How to Apply Eyeliner for Your Specific Eye Shape

Updated 04/08/19

You tailor your haircut to your face shape and your jeans style to your figure, but has your eye shape been influencing your eyeliner choices? If it hasn't, you're in for an eye-opener. With the right technique, you can make hooded eyes look bigger, downturned eyes look more awake, and so much more. Perfecting your eyeliner is like a rite of passage in the makeup world—it takes patience and practice.

We've all been beginners at the eyeliner game before, so don't be discouraged if your hand is still a little shaky. It's all about getting your wrist to cooperate and complement your eye shape with the right eyeliner—and of course, we have opinions about the best liners on the market. It's all about embracing those eyes of your and using the shape of your liner to enhance your shape. You'll be a pro in no time.

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Eyeliner for Almond Eyes

Good news for eyeliner for almond-shaped eyes: You can try pretty much any eyeliner look and it will flatter your eyes. To play up the shape, start out with a very thin line in the inner corners, and then build the thickness out once you reach the outer third of your eye. You can either stop there or you can add a slight wing at the end. For an even more dramatic effect, carry the color down along your bottom lash line. 

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Eyeliner for Hooded Eyes

When doing eyeliner for hooded and monolid eyes, be sure to get the liner right into the base of your lash line. Since your eyelid is hooded, you can make the liner as thick as you want—thin lines are difficult to see when your eyes are open. If you're going for a cat eye, a thick, elongated wing will give your eyes the most shape and definition. Or you can make your eyes look rounder by making the liner thicker in the center of your eye, and thinner at the corners. This creates the illusion of an eye that's more curved.

Just skip bottom eyeliner, which can close off your eyes, making them look smaller. 

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Eyeliner for Downturned Eyes

With eyeliner for downturned eyes, it's all about keeping them lifted. Brighten the inner corners with a light-colored shimmery pencil and leave the lower lash line bare. Focus your efforts on the top lash line, starting directly below the highest point of your arch, and then think up and outward. A slightly upward flick of liner at the outer corners will open up downturned eyes.

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Eyeliner for Round Eyes

When it comes to eyeliner for round eyes, your application should be about elongating the eyes into a more exotic shape. Line the upper lash line and play up the outer corners with either a long, extended wing or by smudging dark liner into both the upper and lower lash lines. 

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Eyeliner for All Eye Shapes

The options are endless for eyeliner for all eye shapes. If your basic skills with an eye pencil or eyeliner brush could use a little improvement (aka your ability to get the line straight is lacking), try the connect-the-dots method or smudging the liner out for a smokey shadow look. Just dot the liner as close to your lash line as possible, and then blend the dots together to create one smooth stroke. You'll get a straight line with this technique, regardless of your eye shape.

Now that you have your eyeliner for your eye shape down pat, go play with new and cool liners.

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