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Lash Contouring is the Latest Customized Approach to Lash Extensions

Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images

The beauty world is constantly evolving, and the latest trend to take over is lash contouring. This technique is a personalized approach to eyelash extensions, ideal for those looking to enhance their natural beauty. Lash contouring consists of utilizing different lash extension styles, lengths, and curls to create a personalized lash look that enhances the overall beauty of one's eyes.

Professional lash artists use their skill and artistry to create a customized look that flatters different eye shapes. Lash technicians will carefully assess your eye shape, facial features, and desired outcome to determine the most suitable lash style. The technique offers a versatile and truly customizable approach to lash styling, allowing individuals to achieve a wide range of effects, from subtle and natural look to bold and glamorous. Read on for expert commentary on lash contouring and some of the techniques your technician may use should you aim to have this beauty service done. You’ll know what to expect and exactly what to ask for to achieve the eye-enhancing eyelashes of your dreams

About the Expert:
Michelle Nguyen is a lash expert and the founder/CEO of Paris Lash Academy (PLA)

What Is Lash Contouring?

“Lash contouring can be achieved through makeup or eyelash extensions. In my world, lash contouring is the next level of lash extension mastery. Long gone are the days when every client gets the same set of extensions. A master lash artist will take the client’s eye shape and face shape into consideration to create a set of extensions that best enhances the client’s beauty,” says lash expert Michelle Nguyen.

Similar to how contouring is used in makeup to sculpt and define the face, lash contouring focuses on creating flattering and eye-opening lash looks to suit individual eye shapes and preferences.

By strategically applying different lash lengths, curls, and volumes, a lash artist or individual can make subtle or dramatic changes to the appearance of the eyes. The purpose of lash contouring is to accentuate the natural beauty of the eyes, create the illusion of bigger or more lifted eyes, and enhance the overall symmetry of the face.

Lash contouring often involves the use of different lash extension techniques, such as classic extensions, volume extensions, or hybrid extensions, to achieve the desired look. The lash artist will carefully apply individual lash extensions to create a customized lash design that is tailored to their client and their desires.

How to Contour Your Lashes

When it comes to contouring with lash extensions, Michelle notes there are three important steps your lash expert should be following during your appointment. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Having an open conversation with your lash expert is important to achieve the lash style you’re after and so you can also learn about the process and your natural lashes.

1. Determine Your Eye Shape

“There are many different eye shapes from down turned eyes, mono-lid eyes, almond eyes, protruding eyes, round eyes, and up turned eyes. Each shape has a couple different styles that will complement the eyes and face shape,” says Nguyen.

Almond Eyes

A close-up look of Kim Kardashian featuring a pearl and diamond necklace, along with her long black eyelashes accentuating her almond-shaped eyes
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Celebrities who embrace this eye shape are Kim Kardashian and Emma Watson to name a few. “This type of eye can go with any type of map. If you want to elongate the eyes, go with cat eye mapping, but if you want the eye to appear more open, your tech will do what we call ‘kitten eye’ mapping,” explains Nguyen.

Round or Protruding

A close-up look of Amanda Seyfried showcasing her slicked-back blonde hairstyle and captivating round green eyes, adorned with a pair of diamond earrings
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

These two eye shapes are similar in nature. They are overly large, and are the main feature of their face in comparison to nose or mouth. A great celebrity example if Amanda Seyfried. “The key for lash extensions is to choose a map/length/curl that helps soften the eyes and doesn’t give the "surprise" effect. Use a relaxed curl such as C curl for this shape. We also highly recommend cat eye mapping for round eyes,” says Nguyen.

Monolid or Hooded

A close-up image of Constance Wu featuring her black wavy hair, subtle makeup emphasizing her hooded eyes with black eyeliner, and the gold necklace adorned with gems around her neck
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Eyes that have no crease, or partially covered by hood and no visible eyelid, giving the appearance of small eyes. Jennifer Lawerence, Constance Wu, and Blake Lively are great examples of these eye shapes. "Kitten eyes are the best for monolid because it helps open the eyes, making them appear bigger. “We recommend a strong curl, like a D, L or L+ curl,” explains Nguyen.


A close-up photo of Anne Hathaway with dark brown straight hair, and subtle makeup that accentuates her downturned eyes with black eyeliner, elegantly dressed in a pearl-beaded gown and wearing dangling earrings
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

With this shape the outer corners are angled down more than other eye shapes. Anne Hathaway has these shaped eyes. For downturned eyes, avoid the cat eye as cat eyes are longest in the outer corner, which would bring attention to the outer corner pointing down. Kitten eyes are highly recommended to lift the eyes by the brow arch and make the eyes look more bright and open.

Deep Set

A close-up image of Kerry Washington wearing a red, white paint-streak-esque pattern and a black velvet upper trim, and a plunging neckline, wearing subtle makeup with her deep-set eyes adorned with a diamond dangling earings
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The eyes are placed deeper into the eye socket. Deep eyes often go with prominent strong brow bones, sometimes giving them a smaller appearance, like Rose Bryne or Kerry Washington. “For deep set eyes, we recommend the kitten eye map to open up the eyes, while wispy mapping looks best to bring the eyes out more,” says Nguyen.

2. Choose the Diameter and Curl

To best complement your eyes, your lash technician will then choose the diameter, length and curl of the individual lashes they pick out. The curlier the extensions, the more dramatic of the effect it gives on the eyes. Keep this in mind when chatting through with your lash tech. Showing them inspiration photos for your lashes is just as helpful as when you show pictures of cuts to a hairstylist.

3. Choose the Correct Shape of Lashes

Based upon what eye shape you’ve been blessed with and the diameter and curl you desire, then you’ll choose the shape of the lashes. Perhaps you would like a wispy effect instead of a perfect line on your upper lash line. Or, a natural look that truly enhances your face instead of a bold, glamorous and volume heavy look.

Now, we know that lash contouring accessibility or other custom lash services may not be available to everyone. Have no fear, you can use the above eye shape guide to help you navigate false eyelashes at the drugstore before you decide to checkout with your goodies and get to work. Don’t be afraid to grab a couple pairs of false lashes, you can cut them into smaller pieces and use individual lashes for a customized lash line. Make sure to stock up on lash glue and again, search for inspiration photos of what you want your final look to be.

Don’t know where to start? Check out Lashify Lashes and our DIY guide to eyelash extensionsfor the perfect lash lift. Complete your look with your favorite eyeliner and mascara. Everyone will be wondering where you got your eye-elongating lashes from!

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated October 26, 2023 12:00 AM