The Right Way to Apply Eyeliner for Your Eye Shape
Finding the best eyeliner for your eye shape is a crucial step, but it's often overlooked. Many of us just apply eyeliner because it's how our mum/friend/favourite celebrity applies it, but finding the look that best suits you can have a transformative effect on your face. It can help open up close-set eyes, give the illusion of eyelids if yours are hooded or even make your eyes look bigger. If the eyes really are the windows to the soul, you'll want to make sure they are dressed to perfection. We called on our friends over at Eyeko (masters of eye makeup) to put forward the makeup artist they think really knows their stuff when it comes to eyeliner. Enter Celia Burton, who has offered up her tips for lining any eye, whatever the shape.
Keep scrolling to identify your eye shape from the illustrations below, then find out which liner look you should try switching to.
best for almond-shaped eyes
"You're in luck with an almond eye; its versatile shape means you can get away with all sorts of different makeup looks," says Burton. "I think my favourite for almond eyes, though, would be a classic cat eye. Use Eyeko's Black Magic Liquid Liner Pen (£16) to apply a thin line on the inner corner, and make it thicker as your work your way out. Extend it outwards, and lift to create a flick."
best for deep-set eyes
"With a deep-set eye, you don't want to apply anything too dark or heavy on the centre of the lid and lash line," advises Burton. "The best type of eyeliner for this shape is one that starts on the outer section. Start applying the liquid liner at the highest point of your eye's curve, and drag outwards. Stop the liner just after your lashes do. If you make the liner too long, it will weigh the eye down when what we want is to open and lift it!"
best for monolid eyes
"With a monolid, you should extend the liner right out, almost as far as the eyebrow. Be sure to exaggerate the wing too—give it a good flick! This will give your eyes the most shape and definition," suggests Burton. "Since you can't see much of the eyelid, you can make this as thick as you like or even apply it in a colour other than black."
best for large eyes
"If you have large round eyes, an eyeliner can be used to gently manipulate the shape and intensify the eye. Line the upper lid, keeping the thickness the same throughout. Don’t extend too far; cut the liner off at the end of your lash line," warns Burton. "Using a soft pencil [ed. note: Try Nyx Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liner, £9], line the upper and lower water line to really intensify the eye, close in on some of the space and brighten the colour of your eye at the same time."
best for downturned eyes
"A downturned eye needs to be drawn up and out instead of out and down," says Burton. "You'll need to really exaggerate the flick, giving it a dramatic angle at the end. Try dragging the liner across the eye, outward and upward; then look straight ahead into a mirror. Uses a moist cotton bud, and wipe upward underneath the outer corner of the line to clean the edge and create the angle. This way you work out the right shape for you with your eyes open, thus saving time and having to reapply it a few times to get it right."
best for close-set eyes
"With a close-set eye, you need to keep the inner half of your eyelid clean to create more space between the eyes. Apply a thin line, starting from the middle and moving outwards, keeping it very close to the lashes," advises Burton. "Give it a little flick, but nothing too dramatic. Make this more interesting with loads of mascara on the outer lashes; try Eyeko's Black Magic Mascara (£19) to add length and drama."
best for wide-set eyes
"A wide-set eye requires a similar approach to that of a large eye shape. You can close in on some of the space by using a dark colour along the lash line and in the water line," suggests Burton. "Start right at the tear duct, and pull the eyeliner across and out, lifting it with a good flick at the edge. Do the same underneath the eye; line it close to the lash line, and smudge it with a cotton bud before it dries. Not many eyes can get away with what you can, so apply enthusiastically and enjoy it!"