The Orbital Ridge-Brushes and Blending

Orbital ridge is really the area that contours the eye. Is it necessary to emphasize the orbital ridge?  Nothing is really necessary but it can change the way you see the application in eyeshadows.  What is difficult about the orbital ridge is that with age, it unfortunately sags.  However, the basic shape is always there and emphasizing that area can make a big difference. 

In this post, I show how to blend and chose brushes which make application easier.  These are not the only brushes that should be used.  They are just suggestions.  Once you get the hang of applying eyeshadow properly in that area, any type of brush that works for you will be fine.  Just remember, proper placement of color is what is really important.

Let's Review the Eye

This may get boring for some, you have my permission catch a couple of zzzzz's.  Using Jane again I divided the eye area into the basic parts that can enhance one's look.  In the following pictures, the angle of the eye is looking down. 

1-Red area-I outlined the area where the eyeball lies. If you feel it you know that it is all fleshy and soft.  No bones just soft tissue and muscle which allows the eye to look all around.  This is basically application of the lid color and eyeliner.  2-Blue area -That area is kind of like a gap between the eyeball and the skull.  It gives the eyeball room to move around.  It is also the area which I call the corner of the eye. This area also gives the illusion of depth because it is the area that molds the eye area into the side of the face.  3-Yellow-yes the orbital ridge.  This is what contours the eye.  4-White-browbone.  This is pretty self explanatory.  5-Green area-This is the area that gives out that winged out look on the eye.  You can see that it consists of the corner of the eye and the outer orbital ridge.  This area makes the eyeshadow look like it is "wrapped" around up to the side.  Very pretty effect when done right.  6-And here is what the eyeshadow application may look like.

Now, you might be wondering what brushes to use especially in that orbital ridge area and how to apply the eyeshadow.   Here are a few brushes that will help.


7-This is a basic filbert shaped brush that keeps its firm tip which is helpful as you will see.  8-Dip the brush to get color on the side and tip.  9-The shadow. I apply a little bit of it to the outer orbital ridge and just glide the brush downward until the outer lashline is reached.  This creates the depth to the side of the eye.  10-Side view.  11-Using only the tip, dip that into the shadow.  The firmness of this shape allows the option of using just the tip without the hairs splaying.  It gives more of a precise application.  12-Apply the eyeshadow between the orbital ridge and eye socket.   Suggestion:  when you look straight ahead into the mirror, the crease line will drop.  Either tilt your head back slightly to get the real crease line or with the other hand lift the brow a bit (while relaxing the eye muscle) and apply the line.  The crease line or where the eyeball meets the bone is much higher than you think. 13-Head tilted back.  

14-Take the tip with no eyeshadow and use it to blend what has been applied.  15-The arrows show which direction to blend.  I usually blend that outer line outward and upward.  I also blend into that little "bald" spot which is just connecting more with the crease.  16- Fill up that empty little spot (circled).  17-Outer corner blended into crease.  18-Direction to blend crease.  19-Blended.  20-The blended look looking straight ahead.

Cinema Secrets Shadow Blender

21 & 22-Maybe, you aren't fond of blending with a filbert shaped brush.  Here is a brush by Cinema Secrets called the Shadow Blender ($11.99USD).  It can also be used to apply shadow, no written rules.  The firmness of this brush and the slant of it makes it easy to blend the orbital ridge area.  (Colored the tip in black to show the slant of the brush hairs.)

Cinema Secrets Crescent Shader

Still not sure how to apply eyeshadow on the orbital ridge?  This brush is also by Cinema Secrets and called the Crescent shader ($9.99USD) which I believe is another name for the orbital ridge.  This is a great brush to start with and to get an idea of how to apply shadow in that area.  I admit it is not foolproof and it doesn't precisely work.  On Asian eyes it does help in locating the crease and orbital ridge but the eyeshadow application may vary and work more for the reverse contour look.

23 & 24-The brush head has a pointed side and a flat side. Also has width to it.

25 & 26-Using Grace's eye, the red line corresponds to the higher angled side (circled in red) of the brush.  This part sits in the crease of the eye.  The flat part follows the and colors the orbital ridge.

27-Flat part dipped in eyeshadow.  28-The red dot shows where to rest the point of the brush which is the corner of the eye.  Just start from the outer end and go inward, following the bone structure of the eye. 29-And voila the area will be colored.  30-Blend. 31-Dip the pointed tip to color and emphasize the crease.  32-Crease emphasized.  33-Blended.  34-Front view.

The advantages of this brush is that it will teach you where your orbital ridge is and the point sits in the crease, stopping when there is bone.  The disadvantages are that it doesn't look as natural as freehand and on Asian eyes it can be too big for that area.

These are basically the brushes that helped me learn how to apply eyeshadow on the orbital ridge.  They were like the training wheels of a bike and taught me how to balance the application of color there.  Like training wheels, once I knew how, I left them behind with the exception of the filbert brush which always comes in handy.  However, once in a while I will take these out to refresh or get a perspective of placement on someone's eye.  Hope you found this post helpful.

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