Eye Contouring Is The Secret Beauty Hack You Need To Know


eye contouringSource: Leon Bennett/Getty Images

You’ve heard of cheek contouring and maybe even cleavage-contouring, but have you heard of eye contouring? It’s the same idea as the aforementioned, only your goal is to play with the shape of your eyes or simply enhance your existing shape. With makeup alone!

“Eye contouring is really great for making the eyes appear either wider or smaller, depending on the kind of visual enhancement that best suits our eyes and that someone is hoping to achieve,” explains Naseeha Khan, makeup artist and co-founder of CTZN Cosmetics. “Increasing or reducing this depth can create drastically different looks when applying makeup, which makes this technique all the more appealing for someone looking to make their eyes the center point of their makeup.”

Eye contouring is essentially an easy and subtle way to add depth and dimension to your eye. You can make it more dramatic, but sometimes it can be so subtle you can barely tell it’s there.

Sound cool? Let’s gooo.


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How to Eye Contour Like a Pro (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Good news: eye contouring can look good on any complexion and eye shape. You’ll just need to use the right shades and cater to your specific shape, be it almond, hooded, monolid, or round.

What You Need

“The shades you use will need to be adjusted for your depth of skin color and tone. I love Tom Ford Mink Mirage Eye Color Quad, $88,  Viseart Neutral Mattes, $48, and the Ben Nye Essential Eye Shadow Palette, $50, since there is such a great range of colors to play with in each,” says celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon. The Huda Beauty Brown Obsessions Palettes, $29, in Toffee, Caramel, and Chocolate are perfect for this, and so are the Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Palettes, $29, in Medium, Rich, and Light.

You’ll use between two to four neutral hues in total, including something lighter than your skin tone, a shade that matches your skin tone, and one or two that are darker. In addition, you’ll want a good eyeshadow primer, a fluffy crease brush, small eyeshadow brush, and/or a smudging tool.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Eye Contouring


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Now that you’ve got your supplies rounded up, let’s dive in.

Step One: “Just like any other makeup application, always start off with priming your eyes,” says Khan. Next, she says to apply an eyeshadow shade that matches your skin tone (or is slightly lighter) to your entire lid. You can use a fluffy eyeshadow brush for this.

Step Two: Select a shade that’s one or two notches darker than your skin tone. “Using a crease brush, sweep the shade in the crease and pull the color towards the outer corner of the eye,” says AJ Crimson, celebrity makeup artist and founder of his own beauty line. No matter your eye shape, the goal is to follow and enhance the natural line of your eye socket crease.

Like we mentioned above, the exact placement of color will vary depending on your eye shape and your desired result. For instance, you might want to create more of an upward motion to make “sleepy eyes” look more awake, or you might need to create finer, lighter crease definition if you have monolids.

Step Three: “Next, with a smaller shadow brush, sweep that same shade underneath the lower lash line again from the inner to outer eye area connecting upward at the end to the top,” says Crimson. “Always work in an upward motion.” You can also use a smudging tool or brush for this.

Step Four: Blend the two colors together with the lighter shade you already used.

Step Five (Optional): “Using a wedge sponge or cotton swab, dip it lightly in a bit of make-up remover or moisturizer,” says Crimson. From the bottom [outer corner], ‘cut’ a sharp edge going up [toward the end of the brow] to create shape. Think of it as an extended cat eye shape.”

Check out this quick and easy eye contouring look by beauty pro, Nyma Tang:


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And that’s it! Let us know if you try this look at home.