GET THE LOOK | Accentuating Asian Eyes

I often get asked about make-up for Asian eyes…and being that a lot of my clientele (and my own eyes!) are Asian, I thought it would be good to share a few tips.  The thing with Asian eyes is that there isn’t one hard and fast way to learn ‘how’ to do them – Asian eyes vary from person to person (Asian to Asian?!).  Some eyes are monolid, others double-lidded, or even a mix of both (like me!).  The key is to practice a few looks, blend well and try incorporating some of these tips:

1.  Don’t fake a crease.  Please don’t.

Add depth, but don’t try faking a crease with eyeshadow where there isn’t one.  Asian bone structure tends to be more one-dimensional, so those usual guides you see when it comes to eye make-up and putting the darkest colour in the crease, need to be tweaked for Asian eyes.  Instead of trying to fake a crease, use a bi-colour effect and concentrate a darker, matte eyeshadow in the outer-V of the eyelid (see pics above!).  Blend well.  No harsh lines here.


2.  Bigger eyes?  Yes, I want them too.
Use an off-white coloured pencil to line the bottom waterline and make the eyes appear larger.  Use an off-white pencil, as white tends to be too stark looking against Asian skin.  Also avoid lining the bottom rim fully in black pencil, as this will make the area recede and can make eyes appear smaller.

If you can’t part with your bottom liner (a la Kate Middleton), smudge pencil onto the outer third of the bottom lashline and stop there – taking this line too far in will make the eyes appear smaller.  If you need that full definition (yes, guilty), try a really thin line (like I like to do) with liquid liner at the base of the waterline.  This trick is a bit more advanced, but with practice, can easily be mastered!

More liner notes:  On the top lashline, keep your eye liner thinner-inner, thicker-outer to accentuate the beautifully upturned Asian eye.  For double-lidded ladies, doing liner this way will also make sure your bit of lid below the crease is not covered up (just like my eye, see pics at  top-left and bottom-right of collage).


3.  Get good brows.
Any good pair of brows takes a little bit of work, and Asian brows are no exception, as they tend to grow upwards on the innermost corner, across through the middle, and downwards towards the ends.  Some trimming, and not necessarily tweezing, may also be required.  Because of the multi-directional growth of Asian brows, if you pull out a hair that’s too long, you may be left with a gap in the brows where that hair once was.  To be safe, use an eyebrow brush to brush brows down in the direction they grow as a guide for how much you should trim.  I know this is against traditional make-up literature that tells you to brush your brows upwards, but Asian brows generally aren’t bushy!  If you brush the brows in the opposite direction of their growth, you may end up cutting the brows too short. When in doubt, have a professional shape your brows and watch as he/she does it so you know how to maintain it.

Lastly, fill in your brows as necessary following in the direction of hair growth (i.e. draw upward strokes where brows grow upward, stroke across in the middle of the brow, and add light strokes downward at the ends of the brow).  Full brows frame the face and the depth of the eye.

The one thing I do beg is that please, please, please do not tattoo your brows.  Many of my clients with tattooed brows have expressed regret at getting them done…and oh yes, tattoos fade – so imagine your brows turning a green-black or blue-black = not cool.

4.  Curl your lashes.
It’s a given that just like the multi-directional growth pattern of Asian brows, Asian lashes typically grow downwards.  Always curl your lashes before adding mascara and it will brighten and emphasize your eyes.

5.  Don’t obsess!  Highlight other features.
I love playing up beautiful Asian eyes with make-up, but other Asian features are just as gorgeous to focus on.  Play up your gorgeous skin, your glowing cheeks and/or your lovely lips.  Have fun with it!

In closing, here’s an oldie but goody article on Asian eyes care of because pictures always help, especially with all the different shapes of Asian eyes!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that doing eye make-up is the ‘most frustrating task’ for Asian women – it’s just likely that most eye make-up tutorials and tips in magazines, on TV and even sometimes included in your eyeshadow palettes are geared for westernized eyes…and also that most cosmetic consultants are not necessarily trained to work with or exposed to all the types of Asian eyes (I’ve heard from way too many of my Asian clientele of bad make-up experiences at varying cosmetic counters!).  But we’re about to change all that with this post – time to embrace the beauty of the Asian eye – no frustration here!  Tell me in the comments how you like to highlight your gorgeous Asian eyes.   :)

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.


  • October 3, 2011

    Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews)

    Great post! I don’t have “typical” asian eyes I guess but I have done some of my friend’s/family makeup (for fun!) and that it always their # one question! Thanks for this!

  • October 3, 2011

    rhia amio, make-up artist

    it’s really not that tough or frustrating right?! just like with anything, it takes some practice to find what works! thanks for the comment Elaine!

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