The Eyes Have It: Sandy Look

This warm neutral look is great for frosty family get togethers…

I have a decent enough relationship with my mom’s side of the family. They ignore my eccentricities, and I ignore theirs and try to be helpful. But there’s always a few relatives that are less comfortable with outrageous looks. There’s that paternal aunt who is invested in propriety after dealing with her own eccentric mother, or the grandparent who hasn’t updated their makeup looks since the ’50s. Ironically, my remaining great grandmother would applaud some of the brighter looks I try for having a good sense of self, so long as I didn’t try to wear it to a job interview. Regardless, there’s always that one relative who is a bit less accepting but isn’t toxic enough to eliminate from your life, and respected enough that you do not want to piss them off. Coming into the larger holiday season, interactions with those relatives become more and more likely, so why not have a look up your sleeve that will help you feel put together, but won’t raise too many eyebrows?

A pale heavy person wearing a natural, sandy eye look

A pale arm with a very light, a medium, and a darker shade.
Swatches of the appropriate colors.

Now, there is a pre-step for this look. You need to make sure that the colors you pick match your skin tone. A light warm pale beige might look really close to a warmer version of my skin tone but on someone with a darker skin tone will look eerie. There are three shades you’ll need to determine for this look: Light, medium, and dark. I don’t mean super dark, just darker than the medium color, preferably duskier. I took a picture of the shades I used swatched against my arm so you can better judge the contrast for your own shades. Near the top of the image is the lightest color. It is a very light, but slightly warmer, beige and comes off as simply warmer version of my skin tone. The middle has my medium tone — a pinkish warm sandy color that looks a little like a warm brownish flushing. The dark color is a slightly dusky light brown that looks like a much warmer shadow than where the natural shadows fall on my wrist. You’ll want to match those levels of contrast for your skin, especially if you have skin in a darker shade — otherwise you’ll end up with a brighter look that will appear slightly less natural. The biggest key for this look is that the colors are warm and close to natural-looking on you.

Let’s get started.


  • Your basic layer set up you usually use on your face. This tends to vary from person to person, but I use a pressed powder and a concealer stick.
  • A primer or creme shadow stick. (I used a light brown/caramel colored creme shadow stick from 5 Below.)
  • A light shade, as described above. (I used Galatea from Aromaleigh’s Okeanides collection.)
  • A medium shade, as described above. (I used Europa from Aromaleigh’s Okeanides collection.)
  • A darker shade, as described above. (I used Nemesis from Aromaleigh’s Okeanides collection.)
  • A brown eye pencil, or brownish. (I was able to get away with using the green stick from Physician’s Formula Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes.)
  • Optional: A white liner pencil. (I used one from Claire’s.)
  • Mascara close to or slightly darker than your natural lash color — brown works best on most people. (I have dark lashes and used I used Lancôme Hypnôse Drama.)
  • A foam tipped applicator OR a brush that is of comparable size that you are able to blend with.

Below are the steps, numbered, and they correspond to images in the gallery.

  1. Do your normal, basic layer.
  2. Apply your primer. Only barely go beyond your socket lines on the middle and outer of the lid, which you should be able to feel out. You can have it go a little further out on the outer corner to create a little more depth in that corner. In the inner corner, stick to a taper near the shape of your lid in the inner corner.
  3. Across the majority of your lid/the space you put the primer minus the outer corner and edges and inner corner, apply the medium shade.
  4. Starting at the inner corner, apply the light color. You can bring it down a little around the inner corner of your eye, if you feel comfortable. Blend the light color up into the medium shade, with more of the light color towards the upper edge of the inner half. You are trying to get it to look like a gradual transition from the light, nearly skin tone shade into the medium shade.
  5. Starting at the outer corner apply, the darker color. Draw it up along the socket line lightly and getting lighter as you reach the top — you are creating a shadow, but it should be stronger at the outermost corners. You should also blend a little of it up into the medium color at the outer corner, to make the shadow look a little more natural.
  6. Using your brown or brownish color, apply at both upper and lower outer lash lines lightly. Only bring it in a quarter to a third of the way.
  7. Optional: To lake your eyes look slightly wider, apply a white liner to your waterline, with it being heavier towards the inner corner and middle.
  8. Apply your Mascara.
  9. Go to family dinner or a meeting feeling put together!


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Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone. Advocate, Writer, Geek. Multiply Disabled, Queer, and proudly Autistic. Primary Obsession: Institutions, History of Care of people with MH/DDs Also obsessed with: Social Justice, Cats, Victorian Romanticism, and Doctor Who.

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