The Shape of Things
Shape is an intriguing concept. We select furniture and design our homes around the shapes of rooms. We pick out clothes that best flatter the shape of our bodies. The same concept applies to eyes! If you think about it, why should choosing eye makeup looks be any different? If you feel like no matter what you try you can’t seem to nail your eye makeup looks, chances are you’re not aware of what techniques and products are best for the shape of your eyes. By determining your individual eye shape you’ll be able to know which type of makeup application will take you from blah to babe in an instant.
Basically, there are five main shapes: monolid, upturned/almond, downturned, hooded, and round. But how do I figure out my shape, you’re wondering. Simple. Ask yourself four basic questions: Do I have a crease (the indentation right at the top of your lids)? If not, you’re a monolid. If yes, answer this: if you put a straight line across your pupils, do your outer corners look like they are lifting up or pulling down? If you answered they lift up, you have upturned/almond eyes. If you answered they pull down, you have downturned eyes. If they don’t seem to go either way, ask yourself, is my crease visible? If not, your eyes are hooded. If yes, when you look straight ahead with your eyes open, is there any visible white above or below the iris? If so, you have round eyes.
I was initially inspired by the pros over at Smashbox who recently came up with a new ad campaign featuring six separate eye shapes and tutorials on how to achieve your best look with their new Full Exposure Palette. What’s great about this product is that it works on anyone and the included how-to insert is very straightforward, offering three looks for every eye shape. These guys put in nine years of research and observed over 5,000 pairs of peepers, so this is the real deal, people!
Open your eyes—there’s a world of possibilities out there for making the most of your baby blues (or browns, greens and hazels!). Whether your eyes are small, wide-set or almond-shaped, these expert tips will make them look stunning. Read on for a handy how-to guide to both determining your eye shape and working with it.
Monolids are flat on the surface and don’t have much of a crease, if any. The brow bone is also much less defined. Create definition and an illusion of dimension on your flat surface with a gradient of eye shadows, working from dark to light. Apply the darkest color closest to the lash line, the soft neutral hue in the middle, and the shimmery highlighter color at the brow bone. And don’t forget to always curl lashes for added lift.
Hooded eyes are easily recognizable by the extra layer of skin that droops over the crease, causing the lid to appear smaller. You want to draw the focus upward by diffusing a darker shadow over and out past the crease. Always be sure to line your top lash line to intensify and enlarge your overall eye shape while also thickening the base of your lashes.
The upturned eye takes the form of a classic almond shape, with a natural lift at the outer corner. The lower lid looks longer than the top lid. To even out the upper and lower proportions, apply 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. This effect will create symmetry and add va-va-voom!
Round eyes are easy to spot by their somewhat puppy dog look. The telltale sign of a round eye is visible white above or below the iris. Try liquid liners to create fun and sassy cat-eye looks, which help to extend and lengthen out your eyes. You can also apply a darker shadow on the outer half of lids, sweeping upward toward the brow bone.
Written by: Genevieve LeFranc