How to Minimize or Play Up the Distance Between Your Wide-Set Eyes

Some days I like to emphasize the distance with makeup, and some days I like to make my eyes appear closer together.
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Some days I like to emphasize the distance with makeup, and some days I like to make my eyes appear closer together.

Having wide-set eyes is a feature I never would’ve noticed about myself if it weren’t for someone else pointing it out to me. (Isn’t this how many insecurities start?) 

My optometrist had the honor of being the first to deliver the not-so-exciting news to me during a glasses fitting: “We’re going to have to make your lenses farther apart, since your eyes are wide-set.” 

I’ll admit, for a split second, I debated the “normalness” of this feature, but after that split second, I went back to my typical train of thought, which is mostly food.

According to a bunch of how-to-do-your-makeup-for-your-eye-shape articles floating around the web, the “normal” distance between eyes is supposed to be the width of one of your eyes. If the distance between is smaller than the width of one of your eyes, you have close-set eyes; if the distance is greater than the width, then you have wide-set eyes.

Maybe it’s because it’s a common feature among Southeast Asians, or maybe it’s because I already obsess over a ton of beauty-related things and don’t have room for anything else, but I am neutral to the fact that I have a larger-than-average distance between my eyes. At the end of the day, my eyes are just my eyes. And I love putting makeup on my eyelids no matter what. 

Some days I like to play up the distance with makeup, and some days I like to use makeup to make my eyes appear closer together. Here’s how I do my makeup in both scenarios.

What I’m Working With:

So you can see how wide-set my eyes really are, here’s a pic of my pale face without filled-in brows or eye makeup.

So you can see how wide-set my eyes really are, here’s a pic of my pale face without filled-in brows or eye makeup.

Make Wide-Set Eyes Look Closer Together

The objective here is to use dark-colored makeup toward the center of your face.

Make your brows longer at the start.

Holding my brush this way helps me estimate where I want my brows to start so my eyes appear closer together.

Holding my brush this way helps me estimate where I want my brows to start so my eyes appear closer together.

In elementary school, I hated my brows so much, I took a razor and shaved right in the middle, creating a freakishly wide gap between my brows. My forehead looked huge. Don’t do what I did. Instead, do the opposite.

An easy way to make the distance between your eyes appear narrower is by elongating your brows at the inner corners. To do this, I first fill in my brows with a slanted eyeliner brush dipped in my favorite Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow. Then, I align my slanted eyeliner brush along one side of the bridge of my nose to get an idea of where my brow should start. Next, I use the remaining product left on my brush to draw diagonal strokes at the start of my brows to create the illusion of little sprouts. This should help lengthen your brows a bit, but don’t overdo it.

Contour your nose bridge.

Left: Contouring my nose. Right: My nose after blending out the contours.

Left: Contouring my nose. Right: My nose after blending out the contours.

If you have a flat nose like I do, contouring your nose bridge will help add definition to the wide space between your eyes. I am using Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Naked to shade both sides of my nose up to the start of my brows. Afterward, I blend it out with a fluffy brush.

Contour your entire crease.

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I’ve come across several beauty articles that suggest applying darker eyeshadow at the inner corners of your eyes to make eyes appear closer together. Since I have yet to figure out how to make that work for my eye shape, I opted for another method: contouring my entire crease. By doing this, and extending the contour ever-so-slightly inward, it helps to visually pull my eyes closer together. Here, I used a matte brown shade to contour the crease with a crease brush.

Keep your cat-eye wings shorter and more vertical.

This cat eye is TAME compared to the cat eyes I normally wear.

This cat eye is TAME compared to the cat eyes I normally wear.

Since a sweeping cat eye will make it look like your cat-eye flicks are stretching your eye shape to look wider, keep your kitty flicks intentionally shorter.

Play Up the Distance Between Wide-Set Eyes

The goal here is to draw attention to the end of your eyes by using darker makeup colors on the outer corners up to the end of your brows. As you’ll see, this is pretty much the opposite of the tips above.

Don’t extend your brows inward.

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If your brows are naturally far apart, keep them that way as much as possible. As a guide, align your brush along the sides of your nose and the inner corners of your eyes so you get an idea of where you want your brow to start.

Go for an exaggerated cat eye.

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To make your eyes look even more wide-set, go for a dramatic cat eye with a long flick.

Place dark shadow colors on the outer corners and extend them outward.

Top: Adding deep colors to my outer V. Middle: Adding an even darker color to my outer V and extending it outward. Bottom: The result after creating a sleek line using a concealer brush dipped in foundation.

Top: Adding deep colors to my outer V. Middle: Adding an even darker color to my outer V and extending it outward. Bottom: The result after creating a sleek line using a concealer brush dipped in foundation.

Adding deep colors to your outer V will focus all the attention on the outer corners of your eyes. You get bonus points for extending the outer V outward toward the end of your brow. For a more dramatic winged effect, clean up the outer V with a concealer brush dipped in foundation to create a straight edge.

A Side-by-Side of the Two Techniques

Left: Using techniques to make my eyes look closer together. Right: Using techniques to make them look farther apart.

Left: Using techniques to make my eyes look closer together. Right: Using techniques to make them look farther apart.

The differences between both techniques are subtle on camera, but they’re more obvious to me. On a daily basis, I use a mix of these techniques and combine a long brow with a dramatic cat eye.

  • How do you do makeup for wide-set eyes?
  • Does the distance between your eyes affect how you do your eye makeup?