I Just Learned the Best Makeup Tip Ever for Monolid Eyes

As a monolidded gal, I have had some growing pains with eye makeup throughout the years. My earliest memories involve wearing too much of it—and by “it” I do mean all of it. As a tween, I would brush on layers upon layers of shadow, outline my eyes with the darkest liner I could get my hands on, and then finish with several coats of Maybelline Full ‘N Soft mascara.

I look back on those photos with amusement. I came off like an angry raccoon, my dark pupils barely discernable from the even darker soot that surrounded them.

In college, I eased up on the shadow and mascara, and took to wearing just liner on my upper lids. This was a step in the right direction, I thought, but it didn’t stop my art teacher from referring to me as “eyeliner girl.”

Fast-forward ten years and here I am, sitting in Daniel Martin’s chair courtesy of Honest Beauty. (Martin is their chief color consultant; he’s also the man behind Meghan Markle’s sparkle on her wedding day.) And now he’s about to be every monolidded gal’s hero, thanks to this tip he shared with us:

“For monolids, you want to concentrate the depth [of the shadow] at your lash line and work your way up, passing your crease,” says Martin. This creates a soft gradation that makes your eyes look bigger. To get the cleanest application, Martin recommends using a small synthetic paint brush (he stocks up at local art supply stores) and says you want to press the shadow into your lash line and pull the color up with the bristles, rather than sweep it from side to side (like most of us are taught).

Since he taught me this trick, I’ve been wearing less eye makeup in general. Whereas I used to sweep a few different shadows onto my lids before lining them, now I’ll just press on a bit of brown shadow. I find that’s all I really need to get that diffused definition that’s perfect for every day, and for a (rare) night out or special occasion, I’ll add a hint of copper shimmer just above where the brown shadow ends.

This subtle press-and-pull technique makes all the difference in defining monolid eyes without looking too harsh—or getting shadow everywhere, for that matter. But don’t just take our word for it, watch the magic in action above.

Get the look: Nylon Paint Brush Set ($6); Honest Beauty Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette ($20)

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...