Question: Are all eyeliner looks created equal or are certain styles better suited to specific eye shapes?
Answer: While we’re of the camp that encourages experimentation and believes there are no rules when it comes to beauty (except that you must take off your makeup every night—no exceptions), it’s worth noting that there are often best practices. In the case of eyeliner, “it’s true that certain techniques can bring more symmetry to different eye shapes,” says Romy Soleimani, makeup artist and Beauty.com Beauty Director. Here, she offers the best application tips for every face.
Almond: “Most liner styles will work on this shape, but a nice technique is to follow the natural curve of your eye, building thickness toward the outer corner. Add a flick for a sleek look or smudge a pencil into the roots and along the waterline for a sultry look.”
Monolid: “Thick liner is great for monolids,” says Soleimani. Just make sure to use a liquid or waterproof formula and make sure the line is thick enough so that when you open your eyes it doesn’t disappear or smudge.
Hooded: “Lid space tends to get lost when hooded eyes are open, so be careful not to use too much liner on the top lash line,” says Soleimani, who recommends tight-lining the top lash with a dark gel or pencil liner and working it in between lashes, which allows your eyes to stand out without loosing lid space.
Downturned: “Focus on creating a lift at the outer corners and keeping the inner corner open and bright to draw the eyes upward,” says Soleimani. Think thin, subtle wings and a dot of highlighter.
Round: “It’s all about creating an elongated wide-eyed look. Extend your liner on the top outer third to create more of an almond shape. Do the same on the bottom, connecting the two lines. Or don’t connect them for a cool double-winged effect.”
Close-set: You want to create the illusion that your eyes are wider apart, so “start the liner at the outer third and extend it outward, making sure it’s at its thinnest in the inner corner,” says Soleimani, who adds that “winged liner also looks great on this eye shape.”
Wide-set: Here, you want to create the illusion of eyes that are more symmetrical, so line the top lash line but don’t extend past the outer corner—”extending or thickening the end will only draw your eyes further apart.” Smudge pencil along the bottom for a night-out look.
Protruding: “Apply thick liner on the top lash line in order to push back your lid space a bit, then add liner or shadow to the bottom lash line for balance.”