Oct 9, 2010



When starting out with eyeshadow it's very important to understand the layout of the eye. Knowing this basic information will be helpful for applying eyeshadow and understanding the different effects that can be accomplished just by using different colors and textures on different parts of the eye. Eyeshadow application is all about creating an illusion by using different shades and textures to achieve certain effects. So let's get right into the different parts of the eye and some basic effects that can be created by using different techniques.


First off, I visually divide my lid into 3 vertical segments - INNER, MIDDLE and OUTER - which is simple enough figure out. The INNER portion is closest to my nose, the MIDDLE portion is of course in the center and the OUTER portion is closest to my ear.

Next I I find my CREASE. You can do this by feeling along the eye for the eye socket or the bone right above your eyeball. The crease falls right along that bone. Some people have well defined creases meaning the eyelid actually creases in that area while some may have to feel around for a crease.

Now that we have the basic areas of the eye mapped out let's get more specific.

The LID is the area right below your CREASE. The amount of space will vary from person to person. Now what you place on the LID will be your choice. You may go for a single color, or numerous colors.

The typical eyeshadow application with 3 colors will call for the lightest shade on the INNER LID, the medium shade on the MIDDLE of the LID and the darkest hue on the OUTER LID. This gives the eye an elongated dimensional effect.

Another effect is going with a shimmery shade on the MIDDLE LID and deeper shades on the INNER and OUTER LID areas. This will give a more wide eyed illusion to the eye by bringing the focus to the center on the lid.

The CREASE is probably the trickiest area of the eye to contend with. As stated before the CREASE falls right along the socket bone of your eye right above your eyeball. Yes I know it sounds a little bit clinical but that's the best way I could describe it. : )

I think of the CREASE as the middle of my eyelid if I visually divide my eye into 3 sections horizontally. The crease area can be as thick as you choose. It may even encompass the browbone area depending on the desired effect. For instance, in many cut-crease looks crease color extends high onto the browbone area. For a subtle look the crease color is concentrated in a tight area.

For simple looks the crease color is usually concentrated in the outer area and gradually fades as you get closer to the inner part of the eye. The color also tends to be a darker color than the lid color to add dimension to the look.

For this area a matte or semi-matte shade will add depth to the crease while a frost or shimmery shade will reflect light. The CREASE color is usually darker and coordinates with the color(s) on your LID. Your choice in color and texture will vary based on the desired effect.

The BROWBONE area is just what it sounds like. It's the space between the crease and the eyebrow and falls right on the bone below your eyebrow.

The width of the BROWBONE area varies from person to person and even eye to eye. Some eyes have a lot of browbone space but limited lid space. This can be evened out by the use of eyeshadow to create the illusion of a larger lid and a smaller browbone area. In this case the crease color would need to be higher than the natural crease of the eye.

For those with limited browbone space the crease color should be concentrated in a tight area to give the illusion of more space between the crease and the highlight area.

Consider the BROWBONE space as your blending area. This is where the crease color should gradually fade into the highlight color. In other words, this area is used to create a gradient of color from crease to highlight. It's easiest to use a neutral color that is close to your skin tone here to help blend out harsh lines and produce a seamless blend. You may also use a lighter color than the CREASE color to achieve a similar effect.

The OUTER V is also a tricky area for a lot of beginners. It is the outermost corner of your eye furthest away from your nose. It's called the OUTER V because it is most often shaped like a sideways 'V' as shown in the picture above. But it can also be rounded out and shaped like a 'C' instead for a softer look.

A darker color (or black) is usually placed in the OUTER V to create a contour effect and add dimension to the look. A darker OUTER V adds the illusion of a more sunken crease area.

A trick I found to locating your OUTER V is to feel along the outer edge of your eye along your eyeball. The OUTER V will be like an outline on the outer edges of the eyeball.

For this area it's best to use a matte or semi-matte shade since you want to create a shadow/contour effect. Shimmery shades will reflect light and therefore not create a 'deepening' effect.

The HIGHLIGHT area is perfectly named since it is the HIGHest point of the eye just below the eyebrow. A light color is usually placed on this area to accentuate and lift the eye.

A light shimmery shade is usually used on this area and the color should complement the other colors in the overall look. If the look is mostly shimmer then it's best to use a matte or semi-matte shade to contrast against the frosty textures.

The UPPER LASHLINE is the area right along and above the top eyelashes. A darker color, in the form of a eyeliner pencil, gel eyeliner, or eyeshadow, is usually places along this area to accentuate the eyelashes and make them appear fuller.

The LOWER LASHLINE is the area right along and below the bottom eyelashes. This area is usually used to enhance the eye with color or a smokey liner. It can also be left blank for a simple look.

The TEARDUCT is the inner most point of the eye closest to the nose. A light color can be applied in this area for a highlight. This will help to brighten the eye and add dimension to a look.

The WATERLINE is the inner rim of your lashline - both top and bottom. The waterline is usually lined with a pencil or gel/cream eyeliner but powder can also be used (be mindful that powder may get into your eye).

For the lower WATERLINE most people use black or a dark brown for a darker sultry look. However, for a fresh, brightening effect you may use white or a flesh color. This can also make your eyes appear larger than they really are.

Lining the UPPER WATERLINE is called TIGHTLINING. This is done using a dark color (95% of the time it's black) and will make the top lashes appear much fuller and thicker. This is not the most comfortable thing so be prepared to blink and get teary unless your eyes are not that sensitive to probing.


  1. great post with very useful tips hun,thanx for sharing

  2. Thanks for sharing. When I first started tightlining I was so scared but now it's a piece of cake :)

  3. Thanks for that great comprehensive post!

  4. Thank you soooo much for doing this! It is extremely helpful!!

  5. This is a great post for beginners who are trying to figure out the ends and outs of blending eyeshadows. You are so helpful, and I know that many other people will benefit from this post! Love it!

  6. Very insightful.

  7. I learnt most of this on my own and only I wish this post was available then! This is so very helpful.. thankyou for taking the time to do this!

  8. great detailed beginners tutorial! i've learnt some new stuff. thanks :)


  9. Vey helpful info thanks for taking your time to share this info with us : )

  10. Graet Post as always Tina. You really do care about helping others. God bless!!

  11. Very comprehensive as always. Your beginners posts are one of the best one can find on the web !

  12. Thanks so much guys! I'm glad you all think this was a good post. I worked really hard and long on this one because I wanted to make sure I was passing on good information.

    I know when I started I had to figure things out on my own and I hope that this can help newbies. Makeup is fun but u have to learn the language so that u don't get lost in this world. I remember just trying to catch up with the vocab alone. LOL!

  13. Thanks for this post! I learned a lot. I wish I could favorite this post :)


  14. Tina I am not familiar with all of the capabilities of posting, but is it possible that you would attached this tutorial on a PDF file for me to print? Kellie

  15. Thx Viva. I'm glad it helped. Maybe u can bookmark/favorite the page?

    Hey Kellie. Send me ur email address and I can send u a copy of the pdf. file.

  16. amazing post! i dont consider myself a beginner but this really was interesting to realize all the endless possibilities of eye art that can be created.

  17. U r just amazing - everything u say make allot of sense and you are soo easy to understand. Ive learnt so much from watching you and you are absolutely gorgeous!! xxxx

  18. This is the best tutorial I've ever found. Thanks so much!

  19. I love love love this, Im so glad I found this post. One of the best yet for eye makeup for the newer eyemakeup addict. =)


  20. Thank you for sharing ... very useful

  21. THanks for this post - Im trying to get it together so I can make some videos like yours!

  22. Bless your soul! This was so 'Lamens term'! Thanx :)

  23. Love this post. Amazing explanations and tips!!! Thank you!

  24. excellent. just what i was looking for..

  25. Now i'm ready to get started.. thanks God i found this blog.


  26. Gr8 post love all the tips very helpfull! ;)

  27. Thanks so much....I actually got out my note and pens to take notes as if I was in college class. Love this so much as I reference back to it.

  28. This is extremely detailed and exactly what I need as a late start beginner, trying to ramp up quickly. Thank you!!!

  29. Thank you so much for this post! It was very helpful.

  30. House of Dazzling....Paradise of beautyOctober 21, 2016 at 5:08 AM

    Very helpful tutorial thx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Free to contact me via email with further questions or business inquiries at thefancyface@hotmail.com. Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. are subject to deletion.