives)

Try: Rimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude, $4.49; ulta.com.

Try a deep indigo shadow

As mentioned earlier, a deep navy blue counteracts redness. If you want to make like Liz, opt for an indigo shadow like Gállány's "Empire" shade in the Knight quad, which Gàl-Csiszar designed specifically for more youthful-looking eyes.

Brown, Product, Purple, Magenta, Lavender, Rectangle, Violet, Maroon, Material property, Square,

(Image credit: Archives)

Gállány NYC Collection Empire Eyeshadow Quad, $24; gallanycosmetics.com.

Use eye drops

Rohto Eye Drops are the gold standard for beauty insiders, ensuring that your peepers are thoroughly moisturized while reducing I-only-got-three-hours-of-sleep-last-night redness. 

Rohto Cool Redness Relief, $7.29; walgreens.com.

Liquid, Aqua, Bottle, Plastic bottle, Bottle cap, Plastic, Cosmetics, Skin care, Silver, Label,

(Image credit: Archives)

Use an eye treatment

When it comes to the whites of the eyes, the undereyes are just as important. To soothe them, use a brightening concentrate to minimize inflammation. And bonus—it will combat and help lessen the appearance of fine lines in the process. 

Product, Liquid, Peach, Cosmetics, Beige, Cylinder, Bottle, Lipstick, Silver, Chemical compound,

(Image credit: Archives)

La Mer The Illuminating Eye Gel, $145; nordstrom.com.

Sleep elevated

When it comes to beauty sleep, sleeping with your head elevated reduces pressure on the eye, thus lessens the chance of inflamed puffy eyes and dark circles in the morning. 

Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.