Q & A | Tips for Lining the Waterline (Asian Eyes)

Q: For Asian bridal clientele, would you recommend lining the lower waterline with black or not?  I love how lining the waterline emphasizes the shape of the eye but with some Asian clientele, it may make their eyes appear smaller?  Do you think I should avoid lining the waterline or lining the waterline or lining with white instead?

A: In terms of lining the waterline, it really varies with the client and the individual’s eye shape (sorry I know that doesn’t really help, but there really isn’t a hard-fast universal answer, especially since there are many different types/sizes of ‘Asian’ eyes !).  Definitely if eyes are smaller in size, adding black liner in the waterline will only make them recede and appear smaller.  Yet, sometimes people are used to seeing themselves with liner in the waterline so the key is striking the balance between giving the client what they want while still maximizing the eyes!  I like to do one of two things to help give the illusion of larger eyes, even when bottom-lined:

option 1. use a liquid liner or gel liner for precision to line just the very outer edge of the waterline.  In this case you’re still defining the waterline, but it gives the illusion that eyes are bigger when you keep it just at the edge – rather than when you fully rim the waterline with a pencil liner.  This technique takes a little bit of practice to master (if your hand tends to be shaky, try the gel liner), but the payoff is worth it!  Using a liquid or gel liner on the waterline provides better control, a more intense look and a longer-lasting finish.

To further create the illusion of larger eyes, apply a white/off-white coloured eyeliner to the waterline prior to lining the outer edge with your liquid/gel liner.  When eyes are smaller set, every little bit of whitespace counts!

option 2. Rather than fully lining the waterline and running the risk of making eyes appear smaller, instead smudge a pencil or gel liner on the bottom lashline.  Apply the liner just on the outer-third of the bottom lashline to create a larger frame for the eyes and brighten the whites!  Again, to further emphasize a larger size, add white (or an off-white) eyeliner on the inner rim/waterline.

Whatever the case and however you decide to line, always keep the lines of communication open between with your client – ask them what their preferences are and explain the benefits of why you might do something different.  The best results will always come from working together :)

Hope that helps!

Welcome to my journal and journey as a make-up and hair artist with all the beautiful people and products I encounter along the way.

1 Comment

  • April 12, 2011


    that’s amazing, thanks so much! does that work too for almond butnot asian eyes ?
    Do you recommend matte eye shadow or the shimmery ones? I don’t know which texture of pigment choose, I would like to look younger and not older :)
    please try to answer me on my e mail adress :)

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