The Best Makeup Tips for Different Eye Shapes

We’ve already talked quite a bit about properly applying eye makeup (eyeliner, mascara and eye shadow) as well as how to get rid of the dark circles and puffiness under your eyes but applying makeup isn’t just about technique. You can know all of the tips and tricks in the world but if you don’t know what’s best for your eye shape, you’re not getting the most benefit out of your makeup. For that reason, I want to talk about eye shapes before we get into specific eye makeup tutorials. That way you can really get the most benefit out of those tutorials. We’re not going to talk about eye color just yet. We’ll tackle makeup tips for blue eyes, makeup tips for green eyes, makeup tips for brown eyes and all of that a bit later on. For now, let’s talk shape.


The 9 Different Eye Shapes

There are nine basic eye shapes, each one offering different things to focus on. The nine different eye shapes are:

  • Almond shaped eyes: This one is pretty straight forward. This type of eye is considered to be the ideal shape. It is characterized by eyes that are shaped like almonds.
  • Close set eyes: You have close set eyes if the distance between the inside corner of one eye and the inside corner of the other eye is less than the width of one eye apart.
  • Deep set eyes: Deep set eyes sit further back in the eye socket than most eyes. Those with deep set eyes will also have a small mobile lid over the eye.
  • Down turned eyes: Down turned eyes are, quite simply, turned down on the outer corners. If the outer corners of your eyes are lower than the inner corners of your eyes, you have down turned eyes.
  • Hooded eyes: Hooded eyes are common in older women. This eye shape has a small fold of skin that hangs over the socket line and often partially over the lid as well.
  • Oval eyes: Oval eyes are pretty easy to spot. They’re shaped like ovals. Simple.
  • Protruding eyes: Protruding eyes can be a little difficult to work with thanks to the bulge that runs from the socket to the lash but there are things you can do to make protruding eyes look fantastic.
  • Wide set eyes: You have wide set eyes if the distance between the inside corner of one eye and the inside corner of the other eye is more than the width of one eye apart.

Determining what kind of eye shape you have can be a little tricky but it’s nothing a little time spent looking in the mirror can’t solve. Some women will have combination eyes. If that’s the case with you, experiment with the different eye makeup tips for different eye shapes we’re about to talk about that apply to your eyes and see what you feel most comfortable with. In the end, what you decide to do with your makeup is entirely up to you so have fun and try new things. You may just find your perfect look.

Angelina Jolie has almond shaped eyes. (image:

Makeup Tips for Almond Shaped Eyes

Congratulations! You have the ideal eye shape! Almond shaped eyes are considered the perfect eye shape because they’re perfect in terms of proportion. There are no real tips I can offer for almond shaped eyes because everything works for them. So basically, you can follow any of the tips in our eye makeup series and you’re good to go!

Kristen Bell has close set eyes. (image: Sara De Boer/Retna)

Makeup Tips for Close Set Eyes

The goal with close set eyes is to make eyes appear wider and draw attention away from the fact the space between the eyes. Because you’re trying to draw attention away from that area, you’re going to want to use light colored makeup around the inner corners of your eye and use darker colors on the outer corners. Skip the eyeliner and mascara on the inner eye and instead focus those products on the outer corners. You can also extend your eyeliner slightly past the corner of the outer corners of your eye. Sweep it up just slightly to follow the natural curve or your lashes. This will make your eyes look wider and will and give them a more proportionate appearance.

Katie Couric has deep set eyes (image:

Makeup Tips for Deep Set Eyes

With deep set eyes, you want to try to bring the eye out and make it look less closed off. You’re first going to want to lighten what is often a dark, shadowy looking eye by applying a light shade of shadow to the lid and inner corner of the eye. Next, choose a medium shade shadow in the same color family and apply it to the crease of the eye. Sweep the same medium shadow under the brow but only use a little bit. You don’t want to make the brow look heavy. Finish up by applying a darker contouring shade at the outer edge of the crease. Sweep the contouring shade up just slightly, following the natural curve of your lashes. One final note, be very careful with eyeliner. People with deep set eyes can use eyeliner on the upper lash line but keep it very light until you get to the outer edge of the lash line. Then you can darken it a little bit but again, only on the outer edge of the lash line.

Marilyn Monroe had down turned eyes. (image:

Makeup Tips for Down Turned Eyes

Down turned eyes can make a person look sad even when they’re smiling so you really want to focus on trying to make the eyes look more balanced and leveled. To start, you’re going to apply a small amount of light colored eye shadow in an oval on your eyelid and the corner of your inner eye. Next, you’re going to sweep on a medium shade so it stops just before the edge of your brow. Follow that up by taking a medium-dark shade (not too dark), and sweep it just about the outer crease of your eye, carrying it up to the brow. Blend. Finish up the look by using a little eyeliner on your lower lash line but don’t extend the liner to the outer corner and make sure you don’t use much. A light line is enough.

Blake Lively has hooded eyes (image:

Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes

Hooded eyes are actually pretty common in women as they age but they can be worked with. Your goal here is to try to reduce the prominence of the lid. To do this, you’re going to start with a light shade of eye shadow or a highlighter product on the brow bone. Apply more of the product you’ve chosen along the lower lash line at the inner corner of your eye. Once you have the light shade in place, take another eye shadow in a slightly darker shade (try to stick with the same color family and make sure you don’t go too dark), and sweep it over your lid. You’re also going to want to put this same shade on the hooded part of your eye. Now finish up with the shadow by taking a dark contouring color and sweeping it over the outer corner of your eye. You’re going to want to bring this contouring shadow up to a light peak, following the natural curve of your lashes. When you’re done with the shadow, it’s time for liner. You’re going to apply your eyeliner to your top and bottom lash lines to accentuate them and draw them out.

Beyonce has oval eyes. (image:

Makeup Tips for Oval Eyes

Many different looks work for this eye shape but some women would prefer to give oval eyes more height. Start at the outside corner of your upper lash line and start drawing a line with your eyeliner along the lash line. Make the line a little darker and a little thicker as you get to the center of eye. Make the line lighter again as you move toward the inner corner of the eye. Don’t take the line all the way to the edge of the inner corner. Those with small eyes should skip the liner on the lower lid. Applying liner on the lower lid will make your eye look even smaller still. If you have larger oval shaped eyes you can apply liner to the lower lid but keep the line thin and light.

Nicole Richie has protruding eyes (image:

Makeup Tips for Protruding Eyes

With protruding eyes, the goal is to make the eyes look a little less prominent and make them appear as if they sit a bit further back. This isn’t actually all that hard to do. Start with a dark shadow and apply it to the lid beside the lash line and then again at the base of the eyelid. Finish up with a lighter shadow on the crease of your eye and blend this color all the way to the brow bone. You’ll be amazed by what a different this can make. If you use liner or mascara, keep it light. Both of these things may accentuate the fact that your eyes protrude instead of masking it.

Brandy has wide set eyes. (image:

Makeup Tips for Wide Set Eyes

In terms of eye shapes, wide set eyes generally aren’t all that hard to work with. Your goal here is to make the eyes appear a bit closer together. Start by applying a light shade of eye shadow in the center of your upper eyelid. Take a medium shade of shadow and sweep it along your brow bone, starting in the inner corner of the eye and sweeping all the way to the outside. You should end this line with a slant that tilts inward. Take a darker contouring shade and apply it to the outer crease of your eye and just the edge of the upper crease. Finish up by applying eyeliner. You’re going to want to draw the focus to the center of the eye so start by drawing a line with your liner from the outside edge of the upper and lower lash lines so it crosses just slightly over the center. Repeat this process by starting on the inner edge. This gives you just the right amount of extra liner in the center of the lids.

One comment

  1. You say that there are nine different eye shapes, but you only listed eight.

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