Welcome to the Mostly Sunny 2013 Monolid Trilogy! I get asked monolid-related questions very often, and I keep promising I’ll do a new tutorial. Since there is a lot I’d like to share, I decided to divide it into three parts. In the first part, I will talk about what you might need. In the second part, eyeshadow placement. In the third part, eyeliner and mascara. I hope this series will be helpful for those who aren’t too sure how to work with monolids. If you have more questions, you are always welcome to leave a comment, drop me an email, or tweet me!
Monolid is a common term for an eyelid that does not have a prominent crease. However, this is a grand generalization. There is a large variety of eye shapes within the group, and let’s not forget about personal preferences! The best I can do is showing you how I work with my own monolids, and sharing tips I think might be helpful.
Here you see all the tools we are going to use in the next two parts. In terms of eyelash curlers, I have tried both Shiseido and Shu Uemura. There was a bit more of a learning curve with Shu Uemura, but once I got past that, I actually like it more. It is sturdy, and it gets all of my eyelashes in one go (including the ones around the inner corners that I had previously thought nothing would ever get). Mascara curlers are very personal, but I would encourage you not to get a random cheap one. I made that mistake once and ended up losing some lashes… It could have been worse though. In short, safety first. Find an eyelash curler that is well-constructed and fits your eyes more easily than others!
In terms of brushes, I would suggest you begin with a paddle brush (like MAC 239) to lay the color down, a blending brush (for example MAC 217) to blend everything into a smooth gradient, and a pencil brush (MAC 219). As you will see, a pencil brush is very useful for smudging eyeshadow onto the lower lash line, as well as highlighting the inner corners!
If you use gel liner, a good eyeliner brush is indispensable. There are many different shapes out there, and my personal favorite is Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (on the left). Of course what you’re used to plays an important role here, but if you haven’t found a brush you love, this is something you should try. I often lay it down horizontally and drag it across my lids. It is so much easier than slowly building the line up. I personally find it riskier than just going ahead with some courage of conviction. Bdellium Tools 760 is another one you can consider. It is easier to create a sharp wing with this one.
I know the primer talk might appear very basic for many, but I have got quite some questions along the line of “everything smudges on me. What do I do?” Well, have you tried a primer? I can’t exaggerate the importance of eyeshadow primers, particularly if you want your eye makeup to look vibrant and last all day! I have tried NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base and Urban Decay Primer Potion. Both work well enough on me. If you have oilier lids, UPDD might be a better bet. In all honesty, I prefer the tube packaging as well. There are many more primers on the market. I’d like to think everyone can find a good one!
What if primer alone wouldn’t hold everything in place all day? Have you tried cream shadows and stick shadows? I used to be skeptical about anything holding up on my lids, but some formulas do last all day without any help! What’s more, it gives the look more depth and dimension. That’s always a bonus!
When it comes to eyeshadows, I’d say whatever floats your boat! Be it a big palette, a trio, a neutral shade or a bright pop or color, sky is the limit!
Eyeliner is another big topic. Should I go for liquid, gel, or pencil eyeliners? In general, I gathered that most have better luck with gel liners. Some liquid liners can also go the distance. I personally prefer to keep pencil liners to my lower lash line. They are available in a big range of colors. If you want to experiment with colors, I find the lower lash line the best place to start!
Last but not least, let’s pump those lashes up! Lash primer is something else I would encourage everyone to try. My go-to is Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum, but there are many other on the market nowadays! I used to think only waterproof mascaras will hold curls. However, as it turned out, as long as a formula isn’t too wet, you’re probably good to go! it could take some experiments before you find your dream mascara. The good news is a lot of drugstore mascaras are excellent, so it really doesn’t have to break the bank! If you know how to put on false eyelashes, you are already heaps and bounds ahead of me! I have tried a couple of times and found wearing them fun, but I never practiced enough to be able to wear them every day.
Now that we have gone through all the tools you might need, there is something I have to say. The message I received growing up in Taiwan is a crease is infinitely more desirable. Even last year when I went shopping with a monolidded friend in Taipei, we were informed by a sales assistant from a large international cosmetics brand that “it is so much easier to work with double lids.” I didn’t find out until much later that many with monolids also feel they are somehow stuck with their monolids in different parts of the world, but apparently that is the case.
Monolid, like everything else, is simply a feature. As long as you figure out what makeup (this includes no makeup whatsoever) makes you happy, that’s all it counts. You don’t “have” to wing your eyeliner out/highlight your inner corners/define your crease because you have a certain eye shape. You do it because you think that’s how you look your best, and that’s what makes you feel beautiful!
Now, are you ready to have some fun with your monolids?
Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx