How to Apply Eyeshadow for Your Eye Shape

Have you ever tried an eyeshadow look and felt disappointed with the results? Perhaps the makeup made your eyes look smaller, or disappeared when you opened your eyes? This article will explain how to apply eyeshadow for your eye shape.

Identifying Your Eye Shape

Learning how to apply eyeshadow for your eye shape means you first need to identify what type of eye you have. Look in a mirror observe the size of your eyes, their shape, where they are located on your face, and how they’re oriented in your skull. Also, can you see a crease in your lid when your eyes are open?

It’s also possible to have two eye shapes at the same time. For example, small and deep set. Or, round and downturned. In each of the examples below, I list two celebrities with that eye shape for reference. It also helps to Google their image so you can see what their eyes look like. If you’ve been told you look like a celebrity, you might have their same eye shape.

When we talk about applying eyeshadows, we are essentially contouring your eye. Use dark colors to make certain areas of the eye appear smaller or recede, and use lighter colors to bring out areas you want to emphasize.

How to Apply Eyeshadow for Your Eye Shape

How to Apply Eyeshadow for Your Eye Shape

Almond Eyes – Almond eyes have a visible crease and the iris touches the top and bottom lids. With this shape, you can wear any eye makeup styles and looks. (Catherine Zeta-Jones, Beyonce) 

Round Eyes – You have a visible crease and can see a bit of white around your iris. Similar shape to almond eyes, but the eyeball itself is more pronounced. For this shape, you can do anything on the top (lid, crease etc.) but avoid liner on the bottom of the eye as this tends to exaggerate the roundness. The goal of your eye makeup is to elongate this eye shape. A wing liner is flattering here. (Zooey Deschanel, Nicole Richie, Mila Kunis) This eye shape is similar to prominent eyes.

Wide Set Eyes – If the width between your eyes is wider than one eye, you have wide-set eyes. Apply a medium shade to the inner corner and blend out across the lid. This will make the eyes appear closer together. If you put a lighter color in the inner corner, you make your eyes look even wider apart. (Kate Moss, Uma Thurman, Oprah)

Close Set Eyes – If you have less than an “eye width” between your eyes, you have close-set eyes. If you add dark color to the inner eye, you will make your eyes look even closer together. You need to add light colors to the inner eye and darker to the outer eye. (Taylor Swift, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Aniston)

Downturned Eyes – This shape tends to have a “droopy” or “puppy dog” look. Pull the eye up with liner or shadow drawn upward from the outer corner. Try a triangle-shaped beauty blender. After applying your eye makeup, take the sponge and swoop upward from the outer corner. (Anne Hathaway, Katie Holmes)

Upturned Eyes – This shape is opposite of the downturned eye. Avoid liner that sweeps up as that will exaggerate the upturn. Round out and blend the outer corner for a balanced look. Use dark eyeshadow on the lower outer corner of the eyes. On the lids, use a medium eyeshadow. You can use the same eyeshadow along your lower lash line. Remember to highlight the brow bone. (Sophia Loren)

Prominent Eyes – The lid is pronounced with this eye shape, and sometimes appears “buggy”. Apply a medium to dark tone on the lid to recede it a bit. (Nicole Richie, Mila Kunis)

Deep Set – Deep set eyes have a prominent brow bone and appear to be set deeper into the skull. Avoid using dark colors in the crease as this will add the deepness of your socket. Instead, add medium tones from the lid into the crease. (Cher, Angelina Jolie)

Small Eyes – Avoid tightlining or lining the entire eye with a dark liner or color as this only closes the eye more, making it appear smaller. Use light to medium color around the entire eye, and line only the top lid.

Hooded Eyes – This is when the skin of the crease falls over the lid, covering most of it. If your eye makeup disappears when you open your lid, you likely have a hood. For this shape, apply a darker neutral color on the lid and blend up towards the browbone. (Try applying makeup with your eyelid open.) Then apply a pale highlight shade on the browbone. Adding a bit of a highlight to the inner corner will open the eye. Use lots of mascara on the top lashes! Keep your brows groomed so you have more space to work with. (Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively)

As we age, we all develop a hood so it’s good to learn how to apply eyemakeup for this shape.

Monolid/Asian: the lower part of the eyelid is completely covered by the upper. There is no natural crease in the eyelid. Monolids are prone to smudging so SeneGence makeup is excellent for this eye shape. Apply lighter shadows to the inner corners and blend darker shades into the outer V of the eyes to accentuate the crease.
(Lucy Liu, Maggie Q)

If you’d like to see an explanation of how to apply eyeshadow for your eye shape, here is a helpful video.

Leave a Reply