Finally, a guide I actually needed for myself? I can’t count how many makeup tutorials I’ve watched and I pick up on some of the words — crease, outer V, lashline — but when I go back to use them myself I’m like, “Uh, I put the green eyeshadow on this part here, which is right by my eyelashes but also a little below? If that makes sense? Ugh, no it doesn’t.” So okay, finally, a guide that shows you but also ME what all those parts of the eye are so you can master eyeshadow application!
First things first, image is compliments of GoodHousekeeping.com and so no, I don’t own it! Click on the link right HERE to see the article where the image came from to see a similar post detailing the parts of the eye. I didn’t snatch their info, just used the pic, so you might glean additional tips!
1) Brow Bone (pink): Right under the back 2/3 of the eyebrow. This section is usually reserved for shimmery, pale shadows or highlighter. The goal is to highlight the regions to lift the brow (not literally, but give the illusion) by accentuating the arch. This is an optional but usually undertaken part of the eyeshadow routine if a more complex look is being done. If you’re lazy or in a rush, don’t worry about skipping it but it’s easy and quick to do, so not hard to incorporate.
2) Lid (blue): The open-eye format of the diagram makes the lid look like a small part of the eye, but I think we can all agree that it’s the biggest part of the eyelid. If you’re putting on eyeshadow, it’s hard to avoid the lid (unless it’s on purpose, and you’re doing something hella creative!). Typically, your main shadow will go on the lid and you’ll want to use a packer brush to apply the shadow.
3) Crease (yellow): Area right above the lid. The upper part of the crease is where you will apply the transition shade, an eyeshadow that will help whatever colour(s) you put on your lid blend into your actual eyelid. The transition shade doesn’t have to be a neutral colour (ex: light brown) but it’s not supposed to be a really bold and pigmented shade. This makes your eyeshadow application look heavy handed, kind of like you slapped a ton of colour on your eye and just… left it there, haha. So when you get to the crease, blend, blend, blend! As for riiiight in the crease (technically, the crease itself), this is where you might add a darker eyeshadow than whatever else you’ve been using (basic example is you did pale blue on the outer crease, now use dark blue) to add dimension. This’ll help your eye look pop. You’ll know exactly where your crease is because its where you can feel the top of your eyeball. If you’re running a brush — lightly!! — around, you can feel the skin dip in.
4) Upper Lashline: Typically, you wouldn’t do too much fanciness on the upper lashline (when using eyeshadow alone). This is really where eyeliner comes into play. But you can also use precise eyeshadow application to create an eyeliner effect, etc.
5) Tear Duct / Inner Corner: The picture labels this area as the tear duct, but that is really on the inside of the eye? Like, on the waterline. And you should NOT be covering up your tear duct. This can cause infection and irritation. In actuality, when placing eyeshadow in this *region* of your eye, you would be putting the shadow on your inner corner. And that’s on the outside of your eye. Shadows put here are usually, like in the case of the brow bone, done to highlight. So you would use light, shimmery shadows or a highlighter. But I have recently fallen in love with putting a hot pink shadow in the inner corner to add colour to my look. You can always do what you want with makeup, these are always suggestions and a summary of what is *usually* done! (Except, seriously, please don’t put makeup on your tear duct.)
6) Waterline: The waterline is another place that, like the tearduct, is not really for eyeshadow. I am no expert on the components of makeup, so I don’t know what it is that makes eyeliner safe to put on your waterline or even *how* safe it is. But what I do know is that putting eyeshadow directly on your waterline can dry out an area that is supposed to be moist and also lead to irritation. Eyeshadows can also be covered in bacteria (consider that they are kept in open containers and touched with brushes you use frequently). Just.. better no shadow on the waterline! BUT you can of course use eyeliner (waterproof!). A white liner is great for opening eyes; dark colours will close eyes, but that doesn’t mean they have to be avoided. Just don’t line all the way to the inner corner.
7) Lower Lashline: Right below your lower lashes, you would want to apply eyeshadow under the lower lashline to unite any eyeshadow look you’re doing. For example, if you have purple eyeshadow all over your lid, you might want to put some purple on your lower lashline and connect it to your outer V. (Of course, doesn’t have to be the same colour and so on.) The idea is just to keep a look cohesive and, like with blending, reduce the chance of a look seeming just popped on. You can also add pops of colour on the lower lashline, with vibrant shades of blue, green and pink.
8) Outer V: The outer V is not separate from any other section. What I mean by this is that the outer V is also a little bit part of the crease and a little bit part of the crease. The point of naming this section is because it’s used so often to add definition to an eye look: this is where you would typically add a darker shade in a sideways V shape to define the eye. Depending on your eye shape, the V would be tilted different ways. The V is not a law though, even though the name can make it seem that way! You can also round out the edges of the eye in more of a C shape.
An important thing to keep in mind is that eye shape can determine how eyeshadow application will go. Learn how certain shades accentuate your eyes, how your eyelid folds when you open/close your eyes. This will tell you if you need to use more of a V-shape when applying shadow to the outer-V (which will make eyes look more almond shaped) or more of a C-shape (makes eyes look rounder, bigger). Or if you should pull the same shade higher on your lid versus lower to keep the look unified. BUT don’t let the shape of your eye dictate how and what you wear. Make sure you’re enjoying the products you buy!
📷 = @shaniasquires