My Sectoral Heterochromia Makeup Tips

4 Aug 2019

It feels like donkeys years since I've done a beauty post and considering they're one of my favourites to do, I figured it was about time, but this one has got a bit of a twist. 'Sectoral heterochromia' isn't a phrase that's well-known or said too much in real life scenarios, and actually, it's something that I constantly forget I have, but I really wanted to do a dedicated post all about sectoral heterchromia and how I embrace it through my makeup looks.


What is sectoral heterochromia?

Despite the scary sounding name, sectoral heterochromia is a genetic mutation in the eye that causes two separate colours within the same iris. As you can see in the image above, I've got stony blue eyes, but in my right eye, I've got a perfect slice of brown. It doesn't affect my vision and it doesn't hurt, it's just a purely cosmetic thing that I've had since birth! And I always forget it's there because obviously, I can't see it unless I look in the mirror, so whenever someone notices, I'm a bit like 'what's wrong with my eye?'

Sectoral heterochromia is the rarest form of heterochromia - the other two being 'complete' (each eye a different colour) and 'central' (a different colour around the pupil) - and is actually more common in animals. I've only ever met two other people with sec. het. in my whole entire life, both of which had the same colourway as me, 

Growing up, it was something that was quite an issue for other people. Kids pick on other kids for the most stupid reasons, and one of those was my 'weird' eye colour. I remember trying to build up my confidence in primary school by telling the people in my class that I had magic powers, but this sort of wore off as more and more people picked up on this unusual thing about my appearance. I got called a mutant in secondary school and people would ask if I'd been abused or had acid thrown at me. It got to a point where I actually wanted to laser my eyes to full blue, just so I could fit in.

How do I feel about it now?

I freaking love my eyes. They're actually my favourite feature and I always feel kinda cool when someone makes a comment about them. I'm a world away from the nasty comments in school now, and the usual thing that people say to me is how incredible they are or that they've never seen eyes like them before. I feel so big-headed writing that, but honestly, it's true! I feel super unique and beautiful, so there ain't no way I'm letting a laser near my eyes now.

Because I'm in a much more confident place about my eyes, I really enjoy using makeup that helps to boost the brown slice and make it stand out. Let me tell you how I do that!

How to make your sectoral heterochromia pop

This is going to sound really obvious, but the most basic thing that you can do to bring out any colour in your eyes is research into colour. There are certain shades that work well with specific eye colours, so it's definitely worth having a Google and seeing which colours would work best for you.

Personally, I find that warm tones make the brown in my right eye pop like nothing else. That means that my go to makeup looks usually feature a red undertone, plus some bronze or gold. Granted, by industry standards, these sorts of colours don't go with my blue-grey-ness, but hey, I'm pretty sure I work it.

My go to palettes for these sorts of shades are the Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha palette (which I did a whole review of - read it here), particularly the two bottom rows, and the Urban Decay Naked Heat (read my first impressions here), which is packed full of the warmest tones possible, plus metallics that pack a punch. These two are the palettes that I gravitate towards if I'm doing an everyday sort of look.

I also find that jewel tones work really well with bringing out the brown. This isn't something that I do too often, but if I'm playing about with my palettes, I find that a rich blue or green really draws out the tones in my eye, just like in the first image of this post. The Misunderstood palette by ColourPop has some beautiful jewel shades in, as well as a few neutrals, so it's perfect for the experimenter.
Liquid liner is your best friend and for me, no makeup look is complete without out because I absolutely love accentuating my eyes. I find that by adding that flicky frame to the top of my lids just automatically draws all the attention there, therefore boosting my sec. het. that little bit more. Obviously, not everyone is great at eye liner and even I sometimes end up looking like a terrible Amy Winehouse impersonator, but as they say, practise makes perfect!

If you simply can't get away with liquid liner, then choose a volumising mascara. This will give the same effect as the liner, except you won't have to faff with trying to get that clean cut line. Just swipe some on to your lashes to add a dramatic frame around your eyes. Even if you didn't have sec. het., I'd always recommend a volumising mascara to add a sultry, attention-stealing effect, but there's just something about it that really brings out the brown portion of my eye.

I am massively in love with the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which I know everyone raves about, but it's for a good reason! I have never tried a better mascara in my life and it's perfect for those who want jet black, volumised and dramatic lashes. However, if you want a more budget-friendly, high street version, I really like the Soap & Glory Thick and Fast mascara too. It's my go to when my purse is feeling too much of a pinch to pick up the Better Than Sex!


How to diminish sectoral heterochromia with makeup

While I am a total 'shout it from the rooftops' lover of my eye colours, not everybody who has this feature will feel the same, so if you were a makeup wearer who didn't want to draw too much attention to your eyes, the way to go is to do the opposite of all my 'make your eyes pop' recommendations. Pare it back on the eyeshadow with neutral shades and opt for a more natural look. This could involve running just a light bright through the crease to add a tiny bit of definition. If you wanted a bit of liner, use a brown and keep it really close to the lash line.

While you could go quite neutral on the eyes, this gives you the rest of your face to play with! Try out a bold lip colour or really working on your contour to get those chiselled cheeks. If you aren't confident about your eyes, then draw the attention to something else. A neutral eye and a splash of red on the lips could look absolutely gorgeous, so there's a whole world of opportunities available there!
Like I said at the beginning, I know this post is a little bit different from my usual beauty stuff, but it's odd that I've had this blog for well over three years and I've never once talked about my sectoral heterochromia at length. Yet it's something that features in every eye look photo that I take! So it had been on my mind to write something like this for a little while and if it helps someone, then great, or if someone has learned something new about me, then cool!

I'm really proud of myself for shaking off all the nasty comments that had been made about my eyes in the past, and gone from 'I want this thing gone' to fully embracing it and loving it. It sounds so daft because it's literally just an eye colour, but for real, I was so hurt by what people were saying to me that I felt like I needed to change the tiniest bit of me to fit in.

So I guess the moral of this post is to love yourself always and it doesn't hurt to accentuate the bits you like best. If there's anything I didn't cover in this post or if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask me!

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@thenorthernist