If you’ve ever found yourself watching endless makeup tutorials online, you’re not alone… It happens to the best of us. YouTube binge aside, you’ll have noticed a trending topic about ‘eye shape’. These are makeup looks that suit your natural eye shape, by accentuating different areas. From making the eye look more open to highlighting a certain feature – different looks suit different eye shapes. Well, it’s the same with eyelash extensions.
Not many people know that there are actually different styles of eyelash extensions. Many lash salons don’t even offer different styles and will instead just lay you down and start adding extensions as soon as your appointment begins. If this happens, do your best to escape because you’ve probably found a bad lash tech!
First, let’s look at the 4 main eyelash extension styles. Then we’ll go over each eye shape and match the two together.
A Note on Lash Extension Styles: Even though there are four main styles, there can be large variations in length, lash thickness, curl, number of lashes applied, as well as crossovers between styles. A good lash tech will be able to tailor your lashes to suit not only your eye shape but your preferences and personal style too!
Let’s get started…
The Natural Eye
The goal of this look is to keep the lashes looking natural. You’ll seem like one of the lucky few to be blessed with long, full lashes.
The natural eye follows the same contours of your natural eyelashes. Fairly consistent length across the eyelid, with a little less on the inner and outer edges. To mimic lashes in all stages of the natural growth cycle, extensions of mixed lengths are applied right along the eye.
The Open Eye
This style accentuates the centre of the eye by adding volume and length in the middle of the eyelid, tapering down at each end to create symmetrical graduation.
Traditionally this style would use lashes around 8mm for the corners, going up to between 12 and 14mm for the centre of the eyelid.
The Cat Eye
You might be familiar with this style from eye makeup tutorials where eyeliner is used to create a swish on the outer corner of the eye… The same can be done with eyelash extensions but in a more dramatic and feminine way.
The lashes begin at the inner corner at their shortest length and gradually taper up – reaching their maximum length at the outer corner. The difference in length is around 50% more by the time we reach the outer corner. So a starting lash of 9mm on the inner corner would result in an outer corner lash of 14mm.
There is also typically a small decrease in length and right at the very end to taper in a little, usually if the maximum length is 14mm, the very corner might taper down to 13mm.
A slight variation of the Cat Eye is the ‘Kitten Eye’ which is the exact same idea, but the disparity between shortest and longest lash is closer to 25% – so an inner corner lash of 9mm would result in an outer corner lash of closer to 11-12mm.
Taylor Swift is regularly seen with the Cat Eye style lash extensions that are perfect for her upturned eye shape.
The Baby Doll Eye
A cross between the natural and open eye styles, the Doll Eye is characterised by length right across the eye line with the longest lashes on the middle of the eye.
This look will make our eyes appear bigger and fuller – but not to such an extent as the Open Eye style will. Megan Fox is well known for having classic Doll Eyelash extensions.
Now that we’ve got the 4 basic lash extension styles covered, let’s move on to identifying what shape your eye is so I can recommend a lash style to suit you perfectly. But that’s just a starting point – a good lash technician will be able to offer more specific advice based on your personal style and whether the lashes are for an event or for day-to-day life.
Eye Shape Basics
There are three main eye shape categories.
- oval, and
Then there are dozens more subcategories where small differences like eye angle, size, closeness and traits of the eyelid allow for more precise recommendations. You’ll also notice that you can fit into multiple categories, for example you might have round, close set, upturned eyes – effectively placing you in three categories. If that’s the case, you should choose the category that’s most prominent.
The ‘almond’ eye shape is the most popular so many makeup tutorials focus on achieving this look – by emphasising parts of the eye through contouring and other makeup techniques.
For this article, I’ve chosen eight of the most common eye types I see in my salon. Those being almond, close set, deep set, protruding, downturned, single lidded, round and hooded eyes.
Now it’s time to categorise your eye so we can give you some lash extension style recommendations!
In conventional beauty, the almond eye shape is the most alluring and attractive. The description of this eye shape is in its name – shaped like an almond. The length is greater than the height and there is a slight upward flick at the outer corners.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Almond Eyes
You’re lucky because any style will look great, so it’s more of a personal preference. Choosing the Cat Eye style will emphasise the length of your eye and give a very alluring and mysterious look.
With the Open Eye or Doll Eye, you’ll make your eyes look bigger – this can be a great option if you’re going for a more dramatic look, or if you’ve got an eye colour that stands out like green or blue.
Close Set Eyes
This is an eye spacing category rather than an eye shape, and it’s characterised by a gap between the eyes of less than one eye. So if you measure the length of your eye from outer to the inner corner, then measure the space from the inner corner of your left and right eyes – if the second measurement is smaller than the first, then you’d fall into the ‘close-set’ eyes category.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Close Set Eyes
The goal here would be to draw attention to the outer corner of the eye by adding longer lashes in that area in the style of the Cat Eye. Creating additional length on the lashes in the outer corner and gradually shorter lengths moving toward the inner corner will make a big difference.
Deep Set Eyes
Again we’re in the realm of an eye position rather than a shape, but this eye type has its own style guide… The deep-set eye simply sits deeper into the eye socket. So the objective for lash style is to make it seem to come out more.
Since makeup is a 2D application (meaning it sits flat on your skin) and lash extensions are 3D (meaning they stick out and create depth) – if you have deep set eyes it’s actually far more effective to get eyelash extensions because we can really create added depth.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Deep Set Eyes
To help bring the eye out, I usually recommend the Baby Doll or Open Eye lash style because these create the illusion of the eye sitting further out.
If your eyes also fall into the round category, then choose the Baby Doll. Whereas other shapes (especially the hooded eye) should opt for the Open Eye lash style.
The opposite of deep set eyes, protruding eyes are those that sit further out of the eye socket. I would estimate that 80% of the time, they’re also round in eye shape.
Because you’ve already got large round eyes (which makes you very lucky!), the goal here is to add emphasis to the outer corners.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Protruding Eyes
Choose the Cat Eye style or a variation of it like the Kitten Eye which is a shorter version. Adding the extra length and fullness in the outer corners of your eyes will simulate that almond shape and really draw attention to your big beautiful eyes.
This one’s more of an ‘eye angle’ where the outer corner of the eye sits directly across from (on a horizontal plane) or below the inner corner of the eye.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Downturned Eyes
The aim will be to create volume on the upper outer corner of the eyes to help lift the eye. The downturned eye is perfect for the Cat Eye lash style and as long as you have the natural lashes to support them, you can certainly pull off long extensions up to 14mm in that outer corner.
This means you have a little extra skin right above the crease of your eye. This can vary greatly, from a slight almost indistinguishable hood, all the way to an overlapping hood that can sit on top of the lash line.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Hooded Eyes
In this case we want to open up the eye, so of course this is the perfect match for the Open Eye style. We add fullness and length to the centre of the eye, tapering off as we move closer to the inner and outer corners.
Using the Open Eye style on hooded eyes always creates dramatic before and after photos because it can add a lot more depth and bring attention into the eye itself.
Monolid / Single Lid Eyes
Single lidded eyes have no visible crease so lash extensions can create the appearance of a more open and larger eye shape. This eye shape also typically has straighter natural lashes, so choosing a curl with more flare will create added drama and openness.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Monolid / Single Lid Eyes
A cross between a Baby Doll for a natural look and a bit of Cat Eye to add extra length to the outer corners always looks great and accentuates that elongated eye shape making it even more appealing.
If you’ve been blessed with big eyes then they’re probably already your most dominant feature. The round eye shape is characterised by having a height the same (or very close to the same) as the length.
Lash Extension Recommendations for Round Eyes
My most common recommendation is the Cat Eye because it will add length to your eye and help to balance your eye more toward that desirable Almond shape while still retaining the beauty of your round eyes.
So there it is!
I bet you didn’t know that so much technique goes into lash extensions. At The Lash Spa, we sit down with you and find a style to suit your eye shape, face shape and of course, your personality.
The above are simply recommendations based on conventional beauty but nothing will ever beat your own personal preference. Choose a lash style that suits your unique personality and style and find a lash technician who listens and most importantly, has the skills to get a great result!
In the comments below, I’d love you to write which styles you’ve had – I’m very interested to know if most ladies know what they’re getting or if their previous salon hasn’t explained the whole ‘style’ thing (or maybe they didn’t even know)!