If you've been blessed with hooded eyes like myself, then you know what an absolute pain they can be. Learning to master makeup for hooded eyes was number one on my list when I decided to become a makeup artist, and I'm proud to say that I've mastered all the tips and tricks there are.
Let's get technical for a minute. In makeup speak, eyes can be divided into three planes: lid, crease, and brow bone. Some people have a bigger lid, while others have no crease. You can have 80 percent of one plane and absolutely zero of another. The intention of eye makeup (besides to just sparkle and look pretty) is to bring balance to the natural eye shape. Balanced eyes have even planes: the lid, crease, and brow bone are all equally visible. The way I was taught, each section should occupy approximately one third of the eye's overall space.
Hooded eyes are characterized by a sagging brow bone, which sits on top of the lid, creating a floppy crease. Hooded eyes should not be confused with monolids. Both hooded eyes and monolids have lids that are not visible while the eye is open, but monolids protrude with no crease whereas hooded eyes crease too much and don't have enough depth. For monolids, darker colors should go on the lid to help it recede and bring it to balance. For hooded eyes, the technique is totally different. If you're still not sure whether or not your eye is hooded, please feel free to use this photo of my naked eye as a reference.
Reminder: No one eye shape is better than another! Hooded eyes, monolids, and anything in between are all gorg — but as a makeup professional, my goal is always to get any eye to pop as much as humanly possible.
Still here? Great! Then let's get down to business on how to handle the hood.
1. Use A Primer
On hooded eyes, the brow bone overlaps the lid quite a bit. Throughout the day, the sagging skin will rub against the ball of the eye, creating friction that shifts the shadow to the crease. The constant rubbing can also cause eyeliner to transfer to places you wouldn't even imagine.
By using a primer, you're gluing your shadow and liner in place so it can't travel. If I forget primer, my shadow is a gooey grey mess in my crease within an hour. When I wear it, my shadow lasts from six in the morning onwards, even as late as two a.m. (I can't make any guarantees for anything that happens after two a.m., just as a general life rule).
2. Invest In A Good Eyeliner
Because hooded eyes tend to cause more transfer, a strong waterproof liner is key. Primers are necessary, but if you're wearing a kohl liner that's meant to move, shift, and become smokey, transfer will still happen. Opt for something waterproof, like Marc Jacobs Highliner Pencil in Blaquer. Smudge the liner in the first 30 seconds before it dries down, but once it does, that sucker isn't going anywhere.
3. Use Lighter Colors On The Lid
Lighter colors and shimmers come forward, while darker colors and mattes recede. If we're trying to add balance to a hooded eye shape, which is 90% brow bone with a sagging crease and little visible lid space, we want to enhance the least prominent plane. This means, we want to add light to the lid to bring it forward.
Use a flat brush to pack on a shimmer or a matte color one shade brighter than your skin tone. Make sure to leave the most saturation on the lid and do no bring any shimmer up into the crease. We don't want to enhance the plane that's already drawing the most attention.
4. Contour Your Crease
Just to reiterate, darker matte colors recede. If you blend a contour color two shades deeper than our skin tone into the crease, we can effectively lift up and reshape the eye. The contour color will mimic natural shadows and help the sagging brow bone to appear higher.
5. Placement Is Everything
If you have more space on your brow bone under the arch, you should be blending your crease up higher in that area. If you have less space on the brow plane at the inner corner of the eye, don't blend the contour there because it can make the eye appear smaller. If you want to give the appearance of a more open eye, only blend dark tones into your biggest, most prominent plane.
6. Fake It Till You Make It
You may have to cheat your crease upward —it's called an illusion, and it works wonders. Sometimes, I extend my lid color slightly above my natural fold, and blend my crease color in slightly above that, especially when I'm trying to achieve a cut crease. If I were to cut my natural crease, no one would see my hard work unless my eyes were completely closed. And that's just a waste of my talent and artwork. If may feel artificial at first, but no one will notice it's not your real crease.
7. Sometimes, Less Liner is More
On certain hooded eyes, the lid can be 100% invisible. Cat eyes and liquid liner can do a lot to upturn the downturned tendency of a hooded eye, but a thick band all the way across can also diminish what is left of an already tiny lid. Instead, focus on creating a kitten eye, where the liner is pretty much solely at the corner of the eye. Get the best of both worlds. Check out Lisa Eldridge's tutorial for the best how-to of all time.
8. Clean The Bottom Lash Line Upward
Generally, I start my makeup with my eyes because I like to make a big old blended mess which I clean up before moving on to complexion. When I clean my fallout, I use a makeup brush and swipe upwards from the outer corner of my eye, following the angle created by my bottom lashline. The simple act of creating a lift in the shadows edge slightly tilts my eye upwards.
9. False Lashes Can Be Everything
False lashes give a lift to the upper lashline, which is exactly what we're after. Lashes that have more length at the center and less at the inner and outer corner tend to do the job best, because they round out the eye shape rather than lengthen. Also, opt for more natural lashes over Jersey Shore fullness. Too much hair can hide the small lid
10. Embrace Your Shape
I spent way too much time being mad at my hooded eyes. Once I finally embraced my shape, I was able to learn the ins and outs of it. Now I can even create black-toned smokey blowouts without making my eye look smaller than it already is. Make sure to learn the rules before you break them. Practice, practice, practice — and of course, remind yourself that no matter what eye shape you have or makeup style you prefer, you're a stunner either way.
Images: Kim Carpluk (9); Courtesy Brands