Everyday Makeup for Mature Hooded Eyes

 Sometime over the age of 40, most of us will begin to experience the dreaded “hooded eyes”. This is where, as your skin loses it’s elasticity, the upper part of your eye, begins to droop forward onto the mobile part of your lid. Among other things, it makes your eyes look puffy all the time and makes doing eye makeup significantly challenging. You will notice that the way you’ve always done your eye makeup, no longer works for you and it can be incredibly frustrating.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes

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I want to talk about some tips and tricks to apply your eye makeup and give you some help in dealing with your hooded eyes.

Here is a “before” photo, sans make-up. (Stifle that scream, please.)  I wasn’t even trying to make this look extra bad y’all.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

You can see that I definitely have the dreaded hood. The skin from the upper part of my eye is beginning to droop onto my mobile lid.

And here is the “after” photo, with a natural-look makeup.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

My eyes still look mature- because they ARE mature – BUT the difference is quite amazing considering it’s all just using color to play with the light and make my eyes appear less hooded, brighter and generally just more AWAKE!

Makeup Tips for Hooded Eyes

The Overall Concept:

Place darker colors on the places you would like to hide or make less noticeable…..creating a shadow. Place lighter colors on the areas that you would like to “bring forward” or accentuate…….creating a highlight.

1. Choose a makeup palette

(I am using one, inexpensive and easy to find palette that I picked up. It’s by NYX and it’s called the “Dream Catcher Palette”. I’m showing you the brushes and the colors that I personally used today going from left to right.) You can get it HERE. I also find that Bobbi Brown has the most perfect shades for mature eyes. The color payout is so rich that the palette really lasts forever with all useable shades.


2. Assemble a few brushes

I use these brushes and still highly recommend them if you are looking for a basic brush set that is inexpensive but still good quality. They do the job and there’s no fallout from them.  And they’re gorgeous! You can read my review of these brushes HERE.  These are a steal at only $17.50! –> Pick them up here.

hooded eyes

3. Use an eyeshadow primer

This is a MUST if you are wearing anything at all on your lids. Now that the skin on our lids is looser, anything that touches them will end up settling into the crease which instantly screams “OLD”. The only one that works for me is “Shadow Insurance” by Too Faced. I have tried other, cheaper brands but they just haven’t worked for me. This holds everything on my lids right where I put it and it lasts all day. (and because you use so little, a tube lasts forever!) I highly recommend it. 

4. Neutral shade first.

Find a flesh toned nuetral, matte shade and sweep from the lash line to the brow bone to give you an even, all over matte canvas to begin. This will even out any discolorations on the lids as well. I used the third one over from the top with the #9 oval shadow brush.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

**If you have very loose or crepe’ skin use your make up brush in a top to bottom motion using small strokes. This will prevent that “skipping” effect over loose skin. If the skin on your hooded eyes is quite loose, reach over with the other hand and lift the skin while applying shadow, to create a smooth lid.

5. Medium matte shade ABOVE crease= magic

A medium matte shade will be your new best friend. It can be any color, but it needs to be matte. This is the color that you will use to create an illusion, and cause your hood to appear receded. It takes some practice but looking straight into the mirror and using a crease brush, place this color above your ACTUAL crease and sweep along the natural shape of your eye. This will probably seem quite high on your eye the first time you do it. This color MUST be VISIBLE when you look straight into the mirror. If it isn’t you need to place it higher. Try doing one eye and look at the effect created, compared to the other eye. It is quite dramatic in the way that this shadow appears to push the hood back. I used the 4th color over from the top with the #4 pointed crease brush.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

5. Blend, blend, blend

Use a soft blending brush to blend and blur the line, using an upward motion. I used the #5 blending brush.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

6. Make it pop!

To further enhance the look, use a very light catching matte or shimmery shade on the center of the mobile part of your lid. You want this color to be light and bright to draw attention to the mobile lid and make it pop out more. You can use a brush, but I find that this color placement goes on best just using my finger. I used the first one on the top. Bring it all the way to the lash line, using up every single bit of precious mobile lid (the part of your eyelid that actually moves) space.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

7. Highlight the brow bone

Use a light highlighting shade and a very small, stiffer brush. Only place brow highlighter just below the arch of the brow in a thin line. It should give a nice effect when it catches the light, but don’t bring it down any further, to avoid highlighting a puffy, upper lid. This highlighter can also be placed on the inner corner of the eyes to make the eye appear wider and brighter. I used the first one on the bottom with the #10 brow/liner brush.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.


8. Final Touches

  •  Eyeliner is a personal preference. When using eyeliner on hooded eyes, keep it extremely tight. You don’t want to take up any of that precious lid space. Use an eyeliner with a tip that is very fine and gives you great control. Depending on your own eye shape, play with the looks that look the best on you. But for MOST mature eyes, when it comes to liner- less is more and placement is everything. Today I used Wet n’ Wild megaliner in Electric Purple which helps to accentuate my hazel eye color.
  • Curling your lashes and adding mascara will really make them pop. You can add the magnetic lashes or any other false lash to make them even more dramatic.
  • Do your brows. Your eyebrows are the frame for your face. There are many brow kits out there now. The one I’m using is from Ulta and is quite easy to use. Here is one that is almost exactly the same. You don’t have to do anything dramatic. Just pluck any major strays and use the brush to lightly fill in where your brows are sparse using a shade thats closest to your brow color. A brow shape that is straight across will accentuate your hooded eyes, whereas a lifted arch will automatically give the eye a more “lifted” appearance.

If you are bothered or frustrated with your hooded eyes, don’t be afraid to play and experiment with eye makeup. It takes some practice, but it’s fun and when you find the right shades and colors, you can actually love the way your eyes look! None of these are meant to be hard fast rules. Makeup is art, so do what you want and what makes YOU happy. But the above tips will work for anyone who is looking to help reduce the look of hooded eyes.

Shop My Makeup


A quick list of what is needed to create my look:

  1. Lid Primer
  2. Makeup Brushes
  3. Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Palette
  4. Eyeliner
  5. Benefit Soft & Natural Brows Kit – 03 Medium
  6.  It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

Do your older eyes give you trouble? I’d love to hear any of your eye makeup tips that work for your more mature eyes.

Please consider following me on Instagram where I over-share on my IG “Stories” on a daily basis. 

I hope that you found this post helpful if you did, please consider Pinning this post here:How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

You may also like to read my post on how to wear Over the Knee Boots .

Or this post on How To Style Your Joggers


Until next time lovelies!


Melissa is an unrepentant shoe hoarder who is obsessed with travel, wine, good food and her family. (Not necessarily in that order!)

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. August 30, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    I’ve had hooded eyes for as long as I can remember. A girlfriend of mine got eyelid surgery and loved it. I’m too scared to go under the knife.

    You did a great job on the makeup. I do find that highlighting under the brow helps my issue.


    • melissa
      September 7, 2017 / 11:36 am

      Thanks so much for the comment Suzanne! I think I would get the surgery when they are bad. I do feel like it would be an amazing difference. Oh who knows what I’ll do in the future, lol. I like to dab a bit of highlighter directly under the arch of my brow, very close to my brow line.
      It’s actually fun to play with makeup to create shadows and highlights, isn’t it?
      ~Melissa xx

      • Lynda
        January 28, 2019 / 8:31 am

        Do you know I had surgery that took some skin off no lift well it has come back

        • melissa
          January 28, 2019 / 10:10 am

          I am so sorry to hear that! I guess gravity never quits, huh? Maybe these tips will help…..I would really like to try an eye lift, myself. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your experience. I’d love to hear more.
          ~Melissa xx

  2. August 30, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    Great post! I think you should do a video! I have always had hooded eyes and it is hard to wear shadow. Thanks for the tips!


    • melissa
      September 7, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Thank you Cheryl! I would like to do video eventually. You know how it is- only so much time and $$ , but I’ll get there eventually! Thanks for the support!
      ~Melissa xx

  3. August 31, 2017 / 1:08 am

    This was a great post, thanks for the tips! As a fellow over 40 make up addict, Iv noted every tip to use in my next application. Thank you

    • melissa
      September 7, 2017 / 11:39 am

      Oh Kerry- isn’t it just SO much fun to experiment with makeup? I’m glad that you liked the post. Let me know if the application tips were helpful. I am always discovering new ways to hide all of my growing “issues” due to aging, lol. Thanks so much for the comment.
      ~Melissa xx

  4. Ana
    September 1, 2017 / 7:18 am

    Hi, the post is good, but I think some illustrations or a video to accompany it would help better explain. Like what is the mobile area? I do something similar, but I do not know what you mean by that…thanks!

    • melissa
      September 4, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Hi Ana- thanks so much for the comment! the “mobile” part of the lid is the part that actually moves. Hope that makes sense!

    • Cheri
      August 11, 2019 / 9:52 pm

      I believe she means the part of the lid that moves when you blink.

  5. September 2, 2017 / 6:40 am

    Thank you for sharing such great ideas. I am over 60 and love learning
    new ways to use make up. Your look is fabulous!
    Have a good weekend, Mimi

    • melissa
      September 7, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Thanks Mim! I can’t wait to check out your blog. I really love learning new ways to do makeup as well. And the products that are out there now are just amazing ($$- but amazing, lol). I am not a great “creator” of new makeup application- but I’m an EXCELLENT immitator! 😀 Thanks again for the lovely coment.
      ~Melissa xx

  6. Beth Wright
    January 14, 2018 / 5:00 am

    Thanks for the information. I agree a video would be awesome! BTW I don’t want to sound completely ignorant 🤪 but by mobile part of the eye do you mean the part right over the eyeball?

    • melissa
      January 15, 2018 / 11:00 am

      Thanks, Beth! I’m working on figuring out video for this year.And yes, the “mobile” part would be the part the moves- the actual lid over the eyeball.You don’t sound ignorant at all! I should go back and make that more clear since a few people have asked the same question. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
      ~Melissa xx

  7. March 20, 2018 / 10:44 am

    OMG — you are my new best friend! I’ve been getting more and more frustrated by these old lady eyes that I have suddenly. I could tell that the way I’ve been doing my eye makeup since my twenties wasn’t working anymore, but wasn’t sure what to do instead. I love the tip about the eyeshadow primer. I had seen that product at beauty counters but suspected that it was just a gimmick designed to suck more money out of my pocket. Question — any similar tips for preventing makeup from settling into creases BELOW your eyes and accentuating those wretched fine lines/wrinkles? I’ve got some dark circles there that are getting more pronounced with time so I’ve been using Mac cream concealer there, but it’s a trade-off between looking younger but tired and ill without the makeup versus looking like a well-rested, healthy old wrinkly hag WITH the makeup! I’m headed to Walgreens right now and I’m going to look for that eyeshadow palette while I’m there.

  8. Julie Beecroft
    October 22, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    Rebecca, lol I’m in the exact boat! Just noticed my eyeliner and heavier definition on eyes from earlier days looked odd in thee mirror to say the least. This is the first post I read and am going to try it also. Good luck!

  9. Michele Bernard
    November 1, 2018 / 9:32 am

    I loved this information. I’m 70 yrs old and have the inheratid hooded eye for years. Would also

    love to see a video. Also I like any budget products you recommend. Thank you so much for the information Have to rewatch for the application method!!!

  10. Darlene
    January 10, 2019 / 7:10 pm

    Helpful hints!!! Will follow and look forward to more ways to bring mature hooded back!!!

    • melissa
      January 11, 2019 / 3:46 pm

      Thank you Darlene- I’m so glad that you found it helpful! Thanks so much for following!
      ~Melissa xx

  11. Sandra
    January 23, 2019 / 9:50 am

    I will definitely try these tips. I have very glassy bright blue eyes. Any tips for eyeliner color to enhance the color?

    • melissa
      January 28, 2019 / 10:08 am

      Hi Sandra! If your eyes are a lighter blue hue, I’d go for a camel colored liner. If they are a deeper shade, I’d try out darker brown and even pure navy blue. Thank you for reading and I hope that the tips are really helpful!
      ~Melissa xx

  12. Gayle
    February 5, 2019 / 3:39 am

    I am 71 and had the eye lift surgery 20 yrs. ago. But the hoods are back! I recently changed how I do my eyes but am not sure of the colors to use. My small, brown eyes are sort of hazel now. Go figure. Any suggestions? Thank you!!

  13. Marie
    April 27, 2019 / 7:44 am

    Had the eyelid surgery… Not much help. The forehead lift… Wow natural and did the trick!

    • melissa
      May 2, 2019 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you for commenting Marie! That is amazing! And really great to know!! Thank you for sharing!!!
      ~Melissa xx

  14. Paula
    May 4, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    THANK YOU- for the help.😍 my Mom had hers done. She is happy with the results. The Doc said it was an health issue and insurance covered the procedure!

  15. Janet
    September 6, 2019 / 2:26 pm

    Noticed the whites of your eyes also look brighter in the “after” pic – do you use drops or another product to lose the redness around the iris?

    • melissa
      September 6, 2019 / 2:41 pm

      Hi Janet! Thanks for asking. I use these exact drops > https://bit.ly/2m3gSdZ and the stuff is amazing! Makes my eyes very bright white- better than anything I’ve ever used. Love it!
      ~Melissa xx

  16. Lauren Rose
    September 8, 2019 / 2:43 am

    I don’t think I have hooded eyes but only because I have a very strong, slightly prominent bone over my eyes. My dermatologist, years ago, told me to be grateful because it would keep the upper skin from sagging. But my upper skin is getting loose and I’m starting to get some wrinkles below the eyes. Can’t really afford the surgery so I’m trying: 1) TCA peels both upper and lower eyes, 2) derma stamping for under the eyes and just under the brows, and 3) essential oil mixtures to tighten the skin and help with some of the aging issues. By the way I’m 65 and other than the eye issues don’t really have any facial wrinkles. A good skincare regime (since my 20s) and RETIN A. Can’t recommend it enough.

    • melissa
      September 17, 2019 / 12:55 pm

      Lauren, thank you! And yassssss……on that prominent brow bone! lucky lucky! I’d love to know how your other procedures are working for you! And thank you for the shout out about RETIN A- I could not agree more and it’s always nice to hear it from someone else. Good for you for taking the time to take such good care of yourself!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the comment!
      ~Melissa xx

  17. Gail
    September 25, 2019 / 9:28 am

    When I click your Amazon link for the eye shadow for hooded eyes ( NYX Limited Dream Catcher Palette DCP 01 – Golden Horizons) , It says the product is no longer available. Can you suggest an alternative please? Preferably under £10?
    Thank you
    Gail x

  18. Hannah
    March 12, 2020 / 3:34 pm

    Melissa, I think your tips are great, but your “before” and “after” shots are very deceiving – the before shot is blurry and dark. The reflection of the light in your irises is a dead giveaway. Unfortunately a lot of bloggers use this trick to accentuate the difference between before/after shots. Perhaps it was just a cloudy day before you did your makeup, and sunny afterwards. In that case, maybe you’d consider redoing the shots on a clear day? With even lighting, your followers would get a much better idea of what the makeup is accomplishing.

    • melissa
      March 13, 2020 / 9:23 am

      Hannah, thank you so much for taking the time read the post and to share your opinion. I am definitely not a professional photographer in ANY way, however, “the reflection of the light in your irises is a dead giveaway”? The “Before” photo was taken at the same window that morning and the “After” window was taken right after applying my makeup. I took these with an iPhone and then enlarged them. I believe the photos show perfectly what the makeup can accomplish when applied as I suggested. Maybe this post will make more sense to you: https://freshairandfalselashes.com/makeup-for-mature-eyes/ Again, thanks so much for taking the time to read the post and share your opinion.
      ~Melissa xx

      • Janice
        November 4, 2020 / 10:56 am

        I had the same thoughts–the first photo is darker and a little out of focus. Maybe you could retake the photo after doing only one eye. That way, we could see the differences easily without concern over lighting, focus, etc.
        I did enjoy your tutorial and plan to incorporate your “eyedeas” the next time I do my makeup.

  19. Ethel
    August 24, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    Hi Melissa I am 67yrs old and I have tried every thing but no luck pot did not work for me.
    Thank you

    • Melissa
      August 26, 2020 / 4:08 pm

      Hi Ethel!
      Thank you for the comment. Keep practicing! I hope you find something that works well for you.
      ~Melissa xx

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