How to Use Eyeshadow for Different Types of Eyes and Occasions

How to Use Eyeshadow for Different Types of Eyes and Occasions

Smize is an expression invented by the one and only Tyra Banks, supermodel and host of America’s Next Top Model. Smize, in simple terms, describe smiling with your eyes entailing a playful or alluring expression. If you’ve watched a few episodes (or binge watched it… oops!), you surely know what I’m talking about. Or if you haven’t yet, ANTM has a full video of Tyra explaining how to smize on its official channel with over 147,000 views! (You might wanna check it out.)

Over the course of 19 cycles, Tyra emphasizes every judging the smize to make a photograph more appealing and to also draw impact and attention from viewers. Our eyes are inherently the most expressive part of our face and convey different feelings and messages. Photograph or real life, what makes us drawn (usually) to someone is with how they communicate with their eyes. 

Having said that, in makeup, eyes are also very important details and most women take up a good twenty minutes or so to complete this. It’s not an easy task to create or make good eye makeup. First you must be well-versed with the type of your eye as there are different eye makeup applications for each type. Second is that eye makeup should also match with the occasion – casual day, date night, or glamorous night event. 

If you’re a newbie to makeup, popular beauty vlogs on YouTube can definitely be of great help to you as they provide instructions on how to apply makeup. There are also Fashion Magazines like Vogue who also do quick tutorials on this topic. If you want a quick know how first then read on. 

Eyeshadow is a cosmetic applied on your eyelids and also covers makeup under the eyes. This is used mainly to add depth and dimension to the eyes. Also, eyeshadow can complement the color of the eyes and create certain illusions like making it appear larger or smaller. 

To understand how this works, let us first break down the anatomy of the eye makeup


First is the eyelid. This is the largest area of the eye where you apply your eyeshadow and I doubt that you would be confused about this part. When you close your eyes, that’s your eyelid covering it. Note that aside from different eye makeup, there are also a number of brushes used for application. For the eyelid, a flat shader brush is recommended as it packs a lot of product which helps in even application of the eye makeup. Shimmery and glittery finishes are commonly used for this part.

Second is the outer v or the outer corner of the eye which extends from the lashline (upper eyelashes) to the crease which creates a sideways v shape. There is a specific outer v brush used to deepen makeup in this area. For eyeshadow, dark colors are usually recommended to give it the illusion of dimension. You can also add matte finish which goes well with shimmery shades of the lid. 

Third part is the crease. This is the folded area of the skin found just above your eyelid. Dome-shaped brushes are used in applying makeup on the crease which help blend the shadows out. It’s important to put depth on the crease so darker colors are usually suggested.

Next is the transition area found above the crease. The same dome-shaped brush is used for this area to traverse the natural curvature and helps blend the color of your eyeshadow. You can opt for lighter shades on this part to beautifully blend out any visible harsh line. 

Above the transition area and just below the brow area is the highlight or brow bone. This comparably covers a smaller area than the crease and transition area so using a smaller size dome-shaped brush would be perfect for this. The makeup on this part will reflect the most light and to highlight it and your brow as well, use a bit of your shimmery finishes. 

Then you have the inner corner which is on the opposite side of your outer v and is located near your tear ducts. Small flat brushes can be used to apply makeup here. Makeup blogs suggest choosing light or bright colors with a shimmery finish to accent this area and add reflectiveness. 

The lower lashline is the area under your lower lashes where a pencil brush is used and requires very fine application. Depending on how you want your look, this is generally applied eigh dark shades to frame the eyes. 

Lastly is the waterline where we apply eyeliner. This is the area inside the lower eyelid on the inner rim. Pencil or gel liners are recommended for this part. Note that liquid eyeliners are not suggested as this can burn your eye. 

There are different techniques in applying but here is the general process: 

  1. First, apply a base eyeshadow on your eyelid. You can sweep and cover the whole area until under the brow if you’re going for a dramatic look but for a casual day, it’s enough to cover until the crease. Tip on application is to apply it with your eyes open then work downwards to make sure that there are no messy lines especially on the crease. 
  2. As mentioned before, apply darker shades or tones on your eye crease which adds more pop to your eyes. Sweep it right along your eye socket making sure to follow the shape of your eyes. 
  3. Line your lash lines with very dark shades to make it look thicker and your eyes wider. Press the dark color along edges starting from your upper eyelid and along the lower lash line. 
  4. Lastly, highlight your makeup with a shimmery finish. 

In the world of makeup, there are six basic eye shapes which correspond to specific techniques. If you are not yet aware of your eye shape, a quick google search can show you a complete infographic for your reference. 

For round eyes, work your way first by applying eyeliner from the inner corner of your eye in an outward direction. Apply then light eyeshadow on the inner core before proceeding to highlight your brow bone. Add contrast to your eyes by applying medium shades above the lid then finish it off with darker shades applied on the crease. The secret to making it look good is by properly blending the colors and shades of your makeup. 

For wide-set eyes, start by shaping your eyebrows to make it look thick and filled which creates an illusion of eyes appearing closer. Sweep your lid and the crease with a neutral color then using the same color apply a slim colour line on your lashline. Create a gradient starting darker from the inner corner of your eyes and then fading outward which will make your eye look narrow. Apply the same concept in lining your eyes to make it look closer-set. 

For close set eyes, concentrate light and bright shades on the inner corner of your eye to highlight and open it up making it look bigger due to the space. For your eyelids, keep it neutral as not to compete with darker shades that would be applied on the outer corner of the eye. To finish, create a smoky effect on the corner of the eyes.

Deep-set eyes share the same technique with your round eyes. The difference is that you should go easy on the dark eyeshadow as you want to brighten the eyes to make it look rounder. 

Almond eyes are considered lucky eyes because out of all the types of eyes, they are the most symmetrical. Hence, they are the most flexible eye shape and you can experiment on a lot of techniques and styles with them. 

Lastly are your monolid eyes which are very common among Asians. One of the most powerful monolids crashing the fashion storm is Seulgi of Red Velvet. For this type of eye, the most important thing is to learn how to make your eyes appear bigger and brighter. First, highlight the inner corner of your eyes then proceed to put a darker shade from the outer corner up until the crease. Use a bit of darker eyeshadow and apply but make sure to not extend it beyond the middle eyelids.

Now that you know what eye shape you have, it’s time to match it with the occasion. 

If you’re going for the daily casual look, you can opt for neutral tones and keep it simple. Apply an eye primer to make sure that the surface is smooth and proceed to do your shading (preferably neutral to medium shades as to make it look fresh) with a medium-sized eye makeup brush. You don’t want to apply it extending beyond the crease or heavily that it sets a harsh demarcation line.

Add dimension to create the wide-eyed look by applying light shimmery eyeshadow to your eyelid.  Turn to shape your eyes with an eyeliner and to make it natural apply on the upper lash line. Then cap it off with mascara for a naturally full look!

Smokey eye look is perfect for glamorous events or when you just want to be dramatic. Nevertheless, this eye makeup is a tricky one. Glamour set it up in a few steps to help all the girls out (you can check out their article on it to up your next smokey eye makeup!). Just remember that smokey eye needs a lot of practice and blending to make you look sultry and not a panda. 

If you’re fishing for a nightclub sort of party, go ahead with a glitter makeup look that will make you standout!