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The term “monolid” describes a type of eyelid shape that doesn’t have a crease separating it into two parts.
The eyelid sits flush against the brow bone with a monolid and has no visible fold or crease.
Monolids are common, especially among those of East Asian descent, including Korean, Japanese, and Chinese heritage.
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Like hair color, skin color, and many other aspects of a person’s appearance, monolids are almost always caused by genetics.
Sometimes a medical condition can cause a monolid or the appearance of a monolid if someone’s eye swells or changes shape.
Monolids are perfectly normal when caused by genetics.
Unlike monolids, double eyelids have a supratarsal crease.
Double eyelids are also quite common but tend to occur more often in people of non-Asian descent.
Hooded lids have a fold that covers or partially covers the entire eyelid.
Unlike monolids or double eyelids, people with hooded eyelids cannot see their eyelids when looking straight into a mirror.
Hooded eyelids can be normal when linked to genetics, but not everyone who has hooded lids was born with them.
In some cases, their eyelids droop and create a hood as they age.
A drooping eyelid can be a sign of a medical condition, so it’s important to seek medical attention if your eyelid becomes hooded.
Some people with monolids prefer to create a different look and make their eyelids appear double. This can be done with surgery, makeup, or tape.
Blepharoplasty is the surgical procedure used to remove skin and create a crease in the eyelid.
Due to a higher incidence of monolids, this procedure is more popular in Asian countries.
It’s expensive and it can be difficult to find surgeons willing to perform this procedure in non-Asian countries.
Many celebrities of Asian descent have opted for double eyelid surgery, which has increased the general public’s desire to undergo the procedure.
Why might someone want to adjust or change their monolid to a double eyelid by undergoing surgery? The procedure enables them to:
Keep in mind: there is nothing wrong with having monolids. Many people choose to embrace their monolids and accept that their eyelids are a reflection of their ethnic heritage.
The important thing to remember is if you decide to make a temporary or permanent change, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Nobody should feel pressured into changing their appearance or undergoing eyelid surgery because of societal pressure to look a certain way.
Double eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure used to permanently change monolid eyes to double eyelids.
The surgeon creates a crease in the lid during the procedure and removes any excess skin to ensure the crease remains in place after the sutures heal.
Sometimes blepharoplasty is combined with ptosis surgery which increases the strength of the eyelid muscles and opens the eye.
People who aren’t sure if they want to alter their eyelids permanently can use makeup or adhesives to achieve double eyelids.
Many different makeup tutorials share makeup tips for changing eye shapes. Some makeup tutorials enhance Asian eyes, while others show ways to create a visible crease without eyelid surgeries.
Eyeliners and eyeshadows work well to create the look of a crease in the eyelid or to enhance a slight crease. Brighter shades of makeup bring attention to the eye and help them look wider, more open, and deeper.
A darker shadow on the lid where the crease would be can change someone’s eye shape significantly. It also helps to avoid heavy makeup around the lash line to avoid making eyes look smaller.
Mascara and false lashes to enhance your natural lashes also change a person’s eye shape without making any permanent changes. Enhancing the upper lash line and lower lash line makes eyes appear larger and deeper.
Additionally, using eye makeup to highlight the inner corner or brown bone brightens your eyes whether you have double lids or monolids.
Tapes and glues are also effective for creating the appearance of a double eyelid. The adhesives create an artificial crease so the lid looks wider and deeper.
Double eyelid tape mimics a natural crease without having to undergo monolid surgery.
Adhesives can be uncomfortable and some people cannot wear them because they irritate the sensitive skin of the eyelids. Tapes and glues also make it difficult to blink and can decrease tear production, further irritating the eye.
(1) “American Society of Plastic Surgeons.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2019.
(2) “Asian Double Eyelid.” Cosmetic Surgery.
(3) Kiranantawat, Kidakorn. The Asian Eyelid: Relevant Anatomy. Seminars in Plastic Surgery 29(3):158-64, Aug. 2015.
(4) “Europe PMC.” Europepmc.org.
(6) “Blepharoplasty and Ptosis.” University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2021.