Make-up for Desi Eyes; Eye Types and Suggested Looks

Make-up for Desi Eyes; Eye Types and Suggested Looks

Zeenat Jaffer explains how to put on eye make up based on the shape of your eyes
Make-up for Desi Eyes; Eye Types and Suggested Looks

They say that the eyes are the windows to our soul, and this has never been truer than for the Asian community. The eyes have always been a part of our makeup routines. While the West may credit Kim Kardashian for bringing Kohl to the world 10 years ago, we have always rocked the surma (ours was so natural, we didn’t even need to smudge it!), and today when baby sister / baby mama Kylie has brought about a frenzy of winged eyeliner, our moms have been doing it from the days of Helen!

But of course, eyes are of different shapes. So as we grow, why not understand what works best for them? So I’ve created a 3 part series – from understanding what works for your eye shape to getting rid of those pesky under eye circles. Today we discuss the 3 big desi eye shapes, and how do deal with yours!


I have seen that most of us South Asian women have either Round, Deep Set or Almond Shape eyes! So what works best for these eyes?

Deep Set Eyes- Sri Devi

You know this eye like the back of your hand: deep, mysterious and pulling in. But like the ocean, if you don’t tread carefully, you could end up with a ‘sunken’ look – like when women with deep-set eyes opt for a smokey look. These eyes naturally have a darker, more receding feel so avoid a smokey eye and instead opt for light, bright shadows and shimmers. Women with deep set eyes will probably notice that they have dark or puffy circles under their eyes (a quick trick on how to deal with this below) – but an essential part of this look is concealing the imperfections around your eye. This helps to reduce the shadows around your eyes and instantly gives you a lift, making you look less tired and more ready for your day! Ladies with deep-set eyes can also opt for a bold lip for a bit more of a balance face, avoiding purples and plums – try traditional ruby red!

Almond Shaped Eyes 

Perhaps the easiest eye shape to deal with are the Almond Shaped Eyes. Almond eyes are naturally symmetrical, making it less difficult to achieve a balanced look. Start bold – let your eyeliner go from edge to edge! Line your water line with a white pencil and then pull your eyeliner down. Slightly smoke it out for a bit of a modern, edgy twist and continue with a shadow. For almond shaped eyes, smokey is your go-to! But that gold to black smokey is so 2009 – so instead why not use a colour like everyone’s favourite – millennial pink! This lightens the eye and makes it look brighter – finally, finish with highlighting your brow bone and you’re done!

Round Eyes

Women with round eyes can use the same tips with the key difference of bringing their eyeliner wing to the centre of their eye where a point would generally be in almond eyes, and continuing to line under their eyes. Finish by smoking out the liner for a more symmetrical look.

Downturn Eyes

The most distinctive of the eye shapes – the key characteristic of these eyes are the inner corners taking a prominent downward turn. In the past, makeup artists would cake on dark shadows on the inside to reduce this gap – but today, we celebrate it as just another type of beautiful desi eye! The key to eye routine for ladies with downturn eyes is to make sure you balance the downward turn with a large and prominent wing on the outside corners of your eyes. Unlike other looks – women with downturn eyes should stay away from smudging their eye-shadow, instead keeping a crisp solid line that re-emphasis the architecture and clean lines of their own eye shape. Curl your eye-lashes or opt for false eyelashes (cut an angle) to further push that ‘lift’ look. This simple tip can open up your entire face and give you a clean and open pallet to work with.

INFO: Zeenat Jaffer is a celebrity makeup artist extraordinaire, CEO of ZHaus Lifestyle, and educator who offers premium makeup artistry classes. She can be reached at or online at

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