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The Importance of the Orbital Ridge

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

When it comes to the eyeshadow tutorials, the question asked the most is, “What is the orbital ridge?”  Which is a very good question after  all, you have learned eyeshadow application as brow bone, crease and lid.

I have covered this subject many times and I am covering it again because I want you all to understand this important anatomical part of your eyes.  I always feel if I cover this subject a bit differently each time, a light bulb will finally light up in someone’s head and the feeling of knowledge will be attained.  What may have been a bit difficult the first time around may awaken the mind the second, third, fourth time around.  Don’t think you are stupid.  It just wasn’t time to understand.  I have had those moments, myself!

Let me think of an analogy, okay a fashion analogy.  You have your bra and underwear; those are the basics and everyone should be wearing those. (Unless you see some of the pictures on Facebook, then those are optional for some women!)  For eyeshadow, you have your brow bone, crease, and lid; consider those as basics or basic makeup anatomy or the bra and underwear. 

Now, let’s say you have this great dress for a night out.  The bra and underwear alone will not be enough because you want people to see the shape of the dress and not the bumps and bulges.  This is where you choose to wear the shape wear.  The orbital ridge is the “shape wear” of your eye. 

Was that an awful analogy?

Let me start again.What is the Orbital Ridge?

Orbital Ridge

It is the bone and the area beneath the eyebrow, actually you can say it includes the brow bone. 

Here we have Cathy Cat’s eye as an example.  In the pix, I have marked the orbital ridge.

Where is it located?

I have also marked the other important areas which get mixed in with the orbital ridge.

Other Parts of the Eye

Important Parts

The brow bone bulge and the indentation are the two areas which eyeshadow can really make the eyes bigger by providing a background to the lid area. 

For some of you, the brow bone bulge may be prominent.  This is why shading this area is important.

The indentation is really the part of the eye where the muscles of the eyes allow the skin to fold over and allow you to blink.  It also creates the “crease”.


The crease is just that, a crease or line.  You can see from the various pictures where the crease actually is and how it starts from just the folding of the fleshy part of the lid. 

As you age, this crease will lower and to emphasize this with eyeshadow will just make your eyes look smaller. 


The Orbital Makes the Eye Go Round

Big Difference

Here you see what a difference just shading the orbital ridge will do to the eyes.

Things to remember about the orbital ridge

  • It is the area that divides the eye area from itself and the face.

  • In mathematical terms, it is the constant while the muscles and your skin are the variables.  Your orbital ridge (bone structure) is always where it is suppose to be whereas your muscles and skin will vary with aging. (Boohoo!)

  • Shading this area gives the eyes a background, therefore giving emphasis to the most important area which are the lid and lashes, the frames to the windows of your soul!

  • Shading this area also softens the “bulge” right below the eyebrow line.  Through the anatomical structure and lighting, this area is always naturally highlighted, therefore de-emphasizing it will balance the eye makeup.

Due to ethnicity, the slope of the ridge may differ but every eye shape has an orbital ridge.  And it is this ridge which will guide you to the placement of the eyeshadows.  Once you understand what I have written above, all the eyeshadows will fall into place!

Now, go check out Cathy's eyes in A Naturally Beautiful Eye Look .

*Special thanks to Cathy Cat for volunteering*

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