As a professional makeup artist, the question of how to make-up hooded lids and create a stunning eye is a frequent and enthusiastic query. Everyone wants their eyes to stand out, and a hooded lid offers a greater challenge because of the necessary skills involved in that enhancement.
Plus, as I’ve gotten older and my own eyes have become more hooded, I’ve taken a keen interest in how to augment them. In addition, I’ve developed hyperpigmentation on my eyelids that makes me look like I put my eyeshadow on catawampus.
In honor of the New Year, and looking and feeling our very best, here are my top suggestions for hooded lids.
So, what exactly is a hooded eye? Hooded eyes form when we have excess skin folding down from the brow bone to the lash line which makes our eyes look smaller. We can be born with hooded eyes or they can be a result of our skin changing as we get older.
There are varying degrees of how hooded our eyes can be. We might have just a small amount of skin that folds down, or might be so large that it looks like we don’t have a crease above our eyelid.
You might be surprised to know that hooded eyelids are not limited to being caused by aging. There are actually two types of hooded eyes – one is caused by vanishing lids and the other from eyelids drooping.
Vanishing lids are an actual eye shape where you don’t see the eyelid when the eyes are open. Although aging does not cause this type of hooded eye, unfortunately, the effect is increased by it. Drooping eyelids are caused directly by aging, when the upper part of the eye area around the brow bone starts to droop down toward the eyelid and over the eye socket.
Although we’d love to avoid hooded eyes altogether, sometimes they are a fact of life we just need to find workarounds for!
Filling in our eyebrows is one of the four research-proven makeup techniques that can help us look our best. And, filling in the brows provides a frame for our eyes which helps lift our eye area.
Be sure to avoid bringing the “tail” of each eyebrow too low which creates eye droopiness. To find out where your brow should end, put a thin pen along the edge of your nose and angle it so it goes across the outer edge of your eye up to your eyebrow. This is where the brow should stop.
Have you ever painted? Think of your face like a canvas. You want to even out any discoloration before you add color, shading, or highlight, just as in a painting.
Consider the artist’s strategy: the lighter the color, the more it pops out, and the darker the color, the more it recedes. With hooded lids, you want to create the illusion of light and dark where there isn’t a clear-cut frame of reference.
Just like an artist starts with a blank canvas, begin by evening out your skin color. Using a light to medium coverage foundation, apply it all over your face and eyelids. If you have oily lids, or your eyeshadow doesn’t stay put, use an eye base instead.
After foundation, most women should use a translucent setting powder so that the makeup blends better. If you have dry skin, though, I would avoid using powder. Most foundations set easily without the need for a powder or a foundation powder, which can sometimes end up in fine lines.
Now that your lids are ready, it’s time for eyeshadow!
Returning to the artist analogy, we are going to use the play between light and dark to create a different eye structure. Depending on your skin color, take an eyeshadow that is slightly lighter than your skin, like a light pink or cream shade.
Using a flat headed brush, apply the shadow all over your lid so that it almost reaches your eyebrow, but not quite. It’s better to either leave the brow bone it’s normal color or apply a slightly iridescent shadow that is lighter than your skin.
As you work with the product, be sure the shadow is well blended and covers the entire eye area. If you like iridescent shades, I would not use them all over the lid, but rather put a small amount right in the center of your eyeball.
I find that shiny shadow can be too garish on older women and should be used sparingly and deliberately. Please watch my YouTube video on wearing glimmering shadow here.
Now let’s use eye shadow to create a larger lid and crease! Take a color that is one to two shades darker than your skin color for the crease. You might want to try a blue, gray, or warm brown depending on your eye color and what you are wearing.
Using a pointed crease brush for accuracy, apply the color a bit above your natural crease, or create a crease where you want it. It takes some practice, but once you become comfortable it will take no time at all.
As you become adept at drawing a larger crease, the key dexterity is blending with a good blender brush. Keep the crease color toward the middle outside part of your eye area, and avoid bringing it too close to your inner eyebrow. This way you open up your eye and create the illusion of a larger crease.
Lastly, take an eyeliner and apply it between your eyelashes as much as possible. Using a slanted brush, or an applicator brush, turn it sideways to get as much of a straight angle as possible.
While looking down your nose into the mirror, draw the liner in short dashes between the lashes. Don’t worry if it looks uneven, because next we will blend it to remove any inconsistencies.
To blend the liner, take another softer brush and run it over the liner to soften the edges and give it a smokier feel.
After you finish blending the liner, and if you feel ambitious, use the crease brush to apply a shade at least two to three shades darker in the outer crease and edge of your eye. This serves to open up the eye area even more and can add a dramatic and stunning touch to your look.
In the beginning of learning how to do this, your shadow will be a bit slapdash. With practice, though, you will create more and more fun and playful eyeshadow looks that any artist would be proud of.
Often, mascara will transfer onto hooded eyes so you may wish to select a waterproof product.
Just remember that your face is the canvas, and you are the painter, using light and dark shadow to create a stunning eye!
What is your biggest eye issue? Do you battle hooded lids? What tips have you used so far? Which ones helped – and which ones didn’t? Please share your experiences with our community!