Rachel McAdams Charlize Theron bright eyes

Rachel McAdams (left) and Charlize Theron (right) smile through their bright eyes. Photos: Getty Images

Henry David Thoreau must have known a thing or two about makeup when he said "the eyes are the jewels of the body." The eyes sparkle, they shine, and if you dress them up right, they can stop strangers in their tracks.

Thanks to their professional makeup artists, celebrities know that their eyes are their most important asset (well, above the neck, anyway), and enunciate them as such with clever, professionally-culled techniques to deepen their eye color and make their orbs look larger.

Not fair, right? To even the playing field, we asked Kristine Romney, an expert makeup artist with Euphoria Salons in Las Vegas, Nevada, to share her tips to create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes.

So go ahead, give those optically illusive stars a run for their mascara.

1. Create A Clean Canvas: The first rule for brightening eyes or applying any makeup is to prepare the canvas, says Romney. Proper cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and sunscreen will give the entire face luminosity. Eye drops are sometimes needed to combat red-eye and well groomed eyebrows are a must. Groom the brows in bright, natural light for best results. If eyebrows are drab or speckled with gray hairs, lightly applying colored gel or brow pencil will frame the eyes.

2. Learn the White Pencil Trick: Romney believes that a stark, white eye pencil can be a girl's best friend when looking to brighten eye color. Use the pencil on the lower, inner eyelid, in the tear duct area, and below the brow line for best results.

3. Make Mascara Magic: When it comes to applying mascara, don't just cover all lashes. Romney suggests applying it from the center of the lash outward, avoiding the inner eye. If you tend to smudge when you apply mascara, skip it on the lower lashes.

4. Follow Your Shadow: For daytime eyes, one shadow should be used on the lid and another, lighter shade for highlight, suggests Romney. When applying more than one color for evening wear, shadows look best blended across the lids with the tone of the shadow becoming darker toward the outside corner. Shimmery shades can catch the light, drawing attention to eyes. If you're more mature, however, avoid glitter. It can tend to age you more.

5. Use the Color Wheel: They are not only reserved for painters and designers. Makeup artists rely on them too to choose shades that will complement and brighten eye color. An eye shadow color will accentuate the eye if it is in contrast to the color of the iris. For example, since orange is opposite blue on the color wheel, hues with orange undertones such as peach, pink, and shell work well with blue eyes. Warm colors encompassing red to brown tones are excellent complements to baby blues as well. Taupe, peach, gold, brown, and camel tints are equally effective choices. Take a look at Hooked on Beauty's color wheel to determine which colors will provide the best contrast to your eyes.

Find out Jennifer Aniston's eye-brightening secret.

Karen LoBello contributed to StyleList using Seed.com. Go to www.seed.com to learn how you can contribute too.