Why You Should Avoid Lining Your Lower Eyelid If You Have Smaller Eyes

Eyeliner is a staple in most makeup routines, but deciding where to apply it can be tricky. Some people prefer eyeliner only on the top lid, others just on the bottom. We've all made eyeliner mistakes that we generally figure out through experimenting with different looks — winged eyeliner, anyone? However, eyeliner is actually one of the most powerful tools in your makeup bag, as it can completely change the look of your eyes beyond simply making them appear more dramatic.


Depending on placement, eyeliner has the ability to make your eyes look bigger or smaller. According to L'Oreal Paris, applying liner on your bottom lid and the lower lash line will instantly shrink your eyes. Though making your eyes appear smaller can be a good way to create a feline, sultry look, it isn't everyone's desired outcome. Whether you're looking for an eyeliner hack to make your eyes appear bigger or simply want to learn some new tricks, here's why lining your lower eyelid can make your eyes appear smaller and how to fix it. 

Bottom lid eyeliner can be tricky to pull off for certain eye shapes

Eyeliner on your bottom lid can look cool and edgy, but it can also have another effect you may not be aiming for. As celeb makeup artist Fiona Stiles warned, dark eyeliner on just the bottom lid can make your look appear "unbalanced and bottom-heavy, dragging the eyes down" (via Glamour). This will only be exacerbated if you have naturally smaller eyes, as lining your bottom lid has a shrinking effect due to the lighter color of your lash line not being visible.


Of course, being worried about your eyes looking smaller doesn't mean you can't wear eyeliner at all. An alternative way to get a smoky look without diminishing the size of your eyes is to apply eyeliner to the outer corner of your eyes rather than the whole bottom lid, per Maybelline. This will give you a sexy and alluring look and won't minimize the size of your eyes, though ensure you blend in the eyeliner well at the corner starting point for an even, finished look. 

There are plenty of ways to make your eyes look bigger with eyeliner

If you do want to wear eyeliner on your bottom lid, white eyeliner could be the way to go. As makeup artist Geo Brian Hennings noted, "White eyeliner not only makes your eyes look larger but also makes you look more awake" (via Cosmopolitan). Sound like magic? Not quite. The reason white eyeliner gives you a wider, more alert look is that it extends the whites of your eyes — as opposed to black, which shortens them — thereby creating the illusion of larger eyes. 


Elsewhere, lighter shades in general can create a more open, doe-eyed look. Per Elle, using a pearl-colored liner pencil will have the same effect as white eyeliner. Plus, pearlescent eyeliner has the added bonus of creating a shimmer that's perfect for party looks. Another great tip is to place a pearl or white shadow in the inner corners of your eyes, which will then elongate them further. When paired with light eyeliner, this trick is guaranteed to make your eyes appear larger.