How to apply eyeliner to different eye shapes

A woman is applying Artistry Studio Kajal Eyeliner in gilded amethyst to her lid.

Eyes are the focal point of the face, even more so these days when people are regularly wearing masks out and about.

Your eyes can say so much about you, especially when it comes to eyeliner. But not all eyeliner types and looks are suited for all eye shapes and styles.

Big or small, almond or hooded, Rick DiCecca, creative director of makeup design for the Artistry™ line in North America, offers these tips to ensure you choose the eyeliner, style or shadow that works best with your eye shape so that you’re always putting your best face forward. (Need help determining your eye shape? Click here!)

Hooded eyes

If you have hooded eyes, make sure you go for a waterproof liner.

Keep the liner close to the roots of your lashes; once applied, look down until the liner is COMPLETELY dry. If you don’t, you risk some serious smudging.

Deep-set eyes

Instead of using a black or brown liner, try your “complementary” color.

If you have green eyes, try violet. If you have brown eyes, blues or violets look great. And bronze looks amazing with blue eyes.

A closeup view of a person with round eyes. They are applying Artistry eyeliner.

Bigger eyes, round eyes

If your eyes are on the larger side, go for a thicker line when applying your liner. This will help really define the eye and make your lashes appear thicker and fuller. You can also use either liquid liner or pencil.

If your eyes also round, focus the liner and shadows on the outer eye area to create a more balanced shape.

Smaller eyes

For smaller eyes, keep your liner line on the thinner side and very close to your lashes. Too thick of a line can come across raccoon-like and cause the eyes to appear smaller than they actually are.

Either liquid liner or pencil will work for you.

For shadow, Rick recommends applying the main shade at the outer eye area, blending towards the inner eye. Apply the accent color in the same way but extend it at the outer eye corner.

Almond Eyes

The cat-eye look was made for almond-shaped eyes, so use it to your advantage.

Extend your liner, either pencil or liquid, to a subtle (or non-subtle) wing at the end.

A woman with blonde hair and a red shirt is shown applying Artistry Liquid Pen Pop Eyeliner.

Narrow eyes

Your eyes are described at narrow if they appear close to your brow line without a lot of space for shadow. If that is the case, Rick recommends a neutral shadow shade on your eyelid and a darker liner and shadow along the lash line.

“You can create added focus by using mascara primer and mascara to make your lashes more prominent,” he said.

Wide-set eyes

Either formula of liner will work for you. Starting on the inside corners of your lid, start lining with a thicker line and thin it out toward the end.

Cat-eye is not your best look, so try to end the liner where your lashes end.

A woman applies Artistry Studio Shanghai Edition eyeliner

Close-set eyes

For close-set eyes, when you start your liner, don’t start all the way at the inside of the lid. Instead, start slightly past the midpoint of your upper lid.

Work the liner outward and wing it out at the ends.

Eye liners to love

“In addition to how your eyes look or their shape, if your eyes have texture on the eyelid, such as crepey skin, are puffy or sensitive, you should choose a longwearing pencil eye liner,” Rick said. “And for eyes that are smooth and not sensitive, choose either a long wearing pencil or a liquid eye liner.”

No matter your eye shape or style, Artistry has several varieties of eyeliner and eye shadows to choose from when you’re ready to create a look.

To see which ones are right for you, check them out at or

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