“There are six basic eye shapes on all the faces in the world. Do you know which one you have? HowStuffWorks
While it’s always nice to be greeted by a smile, we rely on the eyes to send more accurate messages. The way we look at or away from someone or maintain eye contact for too long or short a time — even whether we blink — conveys emotion, even if it isn’t intended.
When people talk about eyes, most often they discuss eye color, but eye shapes can be remarkably different, with variations as unique as each person. Broadly speaking, though, there are six common eye shapes — and knowing yours can help with everything from selecting eyeglass frames to shaping the perfect brow, if that’s your thing. Feast your eyes on our list of the six most common eye types below:
Almond-shaped eyes are characterized by an iris — the colored and most visible part of the eye — that appears to touch both the top eyelid and the bottom eyelid. This eye shape also features a top eyelid with a visible crease, as well as a slight taper at near the inner and outer points of the eye.
If you imagine a horizontal line through the center of the iris running around to the outside corner of the eye, this outside corner (known as the lateral canthus, where the upper and lower lids meet) would appear above this line. In the case of an upturned eye, the outer corner is lifted above that imaginary horizontal line. In some cases, this upturn can have the effect of sloping the bottom eyelashes in a slightly upward direction.
Hooded eyes get their name from an extra layer of skin that covers the crease of the eyelid, sometimes reaching as far as the top lashes. This normal condition can have several contributors, ranging from inherited genetics to increased age.
Monolid refers to an upper eyelid that does not have a visible crease, which would otherwise give the upper eyelid the appearance of having two distinct parts. The monolid eye shape, which appears as a single area of skin from the upper lash to the eyebrow, is a normal variation of human anatomy.
Downturned eyes taper downward at the outer corners, as if dropping toward the cheekbones. Remember that imaginary line running horizontally through the center of the iris? While it helps identify an upturned eye shape, it can signal a downturned shape as well.
Round eyes have a few key features, including a visibly noticeable crease and an iris surrounded by white where it meets the top and bottom eyelids. Additionally, the outer and inner corners of this eye shape do not taper, but retain a rounded curve, further contributing to the open appearance of round eyes.
Now That’s Interesting
The term "almond-shaped eyes" first appeared in 1786 in The Asiatic Journal, a collection of essays mostly written by European men. Although some people now find the term offensive, it continues to appear in everything from marketing to makeup tutorials.