If you’ve ever followed a YouTube makeup tutorial to a T only to look in the mirror and realize it’s a straight-up no-go on you, your eye shape might have had something to do with it. Sure, 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 sure do 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 A1 makeup application. In truth, 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 aging you. In the same way that face shape comes into play when trying to figure out everything from the best haircuts to the most flattering eyebrow shape, eye shape has similar implications when it comes to deciding what kind of eye makeup looks best.
To help us make sense of this conundrum, we called in Mai Quynh, a celebrity makeup artist who’s painted the faces of such diverse clientele as Tessa Thompson, Gemma Chan, Emma Stone, Katherine Langford, and many more. She’s worked with more different kinds of eye shapes than we even knew existed over the course of her career, so we knew she’d be the perfect resource to tap to help us figure out how to get eye-popping makeup for all.
Ahead, Quynh lays out her best advice for achieving fresh, youthful-looking eye makeup for every eye shape. Read on for her pro tips.
Celebs with your eye shape: Alison Brie, Emmy Rossum, Bella Heathcote
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 colors washed over the entire lid is the way to go. “A bright color 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 colorful shadows.
Celebs with your eye shape: Katherine Langford, Stephanie Shepard, Mila Kunis
“I like a wing liner,” says Quinh of the best makeup look for almond-shaped eyes. “To get a more rounded eye look, I’ll go higher with shadow toward the brow bone, but not touching the brow bone. More like fading it in, to make sure that when the eyes are open you can still see the color.”
The takeaway: Accentuate your natural shape with winged liner, or blend shadow up toward your brow bone to create the illusion of a more rounded shape.
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 more flat as opposed to the natural dimension because of the crease situation. “Cut crease 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 color and dimension by making it darker in the outer corners, but lighter in the inner eye. This way when you open the eye, you can see the makeup. ”
The takeaway: Go for a cut crease to create the illusion of more dimension.
Celebs with your eye shape: Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Ali Wong
“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. You can have fun and basically just draw right on your eye. Because it’s flat, so it’s like having a smooth canvas.” Aside from graphic eyeliner, Quynh says falsies are also an eye-opening addition.”I also love love a full strip lash for this shape, because that really opens up the eye as well.”
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.
Celebs with your eye shape: Tessa Thompson, Katie Holmes, Anne Hathaway
When considering downturned eyes, the goal is to achieve balance by bringing the eye up a bit, Quynh 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 Q-tips 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.