These Expert-Backed Makeup Tips for People With Downturned Eyes Are Straight-Up Genius

Have you heard of puppy liner?

Makeup Ideas for Downturned Eyes
Photo: Getty Images

Eye makeup isn't one-size-fits-all, especially when you consider all the different eye shapes. How you do a cat-eye, for example, is going to be vastly on almond-shaped eyes than on hooded eyes.

And today, we're talking all things downturned eyes.

Of course, there are no rules and right or wrong ways to apply makeup. However, if you're looking to accentuate your eye shape with a viral TikTok trend or are looking to counter it with a lift, we've got your back.

How should you apply mascara if you have downturned eyes?

We're starting with mascara because yes, it matters. "Use a lengthening mascara and keep mascara more focused on the top lashes, in the center, as opposed to the outer corner lashes," recommends Lancôme's Director of Makeup Artistry Education, Jasmine Ferreira. "This will draw the eye to the long lashes at the center and create a lift."

For the best results, she suggests using a formula that lifts and curls over other types. "Curling and lengthening for downturned eyes is important because it gives the illusion of bigger eyes and more lifted eyes, also making eyes appear wider," she explains, and suggests using Lancôme's Lash Îdole Mascara to achieve the look.

What's the best way to apply eyeliner if you have downturned eyes?

Lately, puppy eyeliner has been taking over TikTok as it offers an alternative look to the traditional cat-eye. It consists of doing the opposite of the cat-eye — instead of winging your liner upward toward the tail of your brows, you wing it slightly downward to follow the natural shape of your eyes. "I'm a fan of [it] because it's all about embracing your natural shape and accentuating it," says Ferreira.

It's more than just a momentary trend, though. Keri Blair, a Senior National Artist at MAC Cosmetics, points out that puppy liner-adjacent makeup looks have been around for years. "If you research looks from various decades, especially the 20s and 30s, you'll notice that by placing some weight near the outer edge of the lower lash line, you can create beautiful makeup looks. Take 1920s actresses Clara Bow, Estelle Taylor, or Irene Delroy; their makeup accented the slight downturn of their eyes and gave them a dreamy innocence," she points out.

Actress Clara Bow in a scene from the movie "Hoop-La" - makeup for downturned eyes
Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

For those looking to create that lift, there are many ways to do so. "One of my favorite ways to accentuate downturned eyes using minimal effort, is by applying a dark brown eyeshadow along the lower lash line and smoking it out towards the tail of the brow," says Melissa Hernandez, a celebrity makeup artist and Maybelline brand ambassador. "This technique creates the illusion of a cat-eye." In fact, this is what she typically does for her client, Sydney Sweeney.

Ferreira says that another way to do it is by applying liner from the outer eye corner — straight out and then upward to create the lift, and back in, creating a small triangle. From there, she says to fill in the triangle, keeping the color concentrated on the outer lash line as opposed to the entire lash line.

VIDEO: This Celeb-Loved Eye Makeup Trend Is Going Viral — and It's Super Easy to Recreate

What's the best way to apply eyeshadow if you have downturned eyes?

To keep things simple yet modern, Blair has a few tips. "Use a small, dense brush and a darker eyeshadow or soft kohl pencil. Start your application at the outer part of your bottom lash line and gently create a heavier line or drop shadow, and work the remaining shadow along the lash line towards the nose, creating a slight taper as you smudge your line" she begins.

To add a bit more weight to the look, she says to wrap the shadow around the outer quarter of the top lash line and follow the natural shape of your eye. "The darker and thicker your line the more intensity you will bring to your eye shape," she says. Then, counterbalance the look but using a soft, fleshy tone from the lid to the crease of your eye. Blair says to use a medium-intensity shadow in your crease, applying from the inner corner of the eye and then blending toward the outer corner.

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