Make your Eye Shape and Colour Work For You
I don’t know about you but when I look on Instagram or the various makeup bibles on the internet, I see these girls in perfect makeup and their tutorials make it look so easy to repeat their look, but when I try it I end up looking like I’ve put on some face paint and am just about ready for the circus! I adore makeup and am fascinated by what can be achieved with simple tools these days to go from the natural look to the all-out party look, but sometimes I fall short on my own vibe because I don’t exactly know what suits me and how to pull it off.
A lot of it is confidence, and for that I can hold myself accountable. I’m used to what I’m used to and any variation of my makeup style can throw me off and where I think I look terrible, I may actually have found a half decent look that I’m just not familiar with so it doesn’t come across well. If you are going to wear anything, from makeup to out there clothing, you have to wear it like you really own it to pull it off and this is something that all of us can learn at any point in our lives.
The issue isn’t always confidence though, it is being shown tutorials and being given advice that isn’t bespoke to me. As much as it would be great to be naturally blessed with the face of a Kardashian, we don’t all share the same face shape, eye colour or skin tone, so various looks you might see on top models or Instagram influencers just may not suit everyone. Half the battle is finding out what works for you and what compliments your tones before you can even think of a bright palette of eye shadow or shade of lipstick, but once you have this down, it really should be time to party! Get experimenting, even in the comfort of your own home, you can get used to having a certain style of makeup on your face and when you catch a glimpse of yourself walking past a mirror, it might just start to make you smile to see the different colours and styles making themselves at home!
I’ll start with the big one, eyes are beautiful in whatever size and shape they appear, but they can either become swamped in makeup or shine brighter than they have before with the different styles of makeup. I’ve never really known what shaped eyes I have; I just know they are big and dark brown and make it near impossible to hide my true emotions, so when I wear eye makeup on an average day I tend to make it more subdued to shift the focus. But I am very lucky, in having wide eyes and more prominent eyelids, I have a lot of room for colour and shapes of eyeliner, the trick is just knowing how to execute it to make the best out of the eye shape I was blessed with.
Almond Eyes – This particular eye shape is seen as universal, not because most people have it but because it suits pretty much any style of makeup and can be worn in so many different ways. Lucky almonds include faces like Beyonce, Jessica Alba and Mila Kunis and the decider is in the position of the iris in the eye and the shape – which quite obviously is almond shaped. Almond eyes have a definite point and a more rounded inner corner, and the iris is never in full view as it is partially covered by the eyelids. Almond eyes also tend to turn up slightly at the outer edge and this makes for ideal cat-eye liner or the perfect wing as they are usually quite symmetrical eyes and the lines follow along very smoothly.
Those with almond eyes can carry off a lot of different styles of makeup and so they should, but due to the already defined shape they are always great candidates for the ‘less is more’ makeup aesthetic. Some well applied mascara can be all they need to life the shape and make them stand out, without the need for heavy eyeliner and white waterlines. If you have almond shaped eyes, you are also the luckiest when it comes to a smoky eye as the crease in the corner and the angled lines from eye to eyebrow provide a perfect space to layer dark eye shadows and really emphasise the shape of the eye.
Round Eyes – This eye shape is usually very bold and very beautiful and is recognisable by usually being able to see the whole or most of the iris. The width and height of the eye are quite similar, and this alone can make eyes really pop without makeup in the first place. Think celebs like Katy Perry or Zoey Deschanel and how striking their big round eyes are.
Those with round eyes can easily create longer looking eyes with different shades of eye shadow and carefully applied eyeliner, a wing drawn outwards rather than upwards can mimic the length of almond eyes and keep them looking wide and open with shadows that intensify near the corner. Makeup on the bottom lids and lashes should be kept to a minimum or it will just outline the eye and emphasise the roundness if you are quite heavy on it, especially with eyeliner. Best to just stick to the top lid and even be adventurous with some colour under the outer corner of the bottom lid to draw people’s gaze outward.
Hooded Eyes – This particular shape tends to have more upper lid visible and less crease. This doesn’t mean that the same makeup tips don’t apply, it just means you can have a bit more fun working out colours that can really make them pop. Hooded eyes can be very intense which is great for working in an intense colour that will not only look fantastic but will lift the eyes up and create the illusion of almond eyes.
People with hooded eyes swear by using a great primer before getting started as there is a lot of surface area and a deep crease that can smudge or collect makeup just when you have it down to perfection. Eyeshadow should be applied while the eye is open and really ensure coverage is over the lid and extended above the crease. A strong colour works really well as opposed to a few different ones as the contours can change the shape of a particular pattern and it can really open the eye up to put some shadow under the eye on the bottom lid. Strong eyeliner can add to the intensity and create a really bold look.
Upturned Eyes – Similar to almond eyes this shape slightly points upward at the outer corner and is already such an interesting shape that working with it rather than adding to it can be enough. But hey, they are interesting for a reason so you may not want to hold back if this is your eye shape.
Those with upturned eyes have plenty of choice when it comes to makeup, the smoky eye works, bold colour works, heavy or light liner works, but due to the shape of the eye, it would be a waste not to expose it and get the best out of them so using a gel eyeliner really carefully along the upper lid very close to the lashes will follow the eye shape and emphasise their bold shape. Perfect for a wing that just continues the same line and flow of makeup, upturned eyes are basically a shape that we all try to replicate with clever makeup trickery so if you are the proud owner of a pair of these, flaunt them!
Downturned Eyes – They are definitely not as sad as they sound, but downturned eyes do tend to have the almond shape but slightly turn town toward the outer corner To establish if this is your shape have a think about it you drew a line directly across the middle of your eyes would the corner sit on the line, above the line or below the line. If it is below then these are downturned eyes and I think they can be the most playful out of all the different shapes.
It is very easy with downturned eyes to replicate the shape of upturned or almond shaped eyes with a steady hand and a decent eyeliner, plus there is more surface area to work with again like hooded eyes, so shapes can be created with selective eyeshadow contouring. Primer is again your friend if this is your eye shape as you don’t want to spend time on faking your way to upturned eyes for it to smudge or move about on your lids. Using a few shades of eyeshadow going from light to dark toward the outer and upper crease can bring focus upward and you have the choice of using a wing of black eyeliner to bring them up further for dramatic effect or to go for a creamier and softer eyeliner in a deep brown so it looks more natural. This can trick the eye into thinking your eyes extend outward further than they actually do, so it’s a really good eye shape to get experimenting and even switch it up from time to time to suit your mood and style.
There is a lot to be said for how your eye shape can determine your makeup styles but another factor is eye colour and as easy as it would be to just wear any colour of eyeshadow or style of eyeliner at any time, we have to admit that there are certain tones and textures that really compliment and accentuate different eye colours. If we want to feel and look our best, exuding confidence wherever we go then it might just be time to learn just what colours are suited to you.
Brown Eyes – People with brown eyes are generally very lucky in the colours they can wear and the versatility in which they can style their makeup. Although it may not seem that way to all brown eyed girls out there, wishing for naturally light eyes that pop even without a hint of makeup on, there are plenty of ways to make brown eyes stand out.
Plums and darker red tones of eye shadow are very complimentary as by contrast they bring out the lightness in even the deepest brown and have a natural tone that can look rich in texture when layered with darker makeup for smoky eye looks. Golds and bronzes have the same effect and bring out even the smallest flecks of gold and yellow tones in the eye which can be perfectly rounded off with some strong black eyeliner on the top lid, a sultry wing and some volumizing mascara. This creates the illusion of lighter eyes and is a good daytime look as the sun helps naturally bring out the lighter colour in brown eyes.
Natural shades that sit nicely on fairer skin tones are an easy solution to bringing forward really dark brown eyes. These shades that are subtle, almost like blush for the eye, like rose, mauve and lighter oranges, basically set a backdrop for the eyes to sit on rather that swamp. It is also a way to look like you are wearing minimal make up but to maximum effect. Finished off with a deep brown eyeliner in a kohl pencil with a very simple flick, is just the right amount of makeup for anyone with brown eyes to feel like they are wearing just enough but not too much, while packing a very cute punch at the same time.
Shimmery eye makeup is a crowd pleaser as it doesn’t have to be perfect and can also hide imperfections. This goes back to eye shape and having a deep crease or downturned eyes with a lot of lid to cover, shimmery golds and greens add dimension to brown eyes and can be worn really easily with a neat line of gel eyeliner to finish it off. Autumn and winter especially call for these colours on brown eyes to bring depth and warmth to the mix.
Blue eyes – Whether they are baby blues or sparkling turquoise, with the right makeup blue eyes can look like they hold the secrets to the universe, and it is very easy to fall into their almost hypnotic power without realising. Blue eyes have next to no limits on what eye makeup they can wear and how they can wear it. To really go for striking blue, it is always recommended to have a sharp and jet-black eyeliner to hand and mascara is a must to really make them pop.
Monochromatic eyes have a very sixties vibe about them and look fantastic on blue eyes when applied creatively. Using white eyeliner on the bottom waterline and heavy black liner adds width to all shaped eyes and provides a perfect frame for blue eyes. But for those in search of a little colour, even light golds and rose golds are perfectly suited to blue eyes to soften them and add a touch of innocence.
Peaches and smooth oranges contrast the colour blue so well that it actually works and look striking on blue eyes. This eye shadow colour is good when applied to the top eyelid but great when applied to the bottom one as well. Finished off without eyeliner but with some simple length enhancing mascara, this look is definitely a winner any time of year and for any occasion.
Smoky eyes on blue eyes doesn’t have to be as dramatic and dark as it is on brown eyes. Now, there are sometimes calls for dark greys and black eye shadows to create a smoky eye, but for the less daring and more low-key events, the smoky eye can be created with greens, teals and turquoises to compliment the blue. Adding these little shades of green too is the magic ingredient to highlight specs of green in the eye. It can create the illusion of green eyes very cleverly so I definitely think all blue eyes girls should try this look our at least once.
Glittery blues look great on blue eyes. Back in the day, this was the colour that a lot of people thought was the only thing that suited blue eyes and it isn’t seen as much now as it can look a little dated if not executed properly. Blue eye shadow on blue eyes can be quite subdued or bright depending on the occasion but I absolutely adore galactic blues with a hint of purple. The shimmer from the glitter can make this look out of this world and add to the sparkle that naturally occurs in blue eyes. Teamed with a heavy black line over the top lid and a wing that sweeps upward in the direction of the waterline brings this look right into the future.
Green eyes – The rarest colour of all eyes, only around 2% of people have green eyes, but there are variations in hazel, hazel green and blue-green that make it a lot more interesting to play around with eye shadow colours and eyeliner.
People with green eyes have the versatility to play with colour in the same way those with blue eyes do as well as being able to switch up black eyeliner for browns and golds in a bid to soften any look. Green eyes teamed with brown eyeliner just look so smooth and inviting whereas the heavy black line forms a striking visual for anyone to see.
Pink eyeshadow on green eyes looks fantastic when blended to perfection and with less brightness as far as pigment goes. Teamed up with a light pink blush, most skin tones of those with green eyes support this look and highlight the green with clever contrast. Pinks, taupe and light violets all have the contrasting effect and make green eyes pop without making them look to overbearing for the shade of eye shadow.
Copper and bronze shades of eye shadow are an easy pick for those with green eyes as it is the colour that compliments them the most. Making sure to warm up tones in the skin, copper or bronze is like a match made in heaven for green eyes as they are the magic highlighters that make the bright greens and gold flecks in the iris stand out. Teamed with just some mascara and some light eyeliner in a light colour, these are the shade that compliment green eyes the most.
Silver shimmers on green eyes are what dreams of becoming a real-life Disney princess are made of! It has been a really popular look for the big celebrities on red carpets and a cemented look of summer on Instagram. Silver is to green eyes what nudes and bronzes are on brown eyes, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it just provides a pedestal for green eyes to sit on and shine their brightest on their own. With light use of eyeliner and lengthening mascara, and a little extra emphasis on the silver or white at the inner corner of the eye, this look oozes glamour and sophistication all while showcasing what green eyes can do almost naturally.
All Eyes Are Perfect
It is clear to see that the options are nearly endless when it comes to eye make up and we are so lucky to be living in a time where we have access to so many different colours of eye shadow. There has been a lot of advice on what to do when to comes to your eye colour and shape but not much on what not to do. The reason for this is that I believe we can all achieve beauty with a lot of confidence and a little makeup, not everyone wants to try a certain look, not everyone has the confidence to do so, so hopefully with a few tips and a quick glance in the mirror, you can find your inner confidence and get ready to experiment with your own eye shape and colour.