Eyeliner is one of the great makeup-bag equalizers: We’d venture to guess that just about everyone has one type or another in their arsenal. But how do you figure out which look works for your eye shape? After all, it’s not at all the same thing that works for your friend, or sister, or coworker, or…you get the idea.
We’re not ones to say you can’t wear something based on any physical characteristic. You do whatever the hell makes you feel beautiful, eye shape be damned. However, for those who crave a little guidance, here it is. We tapped makeup artist Maki H. to concoct liner styles that complement all the different eye shapes, from monolids to downturned eyes. “These makeup looks are more about enhancing the shape,” she says. “I’m not a big fan of ‘corrective’ makeup.” Amen, sister.
Keep reading to find your liner Shangri-la. And, hey, if you happen to see something you like that doesn’t correspond with your eye shape, go ahead and try it anyway. Wear what you love. Happy drawing, ladies.
“Monolid eyes tend to be small, so people tend to try to make them look ‘bigger by faking a crease,'” says Maki. She doesn’t advise this. “It looks good in a photograph, but in real life, it’s too much,” she says. “So you really just need a very simple line to enhance the coolness of this shape.” Her solution: Opt for colorful hues over complex techniques.
Maki drew on a straight cat-eye using Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Iridescent Red,instead of a typical one that flicks up at the ends. Drag your liquid liner straight across your lid, and extend the line out to about the end of your brow. Since you won’t see much of it anyway (unless you blink), take a risk with a non-black hue. “Go for color for fun,” she suggests. The deep red she chose for our model works well with brown eyes.
The biggest issue with hooded eyes: “They sometimes look heavy because of the way the eyelid sits,” says Maki. People with these kinds of lids can attest that their deep creases can sometimes give their eyes a sunken, tired vibe, even if that’s not the case. To combat this, Maki opted for an all-over liner look—a sort of day-appropriate smoky eye. “It’s a really cool, ’70s look,” she says.
Using a brown pencil like MAC Eye Kohl in Costa Riche,Maki drew a thin line under the lower lashline. Then, she popped the color across a majority of the lid and blended the shade up into the crease. Doing so instantly opened Anastasia’s eyes since most of the color was concentrated upward. “Just make sure to keep your waterline clear,” she says, in order to keep the bottom from looking heavy. But she says to go wild on the mascara, which can further help open your eyes—especially if you curl your lashes first.
“This is a very typical, classic shape,” says Maki. Pretty much anything looks good with almond eyes—although a classic cat-eye particularly stands out. Kind of expected, though, right? So, Maki opted for a two-line flick with a colorful pop.
Starting from the inner corners, Maki first painted on a thick, black line using Tom Ford Beauty Eye Defining Pen.“Just follow the natural eye shape,” she says. But instead of extending the line long, Maki stopped just outside the outer corners of the eyes. Then, she grabbed a blue pencil (Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon in Introvert) and drew from the bottom lashline flush alongside the black liner, then outward. “Making the wing longer is more fun,” she says. And since the color is just on the bottom line, it’s interesting without veering too far into bad-YouTube-tutorial territory