For the longest time, I hated my narrow, mono-lidded eyes. I felt that there was nothing distinctive about them. It doesn’t help that round eyes and double lids are highly coveted here in East Asia. Even my guy friends and people I dated would go on and on about their preference for double lids and huge eyes because they’re a rarity amongst Asian girls. Because of their eye shape, these girls were special, while I was common and forgettable.
Over time, I started feeling better about myself, but I only really snapped of it after seeing a picture of top model Liu Wen, Estee Lauder’s first Asian face and the first East Asian woman to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Look at the image above. Are you noticing what I’m noticing?
That’s right, this fierce fashion pioneer not only has single eyelids, she has a makeup team that emphasizes her monolids instead of hiding them. No false eyelashes, eyelid glue or eyelid tape required. How refreshing, considering that most monolid tutorials I’ve come across teach you to give yourself a multiple super-noticeable eyelids instead of rocking your natural one. I don’t know about you, but I hate wearing falsies and eyelash glue during the daytime. My face looks overdone and the heavy feeling on my eyelids makes me feel even sleepier than I already am in the morning.
Without meaning to copy her look, I’ve realized that my everyday makeup looks more or less like Liu Wen’s in this photo. I’m no professional beauty guru, so it’s nice to know that my method isn’t completely out there. Want to copy it for daytime? Here’s how:
Amazing Concealer in Light Golden
Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer
Benefit 10 Highlighter/Bronzer (optional)
NARS Orgasm (optional)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden (unlike the original formula, this one can double nicely as an eyelid highlighter/concealer)
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
Too Faced Glamour to Go Palette
L’Oreal Paris Colour Juice Sheer Juicy Lip Gloss in Passion Fruit Squeeze 230
I can’t believe I’m actually putting this on the internet, but here I am sans makeup. My face is clean, moisturized, and a little puffy from working the graveyard shift every day. Technically, I do have a (very small) second eyelid, but since it’s tucked in I might as well identify as a monolid.
Even though I’m happy with my eyelids now, I still don’t think my eyes are the most distinctive part of my face. If you feel the same way about yours, look at what else you have to work with and understand that they all factor into your lovely visage. I have fairly clear skin, full lips, strong eyebrows and an oval face shape to play with, so eyes aren’t a total dealmaker or dealbreaker for me.
As you can tell in this photo, the number one way I can enhance my eyes is by making them look less tired. Even when I’m well-rested, my eyes have a tendency to look harsh, so I’m going soften them up.
….Liu Wen without makeup, just for reassurance that women look fine without makeup, we’re just conditioned into thinking we have to wear it all the time. BUT ANYWAY.
BAM. MAKEUP. This entire look can be achieved in under 10 minutes. The flash washes me out a bit, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Slap some primer on your face for a smooth finish, and then highlight your eyes like crazy. Applying concealer in the under-eye area and UDPP on my upper eyelids makes me look younger. As you can tell, my eyes are still obviously mono-lidded. The difference is that they look more alert.
If you have hooded eyes or monolids, you’ll want to give your eyes an upward lift. Keep the following tips in mind as you do your makeup, and you’ll notice that they’ll will go from narrow to elegantly almond-shaped:
1. Grow out your eyebrows. It seems counter-intuitive to maintain prominent brows when you have small eyes, but trust me, you’ll look a lot more youthful with strong brows than you will with overplucked ones. Just look at Liu Wen’s photos above for reference. The brows give her face some personality. I didn’t fill in my brows this time, but I did use some light-colored eyeshadow to emphasize the arches.
2. Apply dark eyeshadow on the outer corners. Use light pink or a shimmery beige in the middle
4. Pack on eyeliner and mascara to give extra dimension. I draw a thick line on my upper eyelid and a thinner one across 2/3 of my bottom lash line (drawing it all the way across makes my eyes look pretty small).
5. Use white or gold on the inner corners. Again, the trick here is to make your narrow eyes look bright and awake. My eyes are so small that by default, I look like I’m asleep.
Here’s the look in natural daylight, minus the camera flash. If you know how to work your monolids, they can actually give you the gentle, unassuming look commonly associated with huge eyes.
But if you’re not the gentle or unassuming type, your monolids will also help you look fierce as hell.
Do you have monolids? Are you happy with them? I hope these makeup tips were helpful to all my single-eyelid sisters!