Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to copy an eyeshadow tutorial done by a non-Asian beauty guru, and found yourself confused by the stark difference in result.

It’s common knowledge that Asian features differ vastly both within and outside the continent, and what works for them may not be as complimentary on us. As much as makeup is universal, knowing how to make it work for your facial features is far more flattering than mimicking what suits someone else.

One extremely diverse feature that most of us struggle with is our eyes, and how exactly we can manipulate eye makeup to suit them. Asian eye shapes go anywhere between hooded, monolids, almond, downturned… it goes on. If you’re just a beginner to makeup, this may seem slightly daunting, but we’ve got you covered.

We’ve collaborated with one of Singapore’s most prolific makeup artists, Larry Yeo, for this video. He’s put two and two together in this informative video tutorial that teaches you how to apply eyeshadow for Asian eye shapes. 

“Many women try to change their face shape, rather than maximising what they have,” said Yeo. “Embrace your features, and play to proportion.”

There are three eye shapes covered in this video — deep-set, downturned and partially hooded, as well as almond eyes. Features-wise, it’s not completely exhaustive, but it’s a start.

Each makeup look takes less than 15 minutes to get done, so it’s also perfect for mornings where you have to zip out the door to work. Yeo has also shared some useful tips for our readers when attempting these looks. Here they are:

For deep-set eyes

How to apply eyeshadow for Asian eye shapes
Deep-set eyes are characterised by a prominent brow bone, and eyes that are deeper into the socket.
  1. With deep-socketed eyes, add shimmer to the main part of the lid, instead of magnifying the entire eye.
  2. You don’t have to apply a shade in the crease, as the shimmer will catch light and bring out the natural contour inherent in deep-set eyes.
  3. If you choose to do winged liner, make it an extension of your lower lash line to prevent it being hidden by the fold of your eyelid.
  4. Black liner can be harsh if you just want a more natural look. Define the eyes with a dark brown applied to the lash line, and smoke it out to soften.

Products used: Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in “Frannie”, Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in “Matte Brown”, It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Volume 1 Eyeshadow Palette. 

For downturned eyes

How to apply eyeshadow for Asian eye shapes
Downturned eyes are pretty self-explanatory. The outer corners turn down, and this may result in a partial hood on the lid.
  1. This eye shape has a natural fold that pushes the eyelid down. Change the shape of the eye by applying a darker shadow to the outer corner and blending upwards.
  2. Always blend the shadow outwards with light, quick strokes to lengthen and lift the eye.
  3. Sweep the shadow, instead of rubbing it in with a finger or brush for a more diffused look.
  4. Bring the shadow down to your lower lash line to create a more youthful appearance.

Products used: Urban Decay Primer Potion in “Eden”, Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in “Skorpios”, Kat Von D Pastel Goth Palette, Clarins 3-Dot Liner.

For almond eyes

How to apply eyeshadow for Asian eye shapes
Almond eyes speak for themselves, but are largely characterised by having a part of the iris being masked by your eyelid.
  1. Matte shades create depth, while shimmers enlarge the eye.
  2. Keep the shimmer on the centre of the lid to make the eyes wider. By having the darkest shade on the outer corners, you create a spotlight with the shimmer shadow. This creates a very sculpted and defined eye.
  3. You also should use eyeliner if you’re doing a deep smoky eye. It doesn’t have to be a wing. Just line the eyes and smudge it out, then soften with a darker eyeshadow to soften the look.

Products used: Laura Mercier Eye Basics Primer,  Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in “Three Shakes”, M.A.C Macnificent Eyeshadow Palette in “Naughty Nines”, Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner in “Blackened Plum”.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.