How To Apply Eyeshadow On Different Eye Shapes

Before learning how to apply eyeshadow it is important to recognize the dominant characteristics of your eyes

If you have never studied your eyes before then take a few minutes before you next apply any makeup and make a few notes too. Make sure you look at your eyes in the mirror looking straight ahead so that your head is not tilted backwards or forwards. Before learning how to apply eyeshadow it is important to recognize the dominant characteristics of your eyes.How to apply eyeshadow 19

Start with your tear duct, does it point downward, straight or upwards? Downwards and straight are most common but I have seen tear ducts that point upwards.

Also, draw a line from the point at the inside corner of your eye to the outside corner of your eye. Make a note of whether the angle of this line goes straight, up or down.

Next look at the line of the eyelid where your eyelid meets your eyeball. From inside corner to outside corner does it curve completely equally or does the curve go up for a shorter distance than when the curve comes down or vice versa?

It’s a good idea to draw your eyes as you are looking at each of these points. The idea here is not to get a perfect drawing of your eyes but to draw each of these aspects of your eyes you really need to look at them and it’s a great reference afterwards.

Remember there are not just a handful of eye shapes. As you see, there are many characteristics to the eyes and you could have a combination of a few, so keep each characteristic in mind as you are learning about how to apply eyeshadow.


Almond eyes are usually considered the ideal eye shape. They are completely balanced in their angle and it is usually agreed that any makeup style would suit.

I would just add to this, though, that you may have a balanced eye in terms of its angles but they might still be big, small, hooded etc so all these other aspects have to be taken into consideration when you are applying your eyeshadow.

UPTURNED EYESHow to apply eyeshadow 12

Like almond eyes, upturned eyes would suit any eye shadow application by themselves but consider all other aspects of your eyes characteristics.

DOWN TURNED EYESHow to apply eyeshadow 13

Down turned eyes can look very charming just left as is, but if you want to encourage the viewer to see your eyes looking more upturned than they are, then use the darkest of the eye shadows you are using on the upper, outer edge of your eye and blend up and out.

You can also use eyeliner flicking up on the upper, outside corner of your eye. 

CLOSE SET EYESHow to apply eyeshadow 15

If your eyes are closer together than the width of one eye then make sure you use light colors on the inside corner of your eyes. You should also try to use products that reflect light which are appropriate to what the occasion and your age allows. Darker colors can be left for the outside half of your eyes.

If you are going to wear false eyelashes then buy the ones that have longer lashes on the outside corners.


If your eyes are noticeably wider than one eyes width then you want to do a few things not to exaggerate this. First of all don’t put light colors on the inside corners of your eyes, light colors give the illusion of more width. You also don’t want to put anything too light reflecting on the inside corners so no frost sheen or shimmer as these reflect light and give more width to the area. Instead you should use a matte eye shadow in a medium depth.

If you are going to wear false eyelashes then choose those where the eyelashes are longest in the middle instead of on the outside corners. If you are just wearing mascara then don’t build it up on the outside corners too much.


This is when a fold of skin hangs over the socket line obscuring some or all of your lid. This might just be how your eyes have always been or you might find that your eyes become hooded with age.

It’s best to use medium to dark colors in and upwards of the socket.

If you want the eyeshadow to show above your crease, remember to take frequent glances of your eye in its relaxed state while you are applying your eyeshadow. We tend to raise our eyebrows when we put on our eyeshadow so you may think that you’ve put on enough color to show above the crease but this often disappears into the crease once your eye is relaxed again, especially with hooded eyes. So you might need to put the color higher than you thought you needed to in order for it to show sufficiently.

PROTRUDING EYESHow to apply eyeshadow 17

If your eyes seem to bulge a bit, then you want to use mid to dark matte colors on your eyes, continue this eye shadow underneath your eyes and use a mid to dark pencil on your water line.

DEEP SET EYESHow to apply eyeshadow 14

Deep set eyes tend to have a more protruding brow area and/or bridge of the nose giving more distance between the features that surround the eye and the eye itself. These higher features tend to cast shadows on your eyes. Remember that depth of color visually contracts, so the shadow can make your eyes not only look darker but closer together.

To combat this you will want to use light colors and eyeshadows that reflect a bit of light, especially if your eyes are on the small side or close together. Keep the darker colors on your eyelid and/or on the outside corners of your eyes, these areas will not be as affected by shadows like the inside corners will be.

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