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What is the best makeup for hooded eyes?

woman with hooded eyes wearing makeup

What is the Best Makeup for Hooded Eyes?

Hooded eyes are a common facial feature that makes the eyelids less visible, and they can pose eye makeup challenges. But there are plenty of easy ways to apply eye shadow and eyeliner for hooded eyes.

Learn how to make your eyes look their best, including eye makeup techniques and the best types of eye shadow and eyeliner for hooded eyes.

What are hooded eyes?

Hooded eyes are a facial feature caused by extra skin just below the eyebrow. This skin hangs down and partly or fully covers the upper eyelids.

What causes hooded eyes? Just like other facial features — from freckles to curly eyelashes — hooded eyes are inherited. 

To see if you have hooded eyes, look in the mirror with a natural expression. If you can't see your upper eyelids, you probably have hooded eyes. If you do, they may become more noticeable as you get older. 

There is no need to see an eye doctor for hooded eyes. But if you'd like to change the look of your hooded eyes, you have two main options: makeup or surgery for hooded eyes.

Surgery may be an option for patients who want to change the look of their eyes and: 

  • Have allergies to cosmetics

  • Don't like to wear makeup 

  • Want a longer-lasting solution for hooded eyes

Hooded eye makeup issues

If you have hooded eyes, you may have run into a few challenges with applying eye makeup. For example:

  • You may have a hard time applying liquid eyeliner in a smooth line.

  • You may find that eye makeup gets "lost" or hidden by skin.

  • You may get smudges of mascara on the skin below your brows.

The good news is you can learn how to minimize these makeup issues. And, if you wish, you can also use hooded eye makeup tips and tricks to disguise hooded eyes.

Eyeliner for hooded eyes

You can use liquid eyeliner for hooded eyes, though you might need to clean up smudges or uneven lines. Some experts recommend using more "forgiving" options such as eyeliner pencil or even black eye shadow followed by a makeup setting spray.

Here are some popular techniques for applying eyeliner to hooded eyes:

Technique 1: "Bat wing" cat eyes for hooded eyes – Use this technique to make cat eyes for hooded eyes, developed by makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes: Draw a triangular "bat wing" shape in the corner of your eye. When your eyes are open, you'll get a normal cat eye look, and your eyeliner won't disappear into your eye crease.

Technique 2: Extended winged eyeliner for hooded eyes – Another technique to avoid having your winged eyeliner disappear: Extend the wing. Simply draw a longer line that extends out  farther than standard winged eyeliner.

Technique 3: Smoky eyeliner for hooded eyes – Try smudging eyeliner along your upper lash line, then smudge a thicker line along your lower lash line and connect the lines, extending them out at the corner of your eye.

Eye shadow for hooded eyes

Many experts recommend sticking to matte eye shadow for hooded eyes. If you use shimmer eye shadow, avoid putting it on on the crease of your eye. Instead, apply it to the visible lid only for a "lift" effect.

Here are some popular techniques for applying eye shadow to hooded eyes:

Technique 1: Create a crease – Use eyeliner to draw a line across your lid from the outside corner to the inside corner. Make the line thicker toward the outside corner and thinner toward the inside corner, L'Oréal recommends. Then apply and blend a matte eye shadow above your natural crease to your brow bone.

Technique 2: Bring shadow out farther – When applying shadow to hooded eyes, pull it out past the corners of your eyes so some of the shadow you apply will still be visible when your eyes are open, beauty writer Tynan Sinks recommends.

Technique 3: Add your main color under your lower lashes – Take the main color you used in your crease and extend it out onto the brow bone, past the corner of your eye and then down below your lower lash line, Sinks suggests. This makes your main eye shadow color "pop" and draws the eye upward.

If you have hooded eyes, you may need to watch some hooded eye makeup tutorials — and practice on your own eyes — to perfect these techniques.

Wearing eye makeup safely

It's important to keep your eyes healthy by using eye makeup safely. Here are a few eye makeup safety recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

  • Apply makeup outside the lash line. Avoid makeup techniques that call for applying eyeliner or shadow inside the lash line, which can block the oil glands on your eyelids.

  • Remove your eye makeup before bed. After taking off your makeup, rinse eye makeup remover from around your eyes and gently pat dry.

  • Replace eye makeup every three months. Using eye makeup for longer may lead to eye infections such as pink eye or a stye.

  • Don't let others use your eye makeup. Sharing eye makeup with friends or family members can spread eye infections.

Makeup can be a great way to emphasize or play down hooded eyes, but remember to make eye health and safety a priority.

SEE RELATED: How dirty are your facial tools?

Celebrities with hooded eyes

If you have hooded eyes, you may wonder, "Are hooded eyes attractive?" Well, there are many celebrities whose hooded eyes contribute to their unique look. Here are a few examples:

  • Blake Lively

  • Brad Pitt

  • Emma Stone

  • Jennifer Lawrence

  • Michelle Williams

  • Taylor Swift

  • Tom Cruise

While some celebrities with hooded eyes embrace and play up this feature, others have had cosmetic surgery to change the look of their eyes. Surgery may be an option for patients who want to permanently get rid of hooded eyes.

SEE RELATED: Celebrities with ptosis (drooping eyelids)

Hooded eye surgery

Blepharoplasty is a surgery that can remove extra skin from the upper or lower eyelids. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty may be used for hooded eyes, especially in patients who are dealing with age-related sagging of the upper eyelids.

Keep in mind that you may not be happy with the result if the surgeon removes too much, or too little, skin. This is known as under- or over-correction. Other possible complications of eyelid surgery include: 

  • Double vision 

  • Numbness of the eyelids

  • Eye infections 

  • Poorly positioned eyelids

If you’re considering hooded eye surgery, talk to your eye doctor about your options, and ask for a referral to an experienced cosmetic surgeon for a consultation. 

Also see your eye doctor if you experience droopy eyes (ptosis), a condition that is different from hooded eyes and can interfere with your vision.

READ NEXT: What can you use to clean your eyelids?

6 essential makeup tips for hooded eyes. Stylecaster. June 2015.

How to get perfectly even winged liner for hooded eyes. Byrdie. March 2021.

How to: winged eyeliner for hooded eyes. Alissa Ashley. August 2016. 

5 makeup tips for people with hooded eyes. Sarah Najafi. December 2015.

A winged eyeliner tutorial for hooded eyes. L'Oréal Paris. Accessed July 2021.

3 ways I mastered eye shadow for my hooded eyes. Allure. September 2018.

How to use cosmetics safely around your eyes. American Academy of Ophthalmology. March 2021.

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