Have you ever tried to copy a print or online article or video showing you how to do a certain eye make-up look? How did it go?

Chances are, more often than not, the results achieved don’t even come close. And it’s not because you didn’t follow the instructions to the letter. It’s because your own eye shape isn’t suited to the design you’ve been following.

But with an understanding of your eye shape you can adapt a look to produce much better results, more consistently. So let’s take a look at those eye shapes.


Standard Eyes

You can see the eyelid from inner corner to outer corner and the eyes are neither too far apart or close together. This eye shape is pretty straight forward and most eye make-up designs will work for you.

Hooded Eyes

If you can’t see your eyelids you have hooded eyes. You need to minimise the hooded area by adding a darker shade of colour to the crease to give the illusion that it is receding. If a hooded area covers the whole use a highlighter colour to the inner corner of the eye. If the hooded part of the eye just covers the outer part, then you can use a lighter colour on the part you can see.

If the skin on the outer edges of the eye becomes hooded it can make you look as if you have downturned eyes. To counteract this use a tissue angled up from the outer corner of the eye and align it with the tail of the eyebrow. Then blend your colour up and out; this will create the effect of lifting your eye.

Wide Set Eyes

These are further away from the nose than standard eyes so don’t drag your blending out too far, brcause this has the effect of pulling your eyes even further apart. When working on the crease pull the colour further in towards the nose, as this will help create a narrowing effect. But when you do this you need to balance it a bit by taking the darker colour out a bit to give the eye “balance”, but not too much.

Close Set Eyes

To discover if you have close set eyes measure the width of your eye and if it won’t fit between your eyes then you have close set eyes. To counteract close set eyes drag your eye shadow out to meet the tail of the brow, and that creates the effect of pulling the eyes apart. Also brighten up the inner corner of your eyes to give a widening effect.

Deep Set Eyes

If you have deep set eyes they are set way back into your head and this means you have a lot of eyelid going back into your head. In order to open up deep set eyesyou should put a light colour (even a bit shimmery) all over the eyelid and this will open up your eyes. Also, when defining your crease put the colour on the bone of your eye socket. Avoid putting it right into your socket as this will create “black holes” and push your eyes futher back into their sockets.

Prominent Eyes

This is where you have very large eyes and they protrude slightly forward. So avoid shimmery colours and concentrate on matte ones, as they recede and make the area look a little smaller. Also, darker shades will help with this, too.

However, you could go for a dramatic look with lots of mascara. With prominent eyes both methods could look great on you and it’s worth experimenting.

Almond Eyes

Also known as asian eyes or monolid eyes. They have a very flat surface so you can put your crease more or less where you want. Try getting your eyeliner right into the roots of your upper lash line, and extend your eye shadow out to create even more almond-like eyes. They can take it.

I hope this has helped you recognise your particular eye shape and what you can expect to work for you. And remember, so much of what make-up is all about is enhancing your good features and disguising your not so good ones. So go have fun with it.

Alex is a photographer, qualified make-up artist, personal stylist and image consultant.

Image Credit : Colorful Summer Rainbow Eyeshadow by Courtney Rhodes

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