I had to add this to my list of makeup tutorials for different eye shapes (see the others in the “Makeup techniques” section). I’ve wanted to do this one for a long time but I had a hard time finding someone with this type of eye who was willing to give me a photo. Well, a few weeks ago, a reader generously sent me the ideal photo for my article. I’m very grateful to her!

Makeup for protruding eyes before
Although it’s not as common as the small eye, the protruding eye is more widespread than you think. These eyes are large, yes, but the eyeball is more prominent and can give you a frightened or surprised look. It’s not always noticeable from the front but in profile, it’s easy to see as the eyeball seems to stick out further than a regular eye does. Also, the upper eyelid is often large too. For example, black people often have this type of eye. Among the stars, they’re fairly difficult to find but Nicole Ritchie tends toward this type of eye (even though she disguises it well). To correct this appearance, makeup is used to stretch the eye so that it looks less round but also to give impact to other areas of the eye and balance out the look.

Step 1: Concealer

Makeup for protruding eyes concealer
Hiding your under-eye dark circles is a good idea as it reduces the protuberant effect.

Step 2: Medium to dark-toned shadow

Makeup for protruding eyes medium dark eyeshadow
In makeup, dark tones hide and light tones accentuate. So to reduce the prominent eyeball look, apply a medium to dark-toned shadow. Lengthen it towards the outer corner of the eye but not too far, you don’t want to look as if you’re starring in a Kiss video clip;). This makes the eye look less round.

Makeup for protruding eyes medium dark eyeshadow
Finally, extend the shadow downwards to meet the outer corner of the lower lid but again, not too far. It shouldn’t be rounded out but straight. In fact, all your eye makeup strokes should look straight rather than round; this will reduce the rounded look of your eyes.
For my model’s lovely aquamarine eyes, I chose a greyish-plum shadow.

Step 3: Light shadow

Makeup for protruding eyes light eyeshadow
To balance out the look, apply a light-coloured shadow on the brow bone but not in the inner corner, just towards the eyebrow arch. An ivory shadow is ideal.

Step 4: Eyeliner or eye pencil

Makeup for protruding eyes eyeliner
Usually, eyeliner follows the shape of the eye but in this case, you have to cheat a little. The line extends beyond the outer corner and on the eyelid itself, it should be a lot wider on the far outer half (from the end of the iris and not from the centre) and very thin for the rest of the lid, particularly above the iris. For the inner corner, don’t follow the natural line; go just a little bit higher. But go gently if you want it to look natural. This way, the line looks straight rather than round.
Usually it’s recommended to lift the line upwards at the outer corner, but in your case, you should go straight as in the photo (unless you have droopy lids, but that’s pretty rare with this type of eye)

Step 5: Kohl pencil

Makeup for protruding eyes kohl
Go slowly with this step because if you’re new to this technique, you could get itchy or teary eyes. But don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. This step is optional if you really don’t feel confident about it. It consists of applying the kohl on the inside of the upper lid, close to your lashes. To get it right, I advise you to look downwards and draw the line without looking in the mirror. The line shouldn’t go to the inner or outer corner. Anyway, it will tickle too much in the inner corner. This line will really emphasise the base of your lashes.

Makeup for protruding eyes kohl
Then apply a light kohl line on the inner lower lid. This is quite an art. Don’t use a really dark line; use a colour that goes with your eye shadow for example. The line should be softer, because anyway, the upper line will colour the lower one as well. I like to swipe a cotton swab soaked in water or eye drops and squeezed; pat gently on the line if it’s too dark, to blend it (don’t rub, just pat). In my example, I chose a plum kohl pencil whereas the upper one is black.
The lower line shouldn’t go right to the corners of the eye either. Try to make the line as straight as possible, without following the natural roundness of the eye. The beginning and end of the line shouldn’t cut off abruptly (that’s why you use a cotton swab) and then extend the line onto the regular skin (not the wet part) near the lashes. The centre of the line should be as close as possible to the eyeball and get thinner when extended. It should be a straight line. End the line at the beginning of the dark shadow applied previously : this creates continuity but cheats the shape a little.
These explanations are pretty complicated I know, but a picture is worth a thousand words;)

Step 6: Mascara

Makeup for protruding eyes mascara
Mascara should be applied on the upper lashes only, in « Marilyn Monroe » fashion; that means towards the outer corner. Don’t use an up and down movement but go from the centre towards the temple, sideways and outwards. The outer lashes should look longer. Go lightly on the inner lashes. For a special evening out, you could use clumps of false eyelashes applied on the outer corner so that your lashes point outwards rather than upwards. This emphasise the horizontal stretching of the eye.

Before and After

Makeup for protruding eyes beforeMakeup for protruding eyes after
Here are the before and after photos so that you can see the difference. Of course, this tutorial shows the ideal corrective technique but if you’re in a hurry, just use a dark shadow near the upper lashes, on the second half of the outer corner of the eye, pencil and mascara in the same place and you’ll look great!

Leave a comment