Bun Bun Makeup Tips and Beauty Product Reviews

Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes Part 3 – Defining the Outer V

Series, Featured, Makeup How-To: Tips & Tutorials, Makeup Looks
November 8, 2011
Composed by : Bun Bun

Now that all that Halloween dust has settled, it’s time to return to the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series!

In the third installment of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series, we discuss the Outer V.

Oooh, the MYSTERIOUS Outer-V. That tiny area that has eluded even the best of us.

Before we continue, why not check out the other parts of this series first?

Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method

Where is the Outer V?

As with the Crease and Contour Area, the Outer-V on the Asian eye is quite different from that on the Caucasian eye. It took me a while to discover this as well.

On the (typical) Caucasian eye,

1st stroke of ‘V’: Imagine a line that extends beyond the Lower Lash Line, draw the line towards the brow, careful not to extend beyond the Border.

2nd stroke of ‘V’: Connect with the Crease.

Marlena from MakeupGeek has a great video on the Outer V for Caucasian eyes. I look like a drag queen when I use that method. Lol.

On the (typical) Asian eye,

1st stroke of ‘V’: Imagine a line that extends beyond the Lower Lash Line, draw the line towards the brow, careful not to extend beyond the Border.

2nd stroke of ‘V’: Blend towards the Contour Area (aka Orbital Rim or Socket Line), which is above the Fold.

For other parts of the eye, check out Part 1 of the Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eyes series.


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: Be careful not to draw too sharp or dark an Outer V on the Asian eye, because it may look especially stark without the natural indentation of the eye. Also don’t bring the Outer-V too much inwards, stop somewhere before reaching the middle of the lid.

How to Define the Outer V?

I’ve found that what works best for me is to only perform the Outer V on a very small area at the outer part of the eye. Like a super small ‘V’. I’ll definitely work colors onto the Contour Area first, then add the tiny ‘V’ on top of that.

I normally get on with the Lid colors first then proceed to defining the Outer V.

(All text refer to the preceding picture)

I primed my Lid with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, and pat on NYX Single Eyeshadow in Rust, bringing it above the Fold. I used MAC 239 Shader Brush.

Apply NYX Single Eyeshadow in Mermaid Green to the Contour Area. Here I used Stage’s Shadow Smudger. It really doesn’t matter, sometimes I simply use the flip side of MAC 239 too.

This is how the colors look without any blending. Chunky, isn’t it?

Blend out the edges with a clean blending brush, like the MAC 217 Blending Brush. Looks better. If you think too much of the Contour Area color has been lost, you can always add it back and repeat the blending.

To get to the Outer V, use a pencil brush like the MAC 219, or Essence of Beauty Duo Brushes, or any brush that has a pointed tip since it is such a small area that requires precision.

I used Urban Decay Naked Palette‘s Darkhorse. I love using Darkhorse on the Outer V. It is a very dark brown-grey with gold shimmer.

And that’s the 1st stroke of ‘V’!

The 2nd stroke of ‘V’ is trickier.

The same way as I mentioned in all my eye makeup tutorials, like this one here, gently push the brush back into the skin to locate the Socket Line/Orbital Rim.

Following the guidelines stated earlier, after placing color on the Outer V, you will want to feather out the harsh edges of the Outer V strokes, and also blend the color nicely into the Lid colors.

Use a clean brush blending to diffuse the Outer V color, or have the same color on the brush (Darkhorse) to strengthen and then blend it out.

Left: Without Outer V; Right: With Outer V

The Outer V really does bring more dimension to the eye, yea? 😀


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: Don’t carry the upper stroke too far into the eye if you have smaller eyes as doing so can potentially make the eyes look smaller.




To finish the look, highlight the Brow Bone, add some color on the Lower Lash Line, line and tightline (What is Tightlining?) your eyes, and add mascara to your lashes.

This last picture was taken on another day because I was in such a rush to meet a friend after taking pictures for the tutorial that I’d forgotten to take a picture of the completed look! Hope it doesn’t look too different. I tried to make it as similar as possible from my memory! XD

Why Define the Outer V?

There are several reasons why people define the Outer V.

1. Adding a darker color to the outer edges of the eye in the shape of a V adds a lot more dimension to the eye.

Even with just that tiny bit of definition at the outer corner – which is what I do – brings a whole new depth to the eye makeup look. You can also use colors such as purple, blue, brown, instead of black.

Black is very harsh and not entirely suitable for eyes that are not ‘strong enough’ to hold the weight of harsh black. It can totally make your eyes disappear.


2. Defining the Outer V enables one to correct the eye shape or make the eyes look nearer or further apart.

3. Having a dark color at the Outer V helps to hide or correct some errors made from applying eyeshadow.


Bun Bun’s Makeup Tip: The difference between the Outer V and Upper Outer 1/3 of the Lid is that the Outer V can be large or small, and extends inwards, while the Upper Outer 1/3 of the Lid just stays within that 1/3 of its space.



Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

Outer V for Monolids, Heavily Hooded Lids or Asian Eyes

Should I Or Should I Not Draw The Outer V?

Read: Types of Asian Eyes

My eyes are larger than the average Asian eye, I have prominent double lids, and not-as-heavily-hooded lids that show some lid space beneath the Fold when my eyes are open. My Orbital Rim and Fold don’t meet, but the gap is not too big because of my thicker double eyelids.

Despite having those on my Asian eye, placing a dark color on my Outer V using the Caucasian way requires a lot of blending and blending and blending so that the Caucasian Outer V placement would not look odd and fake on my Asian eye.

Thus, I would suggest that people with monolids or heavily hooded lids stay away from dark, harsh colors on the Outer V, unless you are very confident with your blending skills.

What I do is, instead of trying to emphasize the lack of a crease or the presence of a hooded lid, I work on the Contour Area with colors. Find colors that look good on your skintone. Using colors on the Contour Area and Lid can serve to distract from the lack of a Fold and also brighten up the eye.

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

SEE! No Outer V at all! 😀

How I do my Outer V…

And Would Recommend It To You Too!

Even though I can carry a heavy Outer V look, I prefer not to do it all the time because it requires a lot of blending and time, and my eyes actually look better with a soft Outer V emphasis.

It is important to know what works for your eyes, instead of forcing a type of eyeshadow application just because someone else said this or that works for them. There are no ‘rules’ to makeup. You can and must find what works best for your eyes.

You’ve seen how I conquer my Outer V, I use it as an accent instead of creating the whole eye shape with it. The darker color on the edge will create a frame for the eye. That little definition gives an instant accent to the rest of the eye makeup!

Don’t have a tutorial for this look. I used Sin, Grifter and Last Call on the Lid and Smog on the Outer V.

All shades are from the Urban Decay Ammo Palette.

Click here for this eye makeup tutorial

I almost never feel like my eye makeup is complete without defining the Outer V.

Alright! I hope you guys have come to understand more about the Outer V. I know this tutorial is the most technical one so far. I’ve tried my best to break it down to bite sized pieces. I had to swallow it whole and choked on it when I first learned about the Outer V. The tutorials out there don’t work too well for my eye, so I hope mine will help more Asian girls, or those with hooded lids.

In the next episode of this series, we will look into Defining the Contour Area!


Get NYX Single Eyeshadow in Rust (I LOVE this color!)

Get NYX Single Eyeshadow in Mermaid Green (Great dupe for MAC Humid!)

Get the Urban Decay Naked Palette (Darkhorse is 5th from right; it looks a lot darker than this actually)

Get MAC 219 Pencil Brush

Eyeshadow Tutorials for Asian Eyes series:

Part 1: Where to Apply Eyeshadow

Part 2: Vertical Gradient Method

Part 3: Defining the Outer V

Part 4: Defining the Contour Area

Part 5: Horizontal Gradient Method