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


Now 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 the Outer 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? 😀


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 V and 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! 😀

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.

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

I almost never feel like my eye makeup is complete without defining the Outer V.

Alright! I hope you guys have come to understand more about the Outer V. I know this tutorial is the most technical one so far. I’ve tried my best to break it down to bite sized pieces. I had to swallow it whole and choked on it when I first learned about the Outer V. The tutorials out there don’t work too well for my eye, so I hope mine will help more Asian girls, or those with hooded lids.

In the next episode of this series, we will look into Defining the Contour Area!


Get NYX Single Eyeshadow in Rust (I LOVE this color!)

Get NYX Single Eyeshadow in Mermaid Green (Great dupe for MAC Humid!)

Get the Urban Decay Naked Palette (Darkhorse is 5th from right; it looks a lot darker than this actually)

Get MAC 219 Pencil Brush

Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes 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


You will also like:

About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

  • Sunny

    Oh my God, you definitely outdid yourself with this post! I’ve always found the outer V area very tricky. I know that theoretically you draw a little c on the outer corner of your eyes, but I always find it a bit unnatural and too dark. Now I know the secret is doing it at the right angle, picking a color that’s not crazy dark, and a lot of blending (and I do own 217 for the job)! It makes SUCH a big difference on your eyes that I can’t wait to try this out on mine (though my eyes are typical monolidded Asian eyes. They’re not heavily hooded though)! Really can’t wait to see your upcoming posts!

    PS: your geisha posts are disturbing. SO disturbing that I didn’t want to leave any comments lol

    • Bun Bun

      HAHAHA! I really LOL-ed when I read your PS. Thank you for saying that, coz it means I did a convincing job! Heh heh.

      Your summary for the points in this post is spot on! Hope that this method will bring magic to your eyes. It’s very addictive. Haha

      PS: Your Caramel Apple Cake looks amazing. *drools*

  • A.T.

    Lovely looks. :)

    I’m still working up my courage to wear colors outside the browns/tans/greys and whites theme, and I do manage it on occasion (Yay!) but part of my hesitance is that I’m not quite getting the looks I want with them – which I suspect is a matter of technique. Thanks for these tips – looks like I need to aim higher than I have been for my V!

    • Bun Bun

      You know what, A.T, today I did a neutral eyeshadows look, but with a twist — I used a blue eyeliner. And it did make the eye makeup stand out! I’d think it looked even more alluring than a standard black/brown eyeliner. You should try it some time! It’s a small step towards reaching out to bright, bold colors! =D

      • A.T.

        I have a very small stash of colorful liners – some electric blue, some rose, and some velvety purples. I sneak them in every so often (well, once or twice =x). I have a sparkling emerald green, but it’s sooo sparkly – gorgeous, but I look at myself and go EEK! The others aren’t sparkly, so I’ve managed to wear them out of the house happily.

        Definitely time to buckle down and work that green into my day. You’re definitely inspiring me to be more adventurous. XD

        • Bun Bun

          Why ‘EEK!’ at the emerald green when it’s so gorgeous? XD Maybe you could try pairing it with brown or neutral eyeshadow colors so that it doesn’t look like everything’s grabbing for attention?

  • a!kO

    I have that NYX color in Rust too and I love it 😀 I love all your looks and your tutorials always help!! I have been trying to find my outer V, I am not there yet but I’ll keep trying! Thanks for this tutorial 😀 Really helpful. I love your blending too…OMG I think to summarize that, I LOVE YOU! XD hehehehe…. nothing weird or anything 😛 I love the bold colors look too. Stunning!! OK I’m gonna stop now.


    • Bun Bun

      HAHAHA! You are so funny my dear!

      I hope you find your Outer V soon! Just find it once, and you will be able to use it for life. Haha!

      • a!kO

        Haha I hope it is not too weird 😛 Yeah the outer V is running away from me 😛 but I gotta find it sooner or later. I want to be able to use it for life 😉 I think I just need to invest in some brushes especially some pencil brush 😀 Keep doing posts like this, I love it! :)


  • MereMakeupManiac

    wow great tutorial post! are you sure you’re really an expert? lol you do these makeup thing effortlessly! thanks for sharing!

    • Bun Bun

      You mean

      are you sure you’re really an expert?


      are you sure you’re NOT really an expert?


      Anyhowz, nope, I’m quite sure I’m not an expert in any way. These makeup tips and tutorials were written based on my personal experience, learning from blogs and videos, and trying them out myself. I especially love this Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series because well, they’re more tailored for the Asian eye, as compared to the countless tutorials out there made by Caucasians for the Caucasian eye. I hope to help as many people as possible with what I learnt and picked up myself, so that they don’t have to go through the same frustrations I did when I first started out.

      I’m very glad you like them too! 😀

      • MereMakeupManiac

        darn it, i missed the NOT lol! but yeah, you’re right. we need more asian-catered tutorials! go go go! (^_^)

  • Sunny

    Hey Bun Bun,

    So I experimented a bit with the outer V thing and gave you credit for my FOTD! I’m not entirely sure my attempt was a success, but if you have time you could check my post out and see if you might have some other tips to share :)

    Still looking forward to seeing the rest of this series!

    Sunny 😉

    • Bun Bun

      Hey Sunny! I can’t really see the eye makeup clearly coz the picture was taken quite far away. More close up next time, maybe?

      Anyhow, I’m glad you attempted the Outer V! WOOHOO!! Good job for a first attempt! Haha about the Creep vs Darkhorse issue… well, I personally don’t like Creep on my Outer V that much coz I find that it looks kinda flat even though it has shimmer! It just doesn’t make a good Outer V color as compared to Darkhorse. I can easily go from subtle to dramatic with Darkhorse. Personal preference, I guess!

  • Teemetric

    Very gorgeous blending! I have heavily hooded lids with almost zero space below the fold lol. I’ll try your tips and really need a pencil brush in my collection!

    • Bun Bun

      Hey Teemetric! Thanks! Blending is really not too difficult once you get the hang of it. =) Yeah, a pencil brush is quite essential. It makes creating the Outer V much easier, and also can be used on the lower lash line.

  • hautepinkpretty

    LOVE this tutorial!!
    Xox <3 An
    Enter my giveaway for a pair of Buffalo Skinny Jeans :)

    • Bun Bun

      Thank you hautepinkpretty! =D

  • kate

    Hey! Great diagrams! I’m really loving this series. They are really helpful, thanks!
    Could you next do some eyeliner tips for single eyelids? Perhaps snag a monolidded friend to be the model? I am wondering if there’s a way to do eyeliner that isn’t: 1) paint a fat thick line 2) open eyes 3) entire line disappears 4) close eyes, line looks way too harsh.

    • Bun Bun

      Hahaha! I absolutely understand what your 1,2,3,4 outcome looks like! My best girl friend experiences that all the time!

      I think an eyeliner series is a good idea! It’s been in my mind for a while, but you know, sometimes I just need a little push. Lol.

      One thing I’d like to let you know is that 1,2,3 will still occur, but I can help with 4, which is to make the line look less harsh, and look more like blended with eyeshadow. =)

  • Linda

    HI!! Thank you sooo much for your eyeshadow tutorial series. I’m 23 and started experimenting with eyeshadow again 2 weeks ago (UD Naked palette was purchased just last week LOL) since I am now in grad school in an professional field. I absolutely need to wear makeup in order to look older.

    Over the years, my experiments kept resulting in complete failure bc I couldn’t figure out where to put the colors. I have a very prominent double eyelid and most asian makeup tutorials are geared towards monolids, hooded lids, and small folds. My eyes look exactly like yours except my crease/fold coincides with my socket line. So when I draw the outer V, should I connect the 2nd stroke with my socket like you did or should i draw it slightly higher up?

    Again, I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your tutorials. *virtual hugs* lol

    • Bun Bun

      Ooooh somebody got NAKED! Yums! Lol. How are you liking it so far? When I first laid my hands on it I pretty much felt that my world was complete. Lol.

      If your fold coincides with your socket line, your eye structure is pretty much like the Caucasian eye. You can go for very bold looks, babe! As for the Outer V second stroke, you can afford to draw it on your socket line since it coincides with the fold, which in your case, is ALSO your crease. Then you can blend it out so that some color goes smoothly beyond the fold.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you need more coz I’m really trying hard to just imagine how your eye looks like – mine + somewhat like a Caucasian eye. Haha

      And thank you for the hug. *hugs back* :)

  • sharon

    Hi Bun Bun, very good makeup tips for asian eyes. I have the same eye shape as you and iIhave never believed in doing crazy crease thingy like the caucasians do. I find that that would be too much work and too dramatic for my personal preference. I find that your post has proven my instincts to be right :) I prefer the horizontal gradient anytime but would introduce some darker colour to the outer v so there is definition or use a pencil eyeliner ( I am horrible with liquid eyeliner pens no matter how thin the tip) to line upwards near the outer corners of my eyes so they look more awake, if that makes sense :) Kudos on the details and effort in putting in the blog posts! Happy 2012 :)

    • Bun Bun

      Thanks sharon, and welcome to my blog! 😀

      I’m glad your instincts have served you well, and you know that the crease thing is just not right for all of us. I like to do what you mentioned too – Horizontal Gradient + Outer V definition.

      Asian eyes are really pretty and I really hope that more girls can have faith in themselves that they can get eye makeup right. Many of my girlfriends used to give up and prefer not to wear any eye makeup because they think they just can’t do it. But they have become more confident in applying makeup ever since I shared with them makeup techniques suitable for their eye shapes and that there is no one-size-fits-all eye makeup method.

      Happy new year to you too! =)

  • Katelyn Tuyet Vy

    Hi I was just google about asian eye makeup and came into your site. It’s amazing, I’m a newbie in makeup, and I have a hard time with eye makeup for my asian eyes, I watched tons of tutorial but never seem to do it right. Thank you so much for your blog and tutorial, I’m waiting for my supplies, once I have it all, I will follow your instruction, hopefully I can do it this time.Thank you again, please continue do part 5 of the tutorial.

    • Bun Bun

      Thanks for leaving a comment Katelyn, and welcome to my blog! 😀

      I’m glad you found my tutorials useful. Makes me really happy to know that people benefit from them! =)

  • Melissa

    Hey! Just wanted to say that I stumbled upon your website, and i’m so glad I did! Defining the contour area and the outer V really helped out, because i always had such a miserable time trying to blend colors together without looking like one giant mess. I have an eye shape similar to yours, so i had a really difficult time finding tutorials that weren’t for monolids….Already after looking at your website, i’ve gotten a bit better with my make up.

    Eventually I wanna start really playing with colors, and I love all of the the colors you’ve picked out with your different looks.

    I do have a couple questions though. Any recommendations on blending brushes? I have a lot of flat eyeshadow brushes, but i realized not a lot of decent blending brushes. Also, have you ever considered posting video tutorials? The picture breakdowns are wonderful, but I think videos would also be a wonderful addition.

    Thanks again! Can’t wait to see more posts!

    P.S. I read another comment and I totally second the idea of an eyeliner series!

    • Bun Bun

      I definitely know ‘one giant mess’. I had my fair share of those too. Lol!

      A blending brush is a very, if not the most, important tool to achieving a well-blended and balanced eye makeup look. It is rather hard, though not impossible, to use flat eyeshadow brushes or sponge applicators to eliminate harsh lines. It just takes less time and gives better results with a good blending brush. Invest in a good one, trust me, you will not look back. Where do you live? If you have a CVS near you, get the Duo Crease Brush pack. If you don’t, I’d strongly recommend a MAC 217. I use that all the time, so the hefty price tag is well worth it.

      Hmmm… as for video tutorials… many readers have requested I do them, but you know, videos involve a whole set of concerns. Filming, editing, music selection, uploading… And if it’s on Youtube, I won’t have management rights over comments. And then I’ll also have to worry about number of views, subscribers…. Gosh! Listing down all these makes me even more determined to shelve the idea! XD

      Hahaha, yes, yes, eyeliner series.. Gotta start thinking about it! In the meantime, I’ve another set of tutorials coming up! Stay tuned!

      Thanks for the support, Melissa! Hope to see you around! 😀

  • lisa

    Hi BunBun, just discovered your site while looking for recommended neutral palettes for asian eyes.
    Anyhow, am happy I found you and thanks for such a great series on asian eyes, I can see the great amount of work you’ve put into it!

    • Bun Bun

      Hi lisa! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. 😀 I’m happy to have a new reader and that you liked my Asian Eyeshadow Tutorial series! Did you manage to find what you were looking for?

  • wheespree

    hi!! i just discovered your blog, and i’m wondering why the heck i haven’t come across it earlier.. it’s a god send! i’ve always been confused about eyeshadow placement, especially since most of the videos on youtube feature caucasian eyes.. 
    super love the tips and pictures and ALL THE EFFORT you’ve put into clarifying things for us! this article definitely lit a lightbulb in my head, and i’m gonna try this technique out!!
    HUGE THANK YOU!!!! 😀 <3

    • BunBunMakeupTips

      @wheespree Omg thank you for the LOVE!!! It makes me so happy when my readers tell me my posts have helped them in one way or another. Thank you for telling me that! Hope you can have more fun with eye makeup from now on! Keep me updated! =)

  • nahdiya

    God, i always wonder why i couldn’t see any colors when i put “the outer V” on the crease, like the youtube guru said (thanks, michelle). Then, i saw her eyelid is completely different from me. She has almost like western double eyelid, me have tapered eyelid crease (blah). I was almost desperate to crawl for eyelid tape. Thank you so much for sharing this nice info! Keep blogging. 😀

  • claudiachow10

    I can’t believe I haven’t come across your blog sooner! I have slightly hooded and tapered asian eye and I can never make the outer V look right on me (based on Youtube tutorials)! Thank you so much for this, it definitely helped a lot!