Eyeliner is one of the great makeup-bag equalizers: We'd venture to guess that just about everyone has one type or another in their arsenal. But, how do you figure out which look works for your eye shape? After all, it's not at all the same thing that works for your friend, or sister, or coworker, or...you get the idea.
We're not ones to say you can't wear something based on any physical characteristic. You do whatever the hell makes you feel beautiful, eye shape be damned. However, for those who crave a little guidance, here it is. We tapped makeup artist
Maki H. to concoct liner styles that complement all the different eye shapes, from monolids to downturned eyes. "These makeup looks are more about enhancing the shape," she says. "I'm not a big fan of 'corrective' makeup." Amen, sister.
Click through to find your liner Shangri-la. And, hey, if you happen to see something you like that doesn't correspond with your eye shape, go ahead and try it anyway. Wear what you love. Happy drawing, ladies.
Monolid Eyes " Monolid eyes tend to be small, so people tend to try to make them look 'bigger by faking a crease,'" Maki says. She doesn't advise this. "It looks good in a photograph, but in real life, it's too much," she says. "So, you really just need a very simple line to enhance the coolness of this shape." Her solution: Opt for colorful hues over complex techniques. Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Maki drew on a straight
cat-eye, instead of a typical one that flicks up at the ends. Drag your liquid liner straight across your lid, and extend the line out to about the end of your brow. Since you won’t see much of it anyway (unless you blink), take a risk with a non-black hue. "Go for color for fun," she suggests. The deep red she chose for our model works well with brown eyes. Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
The deep red liner Maki chose for our model flatters brown eyes, is perfectly pigmented, and won't sweat off.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Iridescent Red, $23.00, available at Make Up For Ever. More
Hooded Eyes The biggest issue with hooded eyes: "They sometimes look heavy, because of the way the eyelid sits," Maki says. People with these kinds of lids can attest that their deep creases can sometimes give their eyes a sunken, tired vibe, even if that's not the case. To combat this, Maki opted for an all-over liner look — a sort of day-appropriate smoky eye. "It's a really cool, '70s look," she says. Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Using a brown pencil, Maki drew a thin line under the lower lashline. Then, she popped the color across a majority of the lid and blended the shade up into the crease. Doing so instantly opened Anastasia's eyes, since most of the color was concentrated upward. "Just make sure to keep your waterline clear," she says, in order to keep the bottom from looking heavy. But, she says to go wild on the mascara, which can further help open your eyes — especially if you curl your lashes first.
Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Cop the look by wrapping a layer of brown pencil around your eyes. This one by MAC slides onto the lids easily, so you won't be left tugging and pulling at your lids as you blend.
MAC Eye Kohl in Costa Riche, $16.00, available at Nordstrom. More
Almond Eyes "This is a very typical, classic shape," Maki says. Pretty much anything looks good with almond eyes — although a classic cat-eye particularly stands out. Kind of expected, though, right? So, Maki opted for a two-line flick with a colorful pop. Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Starting from the inner corners, Maki first painted on a thick, black line. "Just follow the natural eye shape," she says. But, instead of extending the line long, Maki stopped just outside the outer corners of the eyes. Then, she grabbed a blue pencil and drew from the bottom lashline flush alongside the black liner, then outward. "Making the wing longer is more fun," she says. And, since the color is just on the bottom line, it's interesting without veering too far into bad-YouTube-tutorial territory.
Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
This teal liner from Marc Jacobs slides on like butter, stays blendable for a few seconds, then sets to a long-wear finish.
Tom Ford Beauty Eye Defining Pen, $55.00, available at Tom Ford; Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon in Ody(Sea), $25.00, available at Sephora. More
Downturned Eyes Those with down-sloping eyes can get seriously frustrated with the cat-eye. This is because the natural line of their eye means they have to flick up extra high in order to get that feline look. Maki says that a regular cat-eye could actually exaggerate the downward shape. So, a smudgy, smoky, cool-girl is just what you need. "[It] automatically draws the eye up and out, instead of down and out," she says. reverse cat-eye Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
"Apply the line along your lower lashline," Maki says. Then, extend the mini-flick straight out before smudging it with a Q-tip. She stresses the importance of keeping the top lid clean. If you'd like, you can line your waterline, but it's more important to curl and coat your lashes with mascara. "If you have watery eyes, make sure to use a waterproof liner," she says. "Or, you can use a non-waterproof liner and draw some black eyeshadow over it."
, $16.50, available at
Clinique Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Maki used this twist-up pencil from Clinique to create her downturned eyes. Although the pencil feels creamy on contact, once it sets, it won't move until you decide to take it off.
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Intense Ebony, $16.50, available at Clinique. More
Round Eyes People often equate round eyes with "cute" things. They're called doe-like, described as being as big as teacup saucers — it's enough to make you roll your eyes. So, Maki wanted to stay far away from that contrived wide-eyed ingénue look and make things a bit more edgy for Katya. She drew a squared-off line instead of a typical flick, and the results were interesting, breathtaking, and, most of all, fierce. Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
Instead of creating a curved line that followed the eye shape, Maki drew her liner directly up from the edge of the top lashline to the crease and then halfway across the crease, making a square tip. Then, using a small brush, she smudged the pigment along the top lashline and slightly over the crease to soften the look.
Since big, round eyes like our model's tend to be able to handle a lot of makeup, she lined the waterline in black, and then swept a pop of pink along the bottom lashline. "Since your eyes are so big, you can pull off a dramatic look like this," she says. Plus, it looks like a badass, abstract cat-eye. Now, who are you calling cute?
, $29.00, available at
Dior NYX Cosmetics
, $4.95, available at
Amazon Photographed By Ben Ritter. More
A layer of baby pink eyeliner won't just serve as a subtle hit of color, it'll define your lower lashline, too.
Dior Diorshow Liner Waterproof in 178 Navy, $29.00, available at Dior; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Finish, $20, available at Urban Decay. More
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the
Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there! More VIDEO Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Here's How To Get Your Favorite Luxury Beauty Products For Half The Price Kim Kardashian West's Beauty Line Is Finally Here The Weird Inspiration Behind These Makeup Brushes