For those of you with monolids, there’s a good chance your eyes darted over this headline in eager anticipation (hi, welcome). For those of you unaware of what monolids are, they’re an eyelid shape that appears to lack a crease — it’s a feature people of East Asian descent generally possess, and it makes most popular eye makeup techniques a bit… moot. After all, how are those with a hidden crease suppose to shade or emphasize said crease or layer eye shadow in any way that doesn’t automatically disappear? Well, this is where makeup tips take a detour off a cliff and it’s time to go off-script. The best person to ask is obviously a makeup artist — one who understands monolids. We had makeup artist Yumi Lee take the reins on creating a few eye makeup looks specially geared for monolids. In fact, the entire team for this shoot — the models, the manicurist, hair stylist, photographer, and stylist — is of East Asian descent, because who better to understand and highlight the beauty of monolids than those who possess them?

The Cat-Eye

Done in a cobalt blue, the classic cat-eye gets a subtle edge — something to consider when your eyelids can hide your liner skills.

Go With a Brush

A liquid liner pen may be your usual go-to for a cat-eye, but try a brush this time, so you can really get as close and into your lash line as possible. Yumi opted for a gel liner with a thin firm angled liner brush for more control over the line contour. Paint your liner all over the lid, hugging your lash line with the brush. This way, your liner is visible on open and closed lids. Extend that line beyond the outer corner into a point, as well as the inner corner, forming a pointed tip to visually elongate a smaller eye shape.

Try Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Cobalt Ink ($27) because its formula can withstand the oiliest eyelids and it’s got one of the smoothest strokes in the game.

Lashes Galore

Lashes are always one eye feature that makes great impact with a little bit of attention. And monolids are an excellent canvas for a pair of falsies.

Set and “Sprinkle”

Yumi trimmed a strip of natural-looking lashes to fit model Hsu’s lash line, positioning them to sit closer to the outer edges than the inner. But then she trimmed the lash fibers off of the remaining strip and strategically sprinkled them on top of the lash line, pressing into the glue line as it was still a bit tacky. The idea behind that is that these haphazard bits create a more natural effect — not so perfectly spaced-out as a lash strip tends to look.

This Natural Lash set ($4.99) from Ardell has a natural effect that can be built-up with this method.

The Smoky Eye

Monolids pull of a dramatic eye look like no other — and good news, the unique shape actually makes it way easier than you’d think.

It’s all in the pencil.

You really only need one good eyeliner pencil for this smoky eye. Choose a really soft smudgy one — Diorshow Kohl ($33) is extra sooty, plus waterproof.

Yumi just scribbled with black pencil all over the eyelid and then blended the edges to soften them with a dense eyeshadow brush. She added dimension by scribbling with a shimmery graphite gel eyeliner pencil (Try NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in Gun Metal, $7.99) in the center lid and then buffed that into the black and into the edges.

Yumi finished off the look by gently tapping translucent powder on top of the whole thing with a fluffy blending brush to prevent creasing.

Eye Gloss

Honestly, eye gloss was made for monolids. The beauty of not having a visible crease in the way is that you can wear this tricky editorial look without the grief of constantly worrying about creasing (which all eye gloss inevitably does, no matter how it tries to tell you it doesn’t).

Swipe on and shine

This is a dead-easy look to do — all you need is your gloss of choice and a brush. Just keep the gloss application above the fold and you won’t need to think about it creasing at all. You can use an eye gloss or a lip gloss, but if you’re going with the latter, this is the time you actually want the tackier, goopier ones. Brush on your gloss, starting smaller than you think you need, and building from there to your desired shine. Clean around the edges with micellar water on a cotton pad (crucial tip: not the linty kind) if you need, but you can also just tap with your finger to blend.

Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivid Hot Lacquer Lip Gloss in Sassy ($7.99) is a really bold hot pink to use if you want a more opaque pink (or whichever color). Otherwise Milk Makeup Eye Vinyl ($20) and MAC Studio Eye Gloss ($22) offer a ton of vibrant and sheer gloss shades.


Why struggle with the high road when the lower line looks so cool with some avant-garde eye makeup?

Layer Your Lines

MAC Chromagraphic pencil in Process Magenta ($17) is a really hot pink that stands out. Drawing on the lower waterline and extending outwards, Yumi layered the pink with black gel liner (Try MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, $17.50) using an angled brush (again, that precision and those clean edges — crucial for this look).

How far you extend the line is up to you, but a minimal avant-garde look like this looks boldly stunning on a simple canvas. Don’t fuss with mascara (unless you want to) to keep the look clean and minimalist.

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For those of you with monolids, there's a good chance your eyes darted over this headline in eager anticipation (hi, welcome). For those of you unaware of what monolids are, they're an eyelid shape that appears to lack a crease — it's a feature people of East Asian descent...