How to Apply Eye Makeup for Your Eye Shape, According to the Experts

First of all, I think we can all agree that anyone can wear any makeup style or look they like, right? Makeup is entirely down to personal preference, but if, like me, you've ever followed a YouTube makeup tutorial to a T only to look in the mirror and realise it's a straight-up no-go on you, your eye shape might have had something to do with it. The individuality of every human's face is part of what makes each of us so supremely beautiful in our own ways, but those differences can often make it more difficult to identify the best makeup for any given person. 

Identifying your eye shape and employing makeup techniques that complement it might be the only thing standing between you and A+ makeup application. In fact, makeup artists agree that subpar eye makeup that doesn't take into account the nuances of your eye shape could actually be weighing down your eyes and prematurely ageing you. Who knew? In the same way that face shape comes into play when trying to figure out everything from the best colours to the most flattering eyebrow shape, eye shape has implications when it comes to deciding on eye makeup looks. 

How to Apply Eye Makeup For Your Eye Shape



To help us make sense of this conundrum, we called in Mai Quynh, a celebrity makeup artist who's worked with the likes of Tessa Thompson, Gemma Chan, Emma Stone and many more, along with Claire Mulleady, Givenchy's national makeup artist (UK). Both have worked with more kinds of eye shapes than we even knew existed over the course of their careers, so tapping them for their tips and tricks was a no-brainer.

Ahead, Quynh and Mulleady lay out their best advice for achieving fresh eye makeup for every eye shape. Read on for their pro tips.

1. Eye Shape: Round 

Celebs with your eye shape: Alison Brie, Emmy Rossum, Bella Heathcote, Nicole Richie

Quynh says that the key to perfect makeup on round eyes is defining the lash line because that dictates whether you're keeping the integrity of your shape or changing it a bit to appear more almond-like. "I love a smudgy wing liner," she says. "I generally like to use an eye pencil and draw along the lash line, and then I'll take a little dome-shaped brush and smudge that line away even more." If winged liner isn't your thing, Quynh says that bold colours washed over the entire lid is another way to go. "A bright colour on the lid is really nice because it will show up," she explains.

The takeaway: Define the lash line, and take advantage of the ample eyelid space with colourful shadows. 

Get the look:

"When looking to create the appearance of bigger eyes, try winging out the shape. Whether it's liner, eye shadow or both, sweep the product outwards from the eye to elongate the shape. I love to use Givenchy's Khol Couture Pencil Chestnut to smudge along the upper lash line and into a soft wing shape," says Mulleady.

Quynh recommends looking for a medium-firm allover shadow brush with stiff bristles. "The stiffer the brush, the more colour and pigment it will pick up from the shadow. I like using one to either pick up a light colour or a dark colour or even if I'm using a base that's something neutral to even out. The payoff in the delivery is really nice," says Quynh.

2. Eye Shape: Almond 

How to Apply Eye Makeup For Your Eye Shape: Almond


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Celebs with your eye shape: Katherine Langford, Stephanie Shepherd, Mila Kunis, Kristen Stewart

"Eye shadow placement makes all the difference. I personally like using Givenchy Le 9.01 eye shadow palette to introduce depth of colour and shading to the eye," says Mulleady. To add depth, "try using a light shade on the mobile eyelid to brighten and open up the eye and a mid-shade to contour and enlarge the eye. Keep your mid to deeper shades of eye shadow through the socket instead of the lash line so that the intensity creates a larger shape," she advises.

The takeaway: "When applying eye shadow or liner underneath the eye, swap your pencil brush for a fluffy brush and blend and blow out the colour to create the illusion of a bigger eye. Avoid any harsh lines on the lower lash line," Mulleady says.

Get the look:

"I like a gel liner in a pot for winged looks so I have more control. I really love Bobbi Brown for the classics black or brown." 

For more colourful winged liner, Quynh suggests exploring the bold colours in the eyeliner pots by Inglot.

3. Eye Shape: Hooded 

How to Apply Eye Makeup For Your Eye Shape: Hooded


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Celebs with your eye shape: Emma Stone, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Lawrence

Quynh says that a common misconception about hooded eyelids is that there isn't enough space to create a dramatic eye. "There's still real estate; it's just flatter," she says. "A cut-crease look is great for hooded eyes because it really opens up the eyes. You create the effect of a crease by basically drawing one onto that flat real estate. Then you can fade it out and add colour and dimension by making it darker in the outer corners but lighter in the inner eye." 

The takeaway: Go for a cut-crease to create the illusion of more dimension.

Get the look:

"I love layering. I like to go in first with creams and then layer powders on top. Not only does it add dimension, but it lasts longer."

For all your blending needs, Quynh loves this brush by Jane Iredale. "It's one of my favourite brushes," she says.

4. Eye Shape: Monolid

Celebs with your eye shape: Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Ali Wong, Kelly Marie Tran

"I say own the monolid," says Quynh. "You can have so much fun because on top of that flat lid, you can place a really exaggerated, graphic liner. It doesn't even have to be a wing; it can be more square or rectangular. Because it's flat, it's like having a smooth canvas." 

Aside from a bold liner, you could also try "curling your lashes before mascara and applying it top and bottom. Fan out your lashes with the mascara wand by pushing the middle lashes straight up, inner lashes towards the nose and outer lashes out toward the hairline. I love to use Givenchy Volume Disturbia Mascara," says Mulleady.

The takeaway: Use the flat surface of your eyelid to your advantage by adding a bold, graphic eyeliner. And if you're really feeling spicy, opt for a full-strip lash. 

Get the look:

This matte black liquid liner by Nyx is pretty user-friendly. The ultra-fine tip allows you to create as thin a line as you'd like while still offering the ability to build to a thicker, more graphic line.

If you're a false-lash novice still in want of a full lash look, this classic black mascara offers a more natural look that still delivers the right amount of drama. 

5. Eye Shape: Downturned

Celebs with your eye shape: Tessa Thompson, Katie Holmes, Anne Hathaway, Chloë Grace Moretz

When considering downturned eyes, the goal is to achieve balance by bringing the eye up a bit, Mulleady explains. "Flipping the edges of the eye up either with eyeliner or shadow is a really great trick to lift the eye," she says. Just remember to concentrate the darkest shades of liner or shadow on the outer edges of the eye. Pro tip: Quynh says that cotton buds are the best tool to edit the direction of any eye makeup. 

The takeaway: Create balance by bringing eye makeup upward and focussing the darkest shades on the outermost corners of the eyes.

Get the look:

It's much easier to add more makeup than to take it away, but in the event that you find yourself needing to do the latter, cotton buds are the way to go. The precision of the small cotton tip allows you to work on small areas, like the eyes, with ease.

This go-to matte black shadow by Hourglass is the perfect edge-defining colour to keep in your kit. Whether you want to use an eyeliner brush to define your lash line or add a bit of drama to the outer edges of your eyes, this shadow is a one-size-fits-all fave.

This story was originally published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.

Next Up: I Have Hooded Eyes—a Makeup Artist Just Showed Me How to Do Eyeliner