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Asian Eye Anatomy for Eyeshadow Application

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*


I figured since I have brain constipation (aka writer's block), I would do an anal retentive post on the anatomy of the Asian eye.  As a beauty blog, ironically my most popular posts have nothing to do with beauty but with the differences or the comparisons and explanations of Asian eyes to occidental or Caucasian eyes.  Therefore, since people just can't get enough of those posts, I figured why not do one for the makeup junkie.  Although this post shows the eyeshadow application on the Asian eye shape, it really is for all eye shapes.

As mentioned in my posts about Asian eye anatomy, the anatomical structure and muscular structure is the same.  The differences are the depth created by the muscles and the layer of fat on the Asian lid (that is on most Asians) which is why there is no distinction of the orbital ridge. 

Different Asian Eyes


Here you can see 3 variety of Asian eyes.  Jessica with a slight indent at the orbital ridge; Susan has monolids or the lid of the eyes fold under.  Then, you have me--old eyes! See how these compare to Lola's and Kim's.

Non-Asian Eyes


Lola has what I call the all-around eye shape where you can easily divide the eye area into 3: lid, orbital ridge/crease and brow bone.  Kim has hooded eyes.  Many Asian eyes are also called hooded eyes.  Me, I just call mine pillow eyes because I have that soft layer of fat on them making them pillowy soft!  Joking aside, like I mentioned what makes Kim's hooded eyes different from Asian hooded eyes is the crease.  Kim has a hidden crease but she still has an orbital ridge that slopes more than an Asian eye.  Thus, hiding the crease when her eyes are open.  Asians have an almost flat slope or a very narrow slope when it comes to the orbital ridge.

Now, that I have made crickets chirp in your brain, let me simplify this by showing you visually in different colors the anatomy of the Asian eye for eyeshadow application while comparing it to the occidental (Caucasian) eye shape.


The Eye Socket

The eye socket is a hollow area where your eyeball sits.  It is the fleshy area of the eye.  What makes the Asian eye different from the Caucasian one is the layer of fat which puffs that area.  Caucasians have no fat and therefore this allows the crease to fold inward.

Eye Socket Comparison 1


Compare the eye socket shape between me and Lola.

Eye Socket Comparison 2


See where my brush is poking?  This is the indent or gap where the socket will hit bone.  The area here is what curves the eye into the side of the face.  You can pretty much see on my eye, I use a small brush to define that area.

Eye Socket Comparison 3 - The Height


Compare this area to Lola's.  The height of mine is a way shorter than Lola's and the angle is slightly straighter. 

Eye Socket Comparison 4 - The V


Take a look at the "V" of the lid or what I call enclosing the lid.  The angle of my eye is more obtuse while Lola's looks like a sideways "V".


The Orbital Ridge

To me this is the most important part of the eye area.  As I mention in this post here and the many tutorials, defining and dividing will help you conquer your eyeshadow fears and get rid of eyeshadow dilemmas.  This is also the area where due to gravity (age) will sag and change what was once crow's feet into crab claws.  (Yeah, sorry for the hard truth.)   

For Asians this is the area where defining it, will contour the eyes whether you have a crease or not.  If you want it as subtle as possible, use a matte taupe like Illamasqua Heroine.  I have seen Asians who put on brow bone highlighter all over and just have this little bit of shadow on the lashline making their eyes look more puffy than they really are.  Remember, highlighting will illuminate that area and draw attention.  Defining the orbital ridge gives it the illusion of depth.

The Asian Orbital Ridge


You can see on my eye where my orbital ridge lies.  The orbital ridge is the bone which  slopes from the brow bone into the eyesocket.  On me the ridge is very narrow, thus can be easily missed.  Every Asian has an orbital ridge, just feel for it first with your finger.  For everyone, the easiest way to find the orbital ridge is to tilt your head back slightly and look straight ahead into the mirror (like I do in the middle picture), you will see the curve of your orbital ridge.  On my eyes, since the sloping of the orbital ridge is narrow, I draw a line first.  You can do that too if you find it easier, then just blend.

The Orbital Ridge - Comparison


See how it compare's to Lola's?  You see a somewhat dark red line on my eye? That is due to the color hitting bone.  Whenever eyeshadow hits bone, the color will always end up darker.  Nothing really different to Lola's except hers becomes more subtle due to the inclination or depth of her orbital ridge.


The Nose Contour

I flipped this around a bit.  Usually I would show the brow bone highlight area, but if you see it this way; you can see how much of the brow bone area is left to color.

This is optional and is great for pictures to divide the area of the eyes from the rest of the face and to reshape the nose.

Nose Contour


The nose contour occurs where the nose curves into the brow bone.  The area is just bone and should stop about 1/3rd of the way into the brow bone.


The Brow Bone

The brow bone is pretty simple to see.  The area left over is what is highlighted.  Like I said, I would highlight that area first before the nose contour.

Brow Bone


Now, you can clearly see how the eyes are made up.

The Difference


You can see Asian eyes are pretty much the same, it is just the size of the areas which are different.  Muscle and bone structure sometimes makes it hard to see and define but if you feel around first with your fingers or your makeup brushes, application becomes easy.  Hope this helps some of you out there.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me.  I have to go wash off my eye or I will start making animal balloons!

Special thanks to Jessica, Susan, Lola and Kim.


*nothing to disclose*


Read by the Intelligent! Uncredited, copied, and plagiarized by the idiots!
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