How Do You Apply Makeup to Heavily Hooded Eyes?

Hollywood makeup mirror with a detachable 10X magnetic mirror and a charging port

If you have hooded eyes, you know it can be tricky to apply eye makeup and have it actually show up when your eyes are open. That extra skin drooping down from the brow bone tends to hide your lids. But don’t worry - with a few simple adjustments to your makeup techniques, you can absolutely master beautiful, flattering eye looks that complement your gorgeous hooded gaze.

This guide will explain exactly what hooded eyes are and how to tell if you have them. It will share dos and don’ts for choosing the right makeup products and application methods. Most importantly, it will walk you through step-by-step tutorials for eye makeup specifically designed to make hooded eyes pop, including a smoky eye that doesn’t make your lids look weighed down.

Hooded Eyes

What are Hooded Eyes?

Hooded eyes are a eye shape where there is extra skin or a “hood” that droops down from the brow bone area, covering and obscuring some of the eyelid space. This makes it difficult to see eye makeup looks when the eyes are fully open and looking straight ahead. The crease of hooded eyes also tends to be smaller and less visible.

How to Check if You Have Hooded Eyes

To see if you have hooded eyelids, there’s an easy way to check:

  • Stand in front of a vanity mirror with your eyes open and looking straight ahead.
  • Take a look at how much of your actual eyelid is visible from this straightforward vantage point.
  • If you can barely see any eyelid space because it is obscured by excess skin drooping down, you likely have hooded eyes.

Another way to check is to look for whether you can see a pronounced crease or fold in the eyelid area when your eyes are open. Hooded eyes tend to have little to no visible crease. Getting ample lighting from a vanity mirror or makeup desk lamp can help you get a good look. In fact, choosing the right magnification for your mirror can significantly impact how well you see these details. Wondering which magnification level enhances your makeup application best? Explore the differences between 5x vs 10x magnification mirrors.

Hollywood makeup mirror with a detachable 10X magnetic mirror and a charging port

Some people have very hooded eyes, while others have a more moderate or slightly hooded eye shape. Regardless of the degree of hoodedness, the same makeup tips and techniques can help maximize your eye looks.If you have different face shapes, you need to know different makeup techniques.

Dos and Don’ts for Hooded Eye Makeup

When applying makeup on hooded eyes, there are some tips and techniques that can really help enhance your eye shape and make your look pop. There are also some practices to avoid that can make hooded lids look smaller or more droopy. Prepping at your vanity desk or vanity mirror setup will allow you to see exactly how the makeup appears.

The Dos

  1. Do Apply Makeup with Eyes Open
    Since hooded eyes lack visible lid space when open and looking straight ahead, it’s best to apply eye makeup with your eyes open. This allows you to see exactly where to place color and how it will look once your eyes are open normally.
  2. Do Use Waterproof Formulas
    Hooded lids can cause eye makeup to transfer and smear onto the “hood” area. Using waterproof or long-wearing eye products like waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow can prevent this from happening.
  3. Do Tightline
    Lining your waterline (inner rims of eyes) can make hooded eyes look even more closed off. Instead, tightline by running eyeliner between your lash lines to define eyes and make lashes look thicker.
  4. Do Use the Right Tools
    Small, precise makeup brushes and sponges allow you to apply and blend products seamlessly in the small lid area of hooded eyes. Avoid large, fluffy brushes.

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t Use Dark, Harsh Shades
    Dark, muddy eyeshadow shades can make hooded lids look heavy and droopy. Opt for light to medium neutrals, soft shimmers, and pops of color instead.
  2. Don’t Go for Heavy, Dramatic Lashes
    While you can still wear false lashes with hooded eyes, avoid huge, dramatic strip lash styles. They can look overdone and weigh down the eye area. Choose lightweight, wispy, shorter lash styles instead.
    With these dos and don’ts in mind, you’ll be able to apply makeup that complements and flatters your hooded eye shape, rather than closing it off.

Step-by-Step Hooded Eye Makeup Tutorial

If you have hooded eyes, this makeup tutorial is designed to help open up your eye area and make your eyeshadow, liner, and lashes really pop when your eyes are open. Follow these steps for a gorgeous, flattering hooded eye look.

  1. Prep Your Lids
    Start by priming your eyelids with an eyeshadow primer. This will help makeup go on smoothly and last longer without creasing on the hooded area. Let the primer set for a minute before moving on.
  2. Fake a Crease
    Use an angled eyeliner brush and matte neutral brown eyeshadow to map out a new, higher crease above your actual crease line. Follow the natural contour of your brow bone as a guide. This faux crease will create more lid visibility.
  3. Blend It Out
    Using a fluffy blending brush, soften the edges of the line you created for the new crease. Blend the shadow up towards the brow bone and outwards towards the edges of the eyes.
  4. Add a Wash of Color
    Going back to your primer, apply a wash of neutral matte brown or tan eyeshadow from your lash line up to the faux crease you created. This base will help other shades pop.
  5. Highlight the Lid
    With your eye open, apply a shimmery light eyeshadow shade onto the center of your mobile lid, concentrating the shimmer where you want to catch the light. This will make your lid look more wide awake.
  6. Highlight Inner Corners and Brow Bones
    Using a matte cream, beige, or pale shimmery eyeshadow, highlight the inner corner of your eyes and along the brow bone area. This helps lift and open up the eye area.
  7. Add Some Wings
    Use a gel, liquid or pencil eyeliner to create subtle winged edges along your upper lash lines. Keep the liner thin and focus on elongating and lifting the outer corners.
  8. Lash It Up
    Finish by curling your lashes and swiping on two to three coats of a volumizing, lengthening mascara on your top and bottom lashes. Look for a waterproof formula.
This eye look creates the illusion of bigger, more wide-awake hooded lids by playing up the right areas with light and shadows. The faux crease is key! Take a look at your finished eye in the vanity mirror to ensure it’s giving you the effect you want.

How to Get Smokey Eyes for Hooded Lids

Don’t let hood get you down - you can totally rock a sultry smokey eye! Having a vanity desk setup with good lighting can really help when working on a detailed smoky eye for hooded lids.

Vanity desk with light

Start with a Base

Sweep a light brown or tan transition shade from lashlines up to creases using a fluffy brush. This base helps other shades pop.

Tightline Your Eyes

Using a waterproof gel or pencil liner, tightly line your upper and lower lashlines. Get right into the lash roots for definition.

Smudge for Smokiness

While the liner is still wet, use a smudge brush to diffuse and smudge it upwards into the creases and outwards towards the corners. Use windshield wiper motions.

Blend It Out

Go back in with your fluffy crease brush and a deeper brown shadow. Continue blending and buffing color through the creases and lower lashlines to build smokiness.

Add Lush Lashes

No smokey eye is complete without full, fluttery lashes! Coat top and bottom lashes with a volumizing, lengthening waterproof mascara.
This diffused, blended-out technique creates that coveted bedroom eye look without closing off or weighing down hooded lids. Just concentrate the darker shades nearest the lashlines.

Enhancing Your Hooded Hues

With some simple adjustments, you can totally rock stunning eye makeup that complements your sultry hooded lids instead of hiding them. The tricks? Create a faux crease, use light shades to open up the eye area, and avoid anything too heavy or dramatic that could weigh things down. Whether you want an everyday or smoky eye look, apply with your peepers wide open and opt for small, precise brushes and tightlining instead of lining the waterline. Most importantly, work those gorgeous bedroom eyes with confidence! Celebrate your smoldering gaze by flattering your hooded hues to the fullest in front of your vanity mirror.

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