The 6 Essential Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes

Kelly Dougher
makeup tips for hooded eyes

Jennifer Lawrence is the queen of rocking awesome makeup and hooded eyes. Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

It can be hard enough to master a smokey eye look or the perfect cat-eye under normal circumstances, but for some people the struggle is made even harder by their eye shape. If you have hooded eyes—where an extra fold of skin covers the crease of your eyelid, making the lid seem smaller—you’ll know all too well how hard it can be to make your eye makeup look good. Eye shadow seems to disappear completely, liquid eyeliner flicks look crooked, and mascara constantly transfers to the brow bone.

You’re not alone in this, though: plenty of celebrities have hooded eyes. Jennifer Lawrence, Blake Lively, Emma Stone, and Camilla Belle are just a few of the women who prove that you can sport dramatic eye makeup even with lack of visible lid space. It’s simply of matter of knowing how to work with what you’ve got. Read on for our top beauty tips for hooded eyes.

1. Embrace waterproof mascara.

One of the most annoying things about having hooded eyes is that your lashes often touch your brow bone. This means that if your mascara is even slightly smudgeable, you’re going to end up with black smears under your eyebrows, especially if your skin gets sweaty or oily throughout the day. In this situation, your best offense is a good defense. Use a waterproof mascara that does not budge—accept no substitutes. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof Mascara ($6.30) and Covergirl LashBlast Waterproof Volume Mascara ($7) are excellent options. Choose the former if you want natural-looking length and the latter if you’re after dramatic volume.

2. Placement is key.

A common problem with hooded eyes is finding that the dramatic eye shadow you spent so long applying disappears once you open your eyes. Don’t waste your time putting eye makeup on your mobile eyelid (that’s the part that moves when you blink) when it’s not going to be seen. Instead, apply eye liner above your lash line and eye shadow above your eyelid’s crease or just below your brow bone, where it will stand out even when your eyes are open.

3. Experiment with color.

A perk of hooded eyes: playing with color. Since your lids cover a lot of your eye real estate, they’ll naturally create a more subtle look. It’s the perfect excuse to get away with a dash of seasonal color, like a pop of violet, that might be overwhelming on a larger eyelid space.

4. Smudge under your lower lashes for smokey eyes.

Smudged shadows and liners often get swallowed up by hooded eyes, rendering a dramatic smokey eye almost invisible. If this has happened to you, it’s time to flip the traditional smokey-eye placement upside down and focus your efforts under your eye instead of above it. Our girl Jennifer Lawrence is the queen of this look; it’s her preferred eye makeup style of choice.

Line your upper and lower lash line with a smudgeable black or dark brown eyeliner like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil ($20). Starting at the center of your lower lash line, thicken the line and extend it up and out in a cat eye shape. Finally, blend well with a matte eyeshadow in a slightly lighter color than your eyeliner—think grey for black liner and lighter brown to compliment a deep brown line. Make sure to add plenty of mascara to finish your look!

5. Experiment with cat eyes.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s not just one cat eye out there—which is lucky for those of with hooded eyes, as our lids often swallow up the traditional subtle flicks. But you can still wear this classic style; just get a little creative with it!

Instead of winging your liner straight up at the outer corners, extend the line out past the crease of your lid, then draw your wing. You can also experiment with making the flicks curved or more triangular, depending on the unique shape of your eyes. The possibilities are endless!

6. Don’t be afraid!

It’s true that having hooded eyelids can present a few makeup challenges, but they’re not insurmountable. No matter your eye shape, beauty is all about experimenting until you figure out what works for you. There is no one right way to do makeup, so if the traditional way isn’t working for your hooded eyes, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands and try something new! The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work, in which case you wash it off and try again. Happy experimenting!

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