Makeup fundamentals

04 Eye shapes and appropriate colours

Eye shapes and appropriate colours


Eyes are the focal point of the face. Most women prefer to accentuate their eye makeup rather than their lips. When doing eye makeup, it helps to identify the eye shape in order to complement or correct it.

Almond eyes:

These eyes resemble an almond. They appear symmetrical and are often lauded as the perfect eye shape. These eyes will suit any style of makeup.


  • Use a light shade on the eyelid and darker on the outside corner.
  • Use a medium shade on the lower eyelid and darker on the outside corner.
  • Highlight the inner corner of the eye with a light shimmer shade.
  • Curl lashes and apply mascara to the top and bottom lashes, emphasising the middle.
Downturned eyes:

These eyes droop at the outer corner and appear to look sad; the goal is to give the eyes a lift.

These eyes will suit a ‘cat eye’ look.


  • To obtain an eye lift, accentuate the makeup in the outside corner. Extend your eyeshadow.
  • Draw a thicker liner from the middle of the eyelid.
  • Highlight the inner corner with a light shimmer shade.
  • Smudge liner along the lower lashes and blend out.
  • Curl lashes, particularly on the outside corner.
Hooded eyes:

The natural crease appears hidden. The lid is less visible. The aim is to give the appearance of a larger eye.


  • Use a light eyeshadow all over the eyelid
  • Blend a medium shade to the crease and diffuse upward.
  • Use minimal liner in order to not reduce the eyelid.
  • Use a lot of mascara on bottom and upper lashes to open the eyes.
  • Shade the bottom eyelid, particularly on the outside corner.
Protruding eyes:

These eyes seem to protrude out from the facial planes. The goal is to recess the eyelid for a deeper set look. These eyes will suit the ‘smokey eye’ look.


  • Use a darker eyeshadow all over the eyelid and fade the colour away when approaching the eye socket.
  • Eyeliner should be smudged, avoid winged liner.
  • Apply a dark shade on the lower waterline and smudge a dark shade lightly at the outside corner.
Monolid eyes:

These eyes have minimal space on the mobile eyelid but large space up to the brow bone.

These eyes can accommodate several looks.


  • To create the illusion of a bigger mobile eyelid, darken the inner and outside corners. Use a lighter shade in the center of the eyes.
  • Draw a thick winged liner.
  • Use a minimal amount of product on the lower eyelid.
  • Apply a lot of mascara, particularly to the middle of the lashes
Round eyes:

These eyes are generally big, and the white of the eyes is generally very visible. The aim should be to elongate the shape.


  • Use a light shade on the mobile eyelid and a darker shade on the crease.
  • Try to create a straight line on the lower eyelid to break the roundness of the eye.
  • Draw a thick liner and extend the line further than the eyelid.
  • Curl the lashes and use mascara on the upper and lower lashes, particularly on the outside corner.

Choosing the right eye shadow colour:

There are two factors to consider when choosing your colours for eye makeup application. We talked previously about the theory of colours, warm/cool tones and complementary colours.

These two factors will have to be taken in consideration when choosing your eyeshadows.

Colours can be chosen:
  • According to the complexion: If the complexion is cool, keep cool tones for the eyes too: green, blue, cool brown, grey, silver. If the complexion is warm, choose warm tones: bronze, gold, peach, red, orange, yellow…
  • Using complementary colours for the eyes: e.g. orange/bronze for blue eyes.

This is only indicative and your creativity and feeling regarding your client will be the key decision when choosing the colours for your eye makeup.

Brown eyes suit a wide range of colours. To intensify the colour, blue, purple, and green eyeshadow can be used. To complement the colour, use warm shades of brown and bronze if you are working with a warm complexion, or grey, dark, silver, if a cool complexion.

Blue eyes will be intensified using complementary colours like bronze, brown, gold and orange.

Neutral tones can also be used, warm or cool, depending on the complexion.

A burgundy or purple shade is recommended to brighten green eyes. Gold and bronze will also enhance green eyes.