Home Makeup Tips How to Make Deep Set Eyes Look Bigger
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How to Make Deep Set Eyes Look Bigger

by Sandy Taylor

Applying makeup to deep-set eyes can be tricky. Doing it the wrong way can actually make your eyes look smaller.

In this post, I connected with a few beauty experts and asked them to provide me their best tips for making deep-set eyes look bigger.

The best way to make deep-set eyes look bigger is to apply a shimmery eye shadow to the inner corner of your eye and then apply a pencil liner to the outer half of your upper lash line.  Use the pencil liner to angle the very outer corner of your eyes upwards. Curl your lashes, apply mascara and comb your brows with a brow gel to finish off the look. 

Salt Spell Beauty is a team of makeup artists based in Los Angeles. They specialize in bridal makeup and hairstyles and provided me the following tips for deep-set eyes.

Step-By-Step Guide for Making Your Deep Set Eyes Look Bigger.

  1. Begin by applying a light shimmery eye shadow or cream to the inner corner of your eye. Try the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick.
  2. Apply a pencil liner on the outer half of your upper lash line, angling the very outer corner upwards for an eye-opening effect. As for pencil liner color, a black pencil will give you the most dramatic effect. Go for a brown or plum for a more subtle effect.
  3. Add the pencil on the outer half of your lower lash line and smudge inward with your finger or a pencil brush (MAC Cosmetics Teddy Liner is our go-to everyday soft brown liner)
  4. Curl your lashes
  5. Apply two coats of your favorite mascara fanning the lashes up and out for an eye-opening effect
  6. Comb through your brows with a clear brow gel, which also opens the eye. Follow the fanning motion of combing upwards and outwards to continue opening the eye shape.

Additional Tips

Alyssia Chang is a makeup artist with over 12 years of experience. She has worked with brands such as Tom Ford Beauty, Chanel, and MAC Cosmetics. She is also the Founder of Prevail Beauty, an online makeup lesson platform via Zoom.

According to Alyssia, here are some additional tips for making deep-set eyes look bigger:

Apply a Lighter Based Color Shadow on Eyelid

Application for the eyeshadow is key. A lot of people use the traditional eyeshadow look which is applying lighter colors in the inner corners and darker shadows in the crease or outer edges. Avoid doing this as this look will cause the illusion of making the eyes look more “sunken” as you’re creating a deeper shadow in areas that won’t flatter the eyes.

Instead, apply a lighter base color shadow over the whole eyelid.  Use medium to deeper colors of eyeshadow on your lash line with a pencil brush. Use a blending brush to blend upwards about halfway on the eyelid. This look pulls depth from the lash line and balances the deep shadows in the crease area!

Try Matte, Luster, or Shimmer Finish Eyeshadow

You can also try a lighter matte, luster, or shimmer finish eyeshadow right in the center of the eyelid. This is called a “Candlelight” look, where you apply a lighter color on the center of the eyelid. To create a stunning evening look, apply a darker shade in the inner corner and outer corners!

Try White Pencil Eyeliner

If eyeshadow isn’t your jam, then use a skin tone or white pencil eyeliner in your lower waterline. If that look is too bold for you, apply the eyeliner in the upper waterline (this is called tight-lining).

Tight-lining is a great skill to have but can be tricky for people with sensitive eyes. I’ve written a guide on how to tight-line sensitive eyes. Check it out if you want to learn more.

Corrective Highlighting is Key

Jill Glaser, Founder of the Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry, suggests that for people with deep-set eyes or small eyelids, corrective highlighting is key.

Here’s What You Need To Do:

  1. First set the eyelid, from lash line to eyebrow, with a sheer eyelid primer. This helps improve the longevity of wear and helps avoid creasing.
  2.  Use a light eyeshadow shade on the entire lower eyelid. The light shade can also be carried up into the crease of the eyelid.
  3. Add a light shimmer eye shadow to the entire area of the small eyelid.
  4. Contour the browbone (very lightly) with a mid-tone eye shadow.
  5.  Heavy contouring is not recommended since the brow bone is typically prominent in deep-set eyes. If desired, apply a darker eye shadow shade only on the outer lid corner and brought up to the brow bone.
  6. Apply a thin, dark eyeliner. If the eyeliner is too wide the lid will “disappear”. Avoid applying eyeliner to the lower lash line as it will “close up” the eye.
  7. Use an eyelash strip to draw out the deep-set eye. Here are 2 options:
    1. To create the illusion of a larger, rounder eye: apply a false lash that is smaller toward the inner and outer corners and wider in the center.
    2. To create the illusion of an elongated eye: apply false lashes on the outer part of the upper lash line.
  8. Finish off with the mascara of your choice. Recommend using a light mascara to avoid “fallout”.

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