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Makeup Tips and TricksOver 40 Beauty Tips

5 Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes

By August 29, 2018No Comments

Perhaps like me, you were born with almost no visible eyelids, or as you’ve gotten older the skin above your eye started to make it’s way south and now is covering up most of your lid space, hitting the top of your eyelashes.

And it is so freaking frustrating when you try following traditional eye makeup tutorials —  because it never ends up looking right — because those techniques just don’t work on you.

My over-50 clients frequently say with a lot of exasperation, “I feel like my drooping eyelids make me look tired as I’ve aged!”

When it comes to a hooded eyelid, applying eye makeup with just a millimeter of variance in one direction vs. another can significantly change the entire balance of your face. The wrong technique and colors can make your eyes look smaller, and cause you to look more tired and older than you are.

Yikes and NO thank you!

In addition to being a professional makeup artist who has worked with thousands of faces of every age, personally having hooded eyes has made me a serious expert in playing them up to their full advantage.

So I know I can help you out with a few makeup tips for hooded eyes below (which were the core concepts I covered in my online workshop Makeup Secrets for Hooded Eyes) that can really change your makeup game.

Still not sure if you have hooded eyelids?


But if you’re not certain as to whether you belong in the “hooded eye club,” my guess is that you’re part of the over 50 crowd who find themselves newly challenged with significantly less visible lid space, as your skin lost its firmness over time.

So if you’re one of these “newbies” you probably refer to your hooded eyes how you see them: “sagging upper eyelids” — and you probably haven’t figured out how to do your makeup well to adapt to the new shape yet.

You may be thinking to yourself, “That model doesn’t have hooded eyes! I can still see her lash line.”

Well that, my friend, is the art of proper makeup illusion! I shot this photo of Amber with my cell phone right after we ended the workshop. So this is not fancy photography illusion…it’s all about the makeup placement that makes her eyes look larger, warmer and softer.

“I had pretty much given up doing eye makeup,” Torie said before she took the workshop, and after just a bit of instruction and encouragement she said, “I am doing much better on eye makeup application. Great results! Beyond pleased with what I see.”

5 Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes


#1 Take a long (loving) look at your eyes

The first thing you need to do is get really familiar with exactly how your eyes look when your forehead is relaxed and you are looking dead-on at yourself in the mirror. Then smile and see how your eyes change that way. Seeing this will help you understand their shape better and where to apply your products so they show!

Take a good look at you’re working with and send yourself some love rather than condemnation for the way your eyes are.

If you’ve been wishing they looked different, it’s time to stop beating yourself up and either lovingly accept them as beautiful right now, or call the plastic surgeon. Surgery is an option that’s right for some people. But if you’d prefer to use makeup to help maximize what you’ve got, then keep reading!

#2 Curl your lashes

The best thing you can do to immediately open up your eyes, is to make sure your eyelashes are pointing upward! Grab a quality lash curler like this one before you apply your eye makeup. If you need a corner curler to get those pesky little ones that droop towards the end, you might find this little tool useful.

#3 Avoid black eyeliner

The biggest mistake I see is women rimming their eyes in black liner in an attempt to make their eyes stand out. I’ve said it once (in this article), and I’ll say it again here too, black is harsh and aging on most women, except those with dark skin and hair.

Curious about all the natural, green beauty makeup and tools I most suggest to help you achieve this look? Originally I only shared it privately with the registrants of the Makeup Secrets for Hooded Eyes Workshop, but if you click here, you can see everything I recommend too!

#4 Keep your eyeliner tight and your eyeshadow loose

There’s a technique called “tight lining” that I demonstrate in the workshop, and the goal of it is to use eyeliner to thicken the lash line only by concentrating right at the root of the lashes.

Then use soft colors that create a soft halo effect around the eye, moving up over the protruding part of the upper lid almost to the brow, and a bit under the lower lashes. 

#5 Move upward

Most women are in the habit of pulling their eyeshadow and eyeliner out and down when they apply it. However on a hooded eye if you are moving in any direction other than up, you are likely weighing down the corners and drawing attention to the natural downward slope even more.

Need More Help?


Now if you’re chomping at the bit to dive in deeper and actually see these tips in action, explained step-by-step, with more advice on topics like how to get eyeshadow and mascara to last longer, you’ll want to check out the in-depth techniques in my online class. Click this link and get started maximizing your eyes right now.


I’m curious to know if you tried any of these tips out, and what effect they had on your overall look. Let me know in the comments below!

Photos, makeup and hair by Kristen Arnett. Model Amber Stonebraker.

Kristen Arnett

Author Kristen Arnett

A makeup artist and green beauty educator helping you find the very best safe cosmetics. Teaching pro secrets for enhancing your natural beauty at every age, so you can be empowered to make healthier choices, and radiate confidence every day.

More posts by Kristen Arnett

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