If you have hooded eyes, you know how much of a struggle the whole eye makeup thing can be. The killer smoky eye no one can actually see, the eyeliner that has smudged absolutely everywhere, the mascara smeared all over your brow bone…sigh.
It can be HARD. But mastering makeup for hooded lids *is* possible! Here’s everything you need to know about eye makeup for hooded eyes.
What are hooded eyes?
If the aforementioned eye makeup issues sound all too familiar, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘do I have hooded eyes?’ right about now. Well, having hooded lids basically means you have a fold of skin that hangs over the crease of your eye, so you can’t see much of your lid. While it doesn’t sound like a big deal, it can get in the way of where you’d normally put your eyeshadow or eyeliner, making eye makeup a bit of a challenge.
If you’re one of these people, we’re here to tell you CAN do that cat eye, and you CAN do that crazy double cut crease! Makeup for hooded eyes is more than doable - you just have to adjust your technique slightly. Just take your beauty cues from celebrities with hooded eyes such as Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid – because if they can nail their makeup look on the red carpet, so can you!
Need a little tutorial? We spoke with freelance hair and makeup artist Lisa Fulginiti to find out the best way to do eye makeup for hooded eyes. Trust us, with a few tips and tricks (and some solid practice), you’ll be serving some serious looks in no time.
Problem #1 / Your eyeliner is smudging
When it comes to winged eyeliner for hooded eyes, the struggle is REAL. Not only is it difficult to apply, but it can be hard to get it to stay put. But Fulginiti says there’s one product that will make this problem a whole lot easier – a trusty eye primer. “Start with an eye primer (such as Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion). This will set the liner so it doesn’t move, and add a hint of colour or highlight, depending on which shade you use,” she says.
Her second suggestion is to invest in a good eyeliner that is transfer-proof and smudge-proof. “Marc Jacobs High Liner Matte Gel Crayon is a crowd favourite. This liner is great for hooded eyes as it glides on easily, and the pigment is rich, so the colour will pop. The magic of this product is that after 15 seconds it sets in place. This will stop the liner transferring onto the top of the eyelid.”
As for how to apply the eyeliner, Fulginiti suggests placing a finger on the outer corner of your eyelid and gently pulling the skin tight, so the eyelid is lifted. “Hold the eyeliner pencil so the tip is angled slightly downwards into the lash line,” she explains. “Push the pencil into the lash line, starting from the inner corner and working outwards. The liner does not have to be perfect. The main goal is making sure the liner is in the lash line and not above it.”
Next, Fulginiti recommends reaching for a smudging brush like Nude by Nature Smudge Brush 16 to blend the line. “Blend upwards slightly so when you open your eyes the colour is visible” she says. “This eyeliner technique is great for hooded eyes; it is softer and more flattering than a graphic liner, which can become distorted with a hooded eye shape.” For extra security, she suggests setting the eyeliner with a translucent powder.
Problem #2 / Your eyeshadow is non-existent
If there’s one thing hooded eyes love doing, it’s obstructing a cute smoky eye. But there are ways around it! To start, there are three different types of shadow you’re going to need – a light, a medium and a dark shade. In terms of tools, Fulginiti says, “Use smaller brushes when applying products to hooded eyes. This way you have more control on the placement and less product fallout onto the skin. The eyelid is small, so it makes more sense to use a smaller brush.”
First, start by applying some eye primer evenly over the lid, before curling your lashes with an eyelash curler (like Kevyn Aucoin Curler). If you want to team your smoky eye with eyeliner, do this before you start applying eyeshadow, using the tips in the first section to smudge the liner and create a soft smoke.
Now for the eyeshadow. Using a blending brush like the Zoeva 225 Luxe Eye Blender, Fulginiti says to “Blend the base shade (the lightest colour) from the inner corner to the outer corner of the eye”. Switching to a shadow brush, “keep your eye open and lightly shade the darkest colour on the outer corner on the brow bone, so you see where the colour will appear. This is a guide and helps you to create a crease for the hooded eye.”
“Close your eye and blend from the guide of the dark shadow, down to the lash line creating a soft ‘V’ shape to emphasis the outer corner (AKA the crease that does not exist),” explains Fulginiti. “[Use] the mid-tone shadow to blend the dark and light tones together.”
Finish with a waterproof mascara (hint: a waterproof formula won’t leave behind any annoying smudging on your brow bone). If you’re looking for a good waterproof option, Fulginiti suggests Diorshow Iconic Waterproof High Definition Curler Mascara. “This is an ideal product for hooded eyes; it will reduce transferring and it help the longevity of the makeup throughout the day/night,” she says.
Accidentally smudged your mascara? “If the product you are using is transferring on the eyelid, use a small brush and a shadow of a similar colour [to the mascara] and follow the transfer mark; blend it out and create a new crease line. It will become a customised cut crease! BOOM.”
Pro tip: “Applying eyeshadow with your eyes open will let you see how your lid naturally falls. This way you have a better understanding of colour placement for your own individual shape,” advises Fulginiti.
Problem #3 / Your eyes look heavy
While smouldering hues are great for adding a hint of drama, sometimes smoky eye makeup and dark eyeshadow can make hooded lids look heavier and more closed off (hooded lids already look quite dark due to the extra layer of skin over the natural crease). As such, makeup for hooded eyes (especially makeup for older hooded eyes) should focus on opening and brightening the appearance of eyes. And faking big Bambi-like eyes is surprisingly easy when you have the right makeup techniques up your sleeve.
The number one tip is to opt for lighter eyeshadow colours. “Lighter colours will create more space for hooded eyes. Adding lighter shadow colours will lift the eye and make the it look larger,” reveals Fulginiti. You should also embrace shimmery, glitter eyeshadows, as these will also help brighten the eye area. Try Maybelline New York Eye Studio Hyper Diamonds Eyeshadow.
If you feel like your eyes are still looking a little heavy, Fulginiti says to focus on your eyebrows for an instant eye lift. Full, groomed brows with subtle arches help frame the face and make it appear more youthful. They also open up the eyes, making hooded eyes appear more awake. “Brush [your brows], apply a clear brow gel and fill them in, if needed. A strong shape will help lift the hooded eye.”
If you’re looking for more makeup tricks for hooded lids (greedy!), check out this genius eyeliner trick that went viral.
Do you have any go-to eye makeup tricks for hooded eyes that you swear by? Share with us in the comment section below.
Main and inset image credit: Getty
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.