Beauty A-Z: E - Eye Makeup for Your Eye Shape

All eyes are not created equal when it comes makeup! Learning the shape of your eye and how to dress it can make a big difference to your look.

In order to apply eye shadow in the best way for your eye shape, you first need to figure out what your eye shape actually is. Let's take a look:

Almond Shaped Eyes: Almond eyes are the most symmetrical—just the effect you're trying to create with your makeup. Beauties BeyoncĂ© and Olivia Wilde have almond shaped eyes.

Hooded Eyes: With this eye shape, the upper lid droops of the crease of the lash line, causing the lid to appear smaller. While many women of all ages have this eye type, it becomes more prevalent as we age. Blake Lively and Drew Barrymore have hooded eyes.

Prominent Eyes: The eyes and lids appear to sit out from the eye socket, but the actual eye is usually quite large. Think Nicole Richie or Christina Ricci.

Deep Set Eyes: This eye shape is set deeper into the skull, creating an illusion of a more prominent brow. Celebrities with deep set eyes include Kate Middleton and Rose Byrne.

Upturned Eyes: This shape is very similar to the almond shape, but with a little lift at the outer corner. Think Angelina Jolie or Gwen Stefani.

Downturned Eyes: 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. Katie Holmes and Katy Perry both have this shape.

Close Set Eyes and Wide Set Eyes: The easiest way to evaluate if you have this eye shape is 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 close set eyes include Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, and Mila KunisJessica Alba and Amanda Seyfried have wide set eyes.

Now that you've determined you eye shape using the descriptions and pictures, let's get to the fun part. Makeup!

Considered to be the perfect proportions, any technique will work.

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

Shadow:  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.

Liner: 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.

Mascara: Because your eyes are already so prominent, skip the false lashes. one or two coats of mascara is all you will need for a little definition.

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.

Shadow: 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.

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

Mascara: Never skip this step. You want to see your lashes and make sure they are not hidden under your lid.

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

Shadow: 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 you 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. Apply light colors on the lid, with a deeper color on and just above the socket line, blending up and out.

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

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

Shadow and Liner: A little extra emphasis on 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. Another way to make upturned eyes look perfect is creating the ‘V’ shape on your outer eye corner and your eyelid crease.

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.

Shadow: 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.

Liner: 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.

Mascara: Curling eyelashes applying mascara can help lift the eye.

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

Shadow: Use 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.

Liner: 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.

Shadow: The basic color pattern will be darker colors on the inside of the eye, and lighter colors on the outside. So choose your color palate, which can be two or three colors. Sweep a neutral shade that is close to your skin color over the eyelid and stop where your brow bone begins. If you want a more dramatic/ fun look, you can also line under the eye with this color. Draw this line from the outside of the eye, to halfway across the eye. Then take the medium color and apply on your eyelid. The darkest shade will then go on the inside of the eye. Spread it out towards the brow bone (only on the inside of the eye), and just above the lash line.

Liner: Line the lash line with black liner all around for definition. For more intensity, line the other half of the bottom lid from the inner corner of the eye.

Mascara: Finish the look off with generous helping of mascara. Black mascara that also lengthens the lashes over the upper lid will darken and elongate your lashes.

Now you have a comprehensive guide on how to get the perfect look bases on your eye shape. Share with your friends!


  1. Love this tutorial! It took me a while to figure out how to do a good eye, and this would have helped back in the day! :)

  2. This is great info! I learned how to do eye makeup for my shape when I did Mary Kay several years ago, but I still struggle with it sometimes and it's good to have a refresher! :)

  3. I did something similar for my E! I love this; I think it's amazing how makeup can transform a person! Thanks for this awesome tutorial!

  4. Great info here! Eye makeup is the trickiest thing!