As stockists of the biggest selection of lashes in the business – including strip lashes, individual lashes, and magnetic lashes – we asked our resident MUA Saffron Hughes to share her tips and tricks on how anyone can find their ‘perfect’ eye makeup to most suit them personally.
Her advice is based on individuals’ eye size, eye setting, eye shape, eye colour, and skin tone, and she also discusses how to create the look from popular trends, and other advice on how to increase the longevity of your eye makeup. Read on to find out more…
Finding your perfect eye makeup
Eye size and setting
How can someone determine their eye size or eye setting?
You can determine the size of your eyes by comparing them to the size of your nose and mouth. Eye’s that are ‘average’ size are similar in size to your nose and/or mouth or slightly smaller. If your eyes are significantly smaller than your nose and/or mouth, then you have small eyes. The same goes for large eyes – your eyes will be bigger than your nose/mouth.
To determine if your eyes are wide or close-set, you will need to measure the gap between your eyes. Measure your eye using your thumb and index finger, then hold that same space between your eyes. If the space between your eye is less than one eye’s length in size, you have close-set eyes, but if the gap is larger than one eye’s length, you have wide-set eyes.
Which styles of eye makeup would best suit each type of eye size or eye setting, and why?
- SHADOW: Darker shadows – draws attention to eyes
- LINER: In the waterline or all around the eyes – draws attention to eyes
- LASHES: High curl, feathery, volume – enhances
- SHADOW: Gradient shadow from inner to outer corner – gives the illusion of bigger eyes
- LINER: Out and upwards wing – smudge for a softer look... White/nude liner in the waterline to give the appearance of bigger eyes
- LASHES: Natural, wispy, fluttery lashes. Longer in the centre to open up the eye or longer in the outer corners for a lift effect
Dark smoky shadows, dark liner in the waterline, and densely thick lashes can all make your eyes appear even smaller, so consider avoiding these if you have small eyes.
- SHADOW: Darker shadows at the inner corner, lighter in the outer – gives the illusion of eyes being closer together
- LINER: Straight line with no wing
- EYEBROWS: Grow or fill in inwards – gives the illusion that eyes are closer together
Big, winged liner will elongate the eye further, making them appear even further apart, so consider avoiding this if you have wide-set eyes.
- SHADOW: Smokey outer corners – draws attention to the outer corners
- LINER: Outer corner – elongates the eye and draws attention to the outer corners
- LASHES: ‘Cat-eye’ lashes that are longer and flare towards the outer corner – elongates the eye and draws attention to the outer corners
Dark shadow in the inner corner would make your eyes appear even closer together, and lashes that are longer in the centre can also make the eyes look smaller, so consider avoiding these if you have close-set eyes.
- LASHES: Shorter lashes – stops them pressing against your glasses
Big, long lashes can press against glasses, so consider avoiding these if you are a glasses wearer.
How can someone determine their eye shape?
You can determine the shape of your eyes by looking straight ahead into a mirror with relaxed eyes.
If you have almond shaped eyes, you won’t be able to see any white around the top or bottom of your iris - it will be slightly covered by your eyelids. Almond eyes also tend to be oval shaped and have narrow corners. If you can see any white around the top or bottom of your iris (even a thin sliver), you have round eyes. Round eyes are less tapered than almond eyes and they appear more open.
You will need to look at how your eyes tilt to determine if they are upturned or downturned by imaging a straight, horizontal line going through the centre of your eye. If the outer corners of your eyes are above this line, you have upturned eyes and if the outer corners are below this line, you have downturned eyes.
To determine if you have monolid eyes, you need to look for a crease in the centre of your upper eyelid. If you do not have a crease, you have monolid eyes. If you have hooded eyes, your eyelid skin hangs down over the crease, making your upper eyelid look smaller. If you can’t see the crease in your eye when your eyes are open, then you have hooded eyes.
Which styles of eye makeup would best suit each eye shape, and why?
- SHADOW: Suit most eyeshadow styles
- LINER: Suit different eyeliner styles
- LASHES: Suit most lash styles e.g. winged fluttery lashes – subtle complement or full lashes evenly distributed – attention grabbing
- SHADOW: Gradient shadow from inner to outer corners – helps emphasise the natural eye curve
- LINER: Out and up wing - smudge for a softer look – compliments eye shape
- LASHES: Wispy, lightweight, curly, or winged lashes – to enhance the shape/curve of your top lid
Thick or heavy voluminous lashes make your eyes appear smaller and flatter, so consider avoiding these if you have round eyes.
- SHADOW: Smokey eye – draws attention. Smokey smudged liner shadow/winged out eyeshadow – compliments eye shape
- LINER: Outer corners on top and bottom lash lines
- LASHES: Cat-eye (longer/flared at the outer corner), flared half lash – emphasises the feline flick
Upturned eyes can become overwhelmed by a heavy, thick set of lashes, so consider avoiding these if you have this eye shape.
- SHADOW: Suits many shadows looks, including the cat-eye look – promotes a lifted outer corner
- LINER: Cat-eye eyeliner to enhance the outer corners
- LASHES: Criss-cross winged lashes – to lift the outer corners
- SHADOW: Gradient shadow from lash line to eyebrows – opens the eye
- LINER: Winged or cat-eye – compliments eye shape and draws attention
- LASHES: Multi-layered, fluttery lashes – opens the eye and draws attention
- SHADOW: Extend your shadow beyond the crease and elongate towards the outer corner – opens and lifts the eye
- LINER: Tightline
- LASHES: A fluttery lash that is longer in the centre – adds depth and opens the eye
Which colour(s) of eye makeup would suit the different eye colours, and why?
The following colours enhances and compliments each eye colour:
Orange and peach tones, blue tones, gentle brown tones, lighter greens like teal/turquoise
Gold, bronze, purple, teal
Red hues such as maroon or pink-red, copper/bronze, purple, silver/grey
Bronze, copper, gold, green, purple
Purple, silver, orange, maroon
Gold, bronze, purple
How can someone determine their skin tone and undertone?
There are three different types of undertones:
- WARM – includes golden, yellow, or peach undertones
- COOL – includes pink, red, or blueish undertones
- NEUTRAL – a mixture of warm and cool undertones
There are a few different ways of determining your undertone:
By wearing a white t-shirt or holding a white piece of paper up to your face
If your skin looks pink, you’re cool toned. If your skin looks more yellow, you’re warm toned.
By checking the colour of your veins
If you have green veins, you’re warm toned. If you have blue veins, you’re cool toned. If you have a mixture, you’re neutral toned.
How your skin reacts to sun exposure
If you burn easily, you’re cool toned. If you tan easily, you’re warm toned. If you burn then tan, you’re neutral toned.
Identify your skin tone shade ranging from fair, light, medium, tan, olive, deep, dark. You may be a combination of tones such as light-medium or medium-deep. Determining your skin tone and its slight variations depends on your unique undertone. Total these results together for a more specific shade result e.g. light neutral, medium warm, etc.
Which colour(s) of eye makeup would suit this tone type, and why?
Blue, silver, pink & peach – matches the undertone
Can wear most colours – look to skin tone for the most complimentary colours
Gold, brown, green & pink – matches the undertone
Cooler-toned and neutral shades like taupe, beige, and soft pinks
Cool-toned and neutral shades like greys and deeper beiges
Warm and cool shades
Warmer shades like bronze and orange
Warm and cool shades, plus vivid colours
Warm and cool shades plus vivid colours
Warm and cool shades
Eye makeup trends
When it comes to trend-specific advice we decided to focus on five of the most popular and iconic eye makeup looks, including a mixture of classic looks and those that are trending right now. These included classic winged eyeliner, reverse cat eye, fox eye, fluffy brows, and thin brows.
For each, we discussed how to create eye makeup in this style, assigning a difficulty rating for each and giving considerations based on your own personal eye shape:
Classic winged eyeliner
Classic winged eyeliner suits most eye shapes as it can be adapted – especially complimentary to round and monolid eye shapes.
PRODUCTS TO USE:
I would recommend a liquid or gel eyeliner for precision and pigmentation
- Draw a thin line along the lash line to begin
- Looking straight ahead with relaxed eyes, notice where your eye naturally creases in the outer corner
- Map a dot just below where the crease ends – you don’t want to place your eyeliner above this dot or in the crease
- Join the end of your liner on the lash line to the dot below the crease
- Then, depending on your eye shape and desired placement of the ‘wing’ you can either draw a line up, across/straight, or slightly down and then up to avoid the crease to create your wing. Or you can map another dot that you wish to be the end of the wing and join together with the previous dot
- Once the desired wing has been mapped out, you can then begin to fill in and thicken until you reach your desired eyeliner thickness
If you’ve made a bit of a mess or the line isn't as sharp as you would like, take a makeup wipe or q-tip and wipe away excess eyeliner to perfect the wing.
I’d rate the classic winged eyeliner look a difficulty rating of 2/5. For a beginner I would recommend the tape trick – where you use Sellotape and place it at the outer corner of your eye at the desired angle to use as a guide. Once you’ve applied your eyeliner you simply peel the tape away to reveal a sharp wing.
Reverse cat eye
The reverse cat eye suits most eye shapes – I would recommend to those wanting to elongate their eyes like close-set or downturned, as it is the most complimentary. May be more beneficial and effective to those with hooded eyes as they don't have to worry about their crease covering the wing.
For the reverse cat-eye look, the focus is on the lower lash line.
- Start by taking an eyeliner pencil to the lower lash line and drawing a thin line following the natural shape of your eye. remember to include your inner corner for the full cat-eye effect
- Once you reach the outer corner of your eye you can draw out your wing at the desired angle. Once the wing is complete you can join it to the lower lash line and the very outer corner of your top lash line
- Then use a small fluffy brush to blend and smoke the liner together to avoid harsh lines
- Then with a makeup wipe or q-tip, drag along the outer edges and wing of the eyeliner in an upwards motion to sharpen the wing and give the cat-eye effect
- Once happy with the shape you can add a liquid or gel liner to intensify the colour and sharpen the inner and outer corners of your eyes or set with an eyeshadow
- Add the same colour eyeliner to your waterline
I’d rate the reverse cat-eye look a 3/5 or 4/5, as it depends how confident you are.
The fox eye look focuses on the outer corner of the eye – it is most complimentary to almond, upturned and small eyes as it promotes a lifted look.
PRODUCTS TO USE:
This can be done with liquid/gel eyeliner or just eyeshadow depending on your desired result.
- Create an eyeliner wing that begins in the middle or outer third of your lash line and continues into a lifted wing – use tape as a guide for the wing, if needed
- Add a small ‘v’ in the inner corner of your eye to imitate a fox’s eye
- The finishing touch is a half/accent lash to really lift the outer corner of your eye
I would rate the fox eye look a 2/5 – a good place for an eyeliner beginner to start as it’s the least complex eyeliner look.
By brushing the eyebrow hairs upwards especially the outer hairs you almost give the illusion of a face lift, but it also allows yourself more eyelid space to work with. This look most suits oblong or oval face shapes (as they offset the length of the face), as well as heart shaped faces (as it's the widest area of the face so they don’t overwhelm the area).
I think it’s also good to consider the size of your facial features – if you have bigger features then big fluffy brows will work well. If you have smaller features and face shape you may want to avoid big fluffy brows as they will overwhelm your other features and look out of place.
PRODUCTS TO USE:
Depending on desired result, you can either use a brow gel/mascara to fluff the brow hairs up and into place or you can use a brow glue or balm with a spoolie to fluff the brow hairs up and then lay them flat to the skin for the laminated look.
- If you’re a beginner I would start with the brow gel/mascara and experiment with brushing the brow hairs in an upward direction to see how you feel about them as it doesn’t have to be too dramatic
- You can always focus on brushing the front eyebrow hairs upwards and the rest in a sideways direction if the full fluffy eyebrows scare you
I would rate the fluffy brows a 1/5 – you most likely already have the products to do this, it’s just about the application.
Back in the day, Pamela Anderson made thin brows the ‘it’-trend… thanks to social media platforms and filters, such as TikTok, these are coming back into fashion as part of a new trend cycle. Thin brows match smaller faces with smaller features, but it depends how you draw them on e.g. round/curved, straight/flat, high arch or soft arch.
PRODUCTS TO USE:
Depending on your desired look you can use a brow pen/pencil to create fine eyebrow looking strokes and draw on your new thin brows.
To create the thin eyebrow look with your natural eyebrows:
- Pluck any stray hairs
- Don’t fluff up your brows like you usually would, instead brush the hairs slightly up and then sideways into their thinnest form
- Set lightly with a brow gel
- Fill in with your desired brow product
To create the thin eyebrow look by blocking out your natural eyebrows:
- Use glue to lay your natural eyebrow hairs flat to skin – depending on how thick your natural brows are this can take some time
- Then apply a loose powder to set the glued brows and brush away the excess
- Then apply a concealer that matches your skin tone over the top and then a lighter concealer – depending on your natural brow colour and thickness this may take a few layers
- Complete the rest of your base makeup until ready to draw on your new thin brows
I would rate the option to make your natural eyebrows appear thin a 2/5, whereas blocking out your natural brows and drawing new ones on would be a 4/5 or 5/5.
Eye makeup longevity tips
What tips and tricks can people use to increase the longevity of their eye makeup?
By using an eyeshadow primer/base or concealer to prime the eyelid – this helps the pigmentation and longevity of your eyeshadows. Apply eyeshadow in a patting motion to build up pigment before softly defusing by lightly blending.
What tips and tricks can people use to make their eyelashes stay in place all day (or night)?
Brush a light layer of glue along your lash line as well as applying a layer to the lash band of your false eyelashes – double the amount, double the staying power. You can also do this by just applying to the inner and outer corners of your lash line to ensure no corners pop up.
Make sure you’ve wiggled the lash band before application to ensure the lash band is curved rather than straight. You can also use an adhesive eyeliner – such as Kiss Lash Glue Liner in Black – and apply it below and on top of your false lashes to really seal them on.
*Advice correct as of April 2022