Look straight ahead in the mirror, relax your eyebrows. Can you see your eyelid? I can't...
Look straight ahead in the mirror, relax your eyebrows. Can you see your eyelid? I can’t…

I have spent a large number of years being bummed out about my hooded eyelids. I used to despair how painstakingly applied eyeshadow would totally disappear when my eyes were open. My eyelids were a total waste of eye makeup.  Fast forward to a few years ago and great news: I’ve learnt some clever eye makeup tips and tricks that make the most of my eye shape and now when I wear eye makeup, you can see it!

Hooded eyelids, it turns out are very common, particularly in folk from Asian or Scandinavian descent. Lots of people reckon hooded eyes are sexy and alluring: “Bedroom eyes” they are often called. We’ll take that, right girls?

Wait a second…  Not sure if you have hooded eyes? Here’s how to find out: Look straight ahead in a mirror and relax your eyebrows. Can you see your eyelid without needing to close your eyes slightly, or needing to tilt your head back a little? Nope? Are you playing “where has my eyelid gone?” Welcome to a well-populated club: You have hooded eyes.

So, if, like me, you have hooded eyes and you’d like to learn how to make the most of what you’ve got: Keep reading! Note, you might like to read this blogpost in tandem with this blogpost which explains the different part of the eye from an eye makeup perspective 🙂

  • Bring the eyeshadow up quite high, so you can see it when your eye is open.
    Bring the eyeshadow up quite high, so you can see it when your eye is open.

    Before you start – Use an eye primer! Eyeshadow often creases on hooded eyelids and eyeliner will smudge and shift. An eye primer (different to a foundation primer) will keep your eyeshadow and eyeliner in place all day. Check out this blogpost to learn about eye primer.

  • Bring your eyeshadow up higher than you think:  Most eyeshadow techniques require eyeshadow to be bought up only as high as the natural crease. With hooded lids the technique is different: You actually want to apply colour slightly above the crease so that you can actually see the colour when your eyes are open. The trick here is, with your eyes open and your eyebrows relaxed, look straight ahead in the mirror and apply eyeshadow  above your crease. This will put a shadow on the protruding hood and create the illusion of the hoods receding.
  • Go to town with a fluffy blending brush! When I do makeup lessons I find so many lovely ladies are ill equipped with eye brushes and generally only own what I call a flat stiff brush, which is only really suitable for applying eyeshadow to the lid or brow bone. For crease work, particularly for hooded eyes, you want a brush that is both dense and super fluffy to really blend the colour out. You can’t go wrong with MAC’s 217 brush, or, as a cheaper alternative, Makeup Geek’s Soft Dome brush is my all-time favourite.
  • Use a mid-toned colour:  A mistake ladies with hooded eyelids often make is to wear a light sparkly colour all over the lid up to the crease. Light sparkly eyeshadow colours are not ideal as an all over colour as this will draw attention and actually highlight those pesky protruding hoods. Instead  opt for a mid-toned colour instead (not a light colour, not a dark colour, just a medium toned colour!) and place this in the crease (and above). Then apply your light sparkly colour on the eyelid. This is actually my “go-to” eye look most days. Makeup Geek’s Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee are perfect mid-toned colours for hooded-eye ladies (see pic below).
  • Pay attention to your eyelashes: Apply a dark eyeliner really close to the roots of your eyelashes, this will make your eyelashes look thicker and really help open up your eyes. Smudge it out slightly with a stiff pencil brush (Makeup Geek’s Pencil Brush is ideal). Then (you knew this was coming): Curl your eyelashes and apply mascara: VaBOOM. Your eyes will now be super open!
  • Go waterproof:  The products that wear the best on my eyes are waterproof. I’ve “been there done that” with mascara and eyeliner that moves and smudges because of my hooded lids sitting so low, pushing down on my eyelashes. There are two waterproof mascaras I recommend: Maybelline’s ‘The Falsies’ and L’Oreal’s Shocking Extensions Telescopic Mascara. On another note, whilst waterproof product has great staying power, it is an absolute bastard to remove, so use a makeup remover targeted specifically at removing waterproof products. I love Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm.

 makeup geek peach smoothie and creme brulee

Makeup Geek’s Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee are perfect mid-toned colours for hooded-eye ladies

How much difference do all these tips and tricks make on hooded eyes? See how much bigger and open my eyes appear after some strategic eye makeup application in the photos below?



Hooded lids collage

A more 'full on' look - but see how much bigger and open my eyes are?
A more ‘full on’ look – but see how much bigger and open my eyes are?

Lastly, check out this fantastic video by Lisa Eldridge, Makeup Artist legend. Here Lisa beautifully demonstrates how to do a smokey eye on hooded and mature eyes. It’s a must watch. 



 Do you have hooded eyes? What tips and tricks work for you? I’d love to hear 🙂

  • One of my eyelids is hooded, the other one isn’t quite, but still not much visible eyelid. One thing I do is wear coloured eyeliner, like MAC Fluidline so there’s some visible colour even when my eyes are open.

    • Great tip Lena! Confession time: I’ve never tried MAC Fluidline…!

  • Awww, thank you sooo much for replying. I’m so glad ’cause I happen to have the Naked palette hehe (I live in France where it’s much easier to get, as we have Sephora there)!
    It’s funny though, because it doesn’t look like you applied such dark colors on the pics. I guess you did a pretty good blending job. It looks very natural and it’s your eyes that get attention, not your eye makeup, if that makes sense. Your eyelashes are really long too, and I think that helps much with opening up hooded eyes.
    Anyways, I’ll definitely give this makeup look a try. Hope it’ll turn out as stunning as it does on you!

  • Annie Astraikis

    Your eyes are so gorgeous! I’m so happy to have hooded eyelids too because they really do look like beautiful doll eyes (in my opinion). Also, lashes always look super long if you have hooded eyes because there’s no crease to distract from the line of your lashes. Hooded eyes are da bomb 🙂

    • Agree! I didn’t realise I had hooded lids until a few years ago. Now I realise they are EVERYWHERE!