The Difference Between Monolids and Double Eyelids

Here's how to know which stunning shape you've been blessed with.

Updated 11/07/19

 @glossier

First of all, let's get something straight—anyone with any eyelid shape can wear any makeup style they so please (and look darn good doing it). It's just that different shapes anatomically create their own unique obstacles (as with anything), which means different beauty looks are easier to DIY than others.

Phew, now that we're all clear there, let's talk about the difference between monolids and double eyelids so you can determine which eyelid shape you have.

Also known as an epicanthic fold, a monolid is a skin fold on the upper eyelid that makes it appear that there’s no visible crease line below your brow area (hence the name—it presents itself as a “single eyelid” rather than a double eyelid).

On the contrary, double eyelids are those with a subtle crease that “doubles over” the eyelid, causing a lining on the eyelid. Both are beautiful, and neither is better than the other (duh). But depending on which eyelid type you have, there are certain tips out there for tailoring your makeup routine.

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Monolid Makeup Tips

Model Liu Wen - Monolid Eye Makeup

 Getty Images

First things first: Invest in a good eye primer to keep everything in place and avoid smears and smudges (this holds true for anyone).

Vertical Gradient Eyeshadow

Then, go ahead and experiment with different shadows to find what you like best. If you're looking to create dimension and depth, you can contour around your eyes and upper eyelid with a darker shadow. Some people like the look of concentrating shadow on the outer “V” of your eye, but you can also try doing a vertical gradient look. With a vertical gradient shadow look, apply darker eyeshadow at the bottom closest to your lash line, then medium shadow, then the lightest at the top closest to your brow bone. This technique takes advantage of the crease-free surface of a monolid, showing a brilliant fade from lash line to brow bone.

Monochromatic Looks

And don’t steer away from choosing an ultra-colorful shadow for a bold, single-colored look either—as monolids provide a smooth canvas for a bright, neon, monochromatic look.

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Double Eyelid Makeup Tips

Double eyelids—or hooded eyes—are characterized by a crease that monolids don’t typically have.

Again, a great eye primer is a fabulous investment for anyone, but especially those with hooded eyes, since it’s likely your brow bone overlaps the lid and can cause liner or shadow transfer. (P.S., find our favorite eye primers here.)

Horizontal Gradient Eyeshadow

While double eyelids can certainly wear vertical gradient eyeshadow, you'll often see this shape stand out with a horizontal gradient. With horizontal gradient eyeshadow, start with the lightest shade in your palette in the inner corner of your eye, going darker as you sweep eyeshadow towards the outer corners. In most cases, three eyeshadow colors can be used to create this look: one light, one medium, one dark. You can take this rule of thumb to any end of the color or light spectrum (i.e., all three shades can be dark as long as there is one lighter, one more medium, and one super dark color for contrast).

Bold Lashes

It's not true for everyone, but double eyelids tend to look heavier than monolids. To create the appearance of a more lifted, awake-looking eye, use a mascara that curls your lashes up and out.

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