Smoky Eyes Tutorial for Monolids or Single Lids

5:40 PM

Hey everyone! I just posted up the Youtube video tutorial for applying a smokey eye look for monolids. I know I've said this a few times before, but "single eyelids" are hooded lids that don't have an upper eyelid crease. Because of this feature, eye makeup is applied in a slightly different way. My technique is to use a smooth gradient in sort of an oval shape on the eyelid.

You want to create depth without "faking" any lines, if that makes sense. Monolids tend to be pretty flat in terms of actual depth but I actually find this to be more fun to work with sometimes, like a blank canvas! I especially love it when I work on single-lidded clients because they often find going to traditional makeup artists to be frustrating!

Tools I used:

Everyday Minerals foundation mix of Fairly Light Neutral and Golden Medium
Lancome Photogenic Conceal in Camee
MAC Hello Kitty beauty powder blush in Fun & Games

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
NYX Jumbo Shadow Stick in Black Bean
NYX single eyeshadow in Sweet Lagoon
NYX single eyeshadow in Midnight
NYX single eyeshadow in Opal
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Shisem falsies in XOG특
Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in #13 Peach Passion
Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect in #227 Chiffon Beige

Now, this still follows the basic rules of the smokey eye. When the eyes are the "main attraction" you want to go with a less dominant lip and cheek. I used a milky peach color lipstick with a tan lipgloss on top to help neutralize the bright color. If your lips are less pigmented than mine, you might want to stick to a color that is more milky pink or light tan (NYX round lipstick in strawberry milk or circe). I also matched my blush color to my lips so that they create a monochromatic canvas other than my eyes.

Since monolidders have lashes that are tucked under their lids, a trick to help open up the eyes is to use a good pair of false eyelashes with a nice strong band. I used my favorite lashes of-all-time in this video, Shisem falsies in XOG특. These are nice because they aren't TOO long like most other lashes and I find the criss-cross shape to be quite natural.

The only downfall? Well, in my case falsies sometimes give me a crease inconsistently. Maybe the lashes just create more weight on the lid, pulling the lashline out from being tucked under? I have no idea, but whatever, I roll with it!

the lids, with very subtle "outer v" contouring

One double, one single. LOL.

Me trying really hard to keep both single. :D

Being silly because it TOTALLY stays if I keep my chin tilted up!

And both doubles if I look up or smile.

Oh, and here is a shot of my "workstation" while I was doing the recording. Camera was sitting on this chair with a mirror on top of it. And obviously, I'm sitting on the floor. You can see some of my new camera! I love this little guy (Sony Cybershot DSC-T90), it takes GREAT video, doesn't it? Ridiculously scary HD and pretty pictures! Yay!

Oh, and I just wanted to mention something. I do love all eyelids. I'm not preaching for or against anything, and I never claimed that anything was better than anything else. I simply share my techniques with what I do, and this has no reflection on my racial preferences or lid preferences. I typically use tape because it does keep my eyeliner from smearing and it lifts my lashes, but as you can see here, it does not significantly change my eye shape or size and it doesn't make me look less "Asian." Seriously guys, it's just makeup! It's the magic of being able to play and adapt and change. Don't let anyone berate you just because you want to do your makeup the way you want to (this goes both ways, monolidders don't be ashamed to love your monolids when that's what you prefer)! If it doesn't hurt you or anyone else, why not? Have fun. :)


EDIT: Just wanted to add a little note to answer a couple frequently asked questions.
* my nailpolish is Zoya Roxy
* the brushes are Sonia Kashuk Hidden Treasures set from Target
* I bought the lashes locally but you can find similar Korean ones by Darkness at

Oh, and don't forget, the Mineral Magic Cosmetics Giveaway is still going on! Please enter. :D

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  1. i loved it.. thanks for the tutorials, me and my officemates like your makeup videos =)

  2. omg thanks for this vid! it was super helpful. i have single eyelids and they are such a pain in the butt to work with sometimes! also, the shiseido eyelash curler is THE BEST! it's the underdog of eyelash curlers. i'm so glad to see someone else use it, too!

  3. you look gorgeous! I agree that single or double lids can look great! I have double and my single-lidded friends get frustrated sometimes... I will show them this vid! thx :)

  4. Beautiful look! Thx for sharing ^^

  5. Loved the tutorials and words of wisdom in your own ways.

  6. You make beautiful smokey eyes! I know that sounds weird but they really are beautiful :p

  7. YAY. I love this!! I love that your monolid tutorials show we don't ALWAYS have to rely on super-thick eyeliner and faking a crease into our eye sockets. You should totally post this on AsianBeautyBlog.

    Falsies lift up my fat eyelids and make them fold in like samgyupsal. I end up looking like I have double lids in photos but it's just bulge on bulge T_T

    So, they told me they're working on sending me Orange Soda. Crossing my fingers!

  8. love this!! thank u for making this tutorial... i especially like what u said at the end of this post~ some ppl just dun understand and say that monolidders want double lids to look more "white," when that is not the case. i have monolids, and if i don't use my UDPP, my eyeliner smudges everywhere! i had bought so many diff eyeliners before, thinking that there was something wrong w/them, until i discovered UDPP. i seriously don't know what i would do w/o it!! how does the TF shadow insurance compare to it?

  9. your beautiful in all your picures...

    **where can I buy Shishem lashes at? I've been looking online for sometime now and can't find some at a decent price.???***

  10. hi! just wanted to say that I love your tutorials. They have helped me a lot since I was born with only one double eyelid and the other single. So now I use eyelid tape to make my eyes look even. :) It was so difficult trying to do makeup before I came across your blog.

  11. I really enjoyed this tutorial and your words at the end of the post. I think it's a message a lot of ladies need to hear. =)

  12. very cute :)
    i like the braid on your hair :)
    I would love to be Korean:D

  13. so pretty! gorgeous...n all ur picture looks flawless...and i was suprised to see someone sitting behind you in the video..hhehhehe..

    looking fwd for more vids~~xxxx

  14. thanks for this! though i can't really try this out cos i don't have any of the products you used, it's nice to see a monolid tutorial. hopefully there'll be more monolid tutorials to come, & hopefully i'll be able to try them out lol

    & i really love your brushes! they look super cute ^^

    also, a quick question, when you put on mascara on your falsies, how do you wash the mascara off? do you like, soak it in eyemakeup remover? or just plain water? i haven't actually used mascara on my falsies (prolly a big faux pas) cos i don't really wanna "dirty" them lol

  15. i don't have monolids but i love the tutorial! you're soo good with makeup. but where can i get those false eyelashes? do i have to order them online? are there any other false eyelashes you recommend? something that looks natural and similar to yours. thanks!

  16. I lovedddd that! Seriously, I'm so glad you have a blog because you're 1) awesome at makeup, 2) Korean (pride? yay) with single lids like a lot of us here, 3) you're gorgeous. :) I think I need to get my hands on Shisem falsies now...

  17. Hi~ Sorry this is off topic but~
    I've been reading your blog for a while now, and this is where I found my favorite concealer- Lancome's Photogenic. :] They discontinued it! Do you have a rec for something similar? Thanks~

  18. OMG YAY FINALLY!!! I've been lurking around the entire internet for YEARS trying to find smokey eyes for monolids to no avail till now. ILU <3

    btw, due to tragic past cosmetic shop assistant experiences where I always ended up looking like some dying goth girl lol, I was wondering if these shades would still work on darker skin tones like mine? My skin tone is somewhere around Hyori's skin tone ( and maybe a tad darker.

    Another question: I'd just went to my dermatologist today and got a bunch of prescriptions for my acne (very mild ones but still annoying lol)and he suggested using water-based makeup while on medication and I was wondering if you encountered the same thing in the past too? if so, which water-based foundation is best? Could I use mineral makeup instead or is it no good too?

  19. i love your dragonfly ear rings. May i ask here you got it.


  20. Alienman: Yeah, I've never been a big fan of "overdrawn" eyeliner that monolidders do sometimes. It makes your eye look like a black hole! You can't tell but others can when you blink! I just had samgyupsal last week *drool* although, I'm being a little creepy because I don't really WANT to eat your eyelids. Heh. heh. ... Can't wait to see your orange soda! I actually think Peach Passion is more pigmented and harder to wear, so hopefully it will look nice. :)

    Anonymous: I haven't used it for a long time yet, but it is definitely creamier. UDPP = best for oily lids, TFSI = better for drier lids.

    poppy'sbeauty and Tina: I haven't bought them online, and I agree... No good prices, but has similar korean Darkness brand lashes that are also good. Shipping is quick too.

    seventoes: sometimes I don't use mascara with falsies too. less cleanup! Yes, I just wipe them with makeup remover. oh, and you can follow the tutorial using other brands with similar colors! you don't have to have exactly the same thing to try it. :)

    Bora: Oh no!!!!! Tragedy! Why do my favorite things always get cancelled? Oh well, I just now bought one from eBay for $19 shipped because you told me that! Sorry, no rec cause that was my staple. :(

    hana: The tut absolutely works on darker skintones! That's about my typical summer skincolor but I've been staying inside all year. :P You have an advantage of being able to pull off even brighter colors + smokey eyes with darker skin so be experimental! Violet smokey looks great on your skin color!

    As for makeup, I would try to hold off on all liquid foundation for at least 3 or 4 months. If you must wear makeup, mineral foundation is a really great option since it is less likely to break out your skin and it doesn't harbor bacteria. I personally wasn't told anything about water-based makeup!

  21. jewels: I found the earrings at Steve & Berrys but the chain is closed now. :/ Sorry!

  22. Haha I see~ Well thanks for the reply anyway. ^^ I'll let you know if I find something that works just as well~

  23. Hello; I just want you to know that I nominated you for a blog award. Come by and check it out when you have time.
    -stay beautiful!

    ~pa (poppylipstian)

  24. also. thanks for your response! i'll have a look.


  25. you'reee 1000% gorgeouss!!!

    may i ask what colour ur contact lenses in these photos are?


  26. poppy'sbeauty: aww, thank you so much for the award!! I'm so flattered. XD And I wish I could be an awesome ballerina like you!

    darling: You are talking about the photos from this post, right? I'm not wearing any contact lenses (not even clear ones, since I have 20/20). So I am just going to go die of blushing now. LOL.

  27. ^ LOL Jen, you're too cute!

    Man, if only you lived in NYC, I'd totally ask you to do my prom makeup for me. I don't know where I'm going to go for my makeup :( Blahhh.

  28. Almost 100% of Korean beauty salon have a select look for prom makeup. But I don't think it'll be for me! I have single eyelids and very dark undereye circles :( Usually they don't care about their clients, and just do it for the money. And the makeup turns out to be crappy anyway. Boo!

  29. wow u make the makeup seems so easy! hope u can share what brand of brushes do u use for the different eyeshadow? coz i have no idea how to apply them! (except for the flat angled brush for blacktrack):(


  30. Dear Jen,

    You're adorable! I come to your site time to time for your tutorials as they're very helpful for someone like me who does not put on make-up much and therefore quite lacking in techniques. That said, there's something that has baffled me for the longest time: I have used a similar eyeliner as in this video. I loved how easily it can be manipulated but the problem was that it would smudge all over the upper part of my eyelid after a couple hours or so. I am double-lidded and the folding skin from blinking ends up messing up the eyeliner like that. Even pencil eyeliner smudges quite a bit. Water-proof liquid eyeliner stays put but I dislike water-proof stuff. Any advice?

  31. daisy: Aww, I'm so sorry and I know what you mean! I'm often frustrated with other makeup artists if they don't have a lot of experience working on Asians, or only do makeup one way. I wish I could do your prom makeup for you!

    Jewel: I use many different brands of brushes. Here's a list of the brushes I used in this video:

    -mineral magic cosmetics dual ended brush (same as in my giveaway!)
    -italian badger round crease brush from
    -MAC Hello Kitty 239SE
    -Sonia Kasuk Hidden Treasures set med round brush
    -SKHT large fluff brush
    -MMC dual ended brush again
    -SKHT flat rounded edge brush
    -SKHT angled eyebrow brush
    -SKHT blush brush

    I really love that sonia kashuk hidden treasures brush set! It's only $20 from target and it works great. I also recommend brushes. :)

    Yesol: Did you use a primer before applying the eyeliner? Urban Decay Primer Potion (better for oily lids than too faced shadow insurance) applied to the bare lid should help everything stay on and not smudge. As for cream liners, I recommend MAC fluidline or Bobbi Brown gel liners as all brands are not equal. Pencil liners are almost always smudgy so leave that for your waterline or lower lashline if you can. Try that out and let me know if it works for you!

  32. Darn. I've mostly regarded primers as over-rated, non-essential items made for those with too much time and money on their hands... Never thought it might be the solution I've been looking for! I guess it's time for me to invest in one.

    Thanks for the recommendations, Jen.

  33. Yesol: Oh no! I totally think UDPP is like a miracle product. I definitely swear by it. One tube lasts quite a long time and makes a world of difference. :)

  34. Jen you are so darn cute I love you!

    You're beeaaautiful without and with make-up. I looove this look by the way and the peach lipstick so fun!

  35. i totally LOL'ed hard @ ur comment about eating my eyelids... why doesn't this creep me out -.-a

  36. hello! i love your blog with the pretty pictures & video tutorials! you're gorgeous! i see you use alot of NYX eyeshadows ... are they really good? i'm curious and would like to buy and try them out! are they only available online?

  37. Kassia: oooh, thanks lady! Yeah, I kept going back and forth on if I should buy the peach lipstick since online pics weren't too flattering, but I do have a warm complexion already so I was hoping it would be a nice pale lippy on me. Kind of! It's best sheered out. ;)

    Pinky: I loooooooove NYX eyeshadows! They are the best drugstore-priced shadows in terms of pigmentation. You can buy them at Ulta or online at places like or :)

  38. Hi! Just wanted to clear up what you meant by 'tightlining' since you mentioned that it's not healthy for you. Thanks! And thanks so much for the video, I can't wait to give this look a try in the near future!

  39. awesome video!

    also, what songs are these, i love them!

  40. Anonymous: "Tightlining" is lining your waterline, or the strip of watery skin that sits right between your eyeball and your lashline. If you don't have sensitive eyes and keep your eyeliners clean, then it's not a problem to line this area. It can really give an extra edge to eyes, but I don't do it usually!

    Jacqueline: The songs I think I used are "Daydream" by Anyband, "Monster" by Super Junior, and "Tetrishead" by Zoe Keating. If you appreciate amazing, non-classical cello definitely buy Zoe Keating. She's incredible.

  41. Super gorgeous eye makeup tutorial for monolids! Especially love how you did the outer corner of your eyes.

    The lipstick and the blush - everything goes perfectly with the smokey look ! <3

  42. just came across your site! loving it already! and ooh i have similar earrings (dragonfly) =] hehehe...

  43. you are so STUNNING! perfect complexion and smile, seriously.

    your blending skills are amazing. what i usually notice with other monolid makeup gurus on youtube is that they keep that harsh eyeshadow line instead of blending it out which produces this kind of harsh rainbow effect if you know what i mean...

    ooh and i was wondering if that mascara is any good?

    thank you in advance, will definitely keep watching :)

  44. same here..I am Asian (Filipino) and have the similar lids like you. mine are heavy/hooded that they cover the main lid(the eyepart just above the lashes). your tricks andmake up techniques helps me a lot..
    thanks jen..more monoids make up tutorials please..because most makeup videos I watch are usually for those with double lids..

  45. I LOVE this tutorial! :) I have single eyelids too and It. Is. So. Frustrating! :P (It doesn't help that my eyes are small too! ) I'm definitely going to practice what you've done here :)

  46. Hi Jen, can you recommend brushes to do smokey eyes for small eyes/monolids, other than Sonia Kashuk Hidden Treasures set?
    Hidden Treasures set is sold out everywhere.
    Thank you :)