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How to work out your eye shape, then maximise them with makeup

Picture: Beyoncé, Instagram
Picture: Beyoncé, Instagram

An eye opener.

Variety is the spice of life which is why we love beautiful eyes in every shape and size – almond, hooded, round, monolid, upturned, downturned, you name it.

Our eyes are one of the first things people are drawn to when they look at us, and if they really are the window to our soul, then that makes our eyeshadow the curtains, our liner the curtain rod and our mascara the roller blind. Understandably, we want all three to look outstanding.

Before you go about creating an eye makeup masterpiece, it's a good idea to consider which eye shape you have and how you can best dress them to accentuate your features, as this may differ depending on your eyes own unique anatomy.

Makeup artists have been doing this for years. To work out where to apply what, they'll first consider lid shape and size as well as which direction to angle your liner in order to emphasise and celebrate your eye shape.

It's an approach that we can translate into our own makeup routine. The question is, how do we work out which eye shape and techniques apply to us?

Of course, it goes without saying that no matter your eyelid shape, you can wear whatever style of shadow or liner you want. But, if you're after some tips on what will work particularly well for you, we have just the thing.

We asked top makeup artists, Lan Nguyen-Grealis, Adeola Gboyega and Bobbi Brown pro makeup artist Zara Findlay, how to make the most of our eyes. Once you know the basic tricks and tips, you can have a play around which graphic shapes and colour to create eye makeup looks that match your features and your personality.

Find your match amongst the 8 beautiful eye shapes below…

Best makeup for almond eyes

What are almond eyes?

"Almond eyes tend to be oval in shape with the outer corners being slightly upturned (like an almond, hence the name)," says Adeola. "They can pull off pretty much any kind of eye look."

How to accentuate them?

"Accentuate your eyes even more by doing a soft wing liner. It is one of the most complementary shapes for almond eyes," says Zara. Stick to liner on just your top lash line, "this will give extra dimension and shape and help to elongate eyes for a more feline look," says Lan. "Just be mindful not to make this liner too thick," says Adeola. "Ensure that you apply the liner thinly on the inner corner and you can thicken it slightly on the outer corners, like a wedge."

As for eyeshadow, pay attention to where you apply colour. "Use a deeper colour on the outer corners of your eyes," says Adeola. "And use a lighter colour on the waterline on the bottom," says Lan, as this helps to make eyes appear bigger.

Best makeup for round eyes

What are round eyes?

"Round eyes tend to be equal in width and height, so you have a lot of space to create beautiful eye looks without looking too overdone (lucky you!)," says Adeola

How to accentuate them?

"I love to enhance the outer corners of round eyes to add a bit more balance to the eye shape," says Adeola. "Keep the eyeshadow colours neutral on the lid and gradually add darker shades toward the outer corner," says Lan. "The outer shading should almost look like a sideways V," with the point angled slightly up towards your temple."

Another beautiful eyeshadow look for round eyes is a ‘Halo’ eye, says Zara. "This is where the darkest shadow goes in the inner and outer corner of the eye and a light pop of colour sits in the centre of the eye."

"A wedged, smoky liner also really complements a round eye as it elongates the eye shape without taking away the natural shape," Zara says. As with almond eyes, "make sure the liner is thinnest in the inner corner and thickest on the outer corner, creating a wedged shape. Then, to smoke it out, simply take a shadow that contrasts with your liner [try a deep purple, bronze or khaki] and blend it through the edges." For extra lift, "ensure that the liner is directed upward at the end," says Adeola. If you're thinking of apply false lashes, "use ones that are voluminous and fluttery on the outer corner," advises Lan.

Best makeup for hooded eyes

What are hooded eyes?

"Have you ever done your eyeshadow and then as soon as you open your eyes you can’t see it anymore? Chances are that you have hooded eyes," says Adeola. This is where you have an extra fold of skin that covers your crease.

How to accentuate them?

"Priming and setting with powder is key to keep makeup in place as hooded eyes tend to smudge," says Lan.

"When applying eye makeup keep the eyes open to find the natural crease," adds Lan. "Use a compact mirror and look down into it," agrees Adeola. Then, "place the shadow slightly above the crease as opposed to the fold of the eye. This way the colour doesn’t get lost," says Lan.

And make sure you apply shadow to the bottom lashes as well as the top, "this will keep it balanced," Lan explains. "And blend the shadow straight outwards, rather than dragging up or down on the outer edges."

"Eyeliner is key with hooded eyes as with limited lid space you need to make the most of lash line and create definition," says Adeola. "I love to tight line by applying liner to the upper lash line and ensuring there are no gaps in between." Zara agrees. "This will instantly thicken the look of lashes and help to define the lash line without taking over the lid space."

"A sparkle shadow is very complimentary on a hooded eye as it brings brightness without over powering the lid with shadow pigment," says Zara. Finally, "lots of mascara is a must, too," says Adeola. But, "use waterproof mascara to avoid smudging," Lan advises .

Best makeup for monolid eyes

What are monolid eyes?

Monolid eyes don't have a crease so there's a smooth transition straight up to the brow bone.

How to accentuate them?

"A general trick is to prime or conceal first to create a sticky base for eyeshadows to grab. Generally there can be quite a bit of fallout because of no crease to catch," says Lan. "Keep darker tones and definitions as close to the lash line and then blend outwards."

As far as eyeliner goes, "use long lasting gels liners that will hold but give you a little time for blending before setting. Follow the shape of the eye and blend upwards and outwards. Stop where you feel the roundness of the eyeball and what would be a socket crease line," adds Lan.

If you're doing a smoky eye, "focus the colour on the middle of the eye," says Lan. And to keep it looking modern, "blend upwards with a soft brush until it disappears."

Best makeup for upturned eyes

What are upturned eyes?

"Upturned eyes are slightly different to the classic almond eyes because the outer corners of the eyes point upwards and the lower lash line looks longer that the upper lash line," says Adeola. "This shape is beautiful as you naturally have that cat eye shape."

How to accentuate them?

"You can easily create a sultry smoky eye look by taking a dark shadow across the lower lid and smudging it out. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavier on the lower lash line too to balance out the shape of the eye," says Adeola. Zara agrees. "Adding a soft transition shadow on your bottom lash line from corner to corner is very complimenting as it balances out the shape."

You can emphasise the lifted shape even further by extending your shadow and liner on the outer corner of your eyes, says Zara.

Best makeup for downturned eyes

What are downturned eyes?

"For downturned eyes it’s all about lifting the eyes as the outer corner of the eyes turn down lower than the inner corner of the eye," says Adeola. "The main aim of your makeup is to create the illusion of a more lifted eye."

How to accentuate them?

"Starting off, apply a nude light shade all over from your lids to your brows. This also acts like a primer," says Lan. "Next, apply a medium shade using a small soft brush apply in a left to right motion along your crease, then buff away upwards. This all adds to lifting the eye."

"Concentrate the majority of eye makeup on the to lid instead of the bottom," says Zara. But, "if you do use a darker shade under your eye, make sure you pull up and lift it upwards where it joins at the outer corner," adds Lan.

"Winged liner is going to be your best bet for an instant lift. "Apply a thin liner and extend upwards at a 45-degree angle," says Adeola. "Don’t be afraid to pull the wing out," says Zara. "Start your wing from just before the end of your lash line. This will pull the shape of your eyes up."

Finally, "curling your lashes is a great tip to add a lift and open the eyes more for a wide-eyed lifted effect," says Adeola.

Best makeup for close set eyes

What are close set eyes?

"Close set eyes tend to have limited space between the eyes," says Adeola.

How to accentuate them?

"To give the illusion of wider set eyes, focus your shadow on the outer corners on both the top and bottom of your eye," says Lan.

"When applying liner, your start point should be in the centre of the eye and feel free to pull the liner out at the corners," says Zara.

"To create the illusion of more space I would suggest taking a shimmer shadow and applying it to the inner corner of each eye," recommends Adeola. "Reflective or shimmer shadows add light and bring forward areas of the eye. This will help to avoid dark shadows on the inner corner of the eye which will make the eyes look more close set."

Best makeup for wide set eyes

What are wide set eyes?

"Wide set eyes tend to have a lot of distance between the eyes, so you want to make the eyes look closer together," says Adeola.

How to accentuate them?

"Line the entire lash line with a black or brown eye pencil as this will create the illusion of the eyes looking closer together," says Adeola.

"Pull your eye shadow closer towards the inner corner of the eyes to close the space," adds Zara. "Blend all your darker shadows inwards and keep it slightly softer on the outer corners," she adds.

And, "highlight under the further part of the brow and outer corner of eyes instead of the inner corner," says Lan.

By Elle Turner.

This originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK.

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