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Expert Asian Makeup Tips for Women

Updated on July 3, 2015

Eye Makeup: Colors to Avoid

Light colors and pastels can easily make Asian girls look washed out and sickly, so they should be avoided.

Icy colors will also rarely look their best on Asian skin tones.

Asian Eye Shadow Makeup Tips

Many Asians have less area between their eyelids and their eyebrows than other women, so they will get best eye makeup results working with very fine brushes.

Best Eye Makeup Colors

Asian irises usually have less color variation than most other ethnicities, so Asian girls can wear a lot more and brighter color around their eyes than other girls can without looking over-the-top.

  • Glittery, metallic eye shadows on the lid can draw attention to eyes, especially if they are on the small side.
  • Gold and bronze shimmery makeup can bring out the golden undertones common with many Asian girls' skin. It will create "shadows" that look natural.
  • Dark jewel colors can be very flattering, especially in dark, rich hues of green, blue, and purple.

Remember that no matter how dark your eyes and eye lashes seem, pure black eye shadow and mascara will probably look too dark and severe on your face. So unless you're going for a gothic look, dark brown will be a much more natural and flattering color for your face.

Eye Shadows and Shading

Many Asian women have a slight or non-existent second eyelid crease (also called a monolid), so one eye makeup technique is to create a semblance of a crease to add depth and draw attention to the eyes. It's possible to draw the shadow that an eyelid crease would make with a darker version of your skin tone's eye shadow and a very fine brush. Focus on adding color and darkness very gradually, otherwise you will overdo it and the drawn-in crease will look glaringly obvious.

Blending Techniques

Most make up tips for non-Asian girls will advise putting a medium shade on the lid, a dark shade on the crease, and a very light shade on the brow bone under the eyebrow. However, Asian women should blend the shades upward from darkest to lightest, starting with the eyelids. A thin shadow can be placed into the crease area, but the upper lid should not be heavily shadowed.

Asian eyes also look very pretty with a sideways gradient, ranging from a light shimmery color near the inside corners of each eye, spreading into darker shadows on the outside of each eye, with the strip under the brow bone still a lighter color.

No matter what eye shadow style you pick, a light color dabbed on your brow bone and in the inner corners of the eyes can add dimension and depth to your face.

Asian Eye Makeup Tutorial

Dramatic winged eye liner and smoky eye shadow
Dramatic winged eye liner and smoky eye shadow | Source

Other Eye Makeup Tips


Line your upper lashes with a dark brown or black pencil or liquid eyeliner. Extending the line up and outward at the corners of the eyes will make them look slightly longer (this is called "winged" eyeliner).

In general, do not line the lower lashes, which will create too much darkness and "shadows", which will make your eyes seem smaller than they really are.


Dark brown or black mascara will sculpt your eye lashes. Thickness isn't usually a problem with Asian eyelashes, but most girls usually find their eye lashes stick outward more than upward. Applying two coats of mascara, followed by an eyelash curler, will make a huge difference.

If you do not want to use an eyelash curler then you can add more drama to your eyes by applying mascara more heavily to the outer corners of the eyes, and really pull the mascara wand through your lashes.


How your eyebrows look has a huge impact on how your eyes look, and giving your eyebrows, which on Asian women are often a little sparse, a fuller look will really frame your eyes and draw them out to their best advantage.

Whereas black, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern women often struggle to tame eyebrows that are too thick and bushy, many Asian women have sparse eyebrows that instead need to be filled in. It's not necessary to shape them into harsh arches, but take a brown-bronze eye shadow one shade lighter than your hair and use gentle brush strokes to fill in sparse patches. You also might want to tweeze outliers to form more of a distinct curve to your eyebrows.

Blush, eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss - perfection.
Blush, eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss - perfection. | Source
Lovely winged eyeliner.
Lovely winged eyeliner. | Source

Skin and Face Makeup

The foundations and powders you choose should have yellow bases to complement the golden undertones in your skin. You might have to search harder than most women to find the perfect base, because traditional cosmetics are orange or pink-based, which will make your skin look ashy and unnatural. This usually involves using a brand designed for Asian skin, or a brand you are certain has a line appropriate for your skin tone.

Cream-based concealers and foundations provide good coverage for all skin types, though most Asian women are blessed with small pores and few wrinkles, so powder coverage is an option for those who prefer it. In most cases heavy foundation or powder is not necessary, except for a sheer powder on any oily areas. Sweeps of a lighter, highlighting color should be used to give your face more dimension.

As long as you match your foundation and/or powder to your natural coloration, your overall makeup results will look effortless and flawless.

Bronzer, Shadows, and Highlights

Since Asian faces tend to be a little flatter than average, applying bronzers and darker foundation to create lights and shadows can add depth to your face. Light, shimmery highlights should go right under the eyebrow, and under-eye concealer can reduce the appearance of any puffiness or shadows under the eyes. Bronzers can give your face a subtle, healthy glow.

If you have more time to spend on makeup, adding shadows to the sides of the nose and temples, while lightening the bridge of the nose, the inner corners of the eyes, and the cheekbones can have an immediate and dramatic affect on your appearance.


Try a soft plum or reddish-pink on the apples of your cheeks on top of the bronzer. Usually, lips should be fairly subtle and not more than a little glossy. Almost all Asian women are going to want the attention to be on their lovely eyes.

A light dusting of cherry red blush is a great color for the apples of the cheeks. Other shades can also look great, but avoid any colors with yellow undertones (which can make your skin look sallow).

For your face and lips: bronzer, blush, and lip gloss.
For your face and lips: bronzer, blush, and lip gloss. | Source
Lipstick and lip gloss will usually look best in a pretty but neutral shade.
Lipstick and lip gloss will usually look best in a pretty but neutral shade. | Source


Both brightly colored and and dark lipsticks are best avoided for most Asian women. Instead use pale, peachy, neutral colors. Lipsticks with a slightly blue undertone are best and will bring out the beautiful gold in your complexion. As with your blush, avoid hues with yellow undertones.

Overall, your lips are best kept subtle. You want the attention to be on your eyes. A good daily look is lipstick with a neutral, reddish-pink tint and some lip gloss applied over that, if you prefer.

Concepts of Beauty

If I could leave you with just one makeup tip, it would be not to put too much stock into the Western world's supposed ideals of beauty. There are as many different beauty preferences in the world as there are people in it, and the best way to look your most beautiful all the time is to play up your best features. For most east Asian women, this means emphasizing your flawless skin, almost invisible pores, and lovely, exotic-looking eyes. You are gorgeous!

© 2015 brittanyc


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