One of the many ‘delightful’ signs of aging has been that my eyes have become more hooded over the past couple of years. And do you know what, I’m fine with that, largely due to my online crushes like Katie Jane Hughes and Sam Chapman from Pixiwoo, both makeup artists who have hooded eyes yet still create beautiful looks on themselves day in day out. And by seeing the likes of Blake Lively and Jennifer Lawrence in editorial work who both rock sexy, smokey eyes without much eyelid to spare. And like anything, practice makes perfect and I’ve played around a lot with eyeshadow, colour and techniques and found what works for me. So, I thought that I’d share my top makeup tips for hooded eyes, in case you’re struggling and looking for a bit of help.
Firstly, here are the tools that you need..
Eyelash curlers & a cracking mascara..
Eyelash curlers are your new best friend, as is a good volumizing mascara, as when you’re playing with very little lid space, you want your mascara to be impactful; no shrinking violets allowed here! I’ve tried a few eyelash curlers over the years and really recommend Kevin Aucoin, which is my current go to. I’ve talked about my fave mascaras on the blog recently so have a read for more info, but in a nutshell – if you don’t have time or can’t be bothered – I recommend Nars Caution and Maybelline Total Temptation for an inky black lash that gives volume and definition.
Good makeup brushes..
To do a good eye look, you need these three brushes (or something similar) in my humble opinion; a big fluffy brush (like this 221) that you can use to blend and diffuse colour for an all-over wash in and above the crease; a slightly smaller fluffy brush (like this 227) that you use to shade and blend eyeshadow into the crease of the eye and finally a smaller domed brush (like this 231) that has a soft tapered shape and pointed tip which allows more detailed makeup work and is useful for accentuating the crease and outer third of your eye if you’re going for a smokey eye. These are Zoeva brushes and you’ll find them at Sephora; they’re a reasonably priced brand that I love – and recommend to everybody – and I use these three on a daily basis.
A waterproof eye pencil..
Tightlining– if you’re not familiar with it – is a technique in which you line your upper waterline to subtly define and thicken the roots of your eyelashes to give the illusion that they’re fuller. As a redhead this step makes all the difference for me; I have super fair lashes so do this to get a more defined lash line and to give more definition to my eye. Choose a waterproof kohl for maximum staying power.
A versatile eyeshadow palette..
Or ten..who am I kidding?! I have an unhealthy obsession with acquiring new palettes, so ignore me as all you really need is a versatile palette that has a good light/mid tone matte brown shade (dependent on your colouring) to help you carve out shadow and give the effect of a more open, less hooded eye, some lighter mattes/and or shimmers for your lid and a darker brown to put in the outer third of your eye to give more shape and definition. And I’m saying brown as I know that most people prefer a more natural eye, but the same rules apply with whichever colours you choose to rock. Back to neutrals and using the Tartelette in Bloom palette above (which I TOTALLY recommend) as an example, I would use smarty pants (or a mix of smarty pants and jetsetter) in (and above) the crease to shape my eye, then put rocket on the lid and maybe rebel or leader in the outer third of my eye. With maybe a pop of funny girl in the inner corner of my eye and charmer as a subtle highlight on the brow bone.
So, you’ve got the tools that you need and now it’s all about the techniques, so here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way and which make all the difference:
- When applying eyeshadow, always relax your eyes and look straight ahead into the mirror so that you can see what you’re dealing with and where the ‘hood’ of your eye falls. You can then use eyeshadow – and therefore the illusion of shade – to help correct that. When you’re applying eyeshadow, start by placing your brush in the spot where you want to deposit the most colour. Apply the eyeshadow just above where you’re marking your crease as opposed to in the natural fold of your eyelid, pushing back the shadow using a gentle windscreen wiper motion and using only the gentlest of pressure to sweep the eyeshadow back and forth. Charlotte Tilbury demonstrates this in her videos/tutorials on YouTube so check them out!
- Don’t be put off using shimmer and sparkle, just apply it where it’s effective; on the lid, in the inner corners of the eye as highlight but NOT on the brow bone. Light and sparkle draw your eye to the hood of the eye which is what you’re trying to minimise; they will reflect light and make things look bigger than they are, so if you want to bring the attention away from this area, keep the shimmer on the part of your lid that actually moves. And when thinking about the shape that you’re looking to achieve, always blend colour upwards and out in a soft diffused almond shape to lift the eye.
- Focus your attention above the eye and not underneath. When you have hooded eyes it’s all about trying to lift that space and push back (with the illusion of lovely makeup) what is drooping, so I focus on definition along the lash line with tightlining, loads of mascara and eyeshadow and avoid eyeliner or eyeshadow below the eye. Similarly keep an eye on stray eyebrow hairs and pluck out any strays that are too low at the tail of your brow.
- And finally, on the subject of brows, they are so important when you have hooded eyes; a well-defined eyebrow, with definition in the arch, frames your face and draws eyes upwards. Make sure that you also brush the hairs upwards to give texture and again lift.
So, there are the tips and tricks that I’ve picked up as my browbone moves further south. Do you have any tips that you can share?