The 8 Millimeter Rule: The Most Flattering Eye Makeup Trend You've Never Heard Of

According to trend research, the eye is best defined by makeup applied to a line extending 8 mm from the external corner of the eye. How is this not ALL OVER the internet?
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According to trend research, the eye is best defined by makeup applied to a line extending 8 mm from the external corner of the eye. How is this not ALL OVER the internet?

Trend agencies are one of the coolest cogs in the global cosmetics industry machine. They send teams around the world to go shopping, read up on regional editorials, and take pictures of women in the streets. Once they’ve prepared a report, they go from brand to brand giving briefings on what is hot where. 

It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.

My favorite briefings are always from Japan, since I’m convinced that Japan represents the epitome of civilization. Especially in the beauty world, Japanese brands have excellent technology and innovation. The customers also demand the best, which can make the market the most challenging in the world. Briefings from Japan are thus strategically imperative to Euro and North American brands.

In a recent Japan beauty trend briefing, I learned that, apparently, Japanese beauty brands are doing a lot of communication around the existence of the “8 Millimeter Rule.”

In theory, this rule states that the eye is best defined visually by makeup applied to a line extending 8 mm from the external corner of the eye. This means that any eyeliner product--powder, kohl, waterproof crayon, liquid--will have more visual impact in that area than along the waterline.

8 mm of MAC Satin Taupe as a liner over Tom Ford Cream Color in 06 Escapade, with Chanel Ombre Essentielle in 92 Rose de Mai in the crease.

8 mm of MAC Satin Taupe as a liner over Tom Ford Cream Color in 06 Escapade, with Chanel Ombre Essentielle in 92 Rose de Mai in the crease.

As a fan of the Italian eyeshadow shape, I had already been doing something similar by extending the dark shadow out in a powder cat eye. It seems to be a good way to add definition to the eye while eschewing eyeliner to achieve a softer overall makeup look. 

Lately, I’ve been doing a rose-gold eye look with a peachy-pink shadow layered over a shimmery gold cream and a taupe in the crease extending 8 mm past the outer corner.

MAC Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe, Tom Ford Cream Color in 06 Escapade, and Chanel Ombre Essentielle in 92 Rose de Mai.

MAC Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe, Tom Ford Cream Color in 06 Escapade, and Chanel Ombre Essentielle in 92 Rose de Mai.

I like this 8 mm rule. But mysteriously, I can’t find any mention of it on the internet. My Google searches just come back with a weird Nicolas Cage movie with a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

It must exist somewhere, or it wouldn’t have been emphasized in the briefing. But where? And how? Can you help me solve this international mystery?