9 Pro Makeup Tips for Upturned Eyes

September 13, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Person with light blonde hair and long nails using an eyeliner brush to apply a black winged eyeliner look
If you’re relatively new to makeup, it may not be your first instinct to take your eye shape into consideration when doing your makeup. However, there are tons of different eye shapes, from round to hooded to monolid, and understanding yours can help you maximize your eye makeup potential. For example, you may have upturned eyes. If you have upturned eyes, there are makeup application tips and tricks you can use to enhance and complement your stunning eyes. Ahead, we’re breaking down how to determine if you have upturned eyes, as well as tips for applying makeup to this eye shape.

How to Determine If You Have Upturned Eyes

Upturned eyes are very similar to almond-shaped eyes. They have an oval shape and have a natural upward lift at the outer edges. “Upturned eyes are almost a naturally winged eye,” says Sara Wren, director of artistry at Milk Makeup. “The outer corner of the eye will go up towards the temples instead of straight or down.” One easy way to determine if you have upturned eyes is if the outer corners of your eyes are higher than the inner corners. “Imagine a line through the center of your eye, horizontally,” says Wren. “If you find the shape of your eye turned upward on the outer corners, you may have an upturned eye shape.”

With upturned eyes, the lower lid tends to be more prominent, appearing much longer than the top lid, which is why when it comes to applying eyeliner, the key is to enhance the natural symmetry and shape of the eyes. Keep reading to find techniques and makeup looks that can help you strike that balance.

Pro Makeup Tips for Upturned Eyes

Tip 1: Try a Smoky Eye

A smudged, smoked-out eyeliner look works really well with an upturned eye because it highlights the natural eye shape. To create a smoked-out eye look, we recommend using an eyeliner pencil. We love the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Satin Glide Eyeliner with Mineral Pigments because it glides effortlessly on the eyes and is super buildable. Start by lining the upper and lower lash line. Then apply a thicker line on the outer corners of your lash line and use a small smudger brush to diffuse the edges. Concentrating the smoky effect on the outer corners will emphasize the natural upturn of your eye shape. 

Tip 2: Widen Your Eyes With a Wing

If your upturned eyes are close-set, try a winged liner look, which will make them appear larger. Beginning from the middle of the top lash line, use a liquid eyeliner, like the Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Ink Pen Eyeliner, to create a wing. Make sure you don’t start too close to the inner corner because this can make your eyes appear smaller.

Tip 3: Apply Eyeliner in Your Inner Corners

Applying highlighter in your inner corners is a technique that is used by many makeup artists to make the eyes pop. We love this look on upturned eyes. For those with upturned eyes that are a little wider apart, though, doing this can make your eyes appear more wide-set. If that’s not the look you’re going for, try dragging your top lash line eyeliner all the way into the inner corner before going in with your highlighter. Don’t be afraid to create a small point in the inner corners for a Cleopatra-inspired look. This technique will help give the illusion of eyes that are a little closer together, so when you go to highlight your eyes, they look even and bright. 

Tip 4: Be Generous With Eyeliner on Your Lower Lash Line

To balance out your natural eye shape, don’t be afraid of applying eyeliner on your lower lash line. With upturned eyes, your lower lid tends to be more prominent, so you can create the appearance of symmetry with your top lid by applying a thin line on your waterline and lash line. For bottom lash line eyeliner, we recommend using gel and pencil eyeliners for the easiest application.

Tip 5: Tightline Your Waterline

Tightliner refers to a clean, thin swipe of eyeliner hugging your lash line or on your waterline. “Tightlining is a perfect way to enhance the natural shape of an upturned eye,” notes Wren. “I recommend using Milk Makeup’s Infinity Longwear Eyeliner (they have blue, black and brown shades) to tightline the upper and lower waterline. By doing this, your eye will have definition without making the eye look smaller.”

Tip 6: Draw Your Wing From Your Bottom Lash Line

When you aren’t in the mood for a full sharp wing, you can try a more subtle take on the look by flicking a small wing from the bottom lash line after tightlining your top and bottom lids. “If you want to add some drama, follow the line of the bottom lash line, and draw a small wing,” says Wren. “Not only is this super easy to do, but it really enhances this eye shape.”   

Tip 7: Avoid Using Heavy Mascaras

Though it can be tempting to reach for a thick volumizing mascara, “upturned eyes can be easily weighed down by a thick mascara,” Wren warns. Instead, opt for lightweight mascaras with lifting or curling claims. “These formulas help promote lift and work within the shape of upturned eyes,” she says.

Tip 8: Channel the Siren Eye Trend

ICYMI: Siren eyes were one of the biggest makeup trends of the year and the look happens to be perfectly suited to upturned eyes. “Almost any eyeliner and eyeshadow looks great with an upturned eye,” Makeup artist Shreni Patel previously told Makeup.com. “Siren eyes are a beautiful and hypnotizing look for an upturned eye.” A siren eye is essentially a sultry take on the classic cat eye and it’s achieved using a combination of eyeshadow and eyeliner. 

Tip 9: Concentrate Mascara on the Outer Corners of Your Eyes

According to Patel, another way to enhance an upturned eye shape is to create a fluttery lash effect by concentrating mascara on the outer eyelashes. You can also create the same effect using false lashes by doing a half lash on the outer corners of your eyes. 

The Best Makeup Products for Upturned Eyes

Let us just say that we’re firmly in support of rocking whatever makeup products you want, regardless of eye shape. These are just some of our favorite eye makeup products to show right now — and some of them might be helpful with trying the aforementioned tips.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner 

In search of a gel eyeliner for tightlining? Look no further than the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner, a long-lasting eyeliner pencil with intense pigment payoff. The vibrant, waterproof gel formula goes on smoothly without skipping or dragging. But the best part is the versatile shade range. This eyeliner is available in your classic blacks and browns, as well as shades of blue, green and even white and nude for highlighting. 

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Matte Liquid Liner

The NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Matte Liquid Liner is one of our go-to eyeliners for creating sharp, bold wings. With just one stroke, this best-selling liner delivers high-impact color that will last. We’re big fans of the ultra-fine felt tip, which allows for precise, controlled application regardless of your eyeliner experience level. 

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Matte Liquid Liner

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil

For a basic, everyday eyeliner pencil you should always have in your makeup bag, you can’t go wrong with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. The cult-favorite eyeliner pencil has a buttery soft consistency that effortlessly glides across your eyelids before setting into a vivid waterproof, budge-proof line. 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil

Lancôme Idôle Liner

If you’re looking for a liquid liner in shades other than black, you’ll adore the richly-pigmented, elegant colored offerings of the Lancôme Idôle Liner. We’re partial to the emerald green and deep sea blue shades for creating sophisticated, striking liquid liner looks with a little extra flair.

Lancôme Idôle Liner

Milk Makeup RISE Waterproof Mascara

Wren’s mascara pick for those with upturned eyes is the Milk Makeup RISE Waterproof Mascara, a lifting formula that won’t weigh down your lashes. In addition to lifting, this mascara lengthens, adds subtle volume and helps hold a curl for natural-looking yet enhanced lashes. If you want long, defined lashes, this is the mascara for you.

Milk Makeup RISE Waterproof Mascara
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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