What Are Hooded Eyes?
Hooded eyes are those where you cannot see much or any of the eyelid. The eyelid is covered by skin and is almost or entirely hidden when the eyes are open.
The best way to tell if you have hooded eyes is to stand directly in front of a mirror at eye level. If you are looking straight forward, not up or down, and cannot see the majority of your eyelid, then you most likely have hooded eyes. Those that have them also tend to have lower brows and less of an eyebrow arch because of the lack of space between the top of the eye and the eyebrows.
Some are just born this way; some aren't. Sometimes it's just the result of one's genes or ethnic background, but it may also be brought on by age as the skin on one's face begins to droop down and lose its elasticity, covering the eyelid.
What Makes Hooded Eyes So Difficult?
On Pinterest or Instagram, there are always a lot of makeup tutorials and pictures that require a lot of eyelid and simply will not work on hooded eyes. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the popular makeup tutorials are for women who have a standard eyelid, one that shows much of the top lid and has plenty of room between the top of the eye and the eyebrow. These tutorials will simply not work right on someone with hooded eyes.
A girl with standard eyes can fit in a lot of eye eyeliner and eyeshadow and blend a smoky eye way up, almost to her brows. The girls with hooded eyes have to work more on the outsides of the eyes and have less space to blend due to the lower brows. The eyeliner and shadow work will have to be adapted for your unique eye shape.
I am going to give you a simple rundown on how to make popular styles of eye makeup work for you. I will cover eyeshadow, eyeliner, brows, and false lashes.
Eyeshadow on hooded eyes is a bit tricky for people who are less experienced with makeup.
Whereas on a standard, almond, or oval eye, you can see all sections of the eyelid and work with them individually, this does not work for hooded eyes, where you need to work primarily with the outer sides of the eye.
The inner and outer corners or sides of the eyelids is where the focus of the color should be. For the most flattering look, I recommend putting the darker color on the outer corner of the lid and the lightest color on the inner corner, then blending both towards the middle. Even if the colors don't look good mixed together, remember that when your eye is open and relaxed, you most likely won't be able to see the middle of your eyelid.
Eyeliner is probably the most frustrating aspect of having this type of eye.
If you like to use a lot of liquid liner on the top lid, you know how often it smears or transfers to your eyebrow if it's not dry. Liquid liner—whether applied with a brush or a pen— is going to take some time to get right. The thing to remember is to let it dry completely before you do anything. You may have to leave your head tilted back while it's drying, or it may smudge and transfer onto your upper lid. You'll always need to use waterproof liner.
Drawing a Wing
If you've tried to do a wing before, then you know it's not as simple as it looks in a tutorial. The eyelid folds over itself so the wing you draw is not going to look that way when you relax your eye. The most important thing to remember is to draw it slowly while looking directly forward, then simply use this as a base line or outline, but don't fill it in yet. Once it is dry, you can fill it in without having to look directly forward anymore. The purpose of drawing the wing when looking directly forward is so you know what it will look like once relaxed, and the fold is in its natural place. Drawing it in at an angle won't work because the skin will hide in the fold.
Eyeliner is something that is different for everyone. It will take some time to get used to, but you'll get the hang of it.
A Different Eyeliner Technique
People with hooded eyes oftentimes have naturally lower eyebrows. The eyebrows often have less of a natural arch; therefore, many women (such as myself) try to tweeze and wax enough to give them more control over the brow appearance.
Because I have very straight brows, before I apply an eyebrow pencil, I don't have much of an outer area of my eyebrow. Simply getting rid of some of the outer part of my eyebrows gives me so much more control over the angle and arch of my brows. The outer parts can be controlled to give a much better arch to open up the appearance of my eyes.
However, you should not tweeze or wax where your brows start (closest to your nose). You can't change where your brows naturally start on your face.
False lashes aren't something that everyone uses, but since I know there are people (like me) who use false lashes daily, I thought it was a good subject to touch on. If you have hooded lids and have ever worn false lashes, then you know it's not easy to find the right kind.
It is practically impossible to use extremely long or extremely full lashes.
- Long lashes will almost reach your low brows and will look very strange. However, if you get a good deal on the lashes, then you can always trim them to the correct length.
- Extremely full, dramatic lashes will completely block your eyeshadow. Without space in between the lashes, it will appear as if you have no lid at all and will appear completely fake.
The best advice I can give is just to play around with it. It's just makeup, it comes off, and if you mess up, then you can try again. It takes time to learn how to do makeup effectively and to be able to tell what techniques work for you. Everyone is different so please, don't try to copy someone's look exactly, adapt it to what works for you.
I hope that my advice has helped. Have fun trying out these tips!
Evie Sparkes on May 02, 2019:
My eyes are slightly hooded but I rather like that about them! Rene Zellweger rocked that look way back when. It's a shame she had them altered.
Terri Taylor on May 06, 2016:
luv ur site. i could not find were to suscribe.
Melodie on April 27, 2016:
I have extremely hooded eyes. I feel them heavy and.. Apologies for saying... Sweaty during summer time. The outer lid is so hooded that its lower the bottom eye line (almost). Yeah its that heavy. Im considering surgery... I have learned how to do make up and i find your article helpful too, but my lids are super uncomfortable, whether it sounds funny or not. Thanks for the article! Ill follow your tips.
Laura on April 25, 2016:
Thanks for these great tips! I'm 50 and all my life I felt confused trying to do eye makeup and would think - I have a tiny face, where do women find a place to put and blend all this eye shadow and how do they get their eyebrows up so high with an arch in them?! It suddenly occurred to me - my eyes are just put together differently! Today I searched "eye makeup for low eyebrows" and found this little gem. Many thanks - and your eyes look lovely!
Ryuna on January 04, 2016:
Yet I also have low eyebrows and even less room to work with. fml.
Amanda on January 04, 2016:
Great tips for hooded eyes. We have beautiful eyes and it is always nice to learn new refreshing tips
Mariana Fuzaro from São Paulo, Brazil on September 01, 2015:
Thank you! I am always frustrated by my eye looks!
Cynthianne Neighbors on August 27, 2014:
Very good tips!
Sachin from India on August 23, 2014:
That's beautiful. Thanks for these brilliant tips bridgettte, Its surely will help many people with hooded eyes.