Get 15% off your first order Sign up for email exclusives Earn Cult Status Points
Get The Summer Lovers Goody Bag (worth over €350) FREE when you spend €200
ASK THE EXPERTS

The Ultimate Eye Make Up Guide

model with super sculpted cheek bones and eye make up

We get it, mastering the art of eye make up is not for the faint hearted. From selecting the right eyeshadow shade to perfecting that smooth glide across your lids, this cosmetic category requires some of the trickiest techniques when it comes to make up artistry.  

Whether you're a beginner or a seasonal pro, our eye make up guide will show you how to create your preferred looks with ease. So, without further ado, scroll on to discover everything you need to know about the best eye make up tips you didn’t know you needed... until now.

WHAT IS EYE MAKE UP 

Eye make up refers to a group of cosmetic products that are used around your (you guessed it), eyes, to enhance their appearance. This includes everything from eyeshadows and liners to brow products and mascaras. Want to know more about each product type and what they do? Well, head over to our Ultimate Make Up Guide to answer your most commonly asked questions? 

HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR EYE SHAPE 

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to use eye make up, you need to get up close and personal with your own peepers. And by that we mean, discovering what eye shape you have. It’s no secret, eyes are unique for each individual, they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Therefore, each deserve to be highlighted in their own, best way.   

Not too sure which eye shape you have? Don’t worry, we have you covered, keep scrolling to find your pairing. 

ROUND EYES

As the name suggests, round eyes are similar in width and length, so are defined by their circular silhouette. Their creases are always noticeably visible, with the white space around the iris very prominent.  

How to accentuate your eye make up: choose a neutral shadow to highlight your rounded silhouette. Or if you’re wanting to go for a smoky eye, take the pigment lower to the bottom lash line for a statement smoulder. When it comes to mascara, focus mainly on the top lashes and always curl them before applying the colour – this will provide an open finish.  

MONOLID EYES

Monolideyesare renowned for their sparse lid space. Their creases aren’t visible when the eyes are open, and the folds are minimal once  the eyelids meet the skin below the brow.  

How to accentuate your eye make up:eyeliner is the best way to bring definition to the monolid eye shape. The trick here is to smudge the pigment when reaching the outer edges of your wing, and then arch the brows to outline your look.  

DOWNTURN EYES

The simplest way to determine if you have downturned eyes is to look at the outermost corner and see whether it lifts up or down. If it’s slightly lower than the innermost corner, you have downturned eyes.  

How to accentuate your eye make up: lift your look by reflecting the light. To do this, apply a touch of highlighter or concealer to the outer corner of your eyes, then curl your lashes to keep them upright.  

HOODED EYES

You have hooded eyes when your lids are partially or completely hidden by a fold of skin underneath your brows (think of it as a ‘hood’ for your eyelids). Plus, they are typically accompanied with a heavy and prominent brow bone. 

How to accentuate your eye make up: when it comes to hooded eyes, you need to ensure no make up transfers when your eyes are open. To prevent this, use waterproof liner and mascara.  

UPTURNED EYES

Just like downturned, upturned silhouettes are determined by the outer corners of your eyes. They flick upwards and are higher than the inner corners – think Kendal Jenner and Rihanna. 

How to accentuate your eye make up:make winged liner your new go-to and complement it by keeping the depth of your shadow on the outermost part of the eyelid, before blending upward toward the temples. 

ALMOND EYES

Almond eyes are oval shaped, which means they are wider than they are taller, helping them to appear naturally elongated. The outer corners lift upwards and outwards with a feline effect, while the creases are well defined. 

How to accentuate your eye make up: showcase your lashes the most prominent feature of your look and ace the smoky eye look.  

model with golden eye make up

HOW TO USE EYE MAKE UP 

Now you’ve determined your eye shape, it’s time to get creative and apply your products. Simply follow the steps below to be talking with your eyes in no time… 

1) GATHER YOUR TOOLS

First things first, before applying any make up, it’s essential to ensure you have all the tools you need to get your look – and that they’re clean! When it comes to creating your eye look, it’s important to have a variety of eyeshadow brushes to ensure the best results. Our recommendation would be to have at least two short-haired brushes for applying your colours and then a fluffy domed brush for blending.  

SHOP ALL EYESHADOW BRUSHES >>> 

2) PREP YOUR LIDS

Just like you would for your complexion make up, for long-lasting results you need to prep your skin with primer. Creating a smooth, velvety base that grips your shadow’s pigment while keeping your liner in place, eye primers ensure your handiwork doesn’t melt away. Sweep the formula across your lids and boost the perfect canvas for your cosmetics.   

SHOP ALL EYE PRIMERS >>> 

3) BUILD YOUR BASE

The secret to a seamless base? Neutral eyeshadow palettes. Bursting with complementary colours, not only do they cut out the guesswork, but they’re easy and efficient too. Using your eyeshadow brush, apply a neutral colour over your lids. Then, you'll need to define your crease (where your lid and brow bone meet) with something that's matching for the base. For example, if you’re using a light brown, you may want to use a slightly darker brown for the crease, then blend it out with your brush.  

SHOP ALL EYE PALETTES >>> 

4) CONCENTRATE ON DARKER COLOURS IN YOUR CREASES

For the outer corners of your eyes, you’ll want to apply a darker shadow as it will attract the light, making your peepers pop. With an angled brush, sweep on your chosen darker hue and create a V-shape silhouette from your lash line to the outer crease. The trick here, is to start with just a small amount of colour, then work your way up. Layer up your pigment as much or as little as you like, depending on which look you’re working towards.  

SHOP ALL EYESHADOWS >>> 5) HIGHLIGHT YOUR HOODS

Now you’re all done with your shadows, it’s time for a hint of shine. While this step is not always needed, it allows for an iridescent pop. Choose a light, shimmering shadow of your choice and with your brush apply it underneath your brow bone and inner eye. Then, blend, blend away… 

SHOP ALL EYESHADOWS >>> 6) DEFINE WITH SOME LINER 

If you want to add some definition to your look, then this step is for you. Using your favourite eyeliner (whether that be a pencil, pen or liquid), glide the colour over your lash lines with small strokes, then build on the thickness as you desire. If you’re looking to create a statement sign off, then why not take a look at our guide to graphic eyeliner looks, to find your innovative finish? 

SHOP ALL EYELINER >>> 

7) LIFT YOUR LASHES 

Finally, finish your eyes by lifting and lengthening your lashes. Using your go-to mascara, comb the brush straight through the root and to the tip of your lashes. Remember to apply to both your top and bottom lashes.  

SHOP ALL MASCARAS >>>

THE BEST EYE MAKE UP RIGHT NOW 

32 reviews

25.90€

Made to make your look last, Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Eye Primer bridges the gap between your make up and skin care. Helping to hydrate the delicate skin around your peepers, the lightweight formula smooths over your lids and under eyes to prevent creasing and smudging while keeping your pigment powerful all day long. What’s more, it’s infused with blue agave extract which forms a silky layer over the eyelid to boost an even canvas when blending products.  

How to use: Apply a thin layer onto clean eyelids or under-eye area and blend with fingertips. Allow the formula to dry down completely to activate grip before applying eye make up.  

SHOP ALL MILK MAKE UP >>> 

2 reviews

73.40€

Taking your eye game to the next level, Spectrum Collections’ Marbleous 16 Piece Advanced Eye Set allows you to apply your make up like a pro. Featuring 16 pro-grade make up brushes — each with a rose gold ferule and crisp white handle — this bundle helps you to create your look with ease and precision. From tapered blenders to tiny detail brushes, the set’s silky-soft synthetic bristles effortlessly blend out pigment, whilst the densely packed applicators evenly distribute product . 

How to use: Dab your pigment on each brush and it use to blend your eye make up.  

SHOP ALL SPECTRUM COLLECTIONS >>> 

154 reviews

70.00€

Emulating a signature smoulder, Patrick Ta’s Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette boasts an edit of versatile neutral tones, molten metallics and glistening pearl toppers. Including 12 pans of colour, you can dial up the drama or build a barely-there base using the same palette. Trust us, once you use it once, you’ll never want to go back… 

How to use: Use the cream bases to prime eyelids before applying matte and metallic shades. For ultimate colour payoff, apply the metallic shadows with your finger or use a blending brush for a more diffused look. 

SHOP ALL PATRICK TA >>> 

29 reviews

14.10€

Quick-drying, water-resistant and magnificently matte, Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara offers up to 24 hours of wear (impressive, we know). Renowned for its flexible felt tip liner, it seamlessly creates a smooth, continuous line – no steady hand needed. So, whether you’re subtly outlining your eyes or creating a feline flick, this make up marvel has you covered.  

How to use: Use to line and define eyes perfectly. Hold the tip of the Stylo on its side for more control. 

SHOP ALL BENEFIT >>> 

16 reviews

25.99€

Adding instant volume, length and curl to your lashes, VIEVE’s Modern Mascara’s formula is long-lasting and smudge-proof. Powerfully pigmented, it features an hourglass brush that grips and separates each and every hair, creating an all-round thicker look. What’s more, fusing lash-loving ingredients (we’re talking vitamins C and E) with beeswax, it conditions and coats in just one sweep.  

How to use: Starting at the base of your lashes, brush the from root to tip. Layer to desired intensity. 

SHOP ALL VIEVE >>> 

Now you have all the tips and tricks to perfecting your peepers, it’s time to get creative and let your eyes do the talking… 

SHOP ALL EYE MAKE UP >>> 
Trifonia Asmar
Trifonia Asmar Writer and expert
Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.

Related Posts

15% OFF your order when you sign-up to our emails