Round, wide-set, almond-shaped, narrow: Like faces, eyes come in many different shapes and sizes. And, like faces, knowing your eye shape can help you determine how to create the most flattering makeup looks. This is especially true for those with hooded eyes. If you have hooded eyes, you may be used to avoiding graphic eyeliner because of its tendency to smudge, transfer, or outright disappear when you open your eyes. But we’re here to tell you that’s not necessary—with the right technique, you can rock any eye makeup look you want. Here, we’ll break down what distinguishes hooded eyes from other eye shapes and explain why eyeliner for hooded eyes often needs to be tweaked a bit. Then, we’ll offer tips on how to achieve different eyeliner looks, from classic cat eyes to bold, graphic winged eyeliner. We’re going all in. Keep reading to learn how to do eyeliner for hooded eyes.
What Does It Mean To Have Hooded Eyes?
Hooding—the main characteristic of hooded eyes—means that when your eyes are open and you’re looking straight on, your eyelids are obscured by the skin around your brows. For some, excess skin around the brows folds down to the lash line, covering the lid and crease in their entirety. For others, the hooding only occurs near the outer corners, where your brows taper down toward your temple. If you’re not totally sure whether or not you have hooded eyes, try applying eyeshadow to your lids and looking in a mirror straight on. If you can see all of the shadow, it’s unlikely you have hooded eyes. Being able to see some of the eyeshadow may mean you have partially hooded eyes. And if the shadow seems to disappear entirely, your eyes are almost certainly hooded. Still not sure? Try looking at an eye shape chart or pictures of celebrities with different eye shapes to help you determine yours.
What Makeup Looks Good With Hooded Eyes?
First and foremost, let’s make one thing clear: Having hooded eyes does not mean certain makeup looks are off-limits. Even if you have a prominent hood, you can rock any eye makeup you want—it’s just a matter of finding the right technique. Ahead, we’ll share with you some of our best makeup tips for hooded eyes.
- Prime your eyes to minimize transfer. Anytime you wear eye makeup, we suggest prepping your entire eye area with an eye primer beforehand. This can help extend wear and reduce the risk of smudging when you open your eyes.
- Keep your lines thin. We recommend keeping eyeliner for hooded eyes on the thinner side to ensure the line is visible and not covered by your hood. This can also help reduce transfer to your brow bone and make your eyes look bigger. A fine-tipped eyeliner pen, like our Epic Ink Liner, is ideal for thin liner, though brush-tip liners (like Vivid Matte Liquid Liner) or even a sharpened pencil (we recommend Epic Wear Liner Sticks) work well, too.
- Choose your shadow wisely. Use lighter shades on your lids to avoid making your eyes look deeper-set than they are. If you want to use dark colors, you can—just keep them toward the outer corners of your eyes and blend up and out for a lifted effect. We recommend snagging a palette with a range of light and dark shades, like our Ultimate Color Palette in Warm Neutrals, so you can find a color combination that works for you.
- Don’t neglect your brows. Brush your brows up with our Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pomade Pencil to help create the appearance of more lid space.
- Pay attention to your lower lash line. With hooded eyes, your bottom lid is more visible than the upper lid. Take advantage of the real estate and play with eyeshadow below your eyes. A pop of luminous color smudged along your lower lash line makes for a head-turning look.
- Use mascara to add lift. Giving your lashes a lift can help make your eyes appear more open. For maximum impact, we recommend coating your upper lashes with On The Rise Volume Liftscara, which adds volume and up-to-there length.
How Do You Do Winged Eyeliner For Hooded Eyes?
Winged eyeliner for hooded eyes can be tricky to perfect since the wing can disappear into your crease if drawn on incorrectly. But that doesn’t mean a clean, classic cat eye isn’t possible for those with hooded eyes. Here, we’ll break down the essential steps for creating a sharp, smudge-free winged eyeliner look for hooded eyes.
Step 1: Start With Primer
As we mentioned above, primer is a must if you’re after a long-lasting eye makeup look—and this is especially true if you have hooded eyes. Apply our Ultimate Shadow & Liner Primer from your upper lash line all the way up to your brow bone to help extend the wear of your eyeshadow and eyeliner. The creamy formula comes in four skin-adapting shades for a lightweight, natural look.
Step 2: Map Out Your Liner
When applying winged liner, you want to make sure both sides are even and angled the same—you don’t want one wing pointing straight up and the other extending horizontally. That’s why we recommend mapping out your liner first. Using the tip of your Epic Ink Liner, draw small dots where you want your liner to begin at your inner corner and where you want your wing to end. Aim to keep the dots in a somewhat-straight trajectory, rather than sharply angled, as it’ll look more natural with your eye shape. Once you’re done marking your spots, repeat the process on the other side. When you look at your mirror straight-on, you want the dots to be more or less evenly-placed on both eyes.
Step 3: Connect The Dots
Once you’re satisfied with your basic outline, you can go ahead and start lining your eyes. Starting at your inner corner, draw a thin line to connect the dots you drew. You can make it thicker later, if desired; right now, the focus is on actually lining your eyes. If you can, keep your eyes open while doing this and look straight-on in the mirror so you can see what your liner will look like in real life.
Step 4: Extend The Wing
Finally, draw a short line connecting the extended line you just drew back to the outer edge of your lash line. This should create a small triangle; fill it in, and that’s your wing. Feel free to trace over your wing if desired to thicken it, but be sure to let the liner dry completely before opening your eyes all the way to avoid smudging. If done right, the line should appear totally straight and even when you’re facing head-on.
Other Eyeliner Looks For Hooded Eyes
Winged liner is a classic, but it’s not the only eyeliner look you can do with hooded eyes. Here, discover three more eyeliner styles we love for hooded eyes.
1. Tightline Eyeliner
The easiest beginner eyeliner for hooded eyes is a classic tightline. This style, which is best achieved with a pencil eyeliner like our Epic Wear Eyeliner Sticks, involves coloring in your waterline (the small strip of skin between your eye and your lash line) to define your eyes and give your lashes a thicker, fuller appearance. Tightline just your upper lid for a subtle, natural effect, or do your upper and lower lash lines for an edgier look.
2. Subtle Cat Eye
Think of this as a variation of the winged look we walked you through earlier. Instead of a longer wing that extends toward your temple, this cat-eye look involves flicking your eyeliner out very slightly at the outer corner of your eye to create a subtly lifted look.
3. Smokey Eye
If you’re not comfortable creating super-sharp, precise lines, try smudging out your wing for a smokey, rock-and-roll effect. Because you need to be able to smoke the line out, this works best with a creamy pencil eyeliner, such as Epic Smoke Liner, which comes with a micro-paddle brush for easy smoking and blending.
Next: Ultimately, the best eyeliner for hooded eyes is the one that you like the most. Learn more ways to rock your liner in our article Eyeliner 101: How To Apply Eyeliner Like a Real Pro.