How To Apply Make-Up To Hooded Eyes

Some people are born with hooded eyes – the excess skin under the brow bone – for others it’s part of the ageing process. While it shouldn’t make dramatic eye make-up a complete no-go, it can give you less to work with. From the right formulas to the correct application techniques, here A-list make-up artist Caroline Barnes shares her best tips.

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Get To Know Your Face

"Lots of people have hooded eyelids – be it a result of genetics or age. It happens when the socket or skin underneath your brow bone is excessive. The easiest way to know if you have hooded eyes is by taking a close look at your lids – if they look slightly hidden, or less visible, you’ve probably got hooded lids. As we age, gravity tends to result in a tent-like effect anyway, so it’s more common than you think."

Perfect Your Placement

"Having hooded lids doesn’t mean you should avoid eye make-up altogether – it just means the correct application is even more important. The most flattering way to shape the eye is to start by carefully pushing back the skin. Then, taking a very simple matte or cream eyeshadow – like MAC’s suits-all Cork shade – apply it in a half moon shape from your inner upper lash line, up towards the socket and centre of your lids. Blend this thoroughly, keeping the tone light underneath your brow. This will add the illusion of wideness and depth. You can go a bit above your natural socket, but not too high. It shouldn’t look made up – just simple. Keep any shadow you use two to three tones darker than your natural colouring for optimum results."

Experiment With Colour

"It’s worth knowing that when you add darker colour, your features recede. Conversely, a tone that’s lighter than your natural colouring will make something more dominant. Therefore, with hooded eyes especially, it’s important to play with the two, and blend them properly for the best results. Opt for multi-shadow palettes, like Charlotte Tilbury’s cult ones, which allow you to mix and match for a softer, more diffused finish." 

Forget Cut Creases

"While you shouldn’t skip make-up application altogether, there’s no point trying to do a cut crease – a technique used to define your lid by using contrasting eyeshadow colours, with little to no blending. The problem is, with hooded eyes, you’re more likely to draw attention to them as it builds intensity and ends up looking heavy. Steer clear and keep things simple." 

Having hooded lids doesn’t mean you should avoid eye make-up altogether – it just means the correct application is even more important.

Avoid Highlighter

"While tempting, highlighter shouldn’t be used under your brows or underneath the eyes. Doing this will only bring forward the hooding of the eye, instead of softening it. Try to keep shimmer to a minimum, too – you want to sculpt, not highlight. You can, however, use a soft metallic in the tear duct to add brightness and width." 

Play With Your Textures

"There are several textures you can play with, but creams are best for hooded eyes. Not only do they blend seamlessly, they’re easy to apply. By Terry, Bobbi Brown and Kiko all do some brilliant cream sticks you can scribble on before blending with your fingers. Try softly running one along the lower lashes for an eye-opening effect – you can do this with a cotton bud for more of a diffused blend. Powder shadows are just as effective and are great at locking down make-up. If you want to create a feline flick, do it with a soft cream kajal or gel liner – these will give you better control when it comes to application – plus, they set faster." 

Look After Your Brows

"If you have hooded eyes, it’s just as important to frame your eyebrows. Do this by lifting upwards from your arches – if you’re unsure, always ask a professional to shape them for you as it will make a huge difference to the width of your eye area. You can also add shape using different products. Try extending and lifting your brows with a pencil for precision, using it to create small, thin hair-like strokes in upward motions."

Invest In Smudge-Proof Formulas

"Hooded eyes tend to experience more creasing. Because of this, it’s worth investing in smudge-proof formulas and primers to reduce the risk. Another tip is, when you’re applying your skincare, use a bit of micellar water over the fullness of your lid. This will remove product build-up, so that when you do put on any primer or shadow, there won’t be any movement – because there’s nothing there to cause slip. Use waterproof or tubing mascaras as well – hooded eyes are more prone to transfer." 

Follow @CarolineBarnesMakeup

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