Everything You Need To Know About Monolid Makeup

It’s a strange feeling to grow up wishing you had different eyes. As a beauty-obsessed Asian-American with eyelids that fall somewhere between monolids and double lids, I’ve seen countless images of models and actresses sporting beautiful eye makeup that I’ve wanted to re-create. The difference between those women and myself were their double eyelids and fully formed creases — two things I do not have. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terms monolid and double lid, I’ll explain. Monolids — or, more technically, “epicanthic folds” — are a type of eye shape in which the lids cover the inner corners of the eyes, creating a “crease-less” effect. Those with double lids, on the other hand, have a crease that causes their lids to “double” over itself. Traditionally, double eyelids have been the beauty standard in much of the Eastern and Western worlds. Well, we at R29 think that’s bullshit. 

It wasn’t until YouTube and Instagram became hubs for makeup enthusiasts that I finally realized my eyes aren’t ugly. For years, I mimicked looks that didn’t suit my eye shape. I needed to figure out how to make my makeup work for me. Once I learned how to enhance my features, I realized that monolids are actually an endless playground of opportunity. Professional makeup artist Ricky Wilson thinks so, too. He gave me a few tips on how to master monolid makeup.

Check ‘em out below.

Prep & Prime

If you have monolids, you’ve probably noticed that your eyelids tend to fold directly over the places where you’d put your eyeliner or eyeshadow. Because of this, makeup often moves around in that area, creating smudges or creases in the process. That’s why Wilson recommends using an eyelid primer before swiping on any makeup. 

Not only will this make your eyeshadow appear more vibrant, but it will also help keep things in place, preventing raccoon eyes.

Primer Potion, $20 $10, available at Urban Decay.

Master Your Line

Great news for women with monolids: You’re already working with a gorgeous natural cat-eye shape, says professional makeup artist Hung Vanngo. And with a little eyeliner, you can enhance it even more. When it comes to lining your eyes, be sure to work in sections, checking your work as you go to make sure placement is spot-on. “[You want to] see the eyeliner at the horizon of the eye,” says Wilson.

If you want to make your eyes look bigger (not necessarily wider), concentrate your liner toward the center of your lashline in a half-moon shape. Either way, Wilson suggests reaching for a matte liquid liner or waterproof pencil, as these formulas have the best wear-time. 

Pro tip: If you’re going for a cat-eye, Wilson suggests filling in your eyebrows before doing your eyeliner so that you can use your arches as a guide. If you draw an imaginary line from the tail of your brow to the end of your lashline, that’s where you should add your flick.

Ink Liner, $23, available at Sephora.

Give Tightlining & Waterlining A Try

According to Wilson, tightlining began as a technique used on photo shoots. “Before retouching [was invented], you had to apply eyeliner in-between the lashes so that when the model was looking away, you couldn’t see the skin [under her eyelids],” he says. Even in a non-photo shoot setting, tightlining with a waterproof black pencil can create the illusion of a fuller set of lashes.

Using a bright shade like silver on the bottom waterline is also a technique that Wilson likes to use on monolids. “[It will] open up the eyes and give a little brightening reflection,” he says.

ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eye Liner in Black, $3.49, available at Ulta.

Throw On Some Shimmer

Eyeshadow is where you can have the most fun. Monolids are a blank canvas for a large variety of different looks and shades. Case in point: the gorgeous aqua ombré look you’ll find here.

For a more natural look that will instantly brighten eyes, Wilson suggests popping a reflective shadow on the centers of the lids, directly over where your pupils are. This Champagne shade looks good on just about anybody.

Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Dione, $29, available at Sephora.

Try Eye Contouring

If you want a more defined look, a fluffy brush and a neutral-toned eyeshadow can enhance your natural crease. “Everyone has a crease area, but on some the crease isn’t as visible,” Wilson says.

To find yours, place your brush under the browbone and above the eyeball. You’ll be able to feel an area on your lid where your brush will sink in just below your eye socket — this is where you’ll place your color. Using a soft blending brush and a neutral eyeshadow (we love Makeup Geek’s Eyeshadow in Crème Brulée), gently massage the color back and forth in this area to create a shadow. 

Once you’ve placed your color, grab a clean brush and make sure to blend, blend, blend. “You have to make sure there are no hard lines at all, and that everything looks soft around the edges,” says Wilson.

Eyeshadow Pan in Crème Brulée, $6, available at Makeup Geek.

For the rest of our tips, visit Refinery29.

By: Mi-Anne Chan


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