Turn Your Hooded Eyes Into Large, Open Peepers
“Slow poison … Her angry words? Nah. Her hooded eyes” - Srinivas Padmanabhan
One of the most troublesome issues with eye makeup is the fact that many people have hooded eyes. This is more common than you might realise.
A hooded eye basically means that your eye skin hangs down a little, covering the crease and lid when your eye is open. Of course, that also means that you need to tweak things a little with your makeup, to make sure that you can actually see all the hard work you’ve done.
If this is you, don’t panic! It’s totally possible to have wide open peepers when you have hooded eyes and it really comes down to knowing the tricks of the trade and what not to do. If you’ve been lining your upper and lower lash lines with black eyeliner for years now, it’s time to stop. If you’ve been shaping your eyebrows with long tails, it’s time for a reshape. With some magical illusions, you can take your eyes and open them right up.
So, let’s look at the big no, no’s first.
When you have hooded eyes you should never:
- Use dark coloured eyeliner on the top and bottom waterlines
- Shape your eyebrows too low - you need to open up the space between your brows and eyes, not pull it down further
- Opt for only shimmery or satin eyeshadow colours
- Avoid mascara
- Bring your eyeliner too close to your inner eye corner
The above no no’s basically make your eyes appear smaller and exentuate the hood. Instead, we want to open up that space and create a look of brightness and total alertness, even if you are half asleep and need a large up of caffeine to function - nobody needs to know!
If you have hooded eyes, make sure you use the following tips:
Tip 1 - Line Your Upper Lid Only
I know, you’re worried about a lack of definition but trust me, only lining the top waterline will do wonders for the appearance of your eye shape. There is nothing wrong with using a white eyeliner to add some definition to the inner corner of your eye, but stick with dark shades on the upper lid only. Of course, you can always use eyeshadow under the lower lash line to pull in the design you've used - that won’t do anything to make your eye look smaller and will certainly add definition.
Tip 2 - Blend Your Eyeshadow Up And Out
When you have hooded eyes, the the skin above and on your eyelid comes down a little. This can be a very marked droop or it can be subtle. Either way, the idea is to lift the eyes and the best way to do that is by the cleverest of optical illusions.
When blending your eyeshadow, instead of blending outwards or down, angle your blending brush slightly upwards and blend upwards and outwards. This is a sweeping motion which creates almost a flick of eyeshadow, therefore lengthening the eye outwards and upwards at the same time. If you want to add a small amount of darker eyeshadow on the outer corner, this technique will really add shape and size to your eyes.
Tip 3 - Reshape Your Brows
What have your eyebrows got to do with your eyelid? A lot! Everyone has a different eyebrow shape but if yours isn’t exactly what you would want it to be, it’s very easy to change it.
If the tail of your eyebrows comes down too far, it can give the illusion of making the space between your brow and eyelid smaller, that eventuates the hooded effect and therefore makes your eyes look smaller too. What you should be aiming for is a higher arch, with a shorter tail.
A good way to measure this is to take a pencil and hold it at an angle from the corner of your eye, up to the outer edge of the tail of the brow. You should be holding your pencil at a 45 degree angle and no more. That’s the ideal outer edge of your brow to create more space between your brow and lid. If the angle is more than this, it’s going to pull your brown down and therefore create less space.
The other plus point of doing this is that when you create more space, you have free range when it comes to doing your eyeshadow designs! More space means more area for creativity and with a few tweaks to your routine, you can also rock those amazing eyeshadow looks you see on social media.
Tip 4 - Create a New Eye Crease
Typically, when applying eyeshadow we add the colour to the crease and then blend upwards and outwards. When you have a hooded eye, you can easily see the crease when your eye is closed, but when you open your eye, poof! It disappears. This isn’t ideal when you’ve spent time creating the perfect blended shadow look.
The best way to overcome this problem is to create a new shape from the get-go. Rather than using your actual eye crease as a guide when applying shadow, instead go a little higher. Under the eye socket is a great guide here because you can use the edge of the bone as a guide for your brush. Then, when you open your eye, you’ll still be able to see the top edge of that beautifully blended shadow, and you’re not only going to see it when your eyes are actually closed.
A another quick tip when applying your eye makeup is to make sure that you hold a neutral position with your face whilst you’re doing it. It’s very easy to lift your eyebrow almost automatically when blending eyeshadow, because you feel like you can see easier and by lifting the eyebrow, you’re pulling the skin taught. Of course, this makes it easier to blend. However, when you drop your brow back to its normal position, what is going to happen? Your makeup is going to move downwards, of course!
Nobody walks around with their eyebrows raised all the time, in a constant state of surprise, so it’s better to apply your eye makeup looking straight forwards as you would look regularly. By doing this, you’ll get a better guide on how your look will appear naturally.
Tip 5 - Go Higher With Your Eyeliner Flick
Now, winged eyeliner for hooded eyes is not the easiest. I’m not going to lie, it’s challenging, and it takes a lot of the practice. The reason is that when you have hooded eyes, it’s also likely that you have a small amount of sagging skin too and this can extend out to the edge of your eye. So, when you draw your flick, the skin will drag, giving you a dot to dot effect, or a completely uneven line. It’s annoying, trust me.
However, that doesn’t mean that winged eyeliner is a big no no for hooded eyes, it simply means that you need to change the shape a little, just as you did by drawing a higher eye crease. Again, keep your eyes open for this and don’t be tempted to pull the skin taught, by doing so, you’re going to have a totally different shape when you let go. Many people find using tape is much easier when applying winged liner to hooded eyes, and that’s a very good way to go. However, what you should do is try and angle the flick further upwards, creating more space and an elongated shape. That will open up the space and give you the appearance of larger eyes in general.
As for the shape, hooded eyes work well with slightly thinner wings. Adding too much darkness and bulk to this area will just close the eye up. A thin liquid eyeliner works well for hooded eyes, but if you are a gel liner fan, make sure that your brush is small and precise so that you can create the thinnest line and shape.
Ideally, you want to draw your eyeliner just very slightly above the actual lash line and make sure that you fill it in so there are no gaps. Then, when you start to add your dots to move up into the flick, go at a higher angle than you would normally. Also, don’t make the flick too short as this will close up the eye.
Hooded eyes do make eye makeup a little more challenging but it’s by no means impossible. It just takes a few tips, tricks, and practice to get it right.
Points to Remember:
- Hooded eyes are extremely common
- The aim is to create the impression of more space
- Double lining your eyes (top and lower waterline) is one of the most common ways to make your eye appear smaller - only line the top lash line
- Eyebrow shape plays a huge part in opening up hooded eyes
- Sweeping eyeshadow up and out will help to create the illusion of larger eyes
- Keep your eyes open when doing your eye makeup