Dry eye disease (DED) is a common disorder that remains challenging from a clinical perspective. Unstable or deficient tear film is a major factor contributing to DED and the inability to resolve the loss of tear film homeostasis that accompanies DED can result in a vicious circle of inflammation and treatment-refractory disease. Recently recognized as a multifactorial disease, the main etiological subtypes of DED are aqueous-deficient and evaporative which exist on a continuum, although evaporative dry eye (EDE) is the more frequent classification. Although attaining greater recognition in recent years, there is currently no consensus and no clear recommendation on how to manage EDE. Clarity on the early diagnosis and treatment of EDE may facilitate the avoidance of progression to chronic inflammation, permanent damage to the ocular surface, and treatment-refractory disease. The purpose of this review was to identify current best practice for management of EDE in order to help clinicians in providing accurate diagnosis and optimized treatment. We summarize recent literature considering the role of the lipid layer on tear film stability, the importance of its composition and of its dynamic behavior, and the link between its malfunction and the insurgence and maintenance of tear film-related diseases. We have provided an assessment of the best management of lipid-deficient EDE based upon an understanding of disease pathophysiology, while indicating the flow of current treatments and possible future evolution of treatment approaches. Lipid containing eye drops may be considered as a step closer to natural tears from artificial aqueous tears because they more closely mimic the aqueous and lipid layers and may be used in combination with other management approaches. As a next step, we recommend working with a wider expert group to develop full guidelines to enable patient-centered management of EDE. Key pointsDry eye is a multifactorial disease of variable presentation with the tendency to become a chronic disease for which it is essential to identify and treat the main pathogenic mechanisms involved and tailor the treatment to the individual patient.Early intervention is needed to prevent the vicious cycle of DED and may require a multi-faceted management approach.EDE is not just a problem of MGD but can be the result of anything affecting blinking, mucin spreading, aqueous layer volume and content.Lipid-containing eye drops may provide significant relief of symptoms by improving the lipid layer and its spreading ability and, as such, are an appropriate component of the overall management of lipid-deficient EDE; natural lipid-containing eye drops should be the preferred treatment.