Floating contour for deep set and downturned eyes

deep set eyes makeup



If you want to try something new for your deep set or downturned eyes, why not try a floating contour? I like to do this when I feel like doing something different and want to keep my eyes (lids) more bare.

This technique works for downturned and deep set eyes, as the idea is to pull away the attention from the hood and the (downturned) crease with a matte eyeshadow. You see, typically I would add a darker eyeshadow to hide the so called problem area. But in this look I totally just ignore it, applying eyeshadow elsewhere to trick the eye. I call it the floating contour or an open contour, because it floats on the lid and is not connected in the outer corner, like the usual style. It’s all about contouring and shaping the eye with a darker eyeshadow, mimicking shadow.

makeup tutorials beautyblog

Floating contour for deep set or downturned eyes

As most eye makeup tips, it’s easiest to explain and do when your eye is relaxed and open. See that outer corner in my eye? It’s where my eye creates a tiny little hood and my crease tilts downwards. This is the area that I typically hide with matte colors. But in this look I apply matte eyeshadow on top of that area to lift up the eye. And then I highlight my lid with a lighter shimmer color, making my eye look more open.

floating contour deep set eyes

deep set downturned eyes makeup from the side
How this floating contour looks from the side.

Now – how to find the right spot for the contour?

I’ve shared this tip before, but it’s all about working with the natural shape of your eye. The right spot is where a natural shadow occurs on the eye, where the brow bone ends. When you put a brush in that spot, you can kind of feel that brush sink in there: that’s about where your contour should go. Though in my eye I apply it there, but tilt it slightly upwards.

I also shared a video tutorial of the technique on my Instagram (@charlottaeve).

eyeshadow trick for hooded deep set eyes

how to contour deep set eyes
You can feel the ‘hollow’ in your eye, where the brush sinks in. That’s a good guideline for the contour!

Another way to look at it is to keep your eye open and draw the contour where you can see it.  Obviously it’s way higher than the natural crease. How high you want to bring it is up to you though. Just make sure to leave a gap right under your brow.

This technique doesn’t hide the so called problem area (the crease/hood), but it shifts your focus to someplace else. Makeup is all about having fun and trying different things. So you know, why not try a different look every once in a while? There are no rules. Personally I enjoy wearing my eyeshadow a bit differently sometimes.

deep set downturned eyes different makeup styles
1st photo: how I usually do my makeup, adding dark matte eyeshadow in the outer corner. 2nd photo: An open/floating contour.

Related posts:
Do’s and don’ts for deep set eyes
How to: makeup for downturned eyes

makeup tip for deep set eyes

Floating contour – step by step photo tutorial

Floating contour deep set eyes tutorial

Here’s the step by step for this look.

  1. Draw the floating contour on the eye with a pencil brush. (I used Zoeva 230.) You can tilt it upwards in the outer corner to create a bit of a  winged look.
  2. Blend that out using a slightly bigger and rounder brush. (I used Zoeva 225.) You can also take a color that is slightly lighter than the one you just used and blend it out using that. Blend slightly on top of the line or towards your brow, so that the lightest color is closer to your brow, blending nicely to your skin tone.
  3. Add the same colors to your lower lid as well.
  4. Then you can add your lid color. I added it all the way to the inner corner, because it was so light. Blend it slightly (still Zoeva 225), so that the contour line is not that harsh. Or you could also leave it more visible, faking a crease type of thing. (I used a flat brush from Coastal Scents brush set.)
  5. Line your eyes and add mascara. Done!

deep set hooded eyes makeup floating contour

Eyeshadow palettes I love:
Illamasqua Unveiled Nude Artistry Palette  *Illamasqua Unveiled Artistry Palette (UK)
*NYX Perfect Filter Palettes
*Too Faced Gingerbread Extra Spicy Palette

Makeup brushes I use:
*Coastal Scent Brush Set (this brush set is what I started with)
*Zoeva rose gold brush set (more expensive, but more quality too)

Key products used in the makeup:
*NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
*NARS Soft Matte Concealer, Custard
*Ilia Multi-Stick Cheek & Lip I Put A Spell On You
*Laura Mercier Transluscent Powder
*Urban Decay Primer Potion
*Benefit 24-HR Brow Setter Gel
*Jane Iredale Triple Luxe Lipstick, Ellen

Here’s also two other looks with a floating contour. There’s also a video tutorial of the look below & the technique on my Instagram (@charlottaeve).

By the way: That red dot on my cheek is not a pimple, but spider veins. So annoying, but I’m waiting for it to just disappear. I’ve had one before on my nose and that went away on its own. Don’t ask how I got it, I live in Finland okay? (Sensitive thin skin on the cheeks + harsh weather is not the best combo.)

How to: makeup for downturned eyes

downturned eyes makeup


When you have downturned eyes, it means the outer corner of your eye draws downwards. That can create a hood that makes your eye droop a little. It’s also the reason why a winged eyeliner doesn’t work for you (what a relief, right?). This also makes the upper lid very prominent, so it’s important to bring some eyeshadow to your bottom lid and lashline as well.

Eyes can also be upturned or straight. Out of these three, my eyes are downturned. To be specific, my eyes are deep set, slightly hooded and downturned. I used to be scared of taking my eyeshadow too far off the side of my eye, but now I’m actually embracing that outer corner. That is the key to making the eyeshadow work for you when you have downturned eyes – and I’m gonna show you how.

The trick is simple: I’m hiding the area I want to hide with a dark matte shadow.

Makeup for downturned eyes or a droopy lid

Here are my eyes. As you can see, my upper lid keeps on going in the outer corner and it ends quite low on my eye. You can also see (especially on the left side) how deep my eyes are and how that kind of creates a hood on top of my lid. The key is creating a lifting effect to the eyes by hiding that wrinkle or hood in the outer corner.

Here is the makeup trick in all its simplicity. You’re basically drawing a line from your lower lashline to the point where your lid ends/droops. And then you fill in the so called problem area. It’s the oldest makeup trick in the book: hiding something by creating a shadow with a matte color.

It’s up to you how pointy or round you want to make this shape – and how high you want to lift the color. The only thing I would say is that make sure some color (eyeshadow) shows when you have your eyes opened and relaxed. That lifts up the eyes.

Here I have kept the eyeshadow in a smaller area (not bring it that high or far off the side), but still hid the problem area.
You can also lift up the eyes and hide the wrinkle with fake lashes. I also applied some matte shadow though.
eyeshadow trick for hooded deep set eyes
On my eye shape I bring the color very high, to where my brow bone ends and creates a natural shadow. I’m faking a crease, so to speak. I have a full post about that here. That post focuses on working with deep set eyes.

makeup tips for downturned eyes

Simple makeup tutorial for downturned eyes

makeup for downturned eyes tutorial

  1. Draw a line from your lower lashline to where your upper lid ends and towards the end of your brow. Make sure you are hiding the wrinkle or the hood. Fill that in and start to blend the shadow wider and higher.
  2. Blend well and add more depth if you feel like you blended too much. Keep the outer corner dark.
  3. Finally, add a lid color. I added a beautiful pink shimmer.
  4. Line your eyes, add mascara and lashes if you want.  I also added some glitter in the inner corner. And there you have it!

I also have another tutorial basically done using the same technique. I did this other one using just *NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Dark Brown and Iced Mocha (One matte and one shimmer color). It ended up looking very grey, especially in photos, but here it is anyway.

If you would like to see this in action, I have a video tutorial up on my Instagram Stories Highlights (Eye Tutorial) @charlottaeve.


*Clarins Everlasting Foundation+, Sand (Great foundation for combination & oily skin, review here!)
*Madara City CC Medium Beige
*Zuii Organic Diamond Sparkle Powder, Raspberry (on the lids, cheeks & lips)

mad4eyebrow Natural Brow Filler, Blond
GOSH Brow Hair Stroke, Greybrown
*Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Skinny Eyebrow, Dark Brown
*NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeshadow, Polished Pin Up (Added some glitter in the inner corner)
*Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Long Lash Mascara

*Lily Lolo Lip Liner, True Pink

As for makeup brushes, I use brushes from Zoeva, EcoTools and Real Techniques. If you’re someone just starting out, *this affordable set from Coastal Scents is also great. I used it when I started and I still use it to this day.

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