Eye Shapes & Styling

Selecting lash extensions to flatter your client’s eyes

You’ve spoken with your client over the phone. They’ve paid their deposit, walked into your studio. You’ve started the consultation, asking about their lifestyle, makeup habits, and grooming practices. Knowing all this will be extremely helpful towards providing the best possible lash look for your client.

But after you’ve nailed the initial consult, how exactly do you go about nailing the look itself?

We know how complicated figuring out the right lash look can be, especially when working with new clients or when you’re a beginner. After all, every client’s eye shape is as unique as they are. However, studying the most common eye shapes — including where to place longer or shorter lashes and which curl types work best for each — can help you master the styling process. Let’s look at five of the most common shapes.

Almond Eyes

About almond eyes: The most common eye shape, almond eyes are approximately twice as long as they are tall — and they’re the most versatile shape for styling!

Best styles: These clients can wear practically any style. Doe, natural, and textured maps all flatter almond eyes; choosing a map comes down to the effect the client hopes to achieve.

Selecting lengths: To enlarge the eyes, opt for a doe eye map by applying the longest extensions in the eyelid’s center. This opens up the eyes for a brighter, more alert, and wide-awake look. If the client prefers to elongate their natural shape even more, a cat eye is the best option. Maximizing length along the iris’s outer edge offers a sultrier effect.

Best curls: With almond eyes, almost any curl works well, leaving you free to select styles based on the client’s desired impact. For clients who prefer a cat eye map, shift to a stronger curl on the lash line’s outermost quarter for added lift.

Round Eyes

About round eyes: Determining if your client has round eyes is a surprisingly tricky affair. If you’re having trouble pinpointing a client’s eye shape, have them look directly at you. If you can see the whites of their eyes above or below the iris, they are round.

Best styles: Round eyes can appear more open and bright than other eye shapes, but with the wrong lash map, clients can look like they’re in permanent shock. Avoid doe and open eye styling, instead opting for a natural or cat eye map.

Selecting lengths: Concentrating length toward the outer corners elongates the eyes, creating the illusion of a more almond shape.

Best curls: Avoid the strongest curls, as these may leave the impression that your client is startled. Instead, opt for looser B or C curls.

“Selecting lash maps and curls that flatter your clients’ natural features is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a lash artist, as well as a chance to flex your creative muscles and build your portfolio.”

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Hooded Eyes

About hooded eyes: With hooded eyes, the eyelids extend out and over the base of the natural lashes. Depending on the hood size, the lash line can disappear under the lid, causing lashes to tuck under and hide the bases.

Best curls: Avoid strong curls like CC and D, as these curl up so much that the tips almost blend into the lid — the result is an unnatural look that also proves uncomfortable for clients. Instead, select lashes which extend past the hood before curling up.

Specialized curls (L, L+ or M) offer a straight base with a curl through the extension’s middle and tip. Straight bases allow extensions to sit flush against the natural lash, providing stronger bonds and increasing client comfort.

Deep-Set Eyes

About deep-set eyes: Clients with deep-set eyes have eyes set further back in the skull.

Best curls: Strong curls can appear unnatural, as the tips of the extensions often rub against the more prominent brow bone. Instead, opt for slightly looser curls.

Selecting lengths: For clients with deep-set eyes, shorter lengths — especially when paired with stronger curls — may also appear unnatural. For these clients, try longer lengths that extend past the brow bone.

Best styles: A doe or open eye map that concentrates length toward the center of the eye can open the eyes up beautifully.

Downturned Eyes

About downturned eyes: Clients with downturned eyes have outer corners that sit lower than the inner corners.

Best styles: For these clients, avoid cat-eye styling, as length concentrated toward the outer corners can actually emphasize the downturn. As a result, your client may appear sad or sleepy. Instead, opt for a doe eye or open eye map.

Selecting lengths: Just as with deep-set eyes, your best option is centered, longer lengths. Longer extensions concentrated toward the center of the eye will help lift the eyes up.

Best curls: You can also use curls to enhance the lift effect even further! Try transitioning to a stronger curl at the outer third of the eye (from a C to a CC curl, for example). This will provide a little extra lift, similar to a lash lift.

Selecting lash maps and curls that flatter your clients’ natural features is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a lash artist, as well as a chance to flex your creative muscles and build your portfolio!