Archive for May, 2012

ule #1: Colours advance or recede.
Bright colours advance and make an area appear larger! Dull & dark colours recede and make an area appear smaller!
For example:
  • To make smaller lips appear bigger, use a lighter colour with a gloss or shimmer.
  • To make large lips appear smaller, use a dark matte colour.
  • Wearing black will make you look skinnier and white will exaggerate that particular body part. For example, if I had a stomach and a smaller booty, I’d be wearing a black shirt and white pants.
Yap yap…
Rule #2: Colour steals colour
Ok.. listen… just because you have blue eyes and want to make your eyes pop even MORE… it doesn’t mean you gotta use blue eyeshadow.. you could opt for a purple eyeshadow [for true-blue eyes]. However, if you STILL prefer blue eyeshadow, remember to use a light shade of blue.
Because if you place a brighter blue next to a pale blue, the bright blue will definitely be the centre of attention, therefore will steal away the blue of your eyes instead of doing the opposite! Boo!
Rule #3: Colour reflect colours
Okay, so some colours DO reflect other colours better than stealing it.
Warm colours: red, yellow and orange
Cool colours: blue, violet and green
Saying this, if you happen to have acne or any red scars or skin conditions which causes redness, wearing a warm colour of clothing WILL reflect the redness in your skin.
Other examples:
  • A red lipstick with cool tone will make your yellow teeth appear whiter. Whereas, if you wear a red lipstick with a warm-tone based, your teeth will appear even more yellow. Boo!
  • A yellow shirt, even though not red, can make you appear more pink if you happen to have acne scars or couperose skin or even, a pinky complexion.
It’s hard spotting out if a lipstick shade has a cool or warm tone to it… however for Visual Arts students, it should be fairly easy. Here’s a good swatch picture I found on Google:
sourced >
Now.. we can’t have a condition or anything which gives us a green-ness or blue-ness, unless it’s bruises or dark-circles [still consider it please!].
Examples include:
  • If you have extreme dark circles, black eyeliner or eyeshadow on your bottom lash line should be avoided because this will make an emphasis on dark circles! Boo!
  • Paleness with a green tone… wearing blue, green or purple can make you look paler. So do opt for something with a warmer undertone.
Rule #4: Colours absorb colours
Dull colours will absorb more light than bright, shiny colours. Eg. If your hair is rough and greasy, it should appear darker than it really is.
^^ Ok, this rule, I don’t understand LOL Someone please explain.
That is all for today’s lesson! Thanks for reading guys! Hope this post helps you guys ALOT, because it DID help me LOL 😀 at least I know not to wear warm colours when I don’t conceal my redness! Yey!
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Eye Makeup Tutorial: Tightlining for thicker lashes and bigger eyes


Before my makeup obsession escalated to where it is now, my eye makeup was limited to well-curled lashes with what I refer to as the best eyelash curler for Asian eyes, and any random mascara.

I didn’t know why my mascara smudged even when I used waterproof mascara. Now I do. (Read: Difference between smudgeproof and waterproof mascara )

Eyeliner was reserved for special occasions when I had to amp up the look or when I was feeling exceptionally vain that day.

When I did have eyeliner on, there was always this inconspicuous line of nude skin between the eyeliner and eyeball.

Like this.


That ‘flaw’ always made my eye makeup look half-finished. But I didn’t know what caused it, and never thought something SO EASY would make A WHOLE LOT of difference. That something, my friends, is what we call TIGHTLINING.

Read on to find out more about tightlining!


What is Tightlining?

Tightlining is a simple trick used to create the illusion of thicker eyelashes and bigger eyes. The underside of the upper lashes is drawn with an eye liner, usually in black or dark brown. The emphasis is subtle, the effect intense.


What do I use to Tightline?

A good, soft and creamy pencil eyeliner.

The best eyeliner I’ve used for tightlining is Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero because it’s a super buttery matte black. It smudges if I wear it on my upper lashline, lower lashline and lower waterline but it works well on my upper waterline.

A worthy alternative is L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner in Black Shock, an ultra-dark black that works just as well but at a fraction of the price. The L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners are known to be dupes of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. I have the L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners in Silver Lightning and Violet Volt. Alas, as beautiful and creamy as they are, some chemical in these pencils leave me with irritated eyes so I use them only on the upper lashline.

Some people like to use gel eyeliners like MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Stila Smudgepot or Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Liner, but my waterline is sensitive to gel eyeliner so it’s a no-no for me.

Now… How to Tightline?

During eyeliner application – I mostly use gel liners coz they last a long time – I apply the eyeliner as close to the eyelashes as possible. The Sonia Kashuk bent eyeliner brush comes in extremely handy here because your view is not obstructed by your own hand or the brush handle.

Just as you would during eyeliner application, look into the mirror and tilt your head back. But this time, tilt more to reveal the base of the lashes.

Then use a pencil eyeliner and start drawing on the roots of the lashes to cover the gaps between lashes and carefully, on the underside of the lashes (the white space that would be visible without tightlining).

And… end of tutorial for tightlining! That’s all there is to know about how to tightline your waterline.


Why you should tightline your waterline

Contrary to the effect dark eyeshadow colors create, tightlining actually opens up the eyes and makes them look bigger and eyelashes thicker.

On days when you want to hide dark eye circles or are just too lazy to work on complex eye makeup, pair tightlining with a pair of geek-chic glasses and you’re ready to face the world! I love tightlining on days when I wear my specs because I cannot wear mascara with specs. I have a non-existant nose bridge, which results in having the lenses very near to my eyelashes. The mascara will only dirty the lenses and irritate me with EVERY blink.

Tightlining is my favourite elegant ‘no makeup’ makeup look.  For people who prefer nude makeup or light makeup, but still want to appear awake with deep eyes, tightlining is the way to go!

Also check out 5 useful tips for tightlining!

Ever since I discovered Tightlining, I haven’t gone on a day without it! I love the effect  T H A T  M U C H ! ! ! =D


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Vertical Gradient VS Horizontal Gradient – I Made A Mistake!




undefinedIncorrect Horizontal Gradient Results:

Tsk! These were some of those that made me confused! The people who named their images must have been confused too.

And because I incorrectly used the term ‘Horizontal Gradient’ for my previous tutorial, my pictures appeared under the keyword search too.


Incorrect Vertical Gradient Results:

The 2 bottom images are really sneaky! They have BOTH horizontal AND vertical gradients!

Take a look at the bottom left one. At that time, only the horizontal gradient was obvious to me – left (blue) to right (green) – and since the caption used ‘vertical’, I thought left to right gradient meant vertical gradient! Same goes for the bottom right image – dark to light blue stripes were described as ‘vertical’.

These findings were against all my understandings of horizontal vs vertical lines, yet I chose to abandon them and trusted the wrong captions. GAH!!!

There had always been a nagging feeling that I got the terms wrong but couldn’t find enough information to justify that gut feel, which I really should’ve trusted instead.

Then a few days ago, there was a sudden spark of wanting to ‘get it right once and for all’. So I launched my CS4, selected Gradient Tool, dragged the line horizontally, and got my correct ‘Horizontal Gradient’.


It probably doesn’t mean much to you – horizontal, vertical, whatever – but I’m particular about labeling and if I don’t change it now, before Part 5 of the Asian Eyeshadow Tutorial series is published, there will be more confusion in later years. Also, since I was the one who coined the terms ‘Vertical Gradient Eyeshadow Application Method’ and ‘Horizontal Gradient Eyeshadow Application Method’, I deem it necessary to right the wrong.

So… Hop over to the ‘old’ Horizontal Gradient Eyeshadow post and you’ll see that I’ve changed all the ‘horizontal’ words to ‘vertical’.

My deepest apologies (and great thanks!) to those who’ve talked about that post on their blogs. The link will remain as, so don’t worry that it will be linked to a “HTTP Error 404 – File or Directory not found” page. Lol.

The other much requested Horizontal Gradient tutorial will also have its ‘horizontal’ terms changed to ‘vertical’. And so must Parts 134 of the Asian Eyeshadow Tutorial series. @_@

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Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes Part 5 – Horizontal Gradient Method


At long last, we have come to the fifth installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series. Here, we will discuss the Horizontal Gradient Method of eyeshadow application.

(Ah yes, if you’re confused why this is the ‘Horizontal Method’, especially since this term was already used in Part 2, then you ought to read this post!)

Lest you get lost in the sea of information in this tutorial, you might want to first check out the other episodes in this series:

Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method

Part 3: Defining the Outer V

Part 4: Defining the Contour Area

Part 5: Horizontal Gradient Method

The difference between the Horizontal Gradient Method and Vertical Gradient Method is, quite obviously, the way in which the gradient flows.

From my observations and research, the Horizontal Gradient Method is more well-known and commonly practised in the Caucasian makeup world because their larger lid space allows for more colors to be placed and, unlike many Asians, do not have as heavily hooded eyelids. Most Caucasians only experience hooded lids when they age.

Half of the world’s Asians do not have a Fold in the Lid at all; they have monolids and can be referred to as Mongoloids (Wikipedia)(It has been brought to my attention by some concerned readers that this term has negative connotations. I used the term in an anthropological context and hope no offense is taken.)

The Horizontal Gradient Method of eyeshadow application is also one of the ways to shape the eye and adjust the distance between eyes.

In my post on the types of eye makeup for different types of eyes, I wrote about manipulating the Outer 1/3 of the Lid to create the illusion of a wider or narrower gap between the eyes. You can also manipulate the Outer-V (Where is the Outer V?) to widen or bridge the gap.

Having horizontal gradients on the Lid requires blending – you really have to blend well – otherwise the eye makeup look will look block-ish. What we want is a smooth transition of one color to the next – left to right to left.

I think it is even more important and harder to blend horizontal gradients than vertical gradients. In Part 2 where I elaborated on the Vertical Gradient eyeshadow technique, you can see that the upward/downward gradation of colors is very easy to achieve. There’re much less things to do and look out for in the Vertical Gradient method, which looks gorgeous on most Asian eyes, especially those with hooded lids or monolids.

If you have thicker double eyelids like I do, you have more freedom to switch between the Vertical and Horizontal Methods simply because we have more room on the lids to play with for horizontal gradients, yet still look sophisticated with vertical gradients. Double eyelids FTW (for the win, not the other vulgar FTW)!

But fret not, those who are single lidded or have hooded lids! I have seen people with such eye shapes do well with the Horizontal Gradient Method, you just have to bring the colors ABOVE the fold (hooded) or stop under the Socket Line(mono).

Now, let’s get started with the eye makeup tutorial!

Remember these from Part 1 of the Asian Eyeshadow Tutorial series?

Today we will put theory into practice!

Always apply an eye primer to enhance the vibrancy of the eyeshadows. This step is especially important if you have oily lids like mine. Without an eye primer, my eyeshadows and eyeliner usually slide off by mid-day.

Apply the darkest shade of your selected set of eyeshadow colors on the Outer 1/3 of the Lid. Here I used Sugarpill Poison Plum.

Next, place a lighter shade on the Middle 1/3 of the lid. Here I used Speed Blue from Kat Von D Beethoven Palette.

I used a lighter blue (Sugarpill Afterparty) too, just so that it will transit more smoothly into the next color. You can most definitely do with just 2 or 3 colors for your gradient. No need for 4 and above.

On the inner 1/3 of the lid and a little on the inner corner, apply Sugarpill Tako.

At this point, your eyeshadow will look blockish, messy and really artsy. LOL.

But don’t worry!

Proceed to blend out the edges with either a clean brush if you want to leave it at that, or a color for the Contour Area. I prefer the latter because I always prefer to define my eye Contour Area to warm the face and add depth to my eyes. I used NYX Mermaid (from Amazon), a good dupe for MAC Humid. Blend with MAC 217.

Also apply some color on the Lower Lashline to balance out the look. Speed Blue was used. I luuurve Speed Blue, and now that I’ve got that eyeshadow nicely depotted with Tequila, I can use them even more often now! Tequila was used to highlight the brow bone area here.

Get your liner on! And don’t forget to Tightline:D

Finish the look by curling your lashes and apply mascara and you’re good to go. If you’ve got some time to spare, put on some false eyelashes!

I prefer the DUO Eyelash Adhesive in DARK-TONE over CLEAR-WHITE coz I don’t like that the white one sometimes dries yellowish instead of transparent. Also, since I always use black eyeliner when I apply falsies, the black one melds into the line perfectly.

I was so glad to have been able to use up my white eyelash glue for myHalloween 2011 Geisha look.

And that’s why I’m giving away the black one as one of the presents for the Bun Bun’s Birthday Giveaway! Enter Giveaway Contest here!

I love these falsies. They look so natural and don’t look overwhelming against the backdrop of soft blues and purples. (FAQ answered: I got them from Taiwan)

While waiting for the glue to dry, pack your table. LOL.

And you’re done! JANG JANG!!! :D

Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: The trick to making each color blend seamlessly into the next so that there isn’t any obvious start and end to each ‘block’ is to use a brush with firm but soft-to-the-skin bristles to merge side-by-side colors together (I recommend MAC 239, elf Eyeshadow Brush).

Blend Poison Plum into Speed Blue, Speed Blue into Afterparty, Afterparty into Tako. Don’t be over-adventurous and use a single stroke to blend across all the colors.

Blend as you go along, little by little. << Very important!

Most eyeshadows are highly blendable nowadays, even those at drugstore prices. There are the occasional ones that make you go ‘How did this pass the Blending Quality department?’ – refering to the non-shimmery sides of L’Oreal HiP Eyeshadow Duos, but yup, most are pretty easy to blend.


Recommended products:

MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush

MAC 217 Blending Brush

Sugarpill Eyeshadows

Urban Decay Naked Palette 1


Here are some looks using the Horizontal Gradient Method:

Soccer jersey-inspired look


Colors of Fire-inspired look

And don’t think the Horizontal Gradient Method can only be used to create bold looks. It is very much applicable to everyday eye makeup looks too!


Ohmygawd, we’re done with the 5 episodes of the Asian Eyeshadow Tutorial series! Can’t believe it! :D

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Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes Part 3 – Defining the Outer V

undefinedNow that all that Halloween dust has settled, it’s time to return to the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series!

In the third installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series, we discuss the Outer V.

Oooh, the MYSTERIOUS Outer-V. That tiny area that has eluded even the best of us.

Before we continue, why not check out the other parts of this series first?

Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method

Where is the Outer V?

As with the Crease and Contour Area, the Outer-V on the Asian eye is quite different from that on the Caucasian eye. It took me a while to discover this as well.

On the (typical) Caucasian eye,

1st stroke of ‘V’: Imagine a line that extends beyond the Lower Lash Line, draw the line towards the brow, careful not to extend beyond the Border.

2nd stroke of ‘V’: Connect with the Crease.

Marlena from MakeupGeek has a great video on the Outer V for Caucasian eyes. I look like a drag queen when I use that method. Lol.

On the (typical) Asian eye,

1st stroke of ‘V’: Imagine a line that extends beyond the Lower Lash Line, draw the line towards the brow, careful not to extend beyond the Border.

2nd stroke of ‘V’: Blend towards the Contour Area (aka Orbital Rim or Socket Line), which is above the Fold.

For other parts of the eye, check out Part 1 of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series.


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: Be careful not to draw too sharp or dark an Outer V on the Asian eye, because it may look especially stark without the natural indentation of the eye. Also don’t bring the Outer-V too much inwards, stop somewhere before reaching the middle of the lid.

How to Define the Outer V?

I’ve found that what works best for me is to only perform the Outer V on a very small area at the outer part of the eye. Like a super small ‘V’. I’ll definitely work colors onto the Contour Area first, then add the tiny ‘V’ on top of that.

I normally get on with the Lid colors first then proceed to defining the Outer V.

(All text refer to the preceding picture)

I primed my Lid with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, and pat on NYX Single Eyeshadow in Rust, bringing it above the Fold. I used MAC 239 Shader Brush.

Apply NYX Single Eyeshadow in Mermaid Green to the Contour Area. Here I used Stage’s Shadow Smudger. It really doesn’t matter, sometimes I simply use the flip side of MAC 239 too.

This is how the colors look without any blending. Chunky, isn’t it?

Blend out the edges with a clean blending brush, like the MAC 217 Blending Brush. Looks better. If you think too much of the Contour Area color has been lost, you can always add it back and repeat the blending.

To get to the Outer V, use a pencil brush like the MAC 219, or Essence of Beauty Duo Brushes, or any brush that has a pointed tip since it is such a small area that requires precision.

I used Urban Decay Naked Palette‘s Darkhorse. I love using Darkhorse on theOuter V. It is a very dark brown-grey with gold shimmer.

And that’s the 1st stroke of ‘V’!

The 2nd stroke of ‘V’ is trickier.

The same way as I mentioned in all my eye makeup tutorials, like this one here, gently push the brush back into the skin to locate the Socket Line/Orbital Rim.

Following the guidelines stated earlier, after placing color on the Outer V, you will want to feather out the harsh edges of the Outer V strokes, and also blend the color nicely into the Lid colors.

Use a clean brush blending to diffuse the Outer V color, or have the same color on the brush (Darkhorse) to strengthen and then blend it out.

Left: Without Outer V; Right: With Outer V

The Outer V really does bring more dimension to the eye, yea? :D


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: Don’t carry the upper stroke too far into the eye if you have smaller eyes as doing so can potentially make the eyes look smaller.




To finish the look, highlight the Brow Bone, add some color on the Lower Lash Line, line and tightline (What is Tightlining?) your eyes, and add mascara to your lashes.

This last picture was taken on another day because I was in such a rush to meet a friend after taking pictures for the tutorial that I’d forgotten to take a picture of the completed look! Hope it doesn’t look too different. I tried to make it as similar as possible from my memory! XD

Why Define the Outer V?

There are several reasons why people define the Outer V.

1. Adding a darker color to the outer edges of the eye in the shape of a V adds a lot more dimension to the eye.

Even with just that tiny bit of definition at the outer corner – which is what I do – brings a whole new depth to the eye makeup look. You can also use colors such as purple, blue, brown, instead of black.

Black is very harsh and not entirely suitable for eyes that are not ‘strong enough’ to hold the weight of harsh black. It can totally make your eyes disappear.


2. Defining the Outer V enables one to correct the eye shape or make the eyes look nearer or further apart.

3. Having a dark color at the Outer V helps to hide or correct some errors made from applying eyeshadow.


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: The difference between the Outer Vand Upper Outer 1/3 of the Lid is that the Outer V can be large or small, and extends inwards, while the Upper Outer 1/3 of the Lid just stays within that 1/3 of its space.



Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Outer V for Monolids, Heavily Hooded Lids or Asian Eyes

Should I Or Should I Not Draw The Outer V?

Read: Types of Asian Eyes

My eyes are larger than the average Asian eye, I have prominent double lids, and not-as-heavily-hooded lids that show some lid space beneath the Fold when my eyes are open. My Orbital Rim and Fold don’t meet, but the gap is not too big because of my thicker double eyelids.

Despite having those on my Asian eye, placing a dark color on my Outer V using the Caucasian way requires a lot of blending and blending and blending so that the Caucasian Outer V placement would not look odd and fake on my Asian eye.

Thus, I would suggest that people with monolids or heavily hooded lids stay away from dark, harsh colors on the Outer V, unless you are very confident with your blending skills.

What I do is, instead of trying to emphasize the lack of a crease or the presence of a hooded lid, I work on the Contour Area with colors. Find colors that look good on your skintone. Using colors on the Contour Area and Lid can serve to distract from the lack of a Fold and also brighten up the eye.

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

SEE! No Outer V at all! :D

How I do my Outer V…

And Would Recommend It To You Too!

Even though I can carry a heavy Outer V look, I prefer not to do it all the time because it requires a lot of blending and time, and my eyes actually look better with a soft Outer V emphasis.

It is important to know what works for your eyes, instead of forcing a type of eyeshadow application just because someone else said this or that works for them. There are no ‘rules’ to makeup. You can and must find what works best for your eyes.

You’ve seen how I conquer my Outer V, I use it as an accent instead of creating the whole eye shape with it. The darker color on the edge will create a frame for the eye. That little definition gives an instant accent to the rest of the eye makeup!

Don’t have a tutorial for this look. I used Sin, Grifter and Last Call on the Lid and Smog on the Outer V.

All shades are from the Urban Decay Ammo Palette.



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Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes Part 4 – Defining the Contour Area


Okie, I have officially run out of excuses to further delay publishing this. Haha. But it’s not like I was lazy; I simply couldn’t bear to do it because doing it means being one post closer to the end of this series! I’m absurdly sentimental, I know.

But Bun Bun’s gotta do what Bun Bun’s gotta do. *snaps fingers with conviction*

In the fourth installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series, we cover Defining the Contour Area.

This must be the hardest topic to explain, but I think is very important for me to share because I learnt it the hard way and took a long time to understand theContour Area of the Asian eye.

More so because there is a lack of explanation for this ubiquitous area all humans have, but appears very different on the Asian eye and Caucasian eye. This tutorial is not limited just to the Asian eye or Caucasian eye, this can also apply to people of  Caucasian descent with hooded eyelids.

I use the broad categories of Asian VS Caucasian for simplicity in explanation.

I have explained what are the Crease and Contour Area about a gazillion times ineye makeup tutorials as well as in these posts:


–       Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

–       Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method

–       Part 3: Defining the Outer V

–       Where to Apply Contour Eyeshadow Color on an Asian Eye


Some of you might be very clear about the differences by now from reading my tutorials, but for those new to my blog or aren’t quite certain about the differences yet, let me explain quickly.

Our Western friends use Crease to describe the Fold, which is where the eyelid folds. Their Crease also coincide with the Orbital Rim. So it is natural for Caucasian makeup gurus to mention in their videos or blogs to ‘place the dark purple color on the Crease’, since these two areas coincide.

Okie, put simply,

Asians, on the other hand, have their Fold way down below the Orbital Rim. If an Asian were to ‘place the dark purple color on the Crease’, blindly following the tutorial meant for Caucasian eye makeup placement, then the dark purple color will end up in the Fold instead. And this is where many people get frustrated with not being able to achieve a certain look desired.

That is why I don’t use Crease to describe anything since it means something to the Caucasian eye but means a totally different thing to the Asian eye.

Now, now, don’t get me wrong. Not all Asian eyes look like that. In fact, there is a greater variety of eyes for what we call the ‘Asian eye’, if I must say so myself. I wrote in a previous post some 14 types of Asian eyes and makeup tips, so I’m definitely not stereotyping the many beautiful eyes of Asians. I used the above picture because it shows more obviously the beautiful, smooth skin on the eyelid of most Asians, and that the Orbital Rim does not coincide with the Fold(Crease, in Caucasian terms).

3 Asian beauties, just because.

Song Hye Ko

Kyoko Fukada

Fan Bing Bing

Where Is My Contour Area?

In another tutorial, I already showed a simple method of how to locate theContour Area, and that it is clearly apart from the Crease or Fold.

For most Asians, it can be hard to define the Contour Area just by looking straight into the mirror.


Even when I look down into a mirror while keeping my head straight, I can barely locate the Contour Area. I need to raise my brows really high and be in a place with lots of shadows to locate it, and only just.

The best way to find the Contour Area is simply to use a soft brush to GENTLY push the skin into the eye, and wherever the brush sinks into, is the Orbital Rim, which is what I refer to as the Contour Area.

If you have Caucasian eyes, then you will absolutely no idea what I am talking about since your Crease = Contour Area. Haha.

Why Define The Contour Area?

The Contour Area is also known as:


Brow Bone area

Optical Bone area

Above Crease area

Transition area

‘Blend Out’ area

Orbital Rim

Socket Line


I find that Orbital Rim and Socket Line explain it more accurately.

From its many names, you can guess that it is the area where a transit color is generally placed to diffuse strong colors on the Lid, so that it looks naturally faded into the Brow Bone Highlight.

The Contour Area can be further divided into horizontal or vertical thirds. Typically, the more colors you have, the more dimension the look will have, provided blending is executed well.

Why Is It Called The Contour Area?

As with some of the terms I use, like ‘Vertical Gradient Method’ and ‘Horizontal Gradient Method’, the ‘Contour Area’ is not an official term. I sorta came up with it because Orbital Rim and Socket Line sound very… um, anatomical. They don’t quite sound quite as pretty as Contour Area. Lol.

I named it Contour Area instead of Contour Line because, especially on Asian eyes where the Socket Line is above the Fold, any line drawn on the Socket Line is going to look very unnatural, and may even look like an eyeliner smudge.Horror!

That’s why the line should be extended into an area, blended out.

How to Define the Contour Area?

For people whose Orbital Rim is way above the Fold, don’t worry, you still can create depth to your eyes!

You want to define the Contour Area to create more deep set eyes, but you don’t want to leave a harsh line there.

Apply the eyeshadow color of your choice at the Orbital Rim with an eyeshadow brush. The e.l.f Contour Brush and Stage Shadow Smudger worked fine for me, in fact I liked them a little more in the Contour Area than the MAC 219 just because the 219 is so precise it can be a little hard to blend out afterwards. A badly blended line will look even more obvious on an Asian eye because the Foldis way below the Orbital Rim. I reserve the 219 for the Outer V.

Then, use the MAC 217 Blending Brush to blend out the line created. The Essence of Beauty Duo Crease Brush set is a new favorite of mine!



Easy right?

I use 2 eyeshadow brushes for the Contour Area because the 217 is a little too large and too fluffy for me to be used directly to create the Contour Area. If you have really large eyes and wide space between your eyes and brows like Marlena from MUG, then by all means, go ahead and use the 217.


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: If you’re not familiar with defining the Contour Area yet, try first with brown, neutral shades. They’re more forgivable. :)



I like to apply a warmer color first (like orange or warm pink, warm brown) on theContour Area, followed by a darker color nearer down, and then define the Outer V. I also go back and forth on blending whenever I add a new color to eliminate any harsh lines.

I know it sounds like a lot of steps and work just to create depth to the eyes, but it really takes no longer than a couple of minutes. In fact, using the right type of brush saves you more time. Just imagine drinking soup with a tea stirrer versus a soup soon. At the end of the day, both allow you to drink the soup, but the soup spoon gets the job done more quickly and you experience less frustration with it.

Eye Makeup Looks without Outer V:

Contour Area – Urban Decay Ammo Palette – Smog

Actually I did an Outer V for this, but it’s so small it’s not visible from this angle. I like that the Contour Area is very obvious here.

Contour Area – MAC Eyeshadow Post Haste

Contour Area – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Darkhorse

Contour Area – Stage Eyeshadow Poison

I did a tutorial for this eye makeup look! And here’s the review of Stage Cosmetics.

Eye Makeup Looks with Outer V:

Contour Area – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Smog; Outer V – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Darkhorse

In review for L’Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow Emerald Lame

Contour Area – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Smog; Outer V – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Darkhorse

In review for Pupa Multiplay Triple Purpose Eye Pencil

Contour Area – MAC Eyeshadow Free To Be; Outer V – NYX Eyeshadow Dark Brown

(Click here for eye makeup tutorial)

Contour Area – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Smog; Outer V – Urban Decay Naked Palette – Darkhorse

(Click here for eye makeup tutorial)





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Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes Part 1: Where to Apply


Hi-ho-and-a-merry-oh, everyone!

Haven’t blogged for a week coz I’ve been working on a series called Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes. Man! It was a lot of work but I’m really pleased with the outcome. I hope this series can help more Asians better understand their eye shape and those who have Asian clients!

In this 1st installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes series, we take a look at where to place eye makeup on the Asian eye.

When I first started out, I had no idea where or how to place eyeshadow. My eye makeup efforts were previously limited to eyeliner and mascara and sometimes, just a light dab of ONE eyeshadow color.

When I purchased my first eyeshadow quad, I was lost.


I had no idea the eye could be divided into so many parts – lid, crease, contour, highlight, etc.

I had no idea that there are so many ways to shape the eye, combine colors, or use colors to emphasize or recede certain parts of the eye.

Google and Youtube, of course, presented me with tutorials and eye charts from their wealth of resources, but most of them were limited to the Caucasian eye.

It took me quite long to understand that I cannot copy the Western way of applying eyeshadow because one of the most prominent differences between an Asian and Caucasian eye is the ‘crease’, or rather, lack of.

If you haven’t already checked out my post on the differences between the Caucasian and Asian eye, please do. It will definitely help you understand this post better too!

You would realize by now, if you have read the post mentioned above, that while the Crease of the Caucasian eye coincides with the Orbital Rim, theCrease of the Asian eye merely defines the Fold of the eyelid. If you have aFold, it means you have double eyelids – prominent or hooded.

It is the fact that the Orbital Rim and Fold of the eye do not overlap that characterizes the Asian eye, and not the stereotypical slanted eye shape.

In half of the world’s Asian population, there is complete absence of a Fold. For the remaining half who possess a Fold, the Fold commonly does not coincide with the Orbital Rim.

I am very proud to be Asian, and it is my wish to help as many girls out there to understand the Asian eye better and apply the most flattering eye makeup for their own eye shape and contour.

Here is, finally, my own eye shadow placement chart to share with Asians who want to understand how and where to apply eye makeup better.

This chart would also be useful to help makeup artists understand how eye makeup looks can be better applied on Asians.

The chart is based on my own eye – large, round, with prominent double eyelids, and does not coincide with the Contour Area. I throw in tips for monolids and hooded lids as well!

The placement of eyeshadows can vary for different looks, but here is the basic breakdown of parts of the eye.

I included pictures for every part of the eye instead of having just one complete picture with all the different parts outlined, simply because I always find it troublesome to read and refer to only one picture at the top all the time. Took me many hours to draw the outlines, but the result is definitely worth the effort. I’m sure you will find it more straightforward to understand too!


Now let’s get started!




While the Lid can be covered in just one eyeshadow color, it can also be divided it into vertical halves – inner 1/2, outer 1/2; or thirds – inner 1/3, middle 1/3 and outer 1/3.

The first eye makeup look in this tutorial shows exactly that.


Inner 1/3

The inner 1/3 of the Lid spans from the inner section of the eye to the edge of the iris. A lighter color compared to the middle and outer colors is usually placed here.

Middle 1/3

The middle 1/3 of the Lid is directly above the iris. A darker color than the inner 1/3, but lighter than the outer 1/3 is usually placed here.

Outer 1/3

The outer 1/3 of the Lid covers the edge of the iris to the outer edge of the eye. The darkest color of the lot is usually placed here.

Note that I used ‘usually placed here’ for all thirds. Firstly, the 3 colors can be of equal color strength, and secondly, the vertical division method is not as often employed on the Asian eye.

For many Asians, the Lid area can be rather small, and some may not have aFold at all. In most Asian eye makeup, the Vertical Gradient Method, which involves applying eyeshadow horizontally across the Lid so that a vertical gradient is formed, is ideal. Confusing much? Check out this post to understand the difference between Vertical and Horizontal gradients.

The Vertical Gradient Method will be discussed in the 2nd installment, andHorizontal Gradient Method in the 5th installment, of the Eye Makeup Tutorial for Asian Eyes series.

Inner Corner

The Inner Corner is the small area that points towards the nose. It can be expanded a little onto the inner 1/3 of the lid and also the the inner 1/3 of the lower lashline.

A little highlight color at the Inner Corner of the eye does wonders to make the eyes look brighter and more awake. I like to use MAC Eye Kohl in Fascinating or NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk as a base, then layer with a light eyeshadow color like silver, beige, while, pink.


Ah, the Crease.

In Caucasian eye makeup talk, the crease is the line of indentation right above the lid, where the Lid folds. That indentation below the brow bone marks the natural Crease, and it is further emphasized by using a deeper eyeshadow color to create depth in the eye.

The Crease of the Caucasian eye typically coincides with the Orbital Rim.

For Asians, if the Crease is defined by where the lid folds, then placing a deeper color at the crease will only serve to make the eyes look smaller, especially if you have heavily hooded eyelids, or a very small lid area.

Check out the different types of Asian eyes and appropriate makeup!

The Crease of the Asian eye typically does NOT coincide with the Orbital Rim.

For all my tutorials, I rarely use the term ‘Crease’, because that would be confusing to many Asians, and ‘Crease’ really means ‘Fold’ to me.

If I need to state that eyeshadow color must be placed ‘at/above the Crease’, I will simply say that it needs to be placed ‘at/above the Fold’.

More explanation will be done in the 4th installment of this Eye Makeup Tutorial for Asian Eyes series – Defining the Contour Area.


Contour Area

I like to use Contour Area and Orbital Rim interchangeably.

A transition color is usually placed at the Contour Area, to transit from the eyelid color to the brow bone highlight. One color can be used as a transit color on the Contour Area, but it can also be divided into a gradual transition of colors, moving towards the brow bone.

For Asians, there is no clear indication (just by looking) of where the Contour Area is exactly, unlike in the Caucasian eye where the Crease is at the Orbital Rim. In that case, you want to apply the transition color at the Orbital Rim, and blend the color out so that there won’t be an artificial-looking line sitting on an unseen indentation.

Therefore, instead of trying to fake a Crease that isn’t there (like if you have a low Fold or none at all), ignore the Fold and transfer your energy to work on theContour Area.

By sweeping eyeshadow above the Fold onto the Contour Area, you bring instant lift to the eyes and enhance the shape of the eye area.

If this is not clear yet, an entire tutorial on Defining the Contour Area will be covered in the 4th installment of this Eye Makeup Tutorial for Asian Eyes series.

(I know this is hard! =S I took a long time to figure it out too!)

Outer V

As if it is not already hard enough to locate the Outer V on the Caucasian eye, the lack of overlapping of the Crease and Contour Area on the Asian eye makes the task even more daunting.

To start, imagine a line extended out from the Lower Lash Line, but not beyond the Border (to be covered in a while). That is one stroke of the ‘V’.

In Caucasian eye makeup talk, the other stroke of the ‘V’ is found on the ‘Crease’. Easy. The Outer V is also called the Outer Crease, because it really lands on their Crease. But I prefer not to use the word ‘Crease’ for the Asian eye to eliminate confusion.

Since we Asians cannot use the ‘Crease’ as an easy way out, the other stroke of the ‘V’ is usually found sitting on the Orbital Rim. You can see from the diagram above that the upper stroke is above the Fold. This will be the case for most Asians. Again, you want to blend the Outer V out well so that it does not look too unnatural on the Asian Eye.

Placing a dark color on the Outer V creates shadows and brings more depth to the eye.

Because there is much more to discuss on the topic of the Outer V, a tutorial onDefining the Outer V will be covered in the 3rd instalment of the Eye Makeup Tutorial for Asian Eyes series.


Kinda heavy, isn’t it, the top parts?




Now what’s left are the easy parts, because there are no obvious differences for these parts between the Asian and Caucasian eye.



The Highlight area is also known as the Brow Bone Highlight because, well, the Brow Bone Area (aka Contour Area) is right below and placing a highlight above that makes it the Brow Bone Highlight. Geddit? =D

The Highlight area is directly below the brow, and a light or bright shade like white, beige, silver, is placed here to make it stand out when light hits the face.

This area can be larger or smaller than the area I circled on my eye. My favoriteHighlight colors are Shroom from MAC and Tequila from Kat Von D Beethoven Palette.

Oh, one little difference I need to mention between Asian and Caucasian eyes is that the brow bone highlight will look more noticeable on the Caucasian eye because of a more pronounced brow ridge.


Upper Lash Line

The Upper Lash Line is where you apply eyeliner. This must be the most understood area of the eye. Haha!

Gel eyeliners work best on my oily eyelids because the pigmentation is great, long-lasting and does not smudge. My favorite gel liner is the Kate Gel Liner in BK-1. I like Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink too. Also apply eyeliner as close to the Upper Lash Line as possible. Follow up with Tightlining the Waterline.

This is also where false eyelashes should be applied, as close to the Upper Lash Line as possible.

Done with the upper part of the eye! YAY!


Lower Lash Line

You can have great fun with the Lower Lash Line!

Just like the Lid and Upper Lash Line, the Lower Lash Line can be divided into inner, middle, and outer. If you divided the Lid into vertical thirds, you can follow the exact order in which the three eyeshadow colors were placed.

Alternatively, you can simply use dark eyeshadow colors to create a smokey look. Smaller eyes should avoid using black or dark brown all along the Lower Lash Line as these colors on the Lower Lash Line tend to make the eyes look smaller. A dark color can be used on the outer 1/3 of the Lower Lash Line, a mid tone on the middle, and a lighter color on the inner 1/3.

Some people use eyeliners on the Lower Lash Line, but since I am allergic to anything but eyeshadows there, I don’t use eyeliner in any form.

It is definitely alright not to put anything on the Lower Lash Line as well, but I prefer to apply a color or two for balance and dramatic definition.

I like to use Smog, which is a gorgeous bronzey brown from the Urban Decay Naked Palette, on most occasions when I want some color there, but nothing too OTT. I love having colors on the Lower Lash Line too!

Use a pencil brush like the MAC 219 for precise placement of eyeshadow on theLower Lash Line.



The Waterline is the watery area that is close to the eyeball. There are two – the upper and lower.

The Upper Waterline is where Tightlining is done – a method used to give the illusion of thicker eyelashes with the use of a black (typically) eyeliner.

On the Lower Waterline, some people use beige, white, silver to make the eyes appear bigger by visually extending the area. Or black, to give that dark look, but unless you have large eyes that won’t get compromised by black, try not to rim the entire eye with black liner.

I love Tightlining my Upper Waterline, but nothing stays or works on my Lower Waterline. After realizing that I am allergic to eyeliners on my Lower Waterline,especially eyeliners with shimmer, I don’t touch it anymore. So no good stuff on the Lower Waterline for me, can only play with the Lower Lash Line and only with eyeshadows.



I mention the Border here to show where eye makeup should not go beyond. An imaginary line can be drawn from the edge of the Outer Lower Lash Line towards the edge of the brow.

Normally, no color or line is place on or beyond the Border, unless an artsy look is intended – some people place rhinestones or draw dots at the border or extend eyeshadow way beyond the line.

While it is important to keep regular or even dramatic eye makeup within that zone, don’t go draw a harsh line along the border or abruptly stop there. Remember to diffuse any color so that it looks naturally faded out.

Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method


(Update 10 Mar 2012: All ‘horizontal’ terms in this post have been changed to ‘vertical’. Please read this post for clarification. :) )

Hey guys! I’m so happy the first installment of this series (Where to Apply Eyeshadow) was so well received! Thank you all for your support! :D

In the second installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes series, we discuss the Vertical Gradient Method of eyeshadow application.

The Vertical Gradient Method is widely used on Asian models I often see in Japanese, Taiwanese, or any other magazines that showcase Asian models.

While there are no rules when it comes to makeup, the Vertical Gradient Method is one easy method of eye makeup application, and looks great on people with limited lid space, have heavily hooded eyelids, or have monolids.

The Vertical Gradient Method is basically dividing the lid horizontally, most commonly into 3 sections and with the darkest color placed nearest to the eyelashes.

In my opinion, why the Vertical Gradient Method is not as popular among Caucasians is because having just one color on the bigger lid space will not bring out the contours of the Caucasian eye as much as having more colors and defining their Crease.

On the other hand, the Vertical Gradient Method looks polished andsophisticated on many Asians because the lower position of the Fold and non-coincidence with the Orbital Rim creates a smooth canvas for color gradation. Monolids or heavy hooded lids will benefit the most from this eyeshadow application method.

Because I have slightly more prominent double eyelids, this look is quite not as optimal on me as compared to a person with monolids or with a lower Fold. It must be the existence of the Fold that causes interruption to the beautiful gradation of colors.

It is because of my eye shape that I find it necessary to define the Outer-V andContour Area to make my eyes look more defined and dimensional. The Outer Vand Contour Area will be covered in the third and fourth parts of this series respectively.

Using multiple shades of color of the same family builds dimension and definition. For this look, I used Sin (light champagne), Smog (bronzey brown) and Darkhorse (dark brown) from the Urban Decay Naked Palette.

Now let’s go through together the simple steps of the Vertical Gradient Method!

Step 1:

As with all eye makeup, make sure that the eye area is free of oils and water.

Then apply an eye primer to prolong eyeshadow lasting power and bring out the vibrancy in them. Having an eye primer on is especially important for people with oily eyelids like myself. Without a primer, even MAC, Urban Decay and Sugarpill eyeshadows tend to fade like nobody’s business by mid day on my eyes.

Step 2:

Apply the lightest color (Sin) on the entire eyelid area. Don’t stop beneath the fold – go ABOVE it instead, especially if your eyelid fold is very low.

See, with just one color the eye is brightened up instantly! =D

Step 3:

Now use a darker color than the first (Smog) and apply it from the lashes upwards, stopping just slightly below the first color (Sin). Now you have 2 colors on the lids and it is most important that they don’t look like 2 blocks of colors.

With neutral colors such as browns, bronzes, and pinks, blending is a lot easier than say, loud bright eyeshadow colors that are of a different color family.

So if you are just starting out on eyeshadow makeup, neutrals are a safe bet. But you know me, I LOVE my bright colors and I think that everybody should try a wild look at least once in their lifetime! Heh! =D

Step 4:

Take the darkest color of the 3 (Darkhorse) and place it nearest to the lashline, almost using it as a guideline for the ensuing eyeliner.

You can see from the picture on the right the gradation of 3 colors. If I didn’t have such a thick eyelid fold, the picture on the left would reflect well the 3 colors too.

You may also do it the other way round – applying the darkest color near the lash line first, and then work your way up in a gradient, ending with a highlight color under the brow.


You’re done!

I guess this is how it will look like if I didn’t have double eyelids (looking down so that the crease is not visible). That’s why people with monolids or heavy hooded lids can totally rock this look.

Blending is key here. You want a natural progression of colors, not blocks of colors (unless that is your intention, like Color Blocking), nor a muddy mess of brown.

Bun Bun Eyeshadow Blending Tips: By ‘blending’, it means to blur the intersection of 2 colors, not the whole 2 areas. There must not be a definite start and end to each color. It’s like you can see it, but can hardly put a finger to where the start and end points are.

I prefer using makeup brushes, but sponge applicators can definitely do the job for the Vertical Gradient Method.

Complete the look with eyeliner and mascara!

Remember in the first tutorial for this series I mentioned the Inner Corner of the eye?

Can you spot the difference?

Yup! I highlighted the Inner Corner of one eye with Sin.

See how a little spot of light eyeshadow brings light to the eyes? =D You should try it!

Both eyes with Inner Corners highlighted

Gradients don’t have to be boring or limited to browns and neutrals. I, for one, am more of a COLORS fan. LOL. I love to use purples, blues, reds, greens, oranges, yellows, pinks to bring out my dark brown eyes.

Browns tend to drown out my brown eyes, as mentioned in a post on the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner Chocolate Shimmer Ink. Shades of browns are nonetheless important in neutralizing or toning down colors, or to diffuse strong colors in theContour Area.

Here are some looks I found in my stash of makeup looks that exhibit the Vertical Gradient Method. Somehow I never posted them as tutorials or makeup looks. Haha. I’ll put up tutorials if requested though!


Oh, by the way, I don’t think Vertical Gradient Method is an official term. Heh. I just named it so because it describes the method as it is. =D


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Eye Makeup Tips For 14 Different Types of Asian Eyes

As you must have read in my last post about crease and contour eyeshadow differences between Asians and Caucasians, typical eye type charts and tutorials that conveniently lump all types of Asian eyes into one simply do not work. There are specific makeup techniques for Asians.

I will share in this post how to apply makeup on the different types of Asian eyes. Of course the Asian eye is not limited to just these 14 types, but these are the most commonly seen ones.


As per my disclaimer in my previous post, by ‘Asian’ I refer more specifically to East and Southeast Asians as Western Asians (Middle East) and Southern Asians (Pakistan, India, etc) have anatomical traits more similar to those of Westerners.


Super General Guidelines for creating an Asian eye makeup look:

Step 1:

Apply light eyeshadow across the eyelid

Step 2:

Use a medium to dark eyeshadow shade on the contour area instead of the crease and blend in towards the inner corner of the eye, stopping at no more than 1/3 from the outer lid.

(Caucasians will tell you to place it on the crease, but I already mentioned in my post on crease and contour difference between Asian eyes and Caucasians eyes that, for Asians, the crease and contour area are not the same. You can read my post on ‘Where to apply contour shade on the Asian eye’!)

Step 3:

Sweep a lighter shadow on the brow bone and on the inner corner of the eye

Step 4:

Apply eyeliner on the lashline and waterline

Step 5:

Apply mascara on top and bottom lashes


However every eye type requires some tweaking to the Super General Guidelines – a little more contour or a little less, a thicker eyeliner or a thinner one, black eyeliner on the lower waterline or a white one.


So read on to find out eye makeup tips for your eye type!


Chinese words translation: Ideal or Perfect Eyes

Definition: Evenly spaced almond-shaped eyes. Evenly spaced eyes means that the average space between two eyes is the width of an eye

Makeup Tips: While I don’t agree with calling them ‘perfect’ since everybody’s idea of the perfect eye is different, almond-shaped eyes are the most common type of eye. They are proportionately sized to the rest of the facial features and have a slight upward lift at the outer corner of the eyes to suggest a more youthful looking appearance. Almond-shaped eyes are very versatile to many kinds of makeup looks. So if you have them, dare to experiment with funky colors, deeper colors, different eyeshadow placements, and thicker eyeliner progressing outwards to intensify the eyes!


Chinese words translation: Close-set Eyes

Definition: Close-set eyes usually have less than an eye width space in between

Makeup Tips: To create the illusion of a wider gap between the eyes, keep more intense eyeshadow colors at the far corners of the eyes. Do not place dark eyeshadows more than 1/3 into the lids as that would make the eyes appear even nearer to one another. Apply more mascara on the outer corner of the eye to build volume outwards. You can also draw your eyebrows further apart to ‘pull’ the eyes away from each other.

Chinese words translation: Wide-set Eyes

Definition: Wide-set eyes usually have more than an eye width space in between

Makeup Tips: To visually bring the space between the eyes closer to one another, bring a darker eyeshadow color from the outer corner of the eye closer to the middle of the eyelid. You may use more intense eye shadow colors near the inner corner of the eyes. You can also draw your eyebrows closer to one another to make wide-set eyes appear closer together. Contouring your nose can also help in reducing the distance between the eyes.


There isn’t a comic representation of ‘Big Eyes’ so I used Vicki Zhao’s photo instead. She has large, expressive eyes that do not diminish in size even with all that thick black eyeliner.

Big Eyes

Definition: Due to a larger opening of the eye, there is a lot of white space and almost or the entire pupil can be seen. Gosh, I make my eyes sound alien. LOL!

Makeup Tips: Enhance the shape of big eyes by adding depth with darker colors on the contour area. For big eyes, it is safe to apply darker colors on the lower lashline as it will add color and more dimension to your eyes without closing up your eyes too much (since you have a lot more space to spare). If you want to make your eyes appear smaller (like if they look kinda disproportionate to the rest of your face), frame them with black eyeliner on the lashline and waterline and dark eyeshadows.


Chinese words translation: Thin and Narrow Eyes

Definition: Much less of the white of the eye and pupil can be seen. Such thin-slit eyes are not uncommon in Asia.

Makeup Tips: For eyes that appear to be smaller than every other feature on the face, make the eyes appear bigger and rounder by applying light shadow on the lids and dark black eyeliner at the base of the eyelashes. Widen the thickness of the eyeliner while you transfer out towards the outer corners of the eyes. A little upward tick at the outside corner will add lift to the eyes. Apply white eyeliner on the bottom waterline to open the eyes. For small eyes, try to keep using dark eyeshadow colors to a minimum as they will just close up your eyes. Instead, work on creating lush lashes with double coats on both upper and lower eyelashes.


Chinese words translation: Round Eyes

Definition: Round eyes do not look perfectly round like marbles (LOL!), they just look rounder than almond-shaped eyes.  A lot of the pupil and white of the eye can be seen.

Makeup Tips: In Asia, manga-like round eyes are highly desired as they imply innocence and youth. Round and large eyes are highly sought after in Asia. Google: Ayumi Hamasaki. If you have round eyes and prefer to elongate them like into almond-shaped eyes, draw darker eyeliner beyond the outer corner of the eyes. Use a darker eyeshadow color to contour according to the shape desired.


Chinese words translation: Small Round Eyes

Definition: The difference between Round Eyes and Small Round Eyes is that, the Round Eye is longer in length than the Small Round Eye. You can see more space on the sides of the pupil in Round Eye than in Small Round Eye.

Makeup Tips: See Round Eyes



Chinese words translation: Down-turned Eyes

Definition: The outer corner of the eye is lower than the inner corner of the eye

Makeup Tips: Avoid applying eyeshadow that follows the shape of the eye. Instead, apply the contour eyeshadow shade up and out. To lift droopy eyes, apply eyeliner in the inner edge and a thicker smudged one at the outer edge towards an upward angle. Like a cat winged line. Curl your lashes and apply more mascara on the outer lashes for an overall lifted look.


Chinese words translation: Prominent Eyes

Definition: Eyes that protrude forward, almost bulging out

Chinese words translation: Puffy Eyes

Definition: Puffy eyes are a result of a thicker layer of fat underneath the lids that causes more protrusion than the average Asian eye.

Prominent Eyes do not imply puffiness; likewise, Puffy Eyes do not imply prominence.

Makeup Tips: I put these 2 types of eye together as they share a common goal with makeup. That is, to reduce the appearance of bulge and make the eyes not dominate the rest of the facial features. Instead of following the Super General Guidelines above which suggest using a lighter color on the lids, apply a medium shade on the upper lid to immediately tone down the pronounced eyelid. You want to use dark colors to recede the prominence or puffiness. Then use eyeliner and line the lash bases from corner to corner to remove the spotlight on the pronounced eyelid.

Chinese words translation: Deep-set Eyes, more common in Caucasian eyes

Definition: Dark shadows above the eyes, below the brow bone

Makeup Tips: Although some depth in the eyes can speak more emotions, we don’t want eyes that recede too back into the sockets. Deep-set Eyes can be said to be the opposite of Prominent Eyes. To bring out deep-set eyes, use paler shades around the eyes to enhance them. Use a slightly darker eyeshadow color at the contour area (try not to use black) and blend towards the brow bone. Apply thin eyeliner along the lashline. A thick eyeliner line will make the eyes disappear underneath the browbone.


Chinese words translation: Three-pointed Eyes, Triangular Eyes

Definition: This happens when the skin on the outer area of the eye starts to sag, thus covering more of the eye and resulting in a triangular shape.

Makeup Tips: For triangle-shaped eyes, you want to create the illusion of lifted eyes and a higher well-defined contour. Besides following the Super General Guidelines, draw the eyeliner thicker as you go towards the outer corner of the eye. Add a wing to lift the eyes visually.

A similar type of eye is Hooded Eyes, which may or may not be the result of sagging skin. Hooded eyes are very common among Asians due to the fatty underlying tissue of the eyelids. Some have such heavily hooded lids that cover their double eyelids; these are referred to as ‘inner double eyelids’. To give more prominence and liveliness to hooded eyes, the Super General Guidelines are a safe bet, but avoid using harsh black eyeshadow to cover the entire eyelid. Also avoid bringing dark eyeshadow colors too much into the eyelid from the outer 1/3 of the eye as doing so will make the eyes appear smaller. Eyeliner plays an important part in opening hooded eyes. Try to wing it out at the far end of the eye to visually lift them.


Chinese words translation: Phoenix Eyes

Definition: I believe the Phoenix eye is very much an Asian thing. Precisely because it is only seen on Asians that the Asian eye is often stereotyped as the Phoenix Eye. Remember Mulan? The Phoenix Eye is so named because it resembles the eye of the mythical phoenix bird.

But the Phoenix Eye is actually a rather rare type of eye. It is considered exotic and beautiful and the perfect Oriental Phoenix eye is described as so:

– The eye is not big in size, but looks lively and can appear seductive
– The slight upward lift at the outer corner of the eye gives a come-hither look
– A slight paraberal slant is present, where the outer corner or the eye is just slightly higher than the inner corner of the eye
– Can be seen on either monolids or double eyelids

I had such a hard time finding the description for the Phoenix eye and could only find information on Chinese websites. Because it is so elusive even in definition, here are pictures of people with Phoenix eyes.


Liu Yi Fei from China

Phoenix eyes with double eyelids

Lee Jun-Ki from Korea

Phoenix eyes with monolids

Makeup Tips: Since the Phoenix eye is very much unique in itself I have to resist the urge to simply say that a simple thin eye line would suffice. But no, as with all eyes that need definition, use a darker color eyeshadow color (like brown) to contour the eyes, along with eyeliner and mascara. If you want to downplay the little upward curve at the outer corner of the eye, draw a thicker line at the outer corner without extending beyond the eye. Do not wing it out. Lastly, draw on the lower lashline to balance the look.



Chinese words translation: Slanted Eyes

Definition: Do not confuse this with Phoenix eyes although the two look really similar (especially the drawings). The main difference between Slanted eyes and Phoenix eyes is the degree of slant in the eye. The Slanted Eye obviously has a greater slant but does not possess the little curve at the outer corner of the eye as in the Phoenix Eye. On the other hand, the Phoenix Eye does not slant until the corner of the eye.

Makeup Tips: The shape of Slanted Eyes is quite the opposite of Down-turned Eyes. Take full advantage of the natural slant in the eye by winging out your eyeliner. Or if you want downplay the slant, follow the tips for Phoenix eyes.

Nevertheless, with all that said, there are no hard and fast rules to applying makeup. If you feel you look better and more confident with certain makeup looks, by all means stick to it. Afterall, our face is our canvas for our expression of art and form. And beauty is very much in the eyes of the beholder.


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Crease and Contour Eyeshadow: Asian Eyes VS Caucasian Eyes

May 27, 2011 by  38 Comments

While Caucasians search ‘How to stop eyeshadow from creasing’, Asians typically search ‘How to fake a crease with eyeshadow’.

Before I got more serious into makeup, I only knew I had double eyelids. Crease…what? The only crease I knew was the kind of crease found on a crumpled piece of paper.

But before I start explaining, here’s a little disclaimer. The words ‘Westerner’ and ‘Caucasian’ will be used interchangeably in this post with no intention whatsoever to offend anyone. With ‘Asian’ I refer more specifically to East and Southeast Asians – Mongoloids (LOL! What a funky name!). Western Asians (Middle East) and Southern Asians (Pakistan, India, etc) have anatomical traits more similar to those of Westerners. So we shall only cover the Mongoloids of Asia.


OKIE! Let’s start!


When I got more interested in makeup, I started to read beauty blogs and watch videos that went on and on about ‘applying a darker eyeshadow color to your crease to bring more dimension to the eyes.’ I looked at myself in the mirror and searched for the mysterious crease these makeup bloggers were talking about. Is the word ‘crease’ just another moniker for what we Asians refer to as ‘double eyelids’?

It didn’t occur to me, until much later on, that the blogs I was reading and videos I was watching had Western authors that taught the Western way of makeup application. No matter how hard I tried in emulating the way they placed their eyeshadows, I could never achieve the looks they easily demonstrated.

It didn’t occur to me that our bone structures are completely different and even though I have double eyelids, where my crease and contour area lie is very different from a Caucasian’s. Even though it is a matter of mere millimeters more at which the skin folds above the eyelashes, there is a much greater science that explains our differences in genetics.


The Stereotypical Asian Eye

Eye Type Chart #1

I found this picture online showing the types of eyes. Can you guess which is labeled ‘Asian eyes’?




Guess Guess!


















Did you get it right?

Well, most of my friends didn’t get it right on the first try and some had no clue even after the third guess.

Hello? What does ‘Asian eyes’ mean? I think the Asian eye in this diagram looks very much the same as the rest of the eyes, except for the slight epicanthal fold at the inner corner of the eye and the palpebral slant. Not ALL Asians have epicanthal folds and even Caucasians can have palpebral slants and epicanthal folds too.

By the way, an epicanthal fold is the skin of the upper eyelid that covers the inner corner of the eye. And the palpebral slant is, in layman’s term, the slant of the eye.

The above picture also assumes that all Asians have a crease. Not all Asians have a crease and such eye types are called monolids. Even Asians who have a crease do not have such a thick crease. The one in the picture is considered thicker than the average Asian eyelid.


Hooded eyelid with minimal epicanthal fold

Monolid with prominent epicanthal fold

And here’s another eye type chart that conveniently groups all of us into ONE eye type.


Eye Type Chart #2


Do you see the ‘asian’ eye? It looks so exotic AND offensive at the same time! LOL. Asians don’t look like that, at least not the majority of us. This illustration of the Asian eye is so stereotypical and out-dated I burst out laughing when I first saw it. It looks more like Mulan – a brave Chinese girl who went to war in place of her ailing father. Mulan, from what I see, has ‘Phoenix eyes’ with double eyelids, prominent epicanthal folds and a super palpebral slant.

Lumping all Asian eyes under one type while displaying many types of the Caucasian eye is tantamount to showing this to a Caucasian.

(Picture taken from

See what I mean? Just one ‘typical Caucasian eyelid crease’. I can totally relate to these eyes and know how to apply makeup on them while a Caucasian upon seeing this chart may be perplexed that an eye can have no crease or that theorbital rim (contour area) is nowhere near the crease.

Just a sidetrack. This image was taken from a website that specialises in Asian double eyelid surgery. I believe the (h) was included to let patients understand that the goal of double eyelid surgery is not to westernize an Asian face, but to create a crease that looks natural on an Asian face. Giving a patient too high a crease will only result in an imbalanced overall look. Double eyelids are generally appreciated across many cultures and Asians who undergo double eyelid surgery do so to make their eyes look bigger with a defined crease and to have more lid space for eye makeup. NOT to look more Western.

So. As I was saying.

Not all Caucasian babies look like…


And not all Asian babies look like…


This baby makes me smile every time… =)

No, seriously, we all know not all Caucasian babies look like that and not all Asian babies look like that too. In fact, ‘Asian’ is too broad a classification. With so many countries making up East and Southeast Asia, the Mulan-esque ‘Asian eye’ does not even represent half of us.


(Pictures taken from Google and modified by me)

See, both Thanh Huyen and Vicky Zhao Wei:

1. have double eyelids,
2. do not have the epicanthal fold that people think distinguishes Asians from Caucasians,
3. do not have eyes that slant upwards,
4. do not look like Mulan

Thanh Huyen has alluring almond-shaped eyes with parallel crease that are slightly triangular.

Vicky has gorgeous big round eyes with parallel crease, with the right eye being more hooded than the left.

(Wow, adjectives, adjectives)

Ah, I sometimes have asymmetrical eyelids like that too. If I sleep too much or too little, my left eyelid becomes more hooded. Because I see things with grid lines in my eyes, I like both eyelids to be of about the same height. So I use eyelid tapes (aka eyelids stickers) to correct the fold.

While there is extensive literature on how to apply eyeshadow for Caucasian eyes, the same cannot be said for Asian eyes (at least not in English!). Not only do Asians have different descents, the type, shape and size of eyes differ between countries and even within a country. These factors must be taken into consideration when applying eyeshadow or eyeliner on an Asian eye.

My point in showing the eye charts and pictures is to demonstrate that the depiction of the ‘Asian eye’ is incorrect and it is not fair to simply wave Asians off with a one-size-fits-all eye type.

Therefore, how Asians apply eyeshadow will be different from Caucasians, and different types of Asian eye will require different eyeshadow placement.


Are you saying that an Asian eye is similar to a Caucasian eye?

Yes. And NO!

The out-dated eye charts display an array of eye types – wide set, deep set, close set, almond, hooded, down turned, protruding, round small – and then the infamous ‘Asian eye’. You mean they don’t know that Asians have those eye types too? Aren’t eye shapes and sizes just… shapes and sizes? If the shapes and sizes apply to both Caucasian AND Asian eyes, why must there be as isolated ‘Asian eye’ then?

They should’ve just shown,



and we’d be all pissed off because, just like Caucasian Eyes don’t mean anything to a Caucasian, Asian Eyes don’t mean no nothing to an Asian either.

Yougetwhatimean?  =)

Since the eye shapes and sizes of both Caucasians and Asians are the same,

Since not all Asians have slanted eyes,

Since not all Asians have epicanthal folds,


What makes an Asian eye different from a Caucasian eye then?

The crease and the eyelids, yo!

Now that you know there is more to an ‘Asian eye’ seen in magazines, how many types exactly are there? Just so you know, 50% of the Asian population have a crease while the other half don’t. If anything, I believe the Asian eye has an even more complex structure and poses a greater challenge to a makeup artist than a Caucasian one.

The additional underlying layer of fatty tissue and thicker skin of Asian eyelid not found in Caucasian eyelids prevents the formation of a lid crease on 50% of the Asian population. Lids that are crease-free are called monolids. There are some really interesting facts about the anatomical differences of Asian and Caucasian eyes. So, like I mentioned earlier, people who go for double eyelid surgery do so not to ‘westernize’ their eyes, but to look more like the other 50% of the Asian population who do have double eyelids.

I created a simple mindmap to show the similarities and differences between an Asian eye and a Caucasian eye.


[Click to see larger image]


You can see that the ‘Asian Eye’ has an additional eye shape – Phoenix eye, which is a beautiful eye shape named so because it resembles the eye of the mythical phoenix. And there’s a whole new category for the types of Eyelids as well, something that Caucasian Eyes do not have.

In my next post, I will write about eye makeup tips for different types of Asian eyes.


Where is the mysterious Asian crease?

For the 50% of Asians who do have a crease, it is commonly referred to as ‘double eyelids’ instead of ‘crease’. The crease is where the double eyelid fold stops. For most Caucasian eyes, the crease and contour of the eye coincide.

Therefore when Caucasian makeup gurus instruct to ‘place the darkest shade on the crease’, they really mean ‘I actually mean to tell you to place the darkest shade on the contour of the eye socket. But I don’t say it just because my crease and contour coincide’. LOL. I took a long, long time to finally understand this by myself.


Where is the Asian contour area then?

Regardless of whether you have a crease or not, your contour area lies above the crease and you CAN apply contour shade even if you have monolids. Some have a more obvious contour area than others as well.

You can try raising your head and looking down to see it. If you still cannot see it, feel it. Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush like the MAC #217 and push the outer corner of the eyelid into the socket. Gently, please. There, my friend, is where you ‘place the darkest shade’ on an Asian eye. =)

Click on the picture below to read ‘Where to apply contour eyeshadow color on an Asian eye‘.

So you see, there is more to Asian eyes than the outrageously homogenous perception of ‘Asian Eye’. I’m not offended that all Asian eyes are generalized under one eye type; I find it rather funny actually, to see how people perceive how an ‘Asian eye’ should look. I remember vividly the ending picture in Harold and Kumar Go To Whitecastle. It was a picture of the stereotypical Chinese man (yellow skin, thin slit slanted eyes, 2 strokes as mustache, wearing a straw hat) and Indian man (dark skin, big eyes, thick beard, super white teeth). Super hilarious.

While most makeup artists learn from the standard charts such as those above, I think it is high time that more artists realize there is more to a standard ‘Asian eye’ than a slant, epicanthal folds, and monolids (or high crease as in the Eye Chart #1). Beauty bloggers who do a great job with eyeshadow tutorials for Asian eyes are Jen (from Korea) frmheadtotoe, Connie (from Malaysia) skindeco, and Nikki (Philippines) askmewhats.

My intention of writing this post is to share with all Asian girls that it is okie to not look like the makeup bloggers or vloggers, even if you’ve used everything they used, because we are, after all, genetically different. Embrace what you have, know where your crease and contour area are, learn how to use the right makeup brushes, work on the technique, and let your true Asian beauty shine.