I'm going to give you the best guide ever to finding your true eye shape. I probably don't need to tell you, but your eyebrow shape and eyeshadow application should be largely influenced by your eye shape. When you pay attention to that, the result is you looking fabulous.
In my Youtube tutorials and blog posts, I'm always referring to things like round eyes, hooded eyes, wide set eyes, etc. And it occurred to me that you might not know exactly what that even means or what eye shape you actually have. So this guide will be something that we can continuously refer back to.
In my professional opinion, the best looking makeup application is always when you customize it to the person. Seems like common sense, right?
And yet, a lot of us just do what everyone else is doing, and completely miss the personal aspect.
I mentioned this phenomenon in my blog post Make Your Eye Color Pop, and you've probably experienced this same thing. It usually goes something like this:
After purchasing literally every makeup product from your favorite Youtube makeup tutorial, you sit down in front of your computer and mirror. After 15-20 minutes you've completed the step-by-step, and you look at your reflection only to think, "Holy smokes, this looks nothing like what the girl in the tutorial did!" You chalk it up to you just being bad at makeup. Maybe you feel discouraged and toss the products in your makeup bag with the other failed attempts.
We've all done that! Even I've done that.
But the thing is, you probably didn't take into account the differences in your face shape, eye color, eye shape, complexion... (the list goes on).
So that's why I started writing blog posts. My goal is for you to know how to make things work for Y-O-U.
I've put together a great freebie for you, but make sure that you read the entire blog post, in order to really understand what your eye shape is and needs.
Eye Shapes 101
Traditional eye shape infographics keep things pretty general, and it can be tricky to place where your eye shape actually falls.
There are typically 12 different shapes, but the problem is that you may find your eye matches more than one. (It's maddening.)
So I am going to blow your mind with this assessment that I've made specifically for you.
First thing that you need to understand, is that there are degrees in each of the categories I created. Meaning, if you had to rate your eye shape in the corresponding category then you would rate it from a scale of 1-5 with 1 being least and 5 being most.
The purpose of degree is to help you understand that just because someone's eyes are more (fill in the blank) than yours, doesn't mean that you don't also have (fill in the blank) shaped eyes.
Here's an example with almond eyes. All eyes pictured below are considered almond, but some are just a little more almond (aka higher on the scale) I've already labeled the degree :
5 Golden Metrics
Remember the 12 different eye shapes I briefly mentioned above? Well, those eye shapes really fall into 5 categories or metrics.
I'm calling them THE FIVE GOLDEN METRICS.
These five characteristics combined define your overall eye shape. And regardless of the combo, there is no best shape. They are all beautiful and unique! Sure, some shapes can be a bit more challenging, but once you know what's best for your shape it's a breeze.
Here they are:
Metric #1 Shape: Almond or Round
Metric #2 Size: Large, Small, or Average
Metric #3 Situation: Monolid, Hooded, Crease, Deep Set, or Prominent
Metric #4 Setting: Wide, Close, or Proportional
Metric #5 Position: Upturned, Downturned, or Straight
Let's get into the details (you know I love details).
Metric #1 SHAPE - Almond or Round
Do you have almond or round shaped eyes? Almond shaped eyes are named so because the opening of the eye looks like the shape of an almond. They are more angular, and sometimes categorized as being a sharp feature.
Round eyes can be large or small, so just because you have large eyes doesn't necessarily mean they are round. That drives me nuts when people classify almond eyes as round just because they are large. But I guess they haven't read my blog, and you need to send them here! (Ok, rant over. haha)
Back to what I was saying... Round eyes are often referred to as "doe eyes". Of course, round eyes will still have a slight slant, after all, we aren't cartoon characters.
This is how you can figure out the difference:
Stand in front of a mirror. Make sure that your head is straight. Can you see the white of your eyes either above or below your iris's (aka the colored part of your eye)? If no, then you have an almond eye shape. If yes, then you have a round eye shape.
Don't be thrown off by the large or protruding eyes characteristics. (We will cover that in another section.) Just pay attention to the iris. And keep in mind that there are going to be degrees to how almond or how round your eyes are, so don't discount your shaped solely based off of comparison to others.
Got metric #1? Move on to the next.
Metric #2 SIZE - Large, Average, or Small
Do you have large, average, or small sized eyes? The size of your eyes is the combination of the vertical and horizontal measurement. Most of the time you should be able to look at your eyes and tell if they are large or small. If they seem like neither then they are most likely average.
The key is to take a step back and look at your face overall. How do your eyes match up proportionally with your face?
This metric is important because it tells you how much dark eyeshadow you can handle. Large eyes can get away with a little more (and actually benefit from it), where too much dark eyeshadow on small eyes will make them "disappear".
Metric #3 SITUATION - Monolid, Hooded, Crease, Deep Set, or Prominent
Ok, now that you've found the shape and size, you need to discover the situation. "The situation" is what I'm using to define the relationship between your brow bone and eye lids.
It is possible to have more than one of these situations.
Monolids are where the fold of the eye is at the lash line and there is not a prominent brow bone. Which means there is no crease in the eye lid area at all.
Monolids are typical for Asians, but I also have to mention that not all Asians have monolids. So if you're Asian don't just assume this is what you have. Classify your eye based off of the definition above.
Hooded eyes basically don't have very much visible eye lid when the eye is open. There is typically a prominent brow bone and the skin from the brow bone covers the eyelid.
There's a slight caveat with hooded eyes. Many people with hooded eyes also have deep set (think Taylor Swift) or prominent eyes (think Amanda Seyfried) in addition to hooded eyes.
There are also different types of hoods. Some are a bit more "puffy". And that's ok. Just things to make note of, so you know what to do when you are applying makeup.
Crease means that you can see your eyelid when your eyes are open. As long as your eyes aren't prominent/protruding then you qualify as having a visible crease. This characteristic is probably one of the easiest to work with, and it makes doing cut creases an incredibly simple task! Kylie's eyes are a great example of an eye with a crease.
Deep set eyes have a strong brow bone all the way across the top of the eye, but they don't have the "overhang" in the outer third like the hooded eye has.
With deep set eyes, it's as if the eyes are further back in the skull. They are often misjudged as hooded. Emma Watson is a poster child for deep set eyes.
However, as I mentioned in the hooded section above, deep set eyes can also have a hood. So just pay attention.
Prominent eyes, commonly called protruding eyes, tend to sit more on the outside of the eye socket area. They usually have a "lower lid" (aka a crease under the eye but not the tear trough). Nicole Richie qualifies as having prominent eyes.
Also, they typically have the most visible eyelid when compared to the other "situations" - the hooded prominent eye (think Amanda Seyfried) is an exception for visible eyelids, since the hood hides the lid.
Metric #4 SETTING - Average, Wide, or Close
If you've been following along, you should now have a minimum of three characteristics for your eyes. Hang on to those, and let's move to the fourth metric that you need. Look at where your eyes are set/sitting in relation to each other.
Average means that the distance between your eyes is equal to the length of one of your eyes. This is a very proportional setting.
Wide set eyes have more distance between the eyes. Think Michelle Pfeiffer. Other celebrities who have varying degrees of wide set eyes include: Kate Moss, Miranda Kerr, Brandy Norwood, Jackie Kennedy, & Amanda Seyfried.
Close set eyes have less distance between the eyes. Think Jennifer Aniston. Other celebs and public figures who also have close set eyes to varying degrees: Michelle Obama, Miley Cyrus, Meghan Markle, Anna Paquin, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kristen Bell.
Metric #5 Position - Upturned, Downturned or Straight
If you drew a line straight across your eyes where do the outer corner of your eyes go? Above the line would mean that you have upturned eyes. Below the line would mean that you have downturned eyes. Lastly, if your eyes are pretty close to that straight line then they are straight.
The line needs to be drawn just above the inner corner of the eye, and should also sit approximately above the ear canal. We all have a bit of asymmetry, so don't be surprised if you have a high side and a low side. Also, your ears might be low or high, but I'm not going to get into all of that today.
Let's do it together
One of the most important things when going through the 5 Golden Metrics is to make the assessment sans makeup. Makeup changes things.
Most celebrities have a team of talented makeup artists who know exactly what the celebrity's eyes need.
Typically when you see celebrities in pictures or at events, their makeup artist has strategically placed makeup in a way which makes everything look its best. When you see past the illusion the makeup is creating, you may be surprised to find that a celebrity's natural eyes are quite different from how you see them on the big screen.
And it's a no-brainer that professional pictures have been airbrushed and perfected, so things like prominent eyes may not look so prominent. Obviously, making you see things differently.
If we had a team of people who paid attention to all these little details, we'd always look just as good too. So in-spite of good makeup and professionally mastered pictures, let's do a celebrity assessment together!
Ok, Metric #1 Shape. Are her eyes almond or round?
They're almond. No white shows above or below her iris when she is looking straight. And the degree to which she has almond eyes I would classify her as a 4 or 5, meaning that hers are quite almond. (Of course cat eye liner is going to give it an even more dramatic almond shape, so that's why I strongly advise you do this for yourself without makeup.)
Metric #2 Size. Are her eyes large, average, or small?
I'd classify her eyes as small. They tend to get lost when she wears a lot of dark eye makeup, and when looking at her face in totality they definitely seem on the smaller side. I'd give them a 2 in degree as they aren't super small, but still classified as small none-the-less.
Metric #3 Situation. Does she have monolid, hooded, crease, deep set, or prominent eyes?
She has hooded eyes. Not very much of a crease is visible, she has a more prominent brow bone with skin that covers the lid on the outer third of the eye. If you look at the inner half of her eyes the brow bone continues to be prominent, so she also has deep set eyes. I'd give the degree of "deep set" a 3.
Her eyes aren't as deep as Emma Watson's (a 5 degree) or Cameron Diaz (a 4 degree), but Taylor still qualifies for that category. (See how degrees are helpful?)
Metric #4 Setting. Are her eyes an average, wide, or close distance together?
They're average. If you visualize the length of one of her eyes, that looks to be about the same distance between her two eyes. When she looks straight ahead, the outside corners of her lips relatively match up with the center of her pupils.
Metric #5 Position. Does she have upturned, downturned, or straight eyes?
The outside corners of her eyes are straight.
Now that we've finished the assessment this is what Taylor has: small, almond, deep set, hooded eyes in an average position.
So what does this all mean?
Knowing your eyes makes or breaks complimentary makeup. For Taylor, she should use techniques that are geared towards opening up her eye area since she has small, deep set, and almond eyes (those all of the tendency to push the eye "in"). If she uses too dark of colors with poor placement, she risks closing in her eye area and losing those baby blues.
This of course doesn't mean that Taylor can't pull off a dark smokey eye, it's merely the difference between a sultry smoked out eye and a dark-n-beady bat eye (but hey, maybe that's the look you're after, and now you know what you need to do lol).
You hooded eye gals already know that poor eyeshadow placement can make your eyes look downturned or even more hooded. Ultra thick lashes overshadow the already shadowed eyes, and a brow that curves around a hood is a big no-no. Because Taylor (and her makeup artist) get that, her eye makeup typically looks nothing short of stunning.
How do your eyes stack up?
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I am a professional makeup artist and licensed cosmetologist. I absolutely enjoy sharing hair and makeup tips to help others enhance their natural beauty. (Trust me, you're gorgeous.)