Like clothing, shoes and red lipstick, applying eye makeup shouldn't come with one-size-fits-all expectations. That's because beyond eye color and skin tone, eye shape also plays a huge role in defining what kind of shadow and liner look best on you. Whether you have almond, round or hooded eyes, these are the tips and tricks you need to know in order to get the prettiest peepers possible.
Most eyes are shaped like the ellipsoidal almond nut. To accentuate this eye shape, the trick is to use darker shadows to contour the crease and add depth. Begin by applying a soft shimmery beige, like Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow in Metallic Light Beige 125, from the lash line to the brow bone. Then sweep a matte chocolate brown, like Lancôme Color Design Eye Shadow in Fashion Label, into the crease using a windshield-wiper motion. Blend thoroughly and apply matte black liner (try Lancôme Artliner) that's slightly flicked out at the end to exaggerate your naturally extended shape.
Hooded eyes have a monolid appearance, meaning they don't have a discernible eye fold or crease. With this eye shape, we are again aiming to create an illusion of depth. Makeup artist Nick Barose recommends that those with hooded eyes opt for flattening matte shadow, as shimmer may result in a puffy look. “With a medium shadow brush, apply a deeper-toned matte shadow where the crease would be, making sure you blend away any harsh lines,” he says. Try Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Secret Service to create a soft, believable look. Finish by smudging some of the same shadow along the lower lash line and topping it all off with mascara to open up the eye and make it look larger.
The round eye has a circular shape and is typically large in size. To soften it and create a more exotic appearance, Barose recommends using a liner. "Play down the roundness by only lining the upper lash lines and extending the tails out to add length,” he says. Try: L’Oréal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Black, which doesn't run or smudge.
The trick to making petite eyes look larger is not to "make defined lines because it will accentuate the eye’s small size," Barose says. "Lines made on the eye should be slightly blurred.” Barose recommends lining around the eyes with a kohl pencil, like YSL Dessin Du Regard Crayon Yeux Haute Tenue, focusing more on the outer corners. Then smudge it with a Q-tip for a softer effect.
Use deeper matte shades to tone down a sizable stare, since sparkly ones can catch light and open up the eye, says Barose. First draw a thick line on the top lid with a black pencil, like Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in 4-black. Then use a pencil-shaped brush to smudge it into the lash line and over the lid. Use the same liner on the lower inner rims, connecting the top and bottom line on the inner and outer corners to close up large eyes even more.
Whether the result of aging or genetics, there are ways to perk up sagging eyelids with the proper placement of your makeup. Begin by applying a light shade of shadow on the inner corner of the lids. Next lift the eyes by sweeping a brown shadow in the creases (try Maybelline ExpertWear Eyeshadow Single in Nutmeg). Then apply a sweep of black liquid liner on the upper lids while "slightly lifting the line at the tails," Barose says. By applying a light hue to the inner corners, deepening the creases and flicking up the liner at the ends, you are instantly creating the illusion of more lifted, more awake eyes.