**Updated 2024** 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. There are certainly procedures that can help with this and in many cases get rid of the hood completely, but thats a post for another time.
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I want to talk about some tips and tricks to apply 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 look at this and think how amazing it is that my husband returns home every day, lol. Ah, bless him. I wasn’t even trying to make this look extra bad y’all.
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. I swear I feel like every day I look into the mirror and there’s some new “surprise” awaiting me. So yeah- thanks for that-\….. the 40’s just keep on giving.
And here is the “after” photo, with a natural-look makeup (It was also a little later in the day so the sun was brighter coming into the window).
It’s still only me- and my eyes still look mature- because they ARE mature and there’s only so much a novice can do with makeup- 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! The lighting washed out the colors a bit, but I always tend to wear a lighter, more natural look and you can see the effect is still very visible.
Make-up Tips for Hooded Eyes
Your eyes now require a different approach when applying makeup. Don’t be scared to experiment with colors and applications. Find colors that you enjoy and that compliment your eye color and then work on placement. Think about this when applying your eye makeup: 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.
I am not a makeup artist in any way, but it would not be an overstatement to say that I’m a makeup hoarder from way back. I’ve always loved to experiment with makeup and I can easily while away hours at my vanity table. There are professional makeup artists who can make the actual application look 100 times better than I can, but nonetheless I’ve put together some ways that the average, everyday woman can deal with her more mature, hooded eyes.
I am using one, inexpensive and easy to find palette that I picked up at Walgreens. It’s by NYX and is 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, but it’s nothing special and this can be done with any color palette that has a few matte shades.
I use this brush set and still highly recommend them (I’ve had them for YEARS now!) 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. I will note the ones I use for each step. And they’re gorgeous! You can read my review of these brushes HERE.
Use an eyeshadow primer. If you’re over 40, 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 doesn’t look great and instantly screams my age. The only one that works for me is Two Faced Shadow Insurance. 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. You can get it HERE, on Amazon.
Find a flesh toned nuetral, matte shade and sweep I 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.
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 eye is quite loose, reach over with the other hand and lift the skin while applying shadow, to create a smooth lid.
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.
Use a soft blending brush to blend and blur the line, using an upward motion. I used the #5 blending brush.
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 space.
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.
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 liquid liner 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 some really great false lashes now that last for a week or more to make them even more dramatic. Let me know if you’d like to hear more about that in the comments.
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.
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. You may also be interested in this post about my skin care essentials over 50.
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Until next time lovelies!