Hooded Eye Makeup Tips: Tutorial on How to Apply Eyeshadow and Eyeliner That Lift Your Eyes

Makeup for hooded eyes

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As a hooded eye beauty, are you frustrated with your eye makeup? This article will share some hooded eye makeup tips to help you get the most out of your uniquely beautiful eye shape.

Steps we will cover in this article:

  • Step 1: Define your brows for maximum space and to aid the appearance of a lifted eye
  • Step 2: Prime your eyelids for maximum makeup hold that won’t crease, transfer and smudge onto the upper lid
  • Step 3: Highlight your brow bone to brighten and again, to help give the illusion of lift
  • Step 4: Create a cut crease to increase the appearance of eye lid space
  • Step 5: Balance the lower lash line with the upper lash line
  • Step 6: Apply eyeliner strategically so as not to reduce the already small space you have
  • Step 7: Apply lashes that will display your eye makeup or apply mascara to make your eyes really pop

When I started my formal training, venturing into the elite world of makeup lovers and makeup artists, one of the first things we learned about was eyes and their different shapes.

While all eye shapes, from round eyes to downturned eyes, are beautiful, they all have specific needs to achieve makeup looks that suit them, most notably of which is the uniquely beautiful hooded eye shape.

I had never really considered hooded eyes and the hard work or struggles women face until then.

What Are Hooded Eyes?

Hooded eyes are most common among the Asian ethnicity, but they are also common, albeit to a lesser degree, among every other race as well.

Hooded eyes owe their appearance to a small flap of excess skin under each eyebrow. This can make makeup application for hooded eyes a little bit complicated.

Hooded eyes owe their appearance to a small flap of excess skin under each eyebrow. This can make makeup application for hooded eyes a little bit complicated.

Just like the color of your hair or the presence of attached earlobes, the shape of your eyes is just one of many genetic traits visible on your face. It may appear as though you have small eyes but they only appear optically smaller because of the lack of eyelid real estate.

If you take a closer look in the mirror you should easily be able to tell whether you have hooded eyes or not. Open your eyes as you usually would and if most or all of your natural crease and upper eyelid is covered by the skin under your brow bone and the curve of your eyes points down a little bit, there’s a good chance you have hooded eyes.

Hooded eyes do tend to become more pronounced with age as skin laxity increases.

This lack of visible lid space is what women struggle with when applying eyeshadow and even eyeliner. Of course, there are varying degrees of hooded eyes and while it is virtually impossible to create popular eye makeup looks when your eyelids play peekaboo, there are others, that with a few simple techniques, that can work for you and seriously flatter hooded lids and help to bring all of the attention to your beautiful eyes. And yes, including winged eyeliner!

With the right makeup products and a few different techniques, you can achieve a dramatic overall eye makeup look. A mysterious, seductive, sexy, beautiful eye look just like any other eye shape!

Not convinced? Well, Priyanka Chopra (Miss World 2000) along with some of the most beautiful celebrities in Hollywood have hooded eyes – Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, and Cate Blanchett to name a few!

Priyanka Chopra (Miss World 2000) along with some of the most beautiful celebrities in Hollywood have hooded eyes - Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, and Cate Blanchett to name a few!

Yes, you really can master your hooded eyes!

Here is my makeup tutorial with the best tips for hooded eyes and beautiful eye makeup.

Step 1: Define

Great tip: Always keep the tail of your eyebrow high, no matter what your eyebrow shape, and comb your hairs upward using a brow brush or spoolie. This helps maximize the space available and makes your eye appear bigger.

Always keep the tail of your eyebrow high, no matter what your eyebrow shape, and comb your hairs upward using a brow brush or spoolie. This helps maximize the space available and makes your eye appear bigger.

Step 2: Prime

As you have no doubt already discovered, a hooded lid will almost always smudge or transfer your carefully applied eyeshadow onto the upper lid.

The important thing to remember here is PRIME! Priming your entire lid with eye makeup primer or eyeshadow base before you apply eyeshadow gives the product something extra to hold onto, keeping it in place (hopefully until the end of the day) and creating a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup application. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tube – Original is a gorgeous product and works really, really well!

Priming your entire lid with eye makeup primer or eyeshadow base before you apply eyeshadow gives the product something extra to hold onto, keeping it in place (hopefully until the end of the day) and creating a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup application.

You can also use a touch of oil-free foundation or concealer in place of primer if you don’t have, but remember to set the products with loose translucent or setting powder.

You may also want to neaten up your lower brow line at this point with concealer to give that perfectly groomed brow look.

Step 3: Highlight

Using a highlighter or light shimmer shadow, highlight just below the arch of the brow and keep it to a minimum. Remember you already have a heavy hooded area and lighter shadows give the appearance of protrusion.

We don’t want that on an already protruding eyelid or hooded eye area.

My go to pallet for this look is my Changeable Fantasy Eyeshadow Makeup Palette. It has a superb array of matte and shimmer colors which I love!

Step 4: Cut

Because we don’t have a defined crease or enough lid space for the makeup to show we have to create a fake crease which means we need to create some space.

There are several ways to do this, but for me, the best way is finding the top edge of the eye socket (above the natural fold of your eyelid), which will be our reference.

Create an outline along your brow bone.

Using a bullet or pencil brush and a darker color shadow, not necessarily the darkest shade (in line with your skin tone) from your eyeshadow palette (matte shades work best) start at the outer corner of the eye and draw along the new crease on the socket line roughly one third to halfway across your eye towards the inner eye.

Create an outline along your brow bone.

Blend out the line you created along your brown bone.

With a fluffy blending brush soften the line until it is well blended. This creates some depth and gives the illusion of a new crease line that looks like a natural shadow.

Blend out the line you created along your brown bone.

Next, using a flat concealer brush, starting at the inner corner of your eye, drag the brush and product downwards, applying concealer to your lid below the newly created socket line – this is your cut crease.

I like to do a three quarter cut crease, stopping three-quarters of the way across and blending the concealer out with my fingertip. Set the concealer again with setting power.

Apply a cut crease using concealer and blend it out at the outer corner.

Add some depth above the cut crease to give the illusion of a deeper eye socket and new fold.

To add more definition and depth to your crease, use a lip brush and the same dark shade crease color as before and draw a line just above the concealer crease you have just created. Gently blend it out with a blending brush ever so slightly so that it is not too harsh.

Now you are free to finish up your makeup with any color combination you prefer. Be as bold or as neutral as you like.

Add some depth above the cut crease to give the illusion of a deeper eye socket and new fold.

Finish up your make up by adding a halo to the center of your lid and transition corners to the inner and outer corners.

For a really dramatic look that makes the eyes pop, I like to add transition shades to the lid with light shimmery shades on the center of the lid, sometimes called the ‘halo effect’. The halo effect helps bring the eyelid forward and creates the illusion of more lid space. This is where shimmer works for women of all ages!

Smokey eyes using this technique with dark shadows can be particularly striking for the evening.

Finish up your make up by adding a halo to the center of your lid and transition corners to the inner and outer corners.

Step 5: Balance

Balance the color of your lower lashline with your lid, using the same darker shade you used to create the socket line, and smoke it out with a pencil or bullet brush throughout the outer half of the lower lash line.

Take a lighter shade in a shimmer or a touch of highlight and apply it to the inner corners of your eyes. This helps to make your eyes appear brighter and more awake.

Step 6: Line

Hooded eyelids already make your eyes look smaller and downturned, so it may be worth considering not letting your eyeliner and lashes exaggerate those features further. Rather let them help make your eyes look open and bright.

Many makeup looks use thick, bold eyeliner on the upper lash line, but a very thin line using liquid eyeliner with a fine tip might be a more flattering overall look. Rather leave room to show off your eyeshadow skills by keeping your eyeliner thin.

A thin line of eyeliner works best for hooded eyes.

NYX’s Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner is my favorite liquid liner at the moment. It is waterproof, long-lasting and best of all, vegan! If you are looking for a new eyeliner, see my post on the The Best Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner Pens for 2021.

You may even find that lining under your lash line, or in your lashes, works better for your eye shape than placing the liner above your lashes.

Additionally, if you line your lower lash line, be sure to only line just the outer corner. You can even line the inner corner with white or lighter color to open your hooded eyes up a little more.

A cat eye or winged eye can be very flattering, especially for dramatic looks for the evening, but are a little tricky to do on hooded eyes.

To make it easier, create a line that extends up from your lower lash line. Meet it with a diagonal line from the inner corner of your eye to its tip.

To finish it off, look straight ahead with your eyes wide open and fill in the blank space with more eyeliner. It won’t give the conventional winged eyeliner look when your eyes are closed but works beautifully for hooded eyes and doesn’t transfer.

Step 7: Lashes

Dramatic eyelashes draw attention to your eyes and this can easily be achieved by applying mascara to both the upper and lower lashes. As the lashes extend noticeably out from your eyes, it adds to the perceived size of your eyes.

If you choose to use false lashes to enhance your eyes, try to go with something wispy and lightweight so that people can see your eye makeup through them.

Try use wispy false lashed to allow your eye makeup to show through.

Dense eyelashes will hide your eye makeup and make your eyes appear more droopy than they already are.

I particularly love the Bepholan Faux Mink Lashes, they are very natural-looking, lightweight, and wispy.

Some makeup artists prefer uniform lashes that are shorter on both the inner and outer corners. I happen to prefer those that are slightly longer at the outer corner of your eye, but this is really just personal preference.

Lastly, finish up with a coat or two of waterproof mascara. Waterproof formulas for both eyeliner and mascara are especially beneficial for hooded eyes as they transfer and smudge much less.

Lash Princess False Lash Waterproof Mascara by essence is what I am enjoying at the moment.

Although hooded eyes may take some time to master they are still undeniably beautiful! Don’t skip out on eye makeup because of the shape of your eyes.

At the end of the day, all makeup is about illusion, using techniques to highlight and hide different parts of the face, and eye makeup is no different.

Like anything, practice makes perfect. Experiment and play around with different colors and shades, practice these steps and really get to know your eyes. You will master the art in no time.

Oh, and one last thing before I forget! There is a wonderful group of Hooded Eye Beauties on Facebook. We are an amazing group of women with hooded eyes like us who offer tips, advice and feedback if you feel like posting a photo asking for ways to improve your makeup. Hope to see you there!

Lots of love,

Courtney Signature

Courtney Cullen

A full-time professional makeup artist and a free-spirited, unabashed makeup and lash addict blogging about all things beautiful! Makeup is art, but beauty is spirit...

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1 Response

  1. 17/07/2021

    […] See our article on Hooded Eye Makeup. […]

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