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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)