How to Apply Makeup for Your Eye Shape

Have you ever spent twenty minutes applying your shadow, but still haven’t been happy with the results?  Why doesn’t your eyeshadow look like a pro applied it?

You need to apply makeup for your eye shape!

A lot the art of makeup is illusion. Shading just so, knowing when to extend a line with blending, or when to stop your eyeliner just short of the outer corner of the eye are all tricks of the trade. These are the techniques that a makeup artist uses to take your eye and create the illusion of a more proportionate eye.


  • Makeup for Your Eye Shape 1 of 13

    Not sure what your eye shape is?  Here are some tips to help you figure out what your eye shape is!

  • Prominent/Protruding Lids 2 of 13

    The eyes and lids appear to sit out from the eye socket, but your actual eye is usually quite large, lucky you! 


    Celebrities with your eye shape: Nicole Richie and Christina Ricci


    Nicole Richie: Celebrity Monitor, PacificCoastNews.com
    Christina Ricci: Demis Maryannakis, PacificCoastNews.com

  • Tips for Prominent Lids 3 of 13

    Your goal is to help the eye to recede. Slightly darker shades will help, which makes a smoky eye the perfect look!


    • Remember that light colors will bring out a feature and darker shades make something recede. Applying a mid-toned shadow all over the entire lid, up and over the crease will help your eye recede.
    • Matte shades will help the prominent eyes to recede better than shimmery ones, avoid very dark shadows that will be too obvious.
    • If you have prominence under your eye as well, don't be afraid to extend a darker shadow onto this area to help it recede.
    • Be careful with contour shades. Too much contour can make prominent eyes appear very deep-set.


    • Apply thicker liner to help take up extra lid space. Smudge your liner for a softer look; less definition will help your eye look less prominent.


    • Because your eyes are already so prominent, skip the false lashes. One or two coats of mascara is all you'll need for a little definition.


    Look shown here:
    1. Sweep mid-toned eyeshadow on the entire lid, over the crease and up to the brow bone. The mid-tone is also swept under the eye (thicker at the outer edge) to help with prominence here.
    2. Highlighter on the brow bone, blend this down into the mid-tone shade.
    3. Use thicker, dark liner on the upper lid; the line should be a little thicker on the outer corner. Smudge this with a brush after application.
    4. Top it off with a single coat of mascara -- that's all you need!

  • Hooded Eyes 4 of 13

    With this eye shape, the upper lid droops over the crease to the lash line (or over), causing the lid to look smaller. While many women of all ages have this eye type, it becomes more prevalent as we age.


    Celebrities with your eye shape: Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, Drew Barrymore


    Blake Lively: Demis Maryannakis, PacificCoastNews.com
    Taylor Swift: BSI/jbm1005 Xclusive, PacificCo

  • Tips for Hooded Lids 5 of 13

    You'll want to intensify your lash line to prevent it from disappearing, and add definition with the appearance of a crease. This will help the eyes appear more open.


    • Ignore your "crease" and use a lighter color on most of your lid and crease.
    • Create a higher crease! Apply a darker color above the crease, at the very base of the brow bone, to create definition. Be sure to blend well!
    • Avoid dark smoky eyes, as this will close up your eye even more.
    • While you should highlight your brow bone, don't highlight the entire lid. This will emphasize the hooded effect.

    • Hooded eyes can really look amazing with some emphasis at the lower lash line! Try putting your contour shade under the lower lashes and applying mascara on the lower lash line.


    • Tightline to intensify your lash line, as it can easily disappear under the lid fold.


    • Never skip this step! You want your lashes to definitely be there, not hiding under your lid.


    Look shown here:
    1. Light shade (not a shimmery highlighter) over the entire lid, up and over the crease.
    2. Use a darker shade just at the very base of the brow bone to create a higher crease.
    3. Highlighter on the brow bone
    4. Tightlined eyeliner
    5. Mascara!

  • Deep Set Eyes 6 of 13

    This eye shape is set deeper into the skull, creating the illusion of a more prominent brow bone.


    Celebrities with your eye shape: Katie Couric, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Iman, Kate Middleton, Tina Fey, Melina Karakaredes, Lea Michele


    Keira Knightley: i-Images, PacificCoastNews
    Jen Aniston: Darla Khazei, PacificCoastNews

  • Tips for Deep Set Eyes 7 of 13

    You'll want to bring your eyes forward and push your brow bone back a bit. This means following very different application tips than for other eye shapes!


    • You should avoid dark, smoky eyes. This will make your eyes recede back even further into your face, which is the exact opposite of what we want.
    • Adding emphasis at your crease will also make your eye recede back further.
    • Highlighting your brow bone will bring it forward, so you'll want to avoid this as well.


    • Tightlining your liner is the way to go! Thick liner will add too much darkness, making your eyes recede.


    Look shown here:
    1. Apply highlighting color over your entire lid, over the crease and under the inner corner of the lower lash line.
    2. Apply a mid-tone shade just above the crease, onto the lower brow bone. This will help the brow to recede a bit. You can also apply this shade under your lower lash line for a little emphasis.
    3. Tightline your liner
    4. Apply mascara

  • Upturned Eyes 8 of 13

    Very similar to an almond shape, but with a little lift at the outer corner.


    Celebs with your eye shape: Angelina Jolie, Tiffany Hines


    Image: Jean Catuffe, PacificCoastNews.com

  • Tips for Upturned Eyes 9 of 13

    The goal for an upturned eye is to even out the upper and lower lash line proportions.


    Shadow and liner:

    • A little extra emphasis along the outer lower lash line with a dark shade will bring the corner down a bit. This is the perfect eye shape to add interest along the lower lash line with shadows and liners.


    Look shown here:
    1. Light shadow on entire lid.
    2. Midtone in crease and under outer lower lash line.
    3. Liner on upper and lower lash lines.
    4. Apply mascara.

  • Downturned Eyes 10 of 13

    This shape is similar to the upturned eyes, but it the curve goes the opposite direction. Your outer corner sits down a bit compared to the inner corner, giving the appearance that your upper lash line is longer than your lower lash line. This means that you're the perfect candidate for a sexy cat eye!


    Celebrities with this eye shape: Paris Hilton, Katie Holmes


    Paris Hilton: Devone Byrd, PacificCoastNews
    Katie Holmes: CPA, PacificCoastNews

  • Tips for Downturned Eyes 11 of 13

    You want to lift up the outer corner of your eye. Anything you can do to add a little more emphasis to the outer corner will help. Use shadow, liner or even just a little extra lift with your mascara wand.


    • Try applying a color to the outer 1/3-1/2 of the lash line and then blending it upward.
    • A light shadow over your entire lid will help keep your eyelid from looking too heavy.
    • The shadows applied to your upper and lower lids should not meet at the outer corner.


    • When applying liner to the upper lash line, always lay it on thicker toward the outer corner to add a little balance.
    • Be careful when applying liner to the lower lash line; too much emphasis on the lower outer corner can pull everything down even further. Be sure to balance this out with emphasis on the top lid.
    • Create a cat eye by extending your liner up and out toward the end of your brow.


    Look shown here:
    1. Light color on entire lid
    2. Midtone on the outer 1/3 or so of the lid, really closer to the lash line and then blended up and out for lift.
    3. Liner on the upper lash line, thicker at the outer corner.
    4. Apply mascara.

  • Close Set Eyes 12 of 13

    Chances are you, your eyes are not a perfect distance apart. This is easiest to evaluate by taking a straight-on picture of yourself and taking a few measurements. If the distance between your eyes is less than 1 full eyeball, your eyes are close set. If there's longer than 1 eye distance between your eyes means your eyes are wide set. Sometimes this can be subtle and sometimes the distance is the main feature of your eyes.


    Celebrities With This Eye Shape: Anna Paquin, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell


    Kristen Bell: Celebrity Monitor, PacificCoastNews
    Anna Paquin: WMTV, PacificCoastNews.com

  • Tips For Close Set Eyes 13 of 13

    Your goal is to make eyes look a bit further apart. Luckily there are a few easy tricks to visually separate the eyes.


    • Lighter shades in the inner corner, darker at the outer corner.
    • Elongate your eye by blending outwards with darker shadows at the outer corners.
    • Try a light shimmer highlight at the inner corner.
    • When applying a shadow to your crease, concentrate a bit more on the outer half of the crease and go lightly in the inner half.


    • Start thin at the inner liner, getting thicker as you work your way out to the outer corner.
    • For very close set eyes consider applying liner only to the outer half of your lid.
    • If you chose to line your lower lash line, only line the outer 1/2 to 1/3.


    Look shown here:
    1. 2 mid-tone shades are applied to the lid, a lighter mid-tone to the inner half and a darker tone to the outer half.
    2. A darker tone is applied to the crease, a bit more and darker to the outer half of the eye.
    3. Liner is applied to the upper and lower lash line. The line is thicker to the outer corner and thinner at the inner corner, note that there is only liner on the outer 1/2 or so of the lower lash line.
    4. Apply mascara.



Eye diagrams drawn using Eyebrow Brush, Eye Lash Brush, and Iris Brush.

Read more from Christine on Babble and her blog, 15 Minute Beauty. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Article Posted 4 years Ago

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