mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
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December 30, 2021 — 12:02 PM
Every eye shape is stunning in their own way, and with each unique shape comes with a host of makeup tips to accentuate your specific lid structure. Read: Just like you might have your go-to shadow palettes and liners to flatter your specific eye color, you might stick to a few trusted techniques to enhance your eye shape.
Which brings us to this handy guide for round eyes: Many consider this eye shape naturally doe-like, as round eyes often appear open and youthful. Here, we tapped makeup artists on how to enhance the round eye shape. Find their expert-level tips below.
How to tell if you have round eyes.
Before jumping into techniques, it helps to determine whether you actually align with this eye shape. “[Round eyes] typically have a lot of space,” notes celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson, and they will typically have a noticeable crease. A helpful test is if you can see any white surrounding the top or bottom of the iris while looking straight into a mirror.
8 makeup tips for round eyes.
We repeat: Any eye shape can achieve any makeup look and look beautiful doing so. However, makeup artists do have some suggestions to either elongate or accentuate naturally round eyes. See below for their pro tips.
1. Focus shadow on the outer corners.
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To elongate round eyes, Crimson recommends winging your shadow from the outer corners only. “That gives it a little bit more dimension, more depth,” he explains. Alexandra Compton, makeup artist and product development manager at Credo, agrees: If you choose to use eyeliner, she recommends lining the upper lash line in the outer corners as well.
2. Try a cat eye.
“A cat eye will help to elongate and lengthen any eye shape,” Compton tells us about how to make eyes look lifted. “I like to tight-line my liquid liner (keep the liner as close to the lashes as possible) because a bolder, thicker cat eye can end up looking really heavy and dark.”
If you’re a bit shaky with liner, it’s helpful to work your way from out to in: Create a core line from your inner to outer corner, stopping once you hit the outer corner of your eye. Decide where you want your flick to stop, then draw downward until you connect with the end of the line you drew at your outer corner. Then with small strokes, fill in where needed on the eye, adding in more depth and thickness where you want. See here for our full guide to applying eyeliner, including helpful tips and tricks to nail a clean glide every time.
3. Center shimmery shadow on the lid.
Or, if you want to accentuate these natural doe eyes, a pop of shimmery shadow “just over the iris area” can enhance the roundness, says makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. Remember: Lighter colors bring forth an area, so by highlighting the center of the lid, you’re helping the eye appear even wider and more open.
Celebrity makeup artist Dillon Pe?a seconds the advice: “If you center a cool shimmer on the lid right above the iris, this will help give the eye a bit more pop and appear more awake,” he says about using eyelighter.
4. Strategically place your mascara.
No lie: Mascara placement can alter your eye shape. (Just take this TikTok transformation, which has a whopping 2.6 million views.) If you have naturally round orbs, you can wiggle some mascara only at the outermost lashes, as this will elongate the eyes. On the flip-side: “Centering mascara on the upper and lower lash line is the easiest way to create the illusion of roundness to the eyes,” she says. Again, by focusing your attention center, you lean into a wide-awake, doll-like look.
5. Place highlighter under the center of the brow.
“Place a matte highlighter under the center of your brow instead of under the arch of your brow,” says Patinkin. This will further accentuate roundness by, again, making the center of your irises the star of the show. While everyone’s brows have a different arch placement, they do tend to peak more towards the tails; so if you place highlighter there, it will help elongate the eyes. It’s up to you to decide which look you’re after.
6. Use eyelighter.
Essentially, eyelighter helps carve your lid space and adds dimension to the eye, just like a strategically placed highlighter enhances your cheekbones. Choose a shimmery, cool-toned shade and pack the most pigment near the inner corners to help open up the orbs. Then sweep the remaining shadow through your crease and up to the brow bone, but keep most of the pigment concentrated at those inner corners.
Tap some shadow onto the center of the lid, and your round eyes will appear open and bright. “By adding a wash of shimmer to the lid, light is actually catching the particles of iridescent pigment and reflecting back, like thousands of tiny mirrors creating the illusion of brighter eyes,” Compton says about the standout look. Find a full tutorial here.
7. Tightline with a nude or white eyeliner.
To open up the eyes, tightline your waterline with a nude eyeliner (or you can use white liner for more drama). According to Compton, it’ll make any eye shape appear larger and brighter–and for naturally round eyes, it will enhance the shape.
8. Don a smoky eye.
Round eyes are perfect for a sultry smoky eye: The doe-eyed shape can often appear youthful, but smoky shadows can add a little more drama, if you’d like. Use a light-colored matte shadow all over the lid, including the inner corners, then apply a darker shade on the outer corners and blend. Remember to keep blending outwards, as focusing on those outer corners can create the illusion of a more elongated shape, says Patinkin.
Then use an angled liner brush to smudge some shadow just below the lash line, again focusing on the outer corners only. If you follow the entire rim of your lower lashes, it actually makes the eyes look bigger and accentuates the roundness–which is great, if that’s what you’re after, but concentrating the shadow on the outer corners only is how you master that natural sultriness.
There are tons of ways to enhance round eyes, whether you wish to accentuate the roundness or elongate the eye shape. Makeup, of course, is all about expression and achieving what makes you feel most beautiful, so go ahead and have fun with your look–these tips are merely suggestions for how to make the eyes pop.