How To Apply Eyeshadow | Eyeshadow Placement Chart

Here's the thing...there's no wrong way to wear your eye makeup. Makeup is about personal preference and expression. However, if you're a beginner or just void of where to start, doing your makeup can be quite the challenge. If that describes you, knowing the parts of your eye area and eyeshadow placement can be incredibly helpful. So if you're wondering how to apply eyeshadow, here are some tips for you.

1. Inner Corner: The inner corner of the eye is exactly where it sounds like it is; Just at the inner corner of the eye near the nose. Placing a color here that is lighter than your skintone really brightens up the eye. The color can be matte of have a shimmer to it. Using a pale colorful eyeshadow on the inner corner is beautiful as well; think pale gold or a shimmery mint green. Also, if your eyes are close together, highlighting your inner corner will make them seem farther apart.

2. Lid: Your eyelid can be divided into as many portions as you please depending on the look you're going for. For a basic lid placement use one color all the way cross. You can also use a light color on the inner half of your lid and a darker color on the outer half. This will add dimension to your eyes and can make them appear larger.

3. Outer V: The outer V is basically the outer corner of your lid. To apply color here, you'll start at the outer corner of your eye (or outer upper lashline) and create a V up and into your crease. Applying a dark eyeshadow to your outer V creates a smokey eye.

4. Crease: You can find your crease just above your lid (2) but just below your browbone/optical bone (5). If you look down into a mirror while keeping your head straight, your crease is the indentation right above your lid. Applying color here adds dimension the the overall look you're going for.

5. Browbone/Optical Bone/Transition Area: Directly above your crease is your browbone, or optical bone. This is typically the transition area where your lid and crease colors fade into the highlight color. Any color can be used here but I prefer to use one that is just ever-so-slightly darker than my skintone. This allows your brow highlight (6) to pop and your main lid/crease colors to blend better.

6. Browbone Highlight: Your browbone highlight should be applied just below your brow. You can use any light-colored eyeshadow that you feel works with the look you're trying to achieve. It can be a matte highlight like I tend to use, or something on the shimmery side like pictured here.

7. Bottom/Lower Lashline: The bottom lashline is the lower portion of your eye where the lashes begin. Just as with the lid and other areas, how you place color here totally depends on your personal preferences. You can use eyeliner, eyeshadow, or both for long-lasting wear. Thicken the color you place here for a smokey look, or you can skip this area altogether. It just depends on you and the look you're going for.

8. Top/Upper Lashline: The top lashline, like the bottom, is where the lashes begin. Smudging a dark eyeliner or eyeshadow along your top lashline can make your lashes appear thicker. Also, it's always best to get your liner as close as possible to your lashline, where your lashes meet the skin. Avoiding spaces void of color gives a flawless look.

**Waterline (not numbered): The waterline is the part of your eye directly above your bottom lashline, closest to your eyeball. For a smokey look, use a dark eyeliner. To brighten your eyes use a white or creamy eyeliner. If you have sensitive eyes you may choose to avoid this area altogether.


  1. Love this!
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  2. Thanks very helpful! Any blending tips? I think that's my weakest when applying makeup.

  3. Very nice chart! I normally just go for lid and crease as part of my everyday where, but I will certainly refer back to this when I get a bit more dolled up.

  4. Awesome! I've always wanted to really pinpoint where you place your shadows!

  5. I always want to use different shadow placement for my every day looks, but time restraints have reduced me to a single colour wash all over the lid. I have to get creative in the shaping of my shadow :P

  6. Glad I could be of help to some of you!

  7. This is so helpful, you are a great teacher. Thanks for sharing this. ^_^

  8. Super helpful! Thank you for a clear and simple chart!

  9. So very helpful! I am getting some ideas of looks. Thank you!


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