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Monolids 101

posted by monolidlovers on January 23, 2011 3:37 pm

It is the general opinion that eyelids only come in 2 forms, you either have a double lid or you don't. Here on Monolid Love, we specialise in the different types of what most of the general public commonly misconstrue as the 'Asian' eye - monolids. From our own observation, we've noticed that there are several variations of single lids, and we hope to give everyone a little insight on this.

But before we head into it, here’s a little bit of history on the monolid:

In Asian ethnicities, the presence of an epicanthal fold is associated with the lack of an upper eyelid crease, commonly termed "single eyelids" as opposed to "double eyelids". The two features are distinct; a person may have both epicanthal fold and upper eyelid crease, one and not the other, or neither.

An epicanthal foldepicanthic fold, or epicanthus is a skin fold of the upper eyelid (from the nose to the inner side of the eyebrow) covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the human eye.  The term "epicanthal fold" refers to a visually categorized feature; however the underlying physiological reason and purpose for its presence in any given individual may be entirely different.

The maintenance of the epicanthic fold into adulthood in many populations is believed to have evolved as a defense against both the extreme cold as well as the extreme light that occurs in the Eurasian arctic and north. It has also been suggested that the fold provides some protection against dust in areas of desert such as that found in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia as well as parts of Africa.

There is a wide distribution of the epicanthic fold across the world. It is found in significant numbers amongst Native Americans, the Khoisan of Southern Africa, many Central Asians and some people of Sami origin, though great majority of Samis does not have it. The presence of epicanthal folds is common in people of many, though not all, groups of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent. It also occurs sometimes on people of South Asian descent, especially Bengalis.


Okay, so that was kinda technical, but it pretty much explains how some Asians get these creaseless lids.

So how many types of monolids are there? The term 'type' is used very loosely here, as we are on previously uncharted territories. The classifications are once again based on our own observations of the people we've come across, may they be real life friends or famous people on TV/in magazines.

First up, we have the Sunken Monolid.  An eyelid that has absolutely no crease at all.  There isn't that much fat in the lid as well, thus showing the shape of the eyeball rather clearly. People with this type of monolid do not always have small, squinty eyes. Some may have big eyes, but just missing that ubiquitous crease.

Our Sunken Monolid example - model Ming Xi. Note how her eyes are still pretty big despite the absence of upper lid creases.

Ming XiSunken Monolid


Next is the Puffy Monolid. There is a substantial amount of fat on the eyelid, which leads to a certain 'puffy' look and also makes the eyes look like they are half-closed or squinty.  It is harder to position the shading of the crease with makeup because the eyes are not that deep set. However, with the right application technique, these type of lids can pull off mysterious and sexy looks.

Our Puffy Monolid examples - South Korean model Hyoni Kang, actresses Sandra Oh and Jenna Ushkowitz as well as Hong Kong pop singer Sandy Lam.

Hyoni KangPuffy Monolid


Another variation we've noted is the lovely Partial Monolid.  This type of lid has partially formed creases but lack the muscles to pull them in to create a full double lid.  This type of monolid is beguilingly beautiful and offer great creativity to the makeup artist. Some may choose to classify this as a non-monolid, but once again, we're putting this here based on our observations. We have also noticed that makeup application is somewhat similar to how you'd  work on monolids.

Our Partial Monolid examples -  Model Tao Okamoto, Devon Aoki and South Korean figure skater Kim Yu Na.

Tao OkamotoPartial Monolid


And last but not least, there’s the Hooded Monolid.  This type of lid has a hidden crease in varying degrees of thickness but when viewed straight on, it usually can’t be seen.  In terms of makeup, you’d still have to apply it from a monolid's point of view.

Our Hooded Monolid example - Model Shu Pei (we have included a pic where her fold is somewhat visible, and another one where the crease disappears as she looks straight ahead to illustrate our point)

<a href="http://media.onsugar.com/files/2011/01/03/6/1315/13156612/image_1.jpg" target="_blank">

</a>Shu PeiHooded Monolid

So there you have it, the 4 different types of monolids. We don't claim to be the know-all of monolids, so we'd be more than happy if anyone of you out there would like to contribute your thoughts. We may have missed out on some other types too, so do feel free to drop us a comment and let us know if you have a monolid that does not fit into any of the categories above.

Hope this post was informative!

posted by Anonymous

hi, any tips on how to put make-up on sunken monolids? because everytime put my make-up on my eyes, the eyeliner and eye shadow gets eaten up when i open my eyes. its like i didn't even placed any make-up on. if place more make-up higher, it looks scary , like fierce-looking. i just want a light make-up...thanks... =)

posted by

Hi there, thanks for dropping by our blog.
Could you email us a photo of yourself so we can have a better idea on how your sunken monos are like? And we'll take it from there. :)


posted by Guest Reader =)

This was really informative! It's cool to learn about even if I don't have monolids. It's good to see that there are people who acknowledge the truth that beauty isn't found in just one look...

posted by Anonymous

Shu Pei appears to just have double eyelids. The photo where she appears to have monolids is taken slightly from above, and even a Caucasian appears to have monolids when looking up towards someone. I say Caucasian because they most tend to have higher and deeper creases than the all the other races.

posted by

Hi Anon, thanks for your input! Yes, she does have a double monolid of sorts, which is usually hidden and sometimes giving the impression that there is no crease.

When it comes to makeup application, Hooded Monolidders will have to apply the same kind of technique as other monolidders to give definition to their eyes. This is also why we included it here as part of our different types of monolids.

posted by cassiey

Hi, I have partial monolid, can you make more post on partial monolid especially applying make up? it is quite confusing for me to apply make up from monolid or non-monolid tutorial because of the different objective to achieve in different videos. I just discovered I am partial monolid because I just cannot decide all these years whether i'm monolid or non monolid. Thank you for this post.

posted by Anon7

Hi! This was really helpful because, for the longest time, I thought there was only one type of monolid. I have the sunken monolid. I have never been to a professional to get my eyebrows done. I've had them done, waxed, plucked and trimmed (all together), and they came out great. Although, they looked nice and had a great arch, I think I need a new eyebrow shape. I find that with a standard arched brow, there's too much space between my lash line and my eyebrow. Thus, making it look weird. Yeah, eyeliner offsets that gap alittle but I don't like wearing thick eyeliner everyday. Any advice??! Thanks! :)

posted by Anonymous

After reading this I'm still kind of unsure what type of eye i have :[. I want to apply make up for my eyes but I don't know how since all the youtube videos on monolids doesn't look like mine. I am wondering if you would be able to help me out?

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