Aligned Makeup Masterclass with Florentina – Part 5

by Florentina Mossou (The Netherlands)

Part 5 A Statement of Detail – Highlighter and Eye Makeup for Horizontal Yin

In the penultimate part of this Masterclass, we’ll focus on the best makeup for horizontal yin, the last of the four major dimensions. Horizontal yin has a special relationship with detail, and so we’ll discover what that means for highlighter, brow and eye makeup. And as usual, we’ll see how this works with the four major Seasons, too.

A Statement of Detail

Horizontal yin is most effective at drawing attention to her eyes when the details in her face are clean and precise. Defined eyebrows and lashes draw the viewer in. Surrounded by light curves and fine points, her eyes become hypnotic.

Each of the four dimensions of Align has a unique relationship with light and the way they reflect it, much like the Seasons. Out of the four dimensions of Align, only horizontal yin emphasises the eyes by actually putting makeup around the eyes. (Read here parts 1 Intro, 2 Foundation and vertical yang, 3 Contour and horizontal yang, 4 Blush and vertical yin. 

Horizontal yin has a special relationship with detail. For makeup, that detail takes the form of highlighter, and eye makeup: eyebrows, eyeliner and lashes. So while these products can be part of makeup for all body types, they are especially important for horizontal yin. 

How to know if you have a horizontal yin dimension?

If you are small, with a narrow ribcage and small bones, then it’s very likely that you have horizontal yin in your body. Horizontal yin has the smallest scale of all, and is lightweight in the way it moves (regardless of actual body weight). 

It’s possible to have horizontal yin as your primary dimension, but also as your secondary or tertiary. In that case, you may need to scale up the products and techniques mentioned in this post, by increasing the amount of product, area or coverage. 

As always, feel free to try anything that suits your fancy, and experiment from there. 

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

The best skin finish for horizontal yin

Because of her smallness and delicacy, horizontal yin is best flattered by detail. The details of the face are the features, the eyes in particular. When precisely defined, they bring the face into clear focus. Before we go into eye makeup though, let’s put the last piece to the puzzle of skin finish first. 


Yin is curvy, and this dimension is no exception. Because horizontal yin is so small, the curves are narrow. So narrow in fact, they can appear sharp. Horizontal yin is equal parts soft and sharp. 

Shine enhances curve. As a result, the best skin finish for horizontal yin comes with highlighter. 

Why didn’t we mention highlighter when we talked about vertical yin’s curves in the previous post? Well, the measured curves of vertical yin work best with a gentle, soft, velvety sheen. Hard highlights won’t make sense. And the glossier the shine, the sharper the highlight.

Horizontal yin, on the other hand, has curves that work differently. Those clear sharp highlights are a perfect match for the sharp bends of the horizontal yin face. 

Detail for the skin finish, as it were. 

Highlighter, just like blush, can go on top of any curve in the face. Horizontal yin has high cheekbones, and so highlighter on top of the cheekbone is placed rather close to the eye. It can also go on the brow bone, tear-duct area in the inner corner, the centre of the eyelid, bridge and tip of the nose, the top lip, and even a light wash on the centre of the forehead and chin. For the latter two, mix with translucent powder to make a softer gradient. 

Image by PatrickE from Pixabay


Well-defined eyebrows work like a landing strip, directing the gaze of the viewer the eyes. Horizontal yin’s eyebrows are slender and delicate – and not very large. 

Yang makeup usually lengthens the brows. Horizontal yin does the exact opposite. Make the brows a little shorter by removing the outermost hairs. (Please don’t do this if your eyebrows don’t grow back easily. ) You only need to remove a fraction of the length (2 mm is plenty), yet the effect is dramatic. The eye area opens up and lifts like you wouldn’t believe. 

Less is more also applies to filling in. A fully filled brow is just too heavy, even if you are using a product with a light colour. 

The best way of ‘filling in’, is a thin line through the middle of the brow, along the central axis. This technique leaves the eyebrows defined but transparent, with a subtle gradient from the centre line to the outside edges. Stop just before you reach the outer end (remember, there’s no need for extra length). Lightly blend so the line diffuses, particularly on the inner end. You can leave the outer end sharp and defined. 

I call this technique ‘gradient brows’. It’s a riff on the lip liner technique we discussed in the previous post. 

A tip if you have dense or long brow hairs: use a brow comb to part your brows. It helps to place your product cleanly along the centre line. Yes, it’s fiddly and looks crazy. It works like a charm though. After you’re done you comb them back, which helps with blending too. 

You can try gradient brows with a traditional wax pencil. However, my preferred product is eyeshadow powder. With a very small angled brush, you can place product very precisely. Also, I find the texture of eyeshadow more believable on lighter seasons or people with light overtones. 

I still have to try this technique with those fine fibre-tip pens, and see if that works. Actually, I once thought I’d bought such a product. It was called a ‘fibre pencil’. When I took the wrapping off, from under the cap appeared a wax pencil, with small fibres embedded in the thick wax core. Fibre pencil indeed. Oh, the madness that is makeup marketing!


Eyelashes are the best kind of detail, and bring out the best of horizontal yin’s magic. Fine and feathery, each single lash zings with energy as it tapers into a fine point. 

This means we want the lashes as defined as possible, so definition mascara it is. It’s not necessary to make your lashes as long, large, full or heavy, so volume mascara is best left to yang. A lash tint will also be effective. 

For day makeup, you might even rub most of the mascara off after applying. It avoids any bulk on your lashes, particularly if it’s a fresh tube, and leaves only the tint. Use a clean spool wand to take off the excess. If you’re like me and you make a big mess doing this, you can also pinch your lashes carefully between your thumb and forefinger, hold for a moment and let go. Most of the mascara now sits on our fingertips, which you rinse off. 

However, if you need to do evening, video or stage makeup, I’d opt to leave on a heavier application after all. Also, be a little careful with waterproof mascaras. They are stronger, and you don’t want to glue some hairs to your fingers or lash comb and accidentally rip them out.

Finally, separating the lashes is worth the effort. I find a spool wand a bit awkward and prefer a lash comb. The trick is in the timing. If the mascara is still wet, the lashes will stick together anyway. If the mascara has completely dried, you’ll risk pulling your eyelashes. When it’s just tacky, that’s perfect. 

How about curling your lashes? By all means, yes! However, I don’t have advice for that one. I’ve tried curling them, but they uncurl themselves faster than you can say ‘stubborn’. 

With fake lashes – you’ll feel this coming – you’ll want them to be very lightweight. Choose the lightest, wispiest, featheriest strips you can find. Individuals are more subtle and would suit even better. Fake lashes can have the ‘accent’ of the strip in the middle, for a round doe eye look, or at the outside for a cat eye look. Horizontal yin is fine with both, so the choice will depend on your other dimensions. 

Image by Annie Pratt on Unsplash


For eyeliner, yet again less is more. This is not going to be a long or thick line. After all, where would you put that much product on such a small face? 

My rule of thumb for horizontal yin eyeliner: make it as thin as possible. Thicker liner would cover the narrow portion of the movable lid that remains visible when your eye is open. It leads to unwanted raccoon effects. It’s better to keep the lid clean. 

Accordingly, horizontal yin eyeliner is hairline thin, and sits as much between the lashes as above them. The purpose of eyeliner is to mimic a full lash line. Therefore, our only purpose with liner is to visually join the bases of the lashes, anchoring them to the eye. It prevents the mascara from ‘floating’ in front of the eyes, and is particularly useful with light coloured or sparse lashes. 

Also with light overtones, it is good practice to line the waterline of the upper eyelid. It prevents the skin colour peeping through, in between the eye and your lashes. For lining the waterline, a kohl pencil is best. They are wax based and will stay put.

However, for doing thin eyeliner, I think kohl pencils are impossible. The tip needs to be small and super sharp to get really close to the lashes. You’ll believe your sharpener has become a portal for eye pencils, they’ll disappear so quickly. 

A liquid or gel liner is easier, preferably with the thinnest, tiniest brush you can find. The applications that these products come with, are sometimes a bit fat for my tastes. Watch out with the colours too, they can be so dense that they might not work with the Season. 

Because horizontal yin is soft as well as sharp, I like to finish my liner by going over with a dark eyeshadow. It diffuses the edge ever-so-slightly for a more natural looking result. I don’t go as far as to smoke out the liner – but see the section on Summer below. 

What about winged or cat eye liner? In theory yes, horizontal yin will know how to handle the sharpness, as long as you respect the soft finish and small scale. Thin, small baby wings are fine. Lift off the lash line before you reach the outer corner, and taper off very quickly, hardly extending the eye. It’s about millimetres. Larger winged liner in various forms, is more suitable for yang.


I didn’t mention eyeshadow in the intro, and that’s because we’ve actually already covered it. Most eyeshadow techniques revolve around dimensionality, so please see post 3 for more information. 

Instead of windscreen-wiping through the socket line, we use the dot-contour method. Place a chickpea sized dot of your contouring eyeshadow in the socket line, under the highest point of your eyebrow. It’s a small amount of product, yet it’s plenty. I’m still amazed by how right and real this looks. 

Horizontal yin and colour

Now that we know what products work and how to apply them, let’s see how this interacts with the four Seasons.

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Image by KristineT from Pixabay


Eyeliner, lashes and brows need little modification from the description above, so we’ll concern ourselves with highlighter only. 

Spring is our closest analogue Season for horizontal yin. Both love transparency and highlights. The highlighter for this combination of body type and Season is at its glossiest, nearly lip gloss-like in texture. (Speaking of lip gloss, that’s actually a great product for horizontal yin.) 

A highlighter like this is far more about texture than it is about colour. While you could add a subtle golden shine, it would be ideal if the product is near-colourless, as sheer as possible.

When does glossy get too glossy? I’m not saying you should literally put lip gloss on your cheeks. That could be a fun proof-of-concept, to see how far you would like to go – but it’s not practical. I know that because I tried it out :P. 

However, cream highlighters could be great. These skin glosses look good. Also higher-end powder highlighters, when very finely milled, can achieve this ‘wet’ finish, I like the look of this one from Charlotte Tilbury. 

Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay


Summer’s highlighter is nowhere near as glitzy as Spring’s. The fine detail that horizontal yin likes, expressed through the drier texture of Summer, comes out as finely hammered silver, almost faceted. Baked highlighters seem to have just this texture. This one from Kiko sounds promising, except for the glitter, which risks being too grainy. The picture is too heavily photoshopped to make out what it’s doing. A safer bet is probably Becca Shimmering skin perfector in Pearl or Amethyst. 

The area of application is very small, and as this is the Season of watercolour blending, will overlap with the blush, which sits immediately below. 

Summer is a fairly light Season, but in conjunction with horizontal yin a surprising effect arises for the eyeliner. The moonlit quality of the palette actually allows for a smoked effect. 

Most other horizontal yin people are overwhelmed by too much darkness on the eyes. This happens irrespective of Season, one of those curious colour effects that arises purely from body type.

However, Summer works with longer gradients, and can take the darkness from the eyeliner and diffuse it further than horizontal yin would generally. After going over your liner with powder, take a clean brush to smoke it out. 

Image by Steve Buissinne on Pixabay


Like Summer’s,  Autumn’s highlighter becomes hammered bronze gold. A shimmer rather than shine. Perhaps a lightly sparser shimmer, this is sunlight shining through Autumn leaves after all. Just like we saw in post 3, a lighter toned bronzer can do the highlighting, when it’s shimmery enough. I like the look of Elf cosmetics Baked Highlighter, and the colours seem compatible with Autumn. 

With eyeshadow, that same shimmer effect can look really good. However, to avoid an ‘overexcited’ look, pair it with a matte shadow. Mattes and shimmers at the same time is optimal, as Autumn does shade as well as sunlight.

Autumn’s coffee-coloured mascara and liner are a little denser in their colour, but should not come in dense formulas that hinder precise application. Eyebrows likewise, are denser than for Spring or Summer. You can still use the gradient lining technique, but apply a little more pigment (but not darker than it needs to be) and blend out carefully to stay within the outline of your brows.  

Image by Pezibear on Pixabay


Winter’s highlighter is  complicated. This is a highlight that’s stuck in place, frozen over. Ice shines less than liquid does, and so highlighter needs to be translucent and crystalline at the same time. I’m still looking for the right product. I’ve tried a couple cheap options so far, a cool gold and a blued/purpley silver, and both of them were a bit glittery. Ideally, look for one with less of a glitter effect, and more subtle sheen. 

A good option may be this from Hourglass, in shade Ethereal Light. 

Ideal Winter eyeshadow colours for horizontal yin are not your typical dark greys and browns, but mid taupes and beiges. Dark makeup looks bigger than itself, and may become unbalanced on horizontal yin, even on Winter. It’s best to keep to mid-tones for people with dark overtones in their eyes and hair. With light overtones, it’s best to stick to even lighter shades. On myself, as a blonde, I find a medium beige plenty for a ‘dark’ eyeshadow. I use an eyeshadow from Rituals. The palette is discontinued so I can’t link it, but this shade looks to be the same colour (left column, 2nd shade down).  

However, Winter brows, like Autumn’s, are also dense. You could try a denser application for gradient brows, particularly for dark overtones. 

Announcement – Giveaway coming soon!

This went so fast! What did you learn? Is there something you’d love to try on yourself? Tell me in the comments. And I’ll be around to answer questions. We’ve concluded our tour around the four dimensions of Align. There’s only one more post to go in the Masterclass series. In that one, we’ll see how to put everything together and create your signature Aligned makeup look. Also, I’ll be announcing a giveaway! Stay tuned for more details… 

This Makeup Masterclass is a sneak preview to Align style analysis, only for readers of Chrysalis Colour. Align clients get this information on makeup too, plus a workbook for building their signature makeup. Stay tuned to the next posts, as we’ll open doors to Align soon.

Note: the website adventures continue – my website still isn’t up so the buttons below don’t work, but you can always reach me via

Florentina Mossou is located in The Netherlands. In addition to in-person Color Analysis, Florentina is the creator of ALIGN, an on-line personalized Image and Style Analysis system. Please click the link buttons below for more information.
Florentina Mossou

15 thoughts on “Aligned Makeup Masterclass with Florentina – Part 5

  1. molly says:

    I’ve learned so much from this series. It has shown me why there is makeup that makes me look too much (as someone who is yin) and how subtlety/focused techniques are more harmonious. As someone who might really straddle a line between horizontal and vertical yin (fleshy, full, rounded features/face with the higher cheekbones right under the eyes) is it better to stick with one or the other, or lovelier to use a softer application of both?

    • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

      Thank you! If you feel you straddle the line between horizontal and vertical yin, it’s likely that both are present. Remember from our introduction post, real life people are always combinations of dimensions. Nobody is 100% this or that. So I’d say, definitely apply both – mix and match or try hybrid techniques.

      • molly says:

        Thank you! Today I tried to my best ability 😅your above approach to eye makeup and I LOVE it! I actually look like myself and not like I’m getting ready to go on stage. I’ve never had a color analysis, but I know what really doesn’t work:()!. Anyhow, you’ve answered more of my questions below in regards to tools. I completely agree with you on brush sizes. What kinds of tools do you recommend for vertical yin? Thanks again. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon all of this.💙❄️💙

        • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

          That’s wonderful! Tools for vertical yin are much the same as horizontal yin’s – generally the smallest brushes you can find. I’m very fastidious about my brushes, as you may have guessed ;). A lip brush comes to mind for vertical yin. One that gives maximum control is best, I’d look for a sharply tapered brush, in a round ferrule, not too long as to be limp when loaded with product, but not so short that it flicks away and won’t bend.
          Then for blush, I like a rather small, very round-domed, very loose, sparse and floppy brush. A sparse brush works better with strongly pigmented products, as it picks up less colour. I have such a brush that’s angled, but I’d actually prefer a straight one. And not directly relevant to vertical yin, but I have dry skin that easily flakes, so I use a very dense, shallow-domed kabuki brush to pat on translucent powder rather than swipe it.

        • Christine Scaman says:

          I investigated shimmer on this locked-down tiny island I live on. The particles in powders all looked big and hard to control, and powders can get away from me. I went with Maybelline Master Chrome Gel, in the colour 20 Metallic Rose. I held it up to my face in the jar and thought, “Yeah, this is a colour that could exist in this skin.”, and once gels dry down, they tend to stay put. Got home, applied with Q-tip, and it’s good!! Cheekbone, inner eye corner, bow of lip, and it’s still not excessive. Of course, now that I can control it, the question becomes, control it where and how much.
          Not to put too fine a point on things, but actually, yes to put a fine point on things. Are we trying to bring the cheekbone to a sharper point, raise the blade of the cheekbone, or some of both? In the first case, I’d start at the point of the cheekbone and go back and up, but that point seems starting too much towards the front of the face. I don’t put blush that far forward, though perhaps I should. I have a boxy kind of Autumn head, and it’s more realistic to give it sides and a front, as opposed to a curve or series of circles.

          Second Q,
          It’s been on my mind, I know you’ll easy explain this…I intuitively understand why V-Yin would have more space on the face but I can’t make sense of it theoretically. I’d love to hear your answer.

          Thanks for all this, I haven’t been so interested in makeup for ages. As you know, I only saw it as a job. A job that makes a big difference, but still a job. Fun artistry, I can get behind.
          Molly, if we keep asking questions, we can keep the conversation going for weeks!! 🙂

        • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

          Because vertical yin works in the vertical direction, it has no real effect on width except that it likes to curve. Horizontal yin, on the other hand, works horizontally and tries to make everything narrow – including cheekbones.
          Now where to place highlighter? It follows from the purpose of highlighter: to emphasise (not create!) three-dimensional curves. Find the sharpest bend of your cheekbone. Since light comes from above, slightly higher than that spot is where highlighter goes. How far forwards does this come? Not too far. The sweet spot is where the ridge of your cheekbone crosses the line that goes at 45 degrees downward from your eye, centre your application there.
          With the ‘boxy head’ thing, I don’t think your head looks like that but if you must, remember that you have some yang as well. Even as yang tries to be larger, it has to play within the smallness of horizontal yin. Since there’s nowhere to go, it just fills out the curves to a more square shape. That’s where the squareness comes from, it’s simply highly contained yang. Why does this matter? Well, contour, blush, highlighter application on yin are typically dot shapes, but with your yang, application will stretch out again and becomes an elongated oval. And play around with it. Like you said, you can do a lot with your highlighter before it becomes excessive. You’ll quickly find what is comfortable, too.

  2. Christine Scaman says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one! As brilliant as the rest. I so agree with one of your earlier statements that most makeup today is Yang in how it’s applied and it seems too blunt or aggressive for many women. It’s one thing to identify a problem, quite another to solve it. My hat goes off to you for doing both and sharing the information.

    I also loved the last post about curve for VYin; among the current trends that my eyes don’t see as flattering to many women is the monochromatic beige face-nude lips effect. A curvy body goes better with a curvy face, not a flat one, or the body can seem plump when it’s not.

    About today’s post. We agree that eyes come first in creating appearance. Nothing around eyes should compete for colour or shine. Eyeshadow doesn’t tend to because we see it when eyes are lowered, esp for HYin where a lot of contoured eyeshadow is heavy and blunt. But highlighter…I’m making it complicated when I shouldn’t. I applied a tiny bit to the top of my cheekbone and I quickly realized how small my face must be (and how valuable this info is) because it looked like there was highlighter over too big an area, even in places where it wasn’t. Interesting that eye shine held its own but I have an impression that a very small spot is plenty, esp for Winter where light comes to a focused point. Finding a product will be my new obsession, and I appreciate the point about diluting with powder. No actual question here, just living and learning.

    I may have more questions as I digest this fab content 🙂 Thank you for this series.

    • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

      Oh, yes to tiny areas of highlighter! The post was getting rather too long so I had to leave some parts out, but I may have been too rigorous in my editing. On a face with a lot of horizontal yin like your own, I’d put on highlighter the size of a fingerprint, and that includes much of the blended gradient around the concentrated centre. The centre itself – if you tell me this needs to be the size of a peanut, I’d believe it.
      One of the parts I cut from my draft was a rant about how ridiculously large and impractical makeup brushes are. I apply highlighter on my cheekbone with a fluffy eyeshadow blending brush, one that’s actually smaller than a Mac 217. My own face has a significant amount of vertical yin and that gives me slightly more space to work with (size of a cashew nut – I’m enjoying these silly comparisons 😛 ). Just knowing that vertical yin, small as that is, is still noticeably larger, should give you a sense of just how small horizontal yin can get.
      Another type of brush that might come in useful is a fan brush, as it helps to keep your area of application extremely narrow.
      Please keep the questions coming, that’s how I learn too.

      • Christine Scaman says:

        An eyeshadow brush, good idea. The smallest contour brush I started with was too much. I ended up using the tip of my finger and it was barely under control, although I’m not used to it so maybe it seemed bigger than it was. I love the sharpness effect. The V-Yin reference makes sense, I can see that there would be more space. Maybelline Master Chrome might have that pale beige-gold, like skin-but-lighter colour. It seems so shiny, like it’s intended to show up on C3PO, but maybe it’s workable.

        • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

          Lol, the C3PO comment cracked me up. I looked at quite a lot of highlighters while writing this post, and it struck me how metallic they’re getting… When I mention gloss, shine, light, sure but still within the realm of believable skin colour and texture. Many products that come in Winter colours are not actually wearable, they look like silver spray paint.

  3. Maya says:

    Hello ladies!
    Florentina, I noticed your website was not working about 6 months ago, and thought it might be because of computer settings on my end and have been trying, unsuccessfully, to “fix” it! Glad to know it was not my computer after all. I have a question for clarification; for horizontal yin you say that it makes everything narrow; but is that vertically narrow or horizontally narrow? Or both? I could see how it could be either so I want to make sure I understand. I am thinking of eyes especially; some people have eyebrows that are very close to their eyes, and hardly any lid or under the eyebrow space to apply product. Other people are “higher browed” and have more space. I imagine that would be very vertical yin, especially if the eyebrow above was curved and slightly shorter. I THINK I would translate into a Dark Winter (I had my colors done by David Zyla, and had colors that leak over into Dark Autumn and also a few that definitely fall into Soft Summer, but I digress). I tend to rely on DW colors and have a DW fan, BUT I find myself confused at times because most clothing my color grouping doesn’t suit me. Now I understand why, which is I have both the Yins (and the tiniest amount of a Yang, probably vertical as my fingers and feet, neck and shin bones are ‘long’), but regardless of that it isn’t the primary focus. THANK YOU for that explanation. I have huge success when I use blush on the outer brow bone INSTEAD of a darker/contour style color, and then apply a highlight with my ring finger right in the center of my eyelid. TAP TAP TAP, and leave it. I have a loose mineral based collection of highlight style eyeshadows, but I like Elea Blake for its concentrated colors and range of metallic effect. I just dip my finger pad into the loose mineral, and tap it on. Three seconds max. Then mascara, and lips. That’s it. Glad to know WHY it works now, and also these posts help me know how to play.

    • Chrysalis Colour Admin says:

      Hi Maya! Blush on the brow bone is a fantastic technique for yin, and your tap highlight sounds like a great idea.
      I’ve thought on your brow bone question a couple days, but I do not think that we can attribute low brow bones to horizontal yin specifically. The four dimensions of Align are incredibly abstract (and very powerful for that reason), however they do not directly translate to a specific brow bone shape. Horizontal yin makes things narrow primarily in the horizontal direction – hence the name – but can also grip onto the verticals. It can lower the brow, but it doesn’t have to. Also, there are many different versions of low brow bones, I think I’ve seen them in nearly all types. You are right though, that vertical yin is the least likely to have a low brow bone.

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