How to Apply Eye Makeup for Deep-Set Eyes: Our Simple Guide

If you have deep-set eyes, you may have noticed that your eyes look smaller after applying eyeshadow, which is usually not the desired result. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite colors or the fun of creating a smokey eye or a dramatic wing!

Read on to learn more about whether your eyes are deep-set or not and how to apply eye shadow to flatter all eye shapes. You’ll love learning how to make the most of your unique facial features.

  1. Determine Your Eye Shape

The first thing to do is figure out if you have deep-set eyes and their shape. This will help you get the best look for your unique features. What looks great on social media or the model on the package won’t always look great on you, and you want to be your kind of fabulous!

Take a hand mirror and look at your eyes from the side to determine if your eyes are deep-set. For example, if your brow bone is more prominent than your eyes and your eyes appear to be further back in your head, then your eyes may indeed be deep-set.

Next, let’s take a look at eye shapes. There are six common eye shapes, all of which benefit from different makeup techniques.

  • Monolids: If you do not have a visibly defined eyelid crease, this is your eye shape. Follow the directions below for determining your natural shadow to create the illusion of a crease.
  • Hooded eyes: If you have a defined eyelid crease, but it is hidden beneath a fold of skin, this is considered a hooded eye shape. People sometimes acquire this shape as they age, and their skin loses elasticity. You may want to use a waterproof, smudge-proof mascara to keep your look clean.
  • Round eyes: If you can see an eyelid crease and you can see a small margin of white between your iris and your top and bottom eyelids, then you have round eyes. Round eyes can carry off intricate, dramatic eye shadow looks.
  • Almond eyes: If your eyelid crease is visible and your iris appears to touch both your top and bottom eyelids, your eye shape is almond. Deep, smokey palettes can look great on almond eyes.
  • Upturned eyes: If the outer corners of your eyes turn upward (imagine drawing a horizontal, pupil-level line across your eye to check), then you have upturned eyes. The Winged eyeliner is ideally suited for this eye shape.
  • Downturned eyes: If the outer corners of your eyes turn downward instead of upward as described above, then your eyes are downturned. Try curling your eyelashes and using a curling mascara to open them up a bit.

Knowing the shape and depth of your eyes will help you apply your eye makeup from now on.

  1. Prime and Prepare Your Eyes

As with any good “paint job,” we need to start with a clean, primed surface. Then, if your face is not freshly washed and dried, moisten a clean washcloth with lukewarm water and wipe down your eyelids to remove any dirt or oil that could mar your makeup.

Apply a tiny bit of eyelid primer with your finger, making sure to go all the way up to your brow bone. Alternatively, if you are doing your whole face, you can also use your regular primer in the eye area.

Then apply an even coat of liquid foundation that’s closely matched to your skin tone. Finally, apply it up to the brow bone and under your eyes, even if you do plan to use concealer under the eyes too.

Choose a concealer that is one shade lighter and slightly warmer than your skin for the best coverage of undereye shadows. Apply it under your eyes in an inverted triangle shape and blend it into your foundation. You can also apply a yellow-toned concealer over the entire eyelid. This creates a brightening effect, which is very flattering on deep-set eyes.

  1. Choose Your Eyeshadow Palette

Picking your palette is probably the best part of eye makeup. There are so many colors to choose from! You’ll want to be sure to get the ones that work best for you, though.

First, think about when and how you plan to wear this makeup. If you’re looking for something to wear in a conservative office environment, you’ll probably want to stick with neutrals. However, if you are good with a more lively look, you can go with metallics or brighter colors. There are plenty of palettes that have a wide range of both, too, so if you like to mix it up, you can!

People with blueish undertones to their skin look best in cool shades, and people with yellow/olive undertones are more flattered by warm shades. However, neutrals work well on everyone, and a surprising amount of metallics function as neutrals.

Consider your eye color as well. For example, people with brown eyes often look good in shades of teal and aubergine, and people who have darker skin can also rock deep jewel tones. On the other hand, shades of pink and grey usually flatter people with blue eyes, and people with green or hazel eyes look great in forest-toned palettes.

  1. Apply Eyeshadow to Contour Your Eyes

First, find your natural “shadow.” This is where the brow bone ends, and the eye starts to deepen. Following this natural bone structure, instead of the eyelid crease flatters deep-set eyes and opens them up.

Use a matte shade on your eyelid up to where you have determined your natural shadow should be. Then, start applying color in the outer corner and blend it smoothly. You can also put a little color under your lower lashline as well.

Then take a darker color from the same palette and blend it into your natural shadow and around the outer corner of your eye. Blend as you go for a subtle, smooth look.

Next, use a light, shimmery color from the same palette. Apply a little on the outer corner of the eyelid and blend it toward the middle of the lid. Then use that same shadow to highlight your brow bone. Be sure to combine all of these for a gentle gradient instead of sharp lines.

Now it’s time for eyeliner! Pencils are usually easiest to work with, although gel/liquid can be great if you’re looking for a complete and dramatic look. Start at the outer corner of your upper eyelid, right at the lash line, and apply your eyeliner with thin strokes that overlap slightly. Do not line more than half to two-thirds of your upper lid; this makes your eyes look brighter and more open.

You can line your bottom lash line the same way, although deep-set eyes often look better without lower eyeliner. Then, if you want a more striking look, create a “wing” by drawing a small diagonal line extending from the outer corner of your eye. Angle it upward toward the end of your eyebrow.

Finish with a light coat of powder and the mascara of your choice (not too heavy on the lower lashes). Finally, make sure that the rest of your makeup looks as great as your eyes, and you’re ready to wow the world!