eye shape

The Ultimate Guide to Determining Your Eye Shape

Basically, determining your eye shape is pretty easy as long as you have a mirror and a few minutes. In addition to eye shape, you may also want to pay attention to the position of your eyes on your face, as this can affect the overall appearance of your eyes.

Determine the shape

Look at your eyes in the mirror.

Choose a well-lit spot with a mirror. Bring the mirror as close to your face as possible to have a clear view of at least one of your eyes. A magnifying mirror is ideal, but any mirror will work well enough if you can clearly see your eyes in it. This includes fixed mirrors, such as those that hang on the wall or closet, and mirrors mounted in a small powder compact. Natural light often provides the best illumination, but artificial light will do the trick as long as you can see your eyes well.

Ask yourself if your eyelid has a crease.

Look at your upper lid. If that eyelid doesn’t have a crease, you have monolids. However, if your eyelid has a crease, you’ll need to move on before determining your eye shape. Note that the eyelid’s crease does not have to be visible to count as one. Almond-shaped eyes have no crease at all. The monolid is a basic eye shape, so if you have one, you don’t need to go through the rest of the steps in the Shape section of this article. However, you can continue with the Position section.

Pay attention to the position of the outer corners of your eyes.

Imagine a straight, horizontal line running through both eyes’ middle. Ask yourself if the outer corner of your eye is above or below this midline. If the corners of your eyes are above this line, you have upturned eyes. On the other hand, if the corners of your eyes are below this line, you have downward-facing eyes. Imagining a center line can be difficult, so if necessary, you can place a disposable coffee spoon or thin pencil across the horizontal center of one eye. Now, look at the position of the outer corner of your covered eye with your uncovered eye. If the outer corner of your eye is near the center line, you’ll need to continue to determine your basic eye shape. If you have upturned or downturned eyes, you can stop working through the Shape section and move on to the Position section.

Take a closer look at the crease on your eyelid.

With your eyes wide open, ask yourself if the crease of your eyelid is visible or hidden. You have a droopy lid if the crease is hidden under the top of your lid or your brow bone. Stop at this point once you’ve identified your eye shape as a droopy eyelid. This is your basic eye shape, so you can skip the rest of the steps in this section and move on to the Position section of this article. If the crease of your eyelid is visible, you need to continue with the last part of this section.

Look at the white of your eye.

More specifically, look at the whites around the iris — the colored part of your eye. You have round eyes if you can see the whites around the top or bottom of your iris. You have almond-shaped eyes if you can’t see the whites below or above the iris. Both round and almond eyes are basic eye shapes. If you don’t have any other shape properties, as described in the previous step of this section, your eye shape can be round or almond-shaped. This is the last attribute to consider when determining your eye shape. Now you can only determine the position of your eyes in your face.

Determine the position

Look in the mirror again.

Just like when you determine your eye shape, you need to look at your eyes in the mirror in a well-lit place. In contrast to before, you should now ensure that both eyes can be seen in the mirror. One eye will not be enough to determine the position of the eyes accurately.

Look at the inner corners of your eyes.

More specifically, you should look at the distance between the inner corners of both eyes. If the distance is less than the length of one eye, you have narrow eyes. You have widely spaced eyes if the distance is more than an eye length. There is also a possibility that the distance is about an eye length. In this case, the distance is irrelevant and should not be considered further. This step only determines your eye relief. This doesn’t affect the depth or size, so you’ll still need to continue with the remaining steps in this section if you have narrow or wide-set eyes.

Look at the depths of your eyes.

Most people don’t need to worry about the depth of their eyes when determining the position of their eyes, but some people have either sunken or protruding eyes. Deep-set eyes can appear to be set deeper in the eye socket, making the upper lid appear short and small. Protruding eyes, on the other hand, literally protrude from the eye socket and protrude in the direction of the upper lash line. Because this step only determines the depth of your eyes, you must then continue with the remaining steps in this section to determine the size of your eyes.

Compare your eyes to the rest of your face.

Compare your eyes to your mouth and nose. An average-sized eye will be about the size of your mouth or nose, if not a little smaller. Conversely, if your eyes are significantly smaller, you have small eyes. You have large eyes if they are larger than the rest of your facial features. As with depth, most people don’t need to worry about the size of their eyes.

Optional makeup tips for different eye shapes and positions

Apply makeup to match the shape.

For most women, the shape of the eyes will determine the best makeup technique to use when applying eye makeup. With monolids, you can apply eyeshadow in a gradient to create dimension. Apply dark colors near the lash line, a soft neutral color towards the center and a shimmering color near the browbone. If you have upturned eyes, apply dark shadow or liner along the lower, outer corner of your eye, making the outer corner appear deeper. If you have down-facing eyes, apply the liner near the upper lash line and blend the shadow toward the socket, but only on the outer two-thirds of the eye. This will lift the overall appearance of your eye. For drooping eyelids, you should use medium to dark, matte eyeshadow colors and apply as little as possible so as not to overwhelm the eye. If you have round eyes, apply medium to dark tones over the center of the eye and use light colors to accentuate the corners of the eyes. This narrows the overall shape of your eyes. If you have almond-shaped eyes, then you have what is considered the “ideal” shape. You can try almost any look with your eye makeup.

Consider the width.

If you have visibly wide-set or narrow-set eyes, you should consider this trait when deciding how to apply your eye makeup. If you have narrow eyes, you should use light colors in the inner corner of the eye and dark colors in the outer corner of the eye. Line the outer corners of your eyes with mascara as well. This stretches the outer corners of your eyes. For wide-set eyes, apply dark liner as close to the inner corner of the eye as possible and use mascara on the lashes from the center of your eye to your nose. Your eyes will appear to be closer together.

Consider the depth of your eyes.

The depth of the eyes doesn’t necessarily play a big part in makeup application, but there are a few things worth considering. If you have deep-set eyes, apply light colors to the top lid and a darker color above the socket line. This will redirect your eye’s shadow and direct it further outward. If you have bulging eyes, use medium to dark colors at the bottom and top of the eye, not going further than the crease on each side. Using a little more color than usual will give the eye more shadow, making it appear deeper in the eye socket.

Think of peculiarities related to small or large eyes.

Your makeup might vary if your eye size is outside the norm. Small eyes often get smothered when using dark colors, so stick to light to medium tones and avoid weighing down your lash line with too much liner or mascara. Big eyes give you a wider palette to work with, and you can play around with various looks. However, medium to dark tones tends to be more flattering, as light colors can make the eye appear larger than it already is.


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About the Author

Dylan Roberge

Dylan Roberge is a San Francisco-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering money saving and deal hunting. Before going freelance, he got his start as an editor at Yahoo Finance. These days he writes about mobile, tech gadgets, and lifestyle subjects for a variety of publications.