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Makeup Tips: Do You Know Your Eye Shape?

Want to know the secret to really enhancing your eyes with makeup?

It all comes down to your eye shape…

While everybody’s eye shape is quite unique, they still usually fall into one of nine categories. See if you can identify your eye shape from the chart below.

Illustration of 9 different eye shapes

By understanding your eye shape, you will then be able to apply your makeup in a way that really complements your eyes, bringing out their best rather than minimizing their radiance.

Almond Eyes

LOS ANGELES, USA - JUNE 6: Mila Kunis at the Spike TV's 5th Annual 2011 Guys Choice Awards held at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, USA on June 6, 2011.

© Tinseltown /

Almond eyes are the most common eye shape, and are also quite easy to work with.

As you can tell from its name, this shape looks similar to an almond, being narrow and elongated at the inner corners and then slanting upwards slightly at the outer corners.

Almond-shaped eyes also tend to be quite symmetrical, making them one of the easiest eye shapes to work with when it comes to applying makeup.

The main aim when it comes to applying makeup to almond eyes is to enhance their depth and intensity. Since your eyes naturally have such a gorgeous shape, your makeup needs to highlight this, rather than detracting from it.

How do you do this?

You can use eyeshadow to contour your eyes by:

  • Applying a lighter shade of shadow to the inner corners to open up the eyes
  • Apply a darker shade of shadow to the outer corners, as well as along the lash line to define your eyelids

Now onto eyeliner…

As mentioned above, darker shades on your lash line will add definition, meaning that a fine line across your upper lash line is the way to go with eyeliner. Try not to make this line too thick, as this will only give the illusion of smaller eyes.

However, don’t be afraid to extend this line outwards at the outer corners of your eyes, creating a cat eye or a wing. This will really complement the almond shape of your eyes. 

Want to use some highlighter too?

This is best applied on your brow bone, the inner corners of your eyes, and your upper lash line, but make sure that you apply this before your eyeshadow.


Portrait of young woman with clear skin, dark hair and moonlit eyes

While deep-set eyes have a very subtle eyelid crease, those with a monolid eye shape will have little to no visible crease here, and the brow bone will be much less defined.

To really accentuate your eyes with makeup, you need to try to create a gradient of intensity running between your eyelids and your brow bone. This is much more effective than adding in an artificial crease, which many people with monolids tend to do.

So, how do you create this gradient?

You need to begin with your brow bone…

Apply a shiny, shimmery shade of shadow across your brow bone, using this same shade on the center of your eyelids to help your eyes pop.

When it comes to the rest of your eyelid, make sure that you only apply dark shadow colors to the outer corners, but lighter shades to the inner corners.

With eyeliner, keep the line close to your lash line, but don’t be afraid to smudge this out a bit, as this can help to make your eyes appear larger. Just be sure to avoid applying any eyeliner to your waterline, as this will have the opposite effect, and make sure to keep a very steady hand while drawing the lines!

Smoky eyes and cat eyes work great for those with monolids, as they really help to accentuate the eyes while extending them upwards and outwards, so give these styles a try.

Hooded Eyes

Blake Lively attends the 'Cafe Society' premiere and the Opening Night Gala during the 69th Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 11, 2016 in Cannes, France.

© Denis Makarenko /

Slightly similar to monolids in the way that they look, hooded eyes feature an extra layer of skin that drops over the eyelid crease. Although this does hide the crease to some extent, you do have a bit of extra space to work with compared to a monolid.

The key with hooded eyes is to highlight the eyelids.


You can do this using eye shadow…

A light, shimmery shade will help to emphasize your lids, while a darker colored shadow, applied just above your eyelid crease, will create the illusion of a double eyelid

Those with hooded eyes often have problems with eyeliner, as this usually ends up smudging due to the friction caused by the extra layer of skin.

How can you get around this?

By opting for an eyeliner pen, rather than a pencil or gel. Keep the line as close as you can to your lash line, topping this off with a layer of mascara on your upper lashes.

Does your mascara keep smudging?

Try going for a waterproof fiber mascara instead, as these will smudge less but are still easy to remove when you need to. 

Close-Set Eyes

Jennifer Aniston at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Wanderlust" held at the Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles, USA on February 16, 2012.

© Tinseltown /

If your eye shape is close-set, this means that there is less than a one eye width of space between both of your eyes.

Your eyes will be set closer to the ridge of your nose, meaning that balance is extremely important when applying your makeup.

How can you achieve this balance?

In a few different ways, such as:

  • Using a highlighter on the inner corners of your eyes to help them appear wider
  • Darker shades on the outer corners of your eyes will make them appear larger and wider set
  • Use an eyeliner on the outer corners of your eyes only
  • Focus your mascara on the outer corners of your eyes
  • Use a nude or white eyeliner on your waterline to open your eyes up

By utilizing all of those tips, you will be able to create the illusion of your eyes being further apart.

Wide-Set Eyes

Lea Seydoux at the Cannes Film Festival 2008

© Andrea Raffin /

The opposite of close-set eyes, wide-set eyes feature more than a one eye width space between them. This means that you need to use your makeup to make your eyes appear closer together than they really are.

Unlike the majority of other eye shapes, those with wide-set eyes are best off applying a darker shade of eyeshadow to the inner corners of their eyes. Just make sure that you blend this well, spreading it outwards and upwards towards your brow bone.

With your eyeliner, feel free to line both your upper and lower lash lines. However, rather than extending this line outwards from the outer corners of your eyes, extend it towards the inner corners instead.

The same applies to your mascara…

Try to apply more of this to your inner corners and the center lashes, staying away from the outer ones.

Another way to make your eyes appear less wider-set is by…

Contouring the bridge of your nose, as this will add some definition to the extra space in between your eyes.

The way in which you groom your eyebrows can also make a difference. 


Well, if you elongate them towards the inner corners of your eyes, towards your nose ridge, this will help to balance out the extra space between your eyes.

Round Eyes

LOS ANGELES - FEB 22: Katy Perry celebrates the Launch of "Katy Perry Lashes" at the The Americana at Brand on February 22, 2012 in Glendale, CA.

© Kathy Hutchins /

Round eyes have a larger vertical width, with the white parts of the eyes being quite visible.

This eye shape tends to naturally stand out quite a bit, so all you really need to do is give them some extra shape.

Ideally, you want them to look more almond-shaped, meaning that you should try to elongate your eyes, to counter their extra vertical width.

An eyeshadow or eyeliner in a sleek, cat-eye style will help with this, as will an eyeshadow that has been taken outwards from the outer corners of the eyes. 

Try to avoid lining your entire lid.

Instead, keep the eyeliner on the outer edges, making sure to stay away from the inner corners of your eyes.

A touch of a highlighter shadow on your inner corners can help to open your eyes up even more.

Downturned Eyes

Katie Holmes ready for the Late Show with David Letterman in 2005

© Everett Collection /

Downturned eyes slant downwards slightly at the outer corners, which can often give them a droopy effect.

Fortunately, this is something that is quite easy to remedy with a bit of makeup. All you need to do is create the illusion of your outer corners being more lifted.


Here are some tips:

  • Draw your eyeliner towards your brow bone, as this gentle upwards direction will help to lift your eyes
  • Only use mascara on your top lash line, as using this on the bottom will only weigh your eyes down
  • Stick with lighter colored shadows for your inner corners, and darker ones for your outer corners, extending the outer corners upwards  
  • False lashes can also help to really lift the eyes

Up-Turned Eyes

Portrait of young woman with upturned eyes

The opposite of downturned eyes, upturned eyes feature an upward slant at the outer corners.

Wondering how this differs from almond-shaped eyes?

The upward slant will be more prominent and defined, whereas almond eyes feature this in a much more subtle way.

This is a beautiful natural shape, and is one that works well with a wide variety of makeup styles.

However, to really accentuate your eyes, use a lighter colored eyeshadow all over your eyelids, before following this up with a darker shade along both your upper and lower lash lines. Don’t forget to blend these together!

When it comes to your eyeliner…

Extend this out from the outer corners of your eyes. However, rather than extending this upwards, keep the line straight, especially if you want to downplay your upward slant.

Prominent Eyes

Amanda Seyfried at the Los Angeles premiere of "A Million Ways To Die In The West" held at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, United States, 150514.

© Tinseltown /

If your eyes are big and round, and seem to protrude out of your sockets, then these are what are referred to as prominent eyes.

Your eyes will naturally look quite awake and refreshed, meaning that you don’t need to go over-the-top with your makeup.

For this reason, stick to matte shades of shadow instead of shimmery ones, and make sure that you first use a nude shade over your eyelids to minimize any shadows

Your eyeliner should be applied as close to your lash line as possible, and feel free to use this on both your upper and lower lash lines. This can help to balance out the protruding effect that your eyes create.

For your waterline, a nude-toned eyeliner will work well, as this will emphasize the whites of your eyes and make them look whiter and brighter. Since you have quite a bit of this white area showing, you do need to make sure that you minimize any redness.

What about mascara?

You need to be careful with this, as lashes that are too long and thick will only make your eyes appear to protrude more. Instead, keep your mascara minimal and avoid applying any near your tear glands.

A highlighter just underneath your brow bone can also help to balance out the structure of your eyes.

While these tips will definitely help you to really complement your eyes with your makeup, don’t forget to also have fun when applying your makeup. Everybody’s face is different, so it is always worth experimenting with different styles and techniques, as you may discover a style that flatters your face in the best way possible.


By Lionesse

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