Determining your natural eye shape is just as important as finding the most flattering colors for your lids. Knowing how to apply eye shadow and liner will help you better translate trends and techniques to fit your face. We turned to makeup guru Jeffrey Paul (who has worked with Christina Applegate and Zooey Deschanel) to discover tricks for each specific eye shape—so you can make the most of your peepers!
Deep Set Eyes
Deep set eyes are large and set deeper into the skull, creating the illusion of a more prominent brow bone. Jeffrey suggests brightening up the natural shadowing by dusting on a beige or warm metallic hue on the lid (think peach!) and highlighting under your arches with an illuminating crayon. Because the ends of your lashes likely graze your lids, be sure to apply waterproof mascara to prevent smudges.
Monolids are flat on the surface and don't have much of a crease, if any. "The brow bone is less defined," explains Jeffrey. Create definition and the illusion of dimension on your flat surface with a gradient of eye shadows, dark to light. "Shade the darkest color closest to the lash line, the soft neutral hue in the middle, and the shiny color at the brow bone,” says Jeffrey. Always curl lashes for a lift.
Hooded eyes feature an extra layer of skin that droops over the crease, causing the lid to appear smaller. "To draw the focus upward, diffuse darker shadow over and out past the crease," says Jeffrey. Tightline the top waterline to intensify and enlarge your eye shape, and thicken the lash base, which also can disappear under the lid fold.
Protruding eyes create the appearance of projected lids in the eye socket area. Luckily, the bulge gives you plenty of lid space to play with! "To keep the lid from overpowering your look, blend darker tones all over your eye,” says Jeffrey. “Because dark tones recede space and size, smoky eyes work great with this eye shape!" Apply thick liner along your upper lash line to further diminish some of the space.
The upturned eye takes the form of a classic almond shape, with a natural lift at the outer corner. "The lower lid has more emphasis and looks longer than the top lid," explains Jeffrey. To even out the upper and lower proportions, he suggests applying dark shadow or pencil along the outer lower corner to bring down the lifted effect. Whether you’re creating a standard smoky eye or a vibrant masterpiece, always use the mirror effect by swiping the colors along the bottom lash line.
Downturned eyes have a slight dropping on the outer corners. This is the perfect shape for creating a sexy cat’s eye shape. "Apply a liquid liner along the top lid and extend outward and upward at a 45 degree angle," says Jeffrey. This effect will create symmetry and add va-va-voom!
Close Set Eyes
Close set eyes are less than one eyeball width apart. "Creating the illusion of more space is simply a matter of using light eye shadows in the inner corners," says Jeffrey. Try frosty white or sparkling nude hues. "Dab extra mascara or add individual lashes to the outer corner to pull the focus outward."
Wide Set Eyes
Wide set eyes are more than one eyeball width apart. To bring your peepers closer together, "Rim your top and bottom lash line with a black liner as close to the inner tear duct as possible," says Jeffrey. Use a mascara comb to swipe all of your tiny lashes from mid eye to nose.