How to Apply Eye Makeup, for Every Eye Shape

by Julia Teen

Mimicking the makeup of favorite celebrities we see on the red carpet is a common practice of anyone looking to step up their beauty game. But sometimes the application just seems ... off. It's not the makeup colors that we try, but the technique in which you applied that didn’t suit.

Eye makeup isn't one size fits all. Applying eye makeup for your individual eye contour is all about deploying subtle tricks that may not even be noticeable — yet make all the difference. Whether you choose to accentuate your eye shape, or use shadows and highlights to balance it out, do what looks good to you.

Take a closer look at your eyes (and while you are at it, read up on your face shape, too) and skill up on getting your makeup perfect every time.

Almond-Shaped Eyes

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A problem almond-shaped eye women often face is that we close our eyes when applying eyeshadow, and when you open your eye back up, your makeup has disappeared. “Do your makeup with your eyes open, looking straight head into the mirror so you can guide where it goes,” says makeup artist Rachel Wood.

She says to create a more rounded effect, “Take your finger and feel where the top of your eyeball is, before using a contour brush to swipe your eyeshadow product back and forth along that line. You’ll create a shaded socket which’ll round your eye out more.”

To amp up your eyeliner, Wood also says to use a gel or pencil eyeliner and “just lift your top lid up and shade in the waterline — the inside line on your top eyelid. This is a great trick to create the illusion of thicker lashes or a line without using heavy eyeliner.”

Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner , $26, Sephora

Round Eyes

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The need with round eyes is sometimes to make them look more almond shaped. “If you are trying to elongate your eyes, use your eyeshadow or liner in a more feline shape,” says Wood. “Also shade the waterline with your eyeliner, but soften the shape to make it look more oval — take the color to the corner edge and pull your eyeliner out a bit.”

Close-Set Eyes

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Give the illusion of bigger eyes by not lining your entire lid. “Line your eyes on the outer edges, and don’t make the liner go all the way into the corner of your eye,” says Wood. “Start really thinly from the middle of the pupil and go rounder on the outer edge. Keep the focus and a stronger amount of deeper color on the outside.”

She also says that you can use a dash of highlight or a lighter tone shade in the inner corner of your eye to reflect the light and open up your eyes.

MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter , $27, Nordstrom

Droopy Eyes

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If your eyes tend to go downwards at the corners, employ this trick. “Lift your shadow or liner up before the edge of the your outer corner up to your eyebrow, so if you are doing a winged out look, the flick will start before the edge of the eye and lift off the lid,” says Wood. “Nobody looks at your face that close, so just stand an arms distance from your mirror to check both sides are even.”