Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

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, the Crease of the Asian eye merely defines the Fold of the eyelid. If you have a Fold, 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!


Tutorial: Where to Apply Contour Eyeshadow Color on an Asian Eye

When I first started watching videos and reading blogs on how to apply makeup, especially eyeshadow, I always heard/read that we should place the darkest colors on the crease. I obediently followed.

And looked awful. Haha!

As the crease and contour area differ between Asians and Caucasians due to bone structure dissimilarities, eye makeup techniques for Asians and Caucasians must also differ.

While the crease and contour area of a Caucasian eye coincide, the Asian eye’s contour area is not as obvious. A less pronounced orbital rim and additional layer of fat under the skin prevents the formation of a lid crease in 50% of Asians. For those with a lid crease, a term we call ‘double eyelids’, the contour area is also not as apparent as in a Caucasian eye.

It is, therefore, important to know where your contour area, and not the crease per se, is to create the perception of more deep-set eyes with a darker eyeshadow color.

I have double eyelids (what Western makeup artists call ‘crease’),

but if I were to place the darkest color on my ‘crease’, and open my eyes, I would look like I didn’t apply anything there at all.


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.


Crease and Contour Eyeshadow: Asian Eyes VS Caucasian Eyes

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. Western Asians (Middle East) and Southern Asians (Pakistan, India, etc) have anatomical traits more similar to those of Westerners.

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!