I have received a few questions lately about what parts of the eye are which, and I thought it would be a good time to re-post this diagram I made last year that I hope is helpful. I always call out where I put each product for every look (because unfortunately, I don’t have time to do a tutorial every time), and when I do, I use the same names for each part of the eye that it is applied to.
Brow Bone/Highlight: Generally, a lighter color will be applied to this area; it may be something that has undertones of bolder colors used on the lid, or it may simply be similar to your skintone. For example, say I do a predominantly green look, I might turn to MAC’s Gorgeous Gold eyeshadow as a highlight color because it will bring out the greens and still allow the color to taper off. Some of my favorite highlight colors are Ricepaper and Shroom.
Above Crease: This is my “blend out” area. There is strong color on the lid and the crease many times, and that strong color needs to be diffused as it moves it way upwards towards the brow. The best way to think about it is as a gradient, going from dark to light, starting on the lid moving towards the brow. Sometimes I use a lighter color than the one I used on my lid to help fade the color upwards, other times I may use the same color I chose for a highlight.
Outer Crease: Luckily my eye was lookin’ a bit tired, because you can really make out the “crease,” which is that fold of skin/wrinkle-like detail you can see. It extends from the beginning of your eye (inside) to the end of your eye (the outside). Most often I deposit color in the outer crease, but sometimes I do bring it inward a touch, more to the “middle” of the crease. I rarely go for darkening the entire length of my crease. A great universal crease color is Carbon, if used lightly, it can darken any look instantly. Soft Brown is also a nice, subtler shade.
Inner Lid: I mentally slice my eyelid into three parts–basically into thirds. There is the inner, middle, and outer thirds. In many looks you will see, a lighter color is put on the inner lid relative to the rest of the colors found on the lid.
Middle of Lid: This is the middle third of the eyelid, and since I typically do similar styles in my looks, this is where a “medium” color in terms of darkness would go. Light, medium, dark is a good way to think of how I deposit and choose what colors go where on the lid. On occasion, I might go medium, light, dark, but not nearly as frequently as I do the former.
Outer Lid: This is the outer third of the eyelid, and this is usually where I put the darkest lid color. Sometimes I will darken the very outermost portion of it (say you split the outer lid third into half, so then it’d be the outer half or the outer sixth of the entire lid) with the same color I would put in my crease.
Upper Lash Line: It is not explicitly labeled in this diagram, but it is where your upper lashes (generally the longest ones, the ones that come from your eyelid) meet your eyelid. This is the actual upper lash line. When lining the upper lash line, many create thicker lines than the natural upper lash line, but the concept is still there.
Upper Waterline: The upper waterline is also not explicitly labeled, but it can be found directly underneath your upper lashes. If you looked up, you would see a tiny bit of space, much like your lower line, and some people line this as well. It is called tightlining, for your reference.
Lower Waterline: The lower waterline is sometimes called the lower rim, because it is essentially the bottom rim of your eye. There are dozens of people who cannot put product on their waterline due to sensitivity, and many others who struggle to find a product that does not fade or dissolve because of the waterline (and the fact that it is…watery!). For those looking for longer lasting products, I know many use gel liners, fluidliners, and some even use liquidlast liners.
Inner Lower Lash Line: Not everyone likes to put color on the lower lash line, which is space directly below the lower waterline. Some prefer just a thin line of eyeliner that expands across both the inner and outer lower lash lines. I often use the 219 brush to apply pops of color; usually, a lighter color that is similar to the colors used on the lids is applied to the inner lower lash line.
Outer Lower Lash Line: Similarly to the inner lower lash line, I again apply a thin line of color using the 219 to the outer lower lash line. There are times where I might even split the lower lash line into thirds, and it just means that there is a middle part of the lower lash line for application. When it comes to smoky eyes, to “smoke out” the look, one applies a darker color to the outer lower lash line or goes for thicker eyeliner and smudges it out around the outer lower lash line.
Upper Lashes: They are not labeled, but I do hope that the majority know where to find these (though explained earlier!). Most makeup users will apply at least one coat of mascara in either brown or black. Brown mascara is more natural and less dramatic, while black can still be natural, but too many coats or using an amplifing mascara will give you dramatic lashes (but hey, I always want these, so there’s no shame in never going au natural on the lashes!). I look up and bring the wand closest to the roots of the lashes and comb it upwards. Sometimes I wiggle, sometimes I turn the brush as I move upwards – it just depends on the mascara.
Lower Lashes: These are the shorter lashes found beneath your eyeball. I always like to give them a quick coat of mascara after I finish doing my upper lashes, because then they’re blacker and stand out a touch. The best way I’ve found to apply mascara to the lower lashes is to use a mascara wand that is not huge and burly – it is a small space, and why do you want to get mascara all over your face? Since I do not even need a super duper mascara, I may use a lesser, but still black, mascara to coat them. Look up and lightly tap the mascara wand to the lashes. I usually just move the wand from side to side, rather than up and down like my upper lashes because I find it coats them to deepen color, slightly lengthen, and that’s all I need.