For those with hooded eyes, trying out the latest makeup trend—or even mastering a classic look like a cat eye—can be a little tricky. Having hooded eyes means that you have less eyelid real estate to work with and another obstacle to work around (as if applying liquid eyeliner isn’t hard enough as it is!). But just because your eyelids aren’t front and center doesn’t mean you can’t still get the look you want.
If celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Chrissy Teigen can rock hooded eyes and look smokin’ hot, there have to be some ace tricks we’re missing. We chatted with hair and makeup stylist Zena Cummings to get a few makeup tips for hooded eyes that may overhaul your look or simply spice up your daily routine.
1. Line your upper lid only with a fine-point eyeliner pen.
“The liner should be applied very thinly and not have too long of a wing,” Cummings says. Besides a steady hand and practice, she recommends a waterproof marker-style product, which gives you a defined line and more control. Cummings adds a warning that will make us sure to keep our lines tight: “Lining a hooded eye too thickly will overrun the eyeshadow and give eyes the appearance of looking smaller.” Small eyes are the number-one symptom of an improperly dressed hood, so be sure to hug the lash line closely.
2. Blend colors light to dark at an upward angle.
“The best products are shadows that are easy to blend and vary in their shades of darkness,” Cummings says. Eye palettes give you the colors you need with no guess work involved in matching complementary shades. She follows with the best way to apply: “Use a brighter luminous color for the inner eye and base of the lid, and a darker color in the top outer corner, being careful to blend up and out, avoiding the eye’s outer V.”
3. Prime your eyes to minimize transfer.
As if you needed another reason to keep your eyeliner thin, the hooded part of the eye might overlap with your eyeliner and cause transfer, resulting in a duplicate black line on your brow bone. Cummings recommends using a primer specifically for eyes, like blinc Eye Shadow Primer, and finishing with a setting powder or spray.
4. Keep the hood light.
To compensate for their hidden crease, Cummings says, women “tend to bring dark shadows too high on the hood, giving eyes the appearance of sinking in.” Sinking is a word that should never be paired with a part of your face—beware!
5. Give your brows some attention.
The socket shape of hooded eyes puts your brows in the spotlight, so it’s important to style them as much as you would the lid—dare we say, maybe even more. Cummings encourages us to “create an arch with light brushstrokes and use a light color underneath to emphasize the brow bone.” Thanks to the current brow craze, there is a wide variety of products from palettes to contouring pencils, which turn even sparse brows into works of art.
6. Contour your cheeks to lengthen your eyes.
“Using highlighter on the cheekbone that matches the inner corner of the eye will draw more attention to the eye,” Cummings says, so grab a multipurpose highlighter for an easy addition to your everyday makeup routine. She reminds us not to forget that “contouring with a darker color to balance the cheekbone is important to increase the look of the length of the eye.” Another benefit of contouring to add to your list!
7. Use white eyeliner to make eyes look bigger.
Grab a white eye pencil and “tight line the bottom with white to increase the eye’s brightness.” If you feel like the hooded part of your eyes make them look small, this tip expands their size by playing tricks on other people’s eyes.
8. Add some shadow to your under-eye.
Make up for lost lid by using the area underneath your bottom lashes. This tip is probably the least known, but the most life-changing. Cummings says, “Under the eye, it is best to apply a thin mark of the dark shadow one-third of the way in, and then line the rest with the bright luminous color.” Eyes appear more open, and it creates a statement look with little technique needed.
9. Don’t be afraid of new styles!
When beauty features are tricky, we tend to stick to our tried-and-true routines. However, “depending on the size of the eye, more dramatic looks may be achieved like halo and cut crease,” says Cummings. The halo trend is a social media favorite, focusing a strong highlight on the center of the lid. A little more difficult, the cut crease uses precise dark shadow to contour the eye shape heavily. Makeup should also be fun, so give these trends a try to see if they work for you.