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Expert Guide to Eyeliner for Hooded Eyes

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Eyes are a beautiful facial feature worth celebrating, but for those of us with hooded eyes, it requires a unique approach. Learning how to do eyeliner on hooded eyes by watching typical eyeliner tutorials simply won’t cut it. For these unique types of eyes, a particular method and the right products are all you need.

One of the biggest misconceptions about hooded eyes is that they don’t go well with eyeliner. On the contrary, eyeliner can make hooded eyes appear wider and larger overall —if you know the right spots to apply it and which liners are best.

Come with us as we cover the basics on how to do eyeliner on hooded eyes, find the best products, and fix all the usual mistakes that come with mastering liner.

Closeup of Thick Wing Liner Hooded Eye
source: smithadepak

Understanding Hooded Eyes

So, what does it mean to have a hooded eye? The term ‘hooded’ refers to the excess skin or fat that sits above the eyelid. It usually affects both eyes (but can be just one) and is often passed down as a genetic trait.

This ‘hood’ covers some of the upper eyelids. Those with hooded eyes won’t always see the eyelid’s crease or upper eyelid skin. Although normal — and a beautiful feature — it can be hard to apply the typical eye makeup that you’ve seen other eye shapes wear.

How to Tell if You Have Hooded Eyes

There’s no denying the beauty of a hooded eye (as challenging as it can be to apply liner to). But if you’re still unsure whether your eyes could be classed as ‘hooded’, you can do a simple test.

The easiest way to tell is by getting up close and personal in the mirror. First, open your eyes a natural amount. Next, inspect how much of your upper eyelid (the bit with the crease above your brown bone) you can see. If it’s mostly hidden, this indicates a hooded eye.

Alternatively, inspect your eyelash line and see where the skin underneath your brow sits. If it’s close to, or touching, your lash line, you likely have hooded eyelids. This natural facial feature will likely become more prominent as you age, so learning the basics of eyeliner for mature eyes now can pay off big time in the future.

Whether slightly hooded or more prominent, learning some basics on hooded eye makeup can help you accentuate their natural beauty.

Closeup of False Lashes, Hooded Eye
source: airiyis

The Best Eyeliner for Hooded Eyes

The unique shape of a hooded eye requires a special makeup product to match. If you’re looking to accentuate this beautiful feature, choosing any old eyeliner won’t do. Instead, opt for one of these hooded eyelid eyeliner options, and it’ll be a whole lot easier to apply.

  • Felt tip liner

    For the most excellent precision, we recommend a felt tip liner. Fenty Beauty’s Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner glides effortlessly along the lash line with an ultra-fine tip, making it easy to get to those hard-to-reach places.

  • Gel eyeliner

    Gel eyeliner is another way to apply makeup to hooded eyelids that guarantees accuracy. The e.l.f Liquid Precision Eyeliner has a sharp tip and goes on smoothly, so it’s easy to get the line perfect, even if you’re a beginner.

  • Pencil liner

    Not always the first option for hooded eyes —but still a good one — pencil liners are a little more forgiving. We love MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Resist Color Pencil Eyeliner Aqua Resist Color Pencil for a smudge and waterproof application. It comes in 10 shades and can be smudged or applied precisely for a more versatile eye makeup product.

How to do Eyeliner on Hooded Eyes

Hooded eyes take a little more effort to apply liner to, but the payoff is worthwhile. To achieve a dramatically wider look for your eyes, follow these steps.

  1. Preparation is the key to success, and this certainly applies to hooded eye eyeliner. First, using an eye makeup primer, cover your eyelid. This absorbs oil (a common occurrence for hooded eyes) and will keep your liner in place. Our favourite is Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Eye Primer. Its oil-free formula and wand applicator make it ideal for hooded eyes.
  2. After applying a primer, we want to set the lid with translucent powder. Even though there’s no eyeshadow or liner down yet, setting the primer gives it a double coat. It won’t transfer, smudge, or sweat away, giving you the most extended life possible on your eyeliner.
  3. Use a handheld mirror at a 45-degree angle to your face, giving you the best view of your eyelids for precision work. Take your chosen eyeliner and gently mark small dashes along the top line, stopping at the outer third of the eyelid. After assessing the markings, complete them by filling in the rest until you have a straight line.
  4. Purely optional, but a wing can look phenomenal on a hooded eye. The wing will begin where you ended, on the upper lash line’s final third of the eyelid. First, draw a short, thin line following the diagonal shape of your lower water line. Then, draw a line from the end of that one to where the wing started. This should make a small triangle. Colour it in so that it forms a solid wing.
  5. Lower lash liner isn’t always best for hooded eyes, as it can make them appear smaller. So, we recommend leaving this bare and letting the mascara do its work.
  6. Step back and assess your liner in the mirror. If you need to make some minor changes, that’s okay. However, the process should be slow and gentle, even for a pro.
Blue eye blended eyeshadow hooded eye
source: emmas__eye

Using Eyeshadow to Enhance Your Liner

Sure, the liner is a big deal. But your look isn’t finished until you’ve got the right eyeshadow to bring the whole look together. Eyeshadow plays a major role in achieving a wider and more prominent look for your eyes, which is the ultimate goal for most makeup looks.

The secret? Choosing a dark, matte shadow and applying it only to the outer corners of your eyes. This creates an illusion of depth and makes the eye appear wider. As the eyelid is typically hidden in a hooded eye, there’s no need to try and cover it with eyeshadow. Instead, this might have the opposite effect.

How to Avoid Smudging and Transfers

One of the biggest misconceptions about hooded eyes and eyeliner is that they’re an impossible match. The truth is, it’s not the application of liner you have to worry about but making sure it stays put. With that in mind, these tips will help you keep your liner in place and achieve a makeup look that goes the distance.

  • Choose a transfer-proof liner

    Most people know about the powers of waterproof makeup, but what about transfer proof? As the unique shape of the hooded eyelid means there’s more skin above where our liner sits, we want to protect it. So, choose a transfer-proof liner like the KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner that’s long-wearing and waterproof.

  • Give it time to dry

    Rushing out the door and trying to get your makeup done: name a more iconic duo. When it comes to hooded eye eyeliner, though, patience is a must. Especially when working with felt tip eyeliners, they need time to dry, or they’ll smudge easily.

  • Don’t touch your eyes

    Easier said than done, we know. But keeping your hands away from your eyes when you’re wearing liner is vital. You run the risk of stuffing up your hooded eyelid eyeliner with one simple swipe.

Red Lip Strong Eyeliner Pose for Camera
source: mariastefan.makeup

Troubleshooting Hooded Eyelid Eyeliner

Eyeliner is notorious for being one of the trickiest makeup products to apply and if you’re brand new to using liners, you’ve probably already had a few stuff-ups. No worries, however. Work through these troubleshooting tips to get your eyes back on track.

  • Eyeliner is too thick

    The temptation to do a thick line is real, but for a hooded eyelid, you must be careful. Keep the line as thin as possible and build on it gradually. If you go too far, wipe the whole thing off and start again (Q-Tips are your best friend!).

  • Still Smudging

    If you’re still experiencing smudging, it’s probably due to excess oil caused by not prepping the eye area first. An eye primer first, followed by a setting spray onto a liner brush dipped in a matching eyeshadow powder, is the best way to keep it in place.

  • Choosing the wrong type of liner

    Still not impressed with your liner of choice? The best makeup products are those that work best for you. If you’ve experimented with gel, pencil, or felt tip, try something else and see if you have better luck. Likewise, check out our egirl liner guide for other fun styles you can play with.

  • Wings looking wonky

    Mastering the wing is challenging, and it can take lots of practice to straighten it out. For better results, always keep your eyes open as you paint, consider using tape as a stencil, and wipe with an eye cream to quickly clean up any mistakes.

Strong Brown Eye Wing Liner Hooded Eye
source: jasminepdesouza

The Dramatic Definition Your Eyes Need

Eyeliner is a fantastic way to accentuate the natural features of your face. Learning how to do eyeliner on hooded eyes can be especially helpful in showing off this stunning feature. With a few tricks up your sleeve and the right eye makeup in your arsenal, you can achieve a wider look that stays true to your natural beauty!


Should hooded eyes wear eyeliner?

Eyeliner can be worn on hooded eyes and create a wider look for the eyes. However, learning where and how to apply it on the eyelid takes practice and the right products.

What style of eyeliner is best for hooded eyes?

Thin brush haired tip eyeliners are generally recommended for hooded eyes, allowing the user better control. Additionally, a waterproof or smudge-proof product is best for keeping it in place.

Why is eyeliner so hard on hooded eyes?

The excess skin that comes over the eyelid makes it hard to keep eyeliner in place on hooded eyes. However, with smudge-proof products, light pressure, and the correct technique, it will stay on longer.

What to avoid with hooded eye eyeliner?

Avoid any eye makeup that goes too far up the eyelid, as this can create a narrow look on hooded eyes. You should also avoid applying eyeliner in the waterline, as it can make the eyes appear smaller.