Celebrity Makeup Artists Share How to Best Apply Eyeliner Depending on Your Eye Shape
Plus, whether you should use liquid or pencil liners.
When it comes to who gets credit for doing the heavy lifting of waking up the eye, concealers always win. However, eyeliners deserve a lot of credit, too. Whether they’re liquid eyeliners, gels, or pencils, different types of eyeliner looks can give the illusion of bigger, elongated, and lifted eyes. But, eyes come in many shapes, so application isn’t one-size-fits-all. To learn some of the best ways to apply eyeliner for different eye shapes, we asked five celebrity makeup artists who gave us the best tips. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Eyeliner for almond eyes.
As its name implies, this eye shape looks like an almond. When deciding if you have almond eyes, celebrity makeup artist Erin Parsons advises looking for the whites of your eyes, which are located below the iris. If you can’t see them, you probably have almond eyes.
For maximum definition, Parsons recommends almond shapes create a layered look by using both a gel and liquid liner. She loves to begin with Maybelline’s Tattoo Studio Gel Pencil, followed by the brand’s Hyper Easy Liquid Pen. “I always like to sketch first—which is why I use the pencil. I find this takes the anxiety out of using a liquid liner. Now that you’ve sketched the line, you go in with a liquid liner,” she explains. Just draw along the upper eyelid and lightly wing it at the outer end.
2. Eyeliner for hooded eyes.
Those with hooded eyes usually have a pronounced brow bone and “a deep-set crease,” making eyes appear smaller than they seem, says makeup artist Mai Qunyh. “When the eye is open, the inner eyelid typically disappears,” she adds.
Qunyh says hooded eye types should always use a liquid liner paired with eyeshadow, but recommends avoiding a dark color scheme: “Because the eyes already appear smaller, adding too much dark shadow or liner may make them look even tinier,” she explains. Instead, she suggests using a medium or bright shade above the crease of the eye. That way, when you open your eyes you’ll be able to see the color.
Pro tip: “Look straight on in a mirror while doing eye makeup because when you’re looking down or your eyes are closed, you end up putting most of the color on your eyelid, but when you open up your eyes, most of the color will disappear,” Qunyh says.
3. Eyeliner for round eyes.
Pinpointing if you have round eyes is the opposite of identifying almond-shaped eyes—you should be able to see the whites of your eyes beneath your iris, explains makeup artist Terrell Mullin.
Due to their versatility, round eyes can pull off any look, regardless of the eyeliner they choose to use. “If you want to elongate the eye, you can simply go with a traditional cat eye and apply eyeliner upward when doing so and extend to the corner of the eye for [a bolder] effect,” he says. Mullin cites Giorgio Armani’s Smooth Silk Eyeliner Pencil as his liner of choice for round eye types as it goes on silky smooth and is good for smudging and softening lines.
4. Eyeliner for downturned eyes.
Mullin says to turn your attention to the outer corners of your eyes when looking for signs of downturned eyes. “If [they are] pointed down, you have downturned eyes,” he says.
He says that eyeliner for this shape should focus on elevating the eye, which is why Mullin recommends applying only a thin line of liquid liner on the top lid. To create a lifted look, he recommends using Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Lacquered Liquid Eyeliner. “It’s water-based and long-lasting, so you never have to worry about reapplying.”
5. Eyeliner for monolid eyes.
Monolid eyes are characterized by having little to no crease on the lid, in addition to a full, round shape, notes makeup artist Michael Anthony. Unlike with other eye types, Anthony says that monolid eyes should apply liner on both the top and bottom lash lines, with a thin line on top. “Smudging a pencil or eye kohl into the lower lash line in a multitude of shades can give so many different effects. For example, a shimmering medium brown-gold will give you definition and some twinkle to the eye without looking too heavy or overdone. A colorful blue or periwinkle shade in a graphic blunt shape can be extremely eye-catching and defines the eye in a bold and unique way,” he explains.
While any kind of eyeliner fares well on this eye shape, Anthony prefers using waterproof eyeliners. “In my experience, waterproof liners are the way to go with this eye shape. I like the security in knowing that the shape I create will last and not transfer to other parts of the eye or eye area,” he says.
6. Eyeliner for wide set eyes.
To find out if you have wide set eyes, Qunyh suggests measuring the length of each eye. Then, measure the distance between your eyes. “If the number between your eyes is bigger than the length of one eye, then you have wide set eyes,” she says.
To add dimension to wide set eyes, Qunyh likes to use pencil liners and counts Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Resist Color Pencil Eyeliners as her favorite, but says the placement of the liner is what matters most. “I recommend applying it to the inner lash line and fading it to the middle of the eye. It will help create the illusion of pulling the eyes closer together,” she says. Lining the upper inner lash line with a dark color adds depth and intensity to this eye type as well, adds Lori Taylor Davis, Global Pro Lead Artist at Smashbox Cosmetics.