Despite the fact that it’s impossible to generalize “Asian eyes” in a single word, monolids seem to be one of the traits most commonly associated with them. Monolids are characterized by the lack of a prominent crease, and monolidded eyes are usually more almond shaped than round.
I remember thinking how unfair it was as a child that I ended up with my father’s monolidded eyes, while my mother and one of my brothers have a prominent crease. It took me years to see how both were beautiful in their own way, and now my monolids aren’t something I try to work around, but something I enjoy working with!
Sure, round eyes with pronounced creases are beautiful, but so are almond-shaped eyes without a crease.
My naked eye
Now, I know that it’s also impossible to generalize even among people with monolids, as there are different shapes and techniques, and people will sometimes prefer one method over another. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you like and feel comfortable with.
Nowadays, there are even eyelid tapes and glues available to create a crease, if you think it helps you apply makeup, and some even find that applying false lashes gives their eyelids a fold.
In general, I don’t believe in hard and fast rules when it comes to makeup, and I think you should do whatever you’re most comfortable with. The following tips are just some things that have worked well for me.
I know that many readers who come across this post might not have monolids themselves, but why not keep these tips in mind for a friend who does?
The MAC 217 Blending Brush
Tip 1: Blend, blend, blend!
As important as blending is when it comes to eyeshadow application, I think it’s even more important for those of us with monolids, because we lack a natural demarcation between our eyes and brow bones, so if we apply a patch of color right on top of our eyes without blending, it can look a bit unnatural.
In the picture below, I’m wearing Urban Decay Verve on the inner half of my eye and Busted on the outer. Personally, I think that once the eyeshadows have been blended, they appear more natural, and add more dimension to the look than a simple patch of color.
Tip 2: (Don’t) work it into your crease
If you don’t have one, why fight it? I know that dramatic cut-crease looks are gorgeous on our double-lidded counterparts, but if we’re not careful, they can easily look overdone, and dare I say it, a little fake.
While it’s not impossible to emphasize the outer v and bring a bit of the color into our (imaginary) crease, I try to do it with an easily blendable color using a blending brush instead of a pencil brush; otherwise, it can take a looong time to blend the harsh line out afterwards!
Defined outer v
Here, I dipped the tip of my MAC 217 Blending Brush into Urban Decay Blackout and used that to define my outer v. This step is entirely optional, and I rarely do it (or seldom use a shade as dark as Blackout; luckily, it is very blendable). I think it does show, however, that it is possible to define your outer v with the right kind of brush and a light hand, without “working it into your crease.”
Tip 3: Walk the line
Good news for monolidders! Not only does eyeliner give your eyes amazing definition, you can usually get away with using more than our counterparts with a prominent crease!
For my lower lash lines, I use either a gel liner or a pencil, but for my upper lash lines, I only use gels, because once they’re on, they’re loyal till the end! You can also tightline with them, lining right on the lash line to fill in the gaps, making your lashes appear more voluminous, which already makes quite a difference.
You can also make a little wing to give your eyes more oomph!
Here’s a trick I use often: I’ll line my lower lash lines first. That way, I know where the angle of my upper lash line should go. If you look at this picture, you can see where I’ve already made a little indicator of where the angle of my upper lash line should go.
May I recommend the Bdellium Tools 760 Liner/Brow Brush (shown above on the right)? It has the precision of a pointed eyeliner brush and draws the clean lines of an angled eyeliner brush.
If you’re looking for more drama, you can drag it out, or make the line really thick at the outer corner. But for everyday looks, I find this sufficient. I personally prefer to restrict the line only to my lash line for the inner half, and drag it up as I go towards the outer corner.
Also, if you want your eyes to look more open, stop short of lining your lower lash line all the way in, which can have the opposite effect. I start lining my lower lash line where I can actually see some lashes. Right at the inner corners of my eyes the lashes are tiny, and that’s the part I leave alone.
I also like to smudge some eyeshadow over my lower lash line, not only to soften it down, but also because I think it helps pencil liner stay put (see the pictures in the next step). If you’re new to gel liner, I highly recommend you go over the line with an eyeshadow as well. That way, even if your line isn’t perfect, you’ll still be able to get away with it!
The MAC 219 Pencil Brush
Tip 4: Let there be light! — in those inner corners
Especially when you aren’t using a light, shimmery shade on the inner half of your lids, highlighting the inner corners really opens up the eyes. It makes a big difference! And I love my pencil brush for this, as my inner corners are quite small. The MAC 219 makes this kind of detailed work a cinch.
Highlighted inner corners
Also, remember that part of my lower lash line I left unlined? Putting a bit of your highlighter shade there will make your eyes appear rounder and more opened-up!
Tip 5: Make waterproof mascara your new best friend
Waterproof mascara isn’t perfect. It can be a hassle to remove, and some of them leave lashes stiff and crunchy, but from my experience they’re generally much better at holding the curl than non-waterproof varieties. A good tube of curl-holding mascara can make all the difference in the world for monolidded eyes. It opens them up like nothing else!
The finished look!
It’s probably the tip here that makes the BIGGEST difference. I feel that even if I do nothing else in the morning, curling my eyelashes makes me look more awake, and if you want your eyelashes to stand at attention all day long, waterproof mascaras are a great bet.
Well, I hope you found something useful among these tips! If you have any other tips to share, please leave a comment, as the discussion is likely to benefit many others looking for monolid makeup tips.
Last but not least, remember, we’re all beautiful in our own way.
Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx