how to apply eyeshadow chart

How to apply eyeshadow and eye makeup diagram

This post will help you decide where to apply eyeshadow. This diagram shows some common places you can apply eyeshadow. It should also help you to understand the terminology used in tutorials (both video and pictorial). These are the areas that indicate where and how a product was applied in a tutorial on makeup.

Check out my top brushes for eyeshadow for more information. It shares my current favorites for applying eyeshadow to different areas and when using different formulas (for example powder vs. crème).

Let’s now look at the what and whereabouts of an average eye look.

Inner Tearduct/Inner Corner – This is the space between the bridge of your nose and the inner part of the lid. This area is often used to brighten the eyes and make them appear larger. Often, metallic colors are used. It can be used to highlight the brow bone, but it could also be used for something else. This is often a great place to add sparkle or glitter.

Inner/Middle/Outer: The lid can be broken up into as many or few pieces as you like, depending on your style. The lid can be colored all around, except for the outer lid/very outside corner (where the lash line meets). I like to use two to three colors on my lid so I often separate it into three sections: inner, middle, and outer.

You’ll sometimes see a reference to ” outer,” which refers to the edge of the upper eyelash line into the deep, sideways “V” shape. (The outer lid/crease region in this and This are two examples for defining the “outer V.”)

A gradient is commonplace: you apply the lighter shade to your inner lid, the medium shade to your middle lid, and the darker shade to your outer lid. To create a halo effect apply the lightest shade to your inner lid. Then, flank the outer and inner portions of the lids with a medium shade or dark shade. You can make really fancy by using dark shades in the outermost and innermost parts of the lid. Then, use a medium shade to diffuse the light and dark shades in the halo placement.

A cut crease is another type of placement. This is when one applies concealer or cream eyeshadow to the entire lid, leaving a visible edge at the crease. Some people use more than one color in the crease. Others place one on 1/3 of the crease while others just use one on the outer corner. It’s easy to get makeup off so play with your placements and let go of the rules.

The fourth placement is horizontal rather than vertical. Each shade would run from the inner to the outer lid, but not all of it. You could use the darkest shade to cover the upper lashes, then fade to the lightest at your brow bone. Or, you can use a light shade that covers the entire lid and blends to the brow bone.

I have seen this placement for monolids. It might require thicker or stronger eyeliners, which may result in a more natural look. FutilitiesMore and Hana Le have some great tutorials on monolids. Rae is also a great source of inspiration.

Crease – This is the part of the crease that is slightly sunken at the junction of the lid and the space above it. This area can be divided into Creases or Deep creases. The latter is the darkest and most hidden part of the crease. To diffuse the darker shade, I usually use the darkest shade and look at the deep crease.

Applying a lighter, more flexible shade to the crease can make it easier to blend the deeper shade.

Above Crease – Just as the lid goes from light to dark, so does the crease. It runs from the deepest part towards the brow bone. To create a gradient, many people use a transition shade above or in the crease to diffuse and fade color towards the brow bone.

Brow bone: This is the area under the brow. It is usually highlighted with a matte or shimmer color. You can choose from a flesh tone to something lighter or brighter than your natural skin tone. As certain looks work well with a light, simple beige, I switch the shade of my brow bone highlighter based on what I am doing. Others need something more intense, cooler, or less shimmery.


  • Upper Lash Line
  • This is the area directly above the upper eyelashes (the ones that extend beyond the mobile lid). For those who apply eyeliner to the lid, this is where it is most commonly found.
  • Upper Waterline
  • This is the area just below the upper lashes. It’s easiest to visualize by first knowing the lower waterline, which is more obvious and then looking up in a mirror to see the upper waterline. This is the narrow, thin area below the lashes. If you lift your mobile lid slightly, it will be easier to see (often a bit watery). This area can be dotted with eyeliner or tightline. Some people prefer to fill in the gaps between the upper and lower lashes. The upper rim is also known as the waterline.
  • Lower Lash Line:
  • This is the area just below the lower lashes. This is where you can apply eyeliner (just below your lower waterline; see below), as well as eyeshadow. You’ll need small pencil brushes if you are applying eyeshadow.
  • Lower Waterline
  • This is the area between your lower lashes. It can also be called the lower rim, or bottom rim of the eye. You can use eyeliner along the waterline. However, it is not recommended for everyone.

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