Eyeshadow Tips: How To Apply Dark Eye Makeup on Asian Eyes

January 10, 2007

Request from Cherrybread: I have always wanted to know how to apply dark makeup without closing up the eyes like stars in Hong Kong. Will you be able to tell me how to create an evening look, like how Kathy Chow has it please?

Smoky dark eye makeup can add a hint of mystery to your peepers and drive the boys crazy. But unlike Caucasians, us Asians often do not have deep-set eyes to pull off the look. So how can we wear dark eye makeup without making the eyes look smaller? Check out these tips below:

Pick the right color. If you look at pictures of Chinese celebrities, they seldom use black all over the eyelid. Instead, try something a little softer like deep navy, plum, emerald, copper or charcoal. These colors will make dark brown eyes pop without looking too harsh. If you insist on using black, make sure you keep the color close to your lashline and crease.

• Opt for eyeshadows with shimmery and metallic finishes over matte ones to help add extra sparkles to your eyes.

• Always highlight the inner corner and browbone with a lighter color to open up the eyes.

• Make sure you blend and blend the edges. Slapping on a really dark color without blending will only make you look like The Grudge – SCARY!

• Avoid lining your waterline with a dark color if you have small eyes. It will make them look even smaller. Instead, apply extra coats of mascara on your lower lashes and use a charcoal color to line if necessary.

• Never forget to apply false lashes when you are working with really dark colors. It will help make your eyes look a lot bigger and balance the whole look. Some of my favorite brands are Ardell, MAC, Shisem and generic Taiwanese brands.

• Skip brow powder and brush on a tinted brow gel on your eyebrows to keep them neat and understated.


  • Reply cherrybead January 11, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Hey Phyllis,
    Thank you sooooo much! Where you find these pics too? i can never find examples to show and ask people!
    Anyway, your so great! thank you!!!


  • Reply jasmine January 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    veryy verry nice!
    wow i lov eher eyes
    i look forward to the tutorial ^^ thanks for your hard work~!

  • Reply Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 5:35 am

    how about a tut on how elva hsiao achieves that dark dark look for her eyes. so dark that the whole eye seems to consists of the dark iris only no whites of the eye can be seen

  • Reply Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 7:00 am

    yes please please do a asian eye tut! with step by step instructions/photos!

  • Reply Anonymous January 13, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Can u please do a tutorial on Jolin Tsai’s makeup for her recent album? I believe the main focus is on the eyes which is the “dark” eye makeup. Thanks a ton.

  • Reply Anonymous January 13, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    yeah i really like the dark eye look…like sometimes its hard for me to do the dramatic look cus it makes my eyes loook smaller. btw i have like round eyes double eyelids too. x_x i like the dark make up eye cus it makes me look older

  • Reply Phyllis January 15, 2007 at 7:37 am

    Cherrybread, I just got these pictures from those Asian forums.

  • Reply Anonymous March 13, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Hi Phyllis,
    i really like your blog. Im asian too and im happy i saw your blog! really nice and informative!
    More power! =)

    – khymm

  • Reply Anonymous March 15, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Phyllis, I would like to ask you, For this tutorial if you use a different color eye liner will it still look good? like if you used like a Turquoise or Gold eyeliner and use the white for the bottom and a little black at the top will it look as good as the black eyeliner?

  • Reply Anonymous March 17, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE her hair!

  • Reply Phyllis March 18, 2007 at 5:38 am

    If you use a turquoise/gold eyeliner instead of black, it will still work but the effect will not quite be the same.

  • Reply Anonymous September 3, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    All your tips have been very informative…your site is FABULOUS! who is this Kathy? (her last name?) i wanted to google her to pick up more looks.

    p.s. can you please do some of Hyori Lee’s looks? i think she has such a beautiful face!

  • Reply Anonymous November 18, 2007 at 10:30 am

    haha it’s so werid, i was looking for tips for dark eyes. So, i can match with my outfit. And it appeared on google, “your page” haha those eyes are GREAT! i think i would love to try it. THANKS! 😀
    please email me more about tips for makeup

  • Reply Nancy August 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I love your blog and all the review and tips.

    Which celebrity is in this picture? If you have any tips or ideas on how to do hair like this, email me when you get a chance 🙂

    Thanks so much for the blog again


  • Reply bxan September 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Phyllis!
    I know what a water line is…but every time i put eyeliner there…it fades away!!!


  • Reply How to Put on Eye Makeup August 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Hi Phyllis! I’m Asian and I don’t really wear make up, because I don’t know how. Thanks to you, now, I have the confidence of putting some on. Thank you!

  • Reply Julie January 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Hi Phyllis,
    Do you know a good brown/nude MAC lipstick similar to the one in the first picture? I just love her lip color and it didn’t wash her out.

    Love your blog!

    Best 😀

    • Reply Phyllis January 16, 2011 at 1:20 am


      You can try MAC Partial To Pink Cremesheen Glass.

  • Reply Gelin Makyajı January 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I have to try like this smokey make-up. I like it.

  • Reply Cassandra Rae Ferguson, Sydney Makeup Artist February 15, 2011 at 4:40 am

    These are excellent tips – thank you for sharing this post. It is great that you have suggested using shades other than black. Smoky eyes do not have to be black, as the term ‘smoky’ refers to the technique, not the shade.

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