When it comes to applying eye makeup, creating a look that works for your specific eye shape is essential. Before picking up a makeup brush, it’s helpful to identify your eye shape and target the techniques and products that will flatter it flawlessly. For hooded eyes, especially, this can be a little tricky. But fret not, because we’re walking you through the ins and outs of how to do makeup for hooded eyes. Before diving into our best makeup tips, let’s discuss exactly what hooded eyes are to help you figure out whether you’ve got this eye shape.
How to Tell if You Have Hooded Eyes
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is my eye shape?”—you’re not alone! There are a handful of different eye shapes out there, including upturned or downturned eyes, monolids, and—the topic du jour—hooded eyes.
This eye shape gets its name because the brow bone and/or your skin creates a hood over the eye. Depending on your genetics, this can be a strong or mild hood. While anyone can have a hooded eye shape, the hood can become more prominent as we get older as the skin begins to drape downward.
“Take a look at your crease, and if you can’t see the crease when your eyes are open then your eyes are [likely] hooded,” says Kirsten Peterson, Senior Regional Education Manager for IT Cosmetics. In cases of mild hooded eyes, you may be able to see your crease slightly, but it won’t be as strong of a crease as someone with non-hooded eyes.
Makeup Challenges for Hooded Eyes
Hooded eyes are beautiful, but they can present a few challenges when wearing makeup. Peterson says some of the common struggles include:
- Mascara smudging onto the brow bone
- Eyeshadow disappearing when the eye is open
- Difficulty creating a cat eyeliner with liquid liner
- Not having enough eyelid “real estate”
To help combat some of these key challenges, follow these makeup tips for hooded eyes.
Wear Mascara That Won’t Smudge or Transfer
One of the biggest makeup frustrations with hooded eyes is that mascara tends to brush against your brow bone, which can create an unwanted smudging effect. To combat this, choose a high-quality mascara that won’t betray you. Hello Lashes+ Mascara is the perfect wand for the job. It creates lift, separation, and curl and won't flake, smudge, or transfer.
Pro Tip: All mascara is a little wet just after it’s applied, so be mindful of that while you’re applying and waiting for it to dry. Instead of looking downward when applying mascara, look straight ahead into the mirror or tilt your chin upward, then wait 30 to 60 seconds.
Use a Precision Eyeliner
The real estate on hooded eyes isn’t as vast as it is for other eye shapes. When applying eyeliner, use a product with a fine precision tip, such as the Superhero No-Tug Retractable Eyeliner, that won’t take up any more space than you’d prefer. Available in black, brown, and silk taupe, this retractable eyeliner is pointed and primed for precise action!
Going for a cat eye with liquid eyeliner? Less is more! Create a very thin line across the outer third of your upper lash line, then create a tiny flick that extends upward and stops at your crease. For an extended wing, place your pointer finger at your temple and gently pull up. Extend the liquid eyeliner, allow 15 seconds for it to dry, then release.
Create Extra Space Under Your Brow
Though you can’t add more space between your brow bone and lash line, you can fake the appearance of more space with a few key makeup tricks! The first trick is to be mindful of how you’re filling in your brows. Instead of creating harsh lines or a “drawn on” look, use an eyebrow pencil that mimics the appearance of real brow hairs. Also, don’t fill in your brows any lower than they actually are.
Another trick for faking more space is to apply a very small amount of non-glittery, non-shimmery highlighter just underneath your eyebrow. Hello Light Anti-Aging Powder Luminizer offers the right amount of subtle luminosity for this. Use a narrow eyeliner makeup brush, or similar, to apply just a touch.
Pro Tip: Be careful not to apply your luminizer all over the brow bone itself, which will have the unwanted effect of highlighting this area and making it look larger.
Place Eyeshadow Just Above the Crease
One of the signatures of a hooded eye is that most (if not all) of the lid is hidden when your eyes are open. To ensure your eyeshadow is still visible when you’re not blinking or looking down, apply it across the entire lid and slightly above the eye crease. Superhero No-Tug Waterproof Eyeshadow Stick—which comes in 12 gorgeous shades—can be applied directly from the stick to your lids and then blended out with your fingertips for an effortless look.
Try a Cut Crease
A cut crease is a makeup technique where you create a defined line at, or just above, your natural crease. It helps create the illusion of a broader eyelid and is one of the best makeup tricks out there for people with hooded eyes going for a dramatic look.
To create a cut crease, apply a lighter shade of eyeshadow up to your crease, then apply a darker shade above the crease with a crease brush. Gently press the brush into your crease and use a back-and-forth windshield wiper motion as you follow the natural crease.
Like anything, this look may require some trial and error but it’s totally worth it! You can build off this look if you want via a smokey eye or winged eyeliner. Don't forget a few swipes of mascara.
For more makeup tricks, check out our guide on how to shape your eyebrows and then learn how to create natural-looking makeup in under five minutes.