Can I use "doing my eyes" instead of "doing my eye-makeup"? For example:

I am doing my eyes. I'll be out in a minute.

This is in the context of, for example, applying eyeshadow, mascara and a liner.

If this not right, could you suggest a better expression?

  • 1
    What is the lead up/following sentence? Is there any other indication that you might be doing eye make-up? e.g. "I grabbed my eyeliner and started doing my eyes" could be appropriate, but saying something like "I went into the kitchen and started doing my eyes" would be more questionable.
    – Inazuma
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 8:55
  • @Inazuma, i don't think any lead-up is necessary. If i said "I'm doing my hair", I would not have to mention a hairbrush for you to know what I meant.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 10:16
  • @JavaLatte - But could it not mean that you were getting a haircut, getting it dyed, etc.? It is better to be too specific than to leave the reader guessing.
    – Inazuma
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    @Inazuma, an expression like "I'm doing my eyes, I'll be out in a minute" is something that you say, not something that you write in a letter to a friend.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 10:30
  • @JavaLatte, that part was edited before I posted the comment. I am perfectly familiar with the expression, but for someone who is learning the language, I think it is better for them to have a strict understanding of when they can or cannot use it. Having said that, J.R. has already provided a perfectly good answer, so I find this argument redundant.
    – Inazuma
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


Absolutely you can.

The verb do is extremely flexible, and is often used in the context of makeup and grooming.

A woman might say she's doing her eyes, or doing her cheeks, or doing her hair. In that context, do essentially means taking care of.

It seems the verb do is more likely to be used in this way when there's more than one step involved. For example, if a woman is simply applying lipstick, she might be more inclined to say:

I'm putting on lipstick.

but if she's planning to use a lip pencil, lipstick, and lip gloss, then she might be more inclined to say:

I'm doing my lips.

Because the eyes are often made up with several steps, "I'm doing my eyes" is a very normal thing to say.

That said, @Inazuma makes a good point. The more flexible a verb is, the greater the chance someone might think it means something else. If someone said, "I'm doing my eyes tomorrow," that could mean she was planning to use mascara and eye shadow, but, conceivably, it could mean she was scheduled to have cataract surgery in morning. So long as the context makes it clear what you mean, though, doing my eyes is a perfectly acceptable substitution for the lengthier doing my eye makeup.

  • "The man who does his own eyes has a fool for a surgeon." --Confucius. "The surgeon who does his own eyes has a fool for a patient." -- Mark Twain
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 11:08

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