In many ways, girls with small eyes seem to have gotten the short end of the stick—eye makeup requires a completely different technique, mascara smudges on our top lid, and don’t even get us started on eyeliner. The perfectly flicked cat eye that looks amazing on our round-eyed sisters just doesn’t translate the same way on smaller, hooded lids. Sigh.
But before you throw your liners out at the injustice of it all, hear us out—we have a solution. Three, in fact. We spoke with Gregory Arlt, MAC Cosmetics’ director of makeup artistry, and asked for his tips for those of us with eyes shaped more like almonds than grapes. Keep scrolling for the three eyeliner tricks every girl with small eyes should know.
Not all liner is used to define. Some, like a flesh-toned, nude pencil, can open up your eyes and make them look wider. “Using a nude or pale eye pencil, like MAC’s Chromagraphic Pencil (£14), on your inner waterline will make your eye appear larger,” Arlt says. Also, try Tarte’s Inner Rim Liner (£15) or Stila’s Kajal Eye Liner (£12) in Topaz.
Not all lines have to be precise. According to Arlt, a little smudging never hurt, especially if you have smaller eyes. “If you line the bottom of your eyes with pencil right at the lash line, then smudge a little into the outer corners, it will make your eyes appear larger and wider,” he says. We love Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon Black Diamonds Pencil (£19) to create this look.
“I love pencils that have been slightly smudged, or [use shadow] as liner,” Arlt says. “Liquid liners can look a bit abrupt and tight, making the eyes look even smaller.” For a softer look, try wetting your favorite brown shadow and applying it with an angled eyeliner brush.
Next up! These are the only five eyeliners you'll ever need, according to an expert.