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Eyeshadow Looks for Hooded Eyes

When it comes to makeup, every look isn’t designed with every face structure in mind. Sometimes you have to overline your lips for the desired effect, or maybe your eyebrows are naturally thicker, and filling them in feels pointless. It can be daunting trying to make a difficult trend fit onto an unwilling canvas, but don’t let generic beauty standards confine you! Makeup is, and always has been, for everyone. It's less about changing the look you want to replicate and more about adjusting your method.

A great example of this challenge can be eye makeup on eyelids that provide small areas. The pieces of skin that protect your eyes from harm actually double as one of the most intricate and open spaces to explore your design capabilities with pigment and blending, but they certainly do come in all shapes and sizes. Monolids, upturned lids, downturned lids, round lids, and almond lids can bring different needs and wants for how an individual goes about their eye makeup routine.

Hooded lids are actually quite common, and are defined as eyelids that seem to be consumed visually by a flap of extra skin which hangs down from the brow bone. If this extra skin hits and hides the crease in your eyelid, chances are you have hooded lids. Does this mean some complex makeup tutorials may be slightly harder to follow? Of course. Can they be modified to fit you perfectly so nothing holds you back? Hell yeah!

Here are some of our best tips and tricks for even the peskiest eyeshadow styles on hooded eyelids for fierce, confident, and bold looks.

Create a Crease

The main wedge between your hooded eyelids and creating that smokey eye tutorial that your favorite makeup artist just posted on their channel is that you’re missing a crease. But fear not, you can make your own!

Making eyeshadow looks pop on hooded lids is all about adding dimension, creating illusions, and working that makeup transformation witchcraft.

Primer Is a Positive

Just like anyone with any other eyelid variation would, begin your eyeshadow routine with a good primer. Actually, a great primer. While it is helpful for all eyelids to apply an adhesive for the pigment to stick to and not rub off throughout the day, hooded eyelids especially require this step.

Since your lids do rub against each other and your brow bone in a tight and close fashion, it’s imperative that your base is heavy enough to hold onto whatever is layered on top so there is no smudging. The last thing you need after you’ve added a finishing touch of mascara is for all of it to rub off!

We suggest finding a thick eyelid primer, and if that doesn’t do the trick, concealer and foundation are nothing to be afraid of. Be sure to blend it in well enough that it isn’t movable, but it maintains a hefty coat.

Colorful Crafting

When creating your crease, choose the color that you believe will add enough artificial depth. Traditionally, this would mean a darker-toned shadow. Understanding how to invent the shape of your crease is very important because if it doesn’t follow the natural arch of your eye it can look fake. However, you can, and should, blend your shadow past where your lid actually creases because we are trying to accentuate the area.

Another method for crease manipulation is to run a chalky pencil eyeliner from the outermost corner of your eye into your inside corner. Make sure it progressively gets thinner as you bring it in. Don’t round out this line. This can enhance your hooded lids, which defeats the point of all of your work!

Finishing Touches

Once your crease is solidified, any other shade can be used to fill in the rest of your eyelid. Using a flat brush works best for these larger areas (even though your eyelid appears to be a small area, it actually is still quite a bit of skin). Go back in with a fluffy brush to blend everything out. Of course, concealer should be applied under the eyes and around areas where fallout is prevalent to keep everything inside of the same space.

Pro tip: highlight, highlight, highlight! Place your favorite shiny shade or your actual highlighter right into the inner corner of your eye for a lifting effect. Your eyes will look larger, wider, and brighter. A win-win that requires no more manipulation of the lid!

Expert Opinion

Don’t just take our word for it. If you’re really looking for a visual explanation to back this advice up, check out makeup artist Mona Marie’s cut crease tutorial on Supergreat. She’s been in the game for years, and a licensed cosmetologist since 2010, so she definitely knows what she’s talking about.

Watch her step by step tutorial below.

Ink Stain + Waterproof Pencil
Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Morphe Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Volume II

Brush Techniques

One of the best ways to emphasize the importance of proper brush technique on hooded eyeshadow looks is through the example of a bomb smoky eye. The tutorial is based on smudging and blurring, which require tons of blending.

A light, medium, and dark shade of your preferred color are needed for this. You could use three different colors, but make sure they are in a gradient. Put the first and lightest tone of your shadow all the way up past the outer corner of your eye for that crease effect. The medium color can go on the base of your eyelid, but remember to bring it up to your brow bone and down to your lower lash line. This creates a more cohesive look and bigger effect for your eyes

Working with the space around your eyelid is excellent to maximize the offerings of a hooded eyelid. The illusion, once again, is everything.

Use your darkest tone to pile onto your crease and the outer corner of your lashes (both upper and lower). This can make your eyes appear more hollowed out and defined. Blend until it looks like a seamless transition between tones.

Classic Color Combos

A halo eye look can also be applied to hooded eyelids to make the eyes themselves appear bigger and shaped. Simply add a buildable smoky effect to the inner and outer corners of your eye, adding shadow into the inner piece up to your brow bone. Add some glitter to the empty area in the middle on your lid, with a swipe of a darker color on both outside corners for added depth.

Find Your Wings, but Don’t Wing It

It’s pretty common knowledge that people with hooded eyelids tend to avoid eyeliner. In fact, it actually seems to be discouraged in some makeup circles. This seems ridiculous to us because we know how gorgeous it can look on hooded lids, and how simple it can be to be converted to a liner fan when you know how to apply it correctly.

First of all, you need to be using the right kind of liner. Ditch those chunky pencils unless you’re using them for your crease. Hooded lids work best with a fine-tip, liquid liner that comes on clean, smooth, and most importantly, thin. Work as closely to your lash line as possible without poking yourself (accidents happen, we know!). This method works best when you look directly into your mirror and then glance down slightly at your work. Same with all of our tips for hooded eyelids; don’t tilt or move your head!

It is entirely possible to achieve that beloved small wing, but you’re going to have to be a bit more heavy-handed with your product for it to show up on hooded lids. Going back for seconds and reapplying can help it pop out from underneath.

Cat Eye Craze

Even scarier than applying eyeliner to hooded lids can be producing the cat-eye effect. Sometimes creating a sharp cut crease can get you close to this look, but there’s quite nothing as classic as the real thing.

To begin, find the best liner for you. We mentioned that liquid pens can be the best for hooded lids, but a creamy product that comes in a pot might be even more convenient for this particular style of liner. No matter how long this process may take you, do not move your lid and look directly at yourself in the mirror.

We’ve all pulled or held the skin on the side of our eyes back to try to make our line razor-sharp, but this actually has the opposite effect than desired. When you let go, the skin actually realigns and your wing is anything but straight, ruining the illusion. Another tip is to make sure that your wing never drops below your lower lash line as it can make your eye look droopy, which may inadvertently bring out the hooded lid.

A harder brush, preferably angled, should be used to apply the cream liner. For this one you can start on the innermost part of the eye and move to the outermost corner, gradually thickening the line. Make a straight shot out from your lower lash line and then connect it with where the outermost corner’s line ended. Fill in the excess space and you’ve just transported yourself to the 1950s.

Cream Eyeliner, Water-Resistant Smudge-Proof, Black , 0.17 Ounce
Clay Pot Waterproof Liner

Products Galore

Before we set you forth to try your next eyeshadow moment, it would be even more helpful if we gave you some direction on the tools we use, like palettes and brushes that are all the rage. Here are our holy grails for any and every look. Your makeup bags will thank us.

Palettes We Swear By

  • Florence by Mills 16 Wishes Palette: This product contains 16 pastel shades for you to play with. They come in pink, blue, and neutral sections that snap off into three entirely separate palettes. Enough for one to bring on the go, one to keep on your vanity, and one to give.

  • NYX Bright Lights Ultimate Shadow Palette: This cheap alternative to the Morphe palette is only $18 and definitely worth the investment. 16 super-bright shades are inside, ready to be blended into that killer crease you’re already planning.

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette: With lush pinks, deep reds, and shimmering golds in all shades, this product is perfect for a night out or the romantic date of your dreams.

  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette: Now this right here is the holy grail. If you’re too young to remember the UD phenomenon in the early 2010s, we’re elated to share this gem with you. It’s amazing for beginners and contains all necessary neutral tones for that tri-shade smokey eye we mentioned earlier.

16 Wishes Eyeshadow Palette
Ultimate Edit Petite Shadow Palette
16 Wishes Eyeshadow Palette

Bonus Buy

If you’re looking for a little extra something to add to your cart while you’re at it, a member of our beauty community, Haler124 was kind enough to review these Natural Invisible Single/Double Side Eyelid Tapes. Also referred to as stickers, they come in a pack of five, with 1000 pieces, to last you quite a while. They are clear, advertised as “invisible,” and are waterproof.

The medical-use adhesive is disposable, so it can be discarded after a night out with ease. You can place these stickers right in your crease, or lack thereof, to highlight the area and widen the width between your brow bone and eyelid. The lid space itself will dramatically widen. These are great if you simply don’t have the time to create your own fake crease or you want to combine these with that step for an extra-opened-up effect. They apply clear and are also waterproof.


While it may feel frustrating to not see yourself reflected in exemplified eyeshadow looks, there are always ways to bend the rules and include yourself. Trust the process and the power of makeup!


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