Do you ever look in the mirror and wonder why your eyes have a particular shape? How about comparing yours to others, only to discover that yours is different?
Well, many fascinating things about our eye shapes go beyond just looking nice. This article explores the science behind eye shape, including its impact on vision and the relationship between eye shape and beauty trends.
The Rarest Eye Shape
The most exceptional eye shape depends on whom you ask. Almond, monolid, downturned, hooded—the list goes on. But the rarest one is up for debate.
Beauty is subjective, and opinions can vary drastically. Some people in North America might consider the monolid shape rare, but this is a common sight in East Asia. Similarly, some might consider deep-set eyes unusual, but big, round eyes are preferred in South Asia.
Ultimately, the rarest eye shape is based on cultural, geographical, and personal perceptions of beauty. It explains why you find different results when researching rare eye shapes.
The Ten Distinct Eye Shapes
Most people recognize different eye shapes, but many don’t know that there are ten distinct categories.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what they are and what each one looks like:
- Almond eyes
- Round eyes
- Monolid eyes
- Protruding eyes
- Downturned eyes
- Upturned eyes
- Close-set eyes
- Wide-set eyes
- Deep-set eyes
- Hooded eyes
Different Types of Eye Shapes
Almond-shaped eyes have a visible crease and irises touching the eyelid's top and bottom. This eye also has ends that taper off at the tear duct and outer point. They're wider than other shapes, with smaller lids.
Round eyes have creases you can spot easily. You can see the whites above or below the iris, making them look more prominent and noticeable. These eyes also don't taper or pull inward or outward at the outer or inner corners.
Monolid eyes appear flat from the front with no crease or fold in the lids. Though monolid eyes may seem small (sockets of air above the iris that give this impression), they can often look bigger in pictures when viewed from a slight angle.
Protruding eyes, often called bulging or pop eyes, are when the eyeballs appear to protrude from the eye socket. This can give a rounded appearance. Their irises may not touch the eyelids, and the whites of the eyes may be very visible.
Downturned eyes are when the outer corner of the eye droops downward, giving a sad or tired look. This shape may appear narrower than other eye shapes due to the droop. The lower eyelid of this eye shape often appears thicker than an upturned eye's.
Upturned eyes—or cat eyes to some—are the opposite of downturned eyes. This shape is usually almond-like but slightly lifts at the outer corner. The bottom lashes also turn upward.
Close Set Eyes
"Close set eyes" is an eye shape with minimal space between both eyes due to the position of the bridge of the nose. If you have them, the distance between your inner corners should measure less than an inch apart.
Wide Set Eyes
Wide-set eyes are just what they sound like—the opposite of close-set eyes. This means the space between them (across the nose bridge) is noticeably further apart than close-set eyes. Wide-set eyes may also have droopier, more almond-shaped lids.
Deep-set eyes make your brow bone stand out and look more prominent than other eyes. This happens because they're set farther back in your skull.
Hooded eyes feature an extra fold of skin that drapes over the crease. This excess skin gives the appearance of a hood over the eye, hence its name.
How to Determine Your Eye Shape
As mentioned, eye shapes come in endless varieties. And with everyone having a unique face shape, it can take time to figure out yours.
But don't worry. Here are simple steps to identify your eye shape:
1. Look at a Mirror
Stand in front of it and open your eyes wide. Then, take a long and careful look at your eyes from different angles. Don’t forget to check out the corners of your eyes, too.
2. Observe Your Crease
If there’s none, you probably have a monolid. Otherwise, proceed to step three.
3. Ask Questions Regarding Your Eye Shape
If you can see the crease, ask yourself the following:
- Does the colored part of the eye have any white showing? You have round eyes.
- Does the eye’s outer corner turn down? You have downturned eyes.
- Does the iris touch the bottom and top of the eyelid? You have almond-shaped eyes.
- Do the outer corners flick upwards? You have upturned eyes.
- Does a skin flap block the crease? You have hooded eyes.
Heads up: Sometimes, people mix droopy eyelids with hooded eyes. But drooping lids could indicate a medical problem. Keep an eye out for this!
How Eye Shape Affects Your Vision
Your eye shape can majorly impact how you see the world. So, talking to a professional is essential if you’re having trouble with your vision.
Ptosis is when one or both eyelids droop so much that they partially or fully cover your pupil. Sometimes, you're born with it; other times, it develops due to nerve or muscle issues.
If you have severe ptosis, you could lift your eyebrow to improve your vision. Unfortunately, this can lead to tension headaches. Luckily, ptosis surgery is a solid option for this situation.
Also called nearsightedness, myopia happens when you have an elongated eyeball, making it hard to see things far away.
While you can see things up close, focusing on far-off items can cause severe blurriness, eyestrain, and headaches. This is often due to the cornea’s abnormal shape or the eye's lens being too thick.
If your eyeballs are shorter than usual, you might have hyperopia or farsightedness. This entails having trouble seeing things up close, like reading or using your phone. In severe cases, it could even affect your vision at a distance.
Having a slightly curved cornea causes farsightedness. And though it usually just affects how your eyes look, it can sometimes mess with your vision.
Eye Shape’s Impact on Makeup Application
As any skilled makeup artist knows, eye shapes play a huge role in how makeup looks on us. For example, if you have a monolid eye shape, specific makeup techniques will help define the upper and lower lash line and create an illusion of a crease.
The same applies to other eye shapes like almond eyes or hooded eyes. Using eyeliner or eye shadow to make those eyes pop to the upper and lower lash line will help make your eyes look bigger and more awake.
Mascara, Eyeliner, and Lashes
These three eye makeup staples can instantly create a dramatic look, regardless of eye shape. Applying mascara will make your lashes appear longer and fuller.
At the same time, eyeliner can help create a cat-eye or winged look. False lashes can also give you an extra oomph if you want a bolder look.
The trick—or one of the best makeup tips—is finding the best technique for your eye shape. For example, if you have almond-shaped ones, try applying a straight line of eyeliner across the upper lash line.
If you have hooded eyes, opt for a softer eyeliner look and draw a line from the inner corner of your eyes outwards, with the liner slightly thicker towards the outer corner. When it comes to mascara, try curling your lashes first with an eyelash curler.
No matter your eye shape, the key is to play up your natural features and experiment with techniques that flatter your eye shape.
Every set of eyes is one-of-a-kind. Just as every individual is unique, so is every eye.
So, assess your eyes and identify their shape today to enhance your vision and make the most of your makeup routine. If you haven't done that yet, set some time and give it a go. Remember, beauty lies in diversity, and each eye shape has its tale to tell.
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