If you know your eye shape, you are halfway to becoming the master of your own make-up.

Years of doing your own make-up means you already know what looks good on your eyes, where to add mascara and how far out to take the eyeliner. You naturally know what looks good without really knowing why. If you know your eye shape, you’ll be armed with the reason why certain make-up techniques do or do not work for you.

To determine your eye shape, look in the mirror at the position of your eyes on your face.

Wide set

You’re wide set if: The space between your eyes is larger than the length of one eye.

How to use make-up to your advantage: Avoid exaggerating the outer corners of your eyes as this will enhance the width.

Steer clear of winged-out eyeliner and flicking eyelashes. Instead blend your eyeshadow upwards and inwards. Using a darker tone on the inner corner will counteract the width.

Close set

You’re close set if: The space between your eyes is smaller than the length of one eye.

How to use make-up to your advantage: Exaggerate the outer corners to create the appearance of wide-set eyes. Use winged-eyeliner techniques and flicking eyelashes. Use a small amount of highlighter on the inner corner to create a widened effect.

Deep set

You’re deep set if: The eyes sit further back into the eye socket.

How to use make-up to your advantage: Avoid using a shimmery highlighter on the brow bone, as this will make the socket look deeper. Instead use highlight and shimmery tones on the eyelid.


You’re protruding set if: The eyes sit further out of the eye socket.

How to use make-up to your advantage: Use a darker-toned matte eyeshadow on the eyelid. Do not be afraid to add eyeliner, especially black, this will create the illusion that the eye is sitting deeper in the socket.

After determining your eye position, the next step is to look at the eye shape.

More than likely, you’ll have a combination of these:


Peaking at both outer and inner corners, almond eyes are, as their name suggests, in the shape of an almond. This is one of the easiest eye shapes to work with as you can use any make-up technique.

Round Eyes

There are no peaks to a round-shape eye, the height is almost the same size as the width. To enhance your round eye shape, try using eyeliner in the centre of your upper and lower lash line, tapering down at either side. Focus your mascara on the middle lashes to emphasise your Bambi doe eyes.

Large Eyes

The description of large or small eyes, is in reference to the rest of the features of your face. Large eyes are always fun to work with as you have the space to experiment. If you have large eyes, be cautious of bold lip colours, as this can create an overly strong make-up look.

Small Eyes

If your eyes are not your prominent feature, do not despair. They can still be enhanced with make-up. The more you exaggerate the outer corners, the bigger your eyes will look. Flick out your eyeliner, amp up your mascara and add a set of fake lashes into the mix. Goodbye small eyes!

Down-turned Eyes

This is where the outer corner of the eye turns down and gives a sad look. The best way to combat this is to make sure your eye shadow and eyeliner do not follow the natural eye line. Instead, stop your shadow and liner just before the end of your eye. This will keep your eyes turned up and looking happy.

Hooded Eyes

The dreaded hooded eye is very unpopular with make-up artists. No matter how much eye shadow we use, as soon as the client opens their eyes, all of the handy work disappears. The hooded eye is characterised by the skin above the socket line “hooding” over the eyelid. Sadly this becomes more common with ageing. White eyeliner on the bottom lash line will open up the eyes, making them look bigger and more awake. By using warmer eyeshadow tones, your eyes will look refreshed and lifted. Avoid cooler tones, as they tend to bring everything down.

Remember: Your eye shape is unique to you and a combination of different elements. There are no rules in make-up. Just like in art — these are only guidelines.


© The West Australian