If you've endured the frustration of watching your meticulously-placed eye shadow magically disappear as soon as you look straight into the mirror post application, then you know what life with hooded lids can mean for your makeup game. Call them bedroom eyes or hooded eyes, the unique shape just means you have a bit of excess skin that folds over eyelids, making the crease barely visible. So while a graphic crease cut isn't the most flattering of makeup looks, it doesn't mean you should give up on eye makeup altogether. In fact, we spoke to a few makeup pros who agree that accentuating your eye shape can be the key to gorgeous eye makeup for hooded lids. It's all about creating the illusion of space with a little makeup magic and paying attention to a few extra steps like applying eye shadow primer and investing in lash-boosting products.
Read on to learn about the makeup artist–approved tips for accentuating hooded eyes.
According to Honey Artists Makeup Artist Robert Greene, it starts with the basics, and that means taking a closer look at your eye shape in the mirror. "Staring into the mirror directly will allow you to examine your eye shape and help you see how much of your eyelid area we really see when it is completely open," he explains. "This helps with placement of winged liners or finding and defining a cut crease since a hooded eye can vary in shape and depth." Consider this simple yet essential step the "mapping out" phase of your eye makeup routine.
Greene adds that "a strong, curled lashline with plenty of mascara," flatters hooded eyes since much of the eyelid can't be seen when eyes are open. Honey Artists Makeup Artist Suzy Gerstein agrees—both use the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler and lock in the lush look with The Curling Mascara ($28). "I hold the wand horizontally and wiggling it to really concentrate the color in at the roots before I pull it out to softly coat the tips of lashes," explains Gerstein. Greene says to keep lids bare and go "a bit more extreme" with a few extra coats of mascara.
Most makeup artists agree that harsh liner should be avoided since it can make eyes appear smaller. Huda Kattan recommends using a liner that can be smudged to give off a softer look. "Apply it along the lash line, and then gently blend it outward. This creates such a stunning smoky-esque [effect]," she says. If you're more of a cat-eye gal, Kattan recommends maintaining a thin line and small wing.
When it comes to eye shadows, Greene maintains that "the idea is to enhance the eye shape to create dimension." Therefore, using neutral shades in the taupe family will be the key to playing up what you were born with. Kattan adds, "Opt for more natural looks and lighter shades. This will give the illusion of a larger lid and will make your eyes appear more open. If you love a smoky eye, as I do, then use a combination of brown and bronzey tones, as opposed to darker tones." Greene suggests doing this by using his go-to Tarte palette and "applying a shadow all over the lid up to your natural crease and softening the edge. Next, with a pencil brush, go along the lower lashline with a subtle smoky intensity."
We're all guilty of skipping eye shadow primer, and Gerstein stresses the importance of the extra step. "Use an eye shadow primer to keep eye shadow and liner—which tends to move on hooded lids—in place for long wear." She recommends this brightening formula from Ilia Beauty that contains rosehip oil as well as Arnica to aid with depuffing and soothing the area before makeup application.
Cue the multitasking nude pencil we all have on-call in our makeup stash because Greene swears by using it along the waterline. "Lining the inner lower waterline with a bone-colored eye pencil like this one from Wander Beauty helps hooded eyes pop," he says. Greene also suggests a nude pencil over a white one to give off a more subtle and natural finish. Whatever you do, Kattan adds that avoiding dark liner along the lower lash line is a must. Not only is it unflattering on hooded eyes, but "your eyes will appear smaller," she says.
Going back to eye shadow, Gerstein reminds us to avoid shimmery hues, "in and above the crease of your eye" since it can give the illusion of droopy or puffy eyes when the light hits the pigment. However, you don't have to kiss your glint-packed shades goodbye: "A little shimmer on the lid from the lashline to the crease is nice because the skin there tends to be tauter," she adds. "Just stick to matte tones in the crease and above. A good staple that works on a multitude of skin tones and I love on hooded eyes is Nars Blondie."
Once you've settled on your lash curler and favorite mascara, it's time to find the perfect set of false lashes to up the ante on your hooded eye makeup game. "Finding the right lashes is so important," says Kattan. "Ideally, you should opt for a shorter lash with a defined curl toward the end. This will really help to open up your eyes." Kattan recommends the Camille Lash from her namesake brand. "It's super easy to apply since it's slightly shorter and will add instant glam to your look."
The final touch for any hooded eye makeup look is the essential step in any makeup look: brows. Gerstein says a defined set of arches add an instant lift while completing a balanced makeup look. Her latest go-to is one of our all-time favorites from Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Next up: Perfect the art of soft, lived-in eyeliner with these pro tips.