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How to apply eyeshadow to hooded eyes

Feel like you’re playing hide-and-seek with your eyeshadow? You probably have hooded eyes.

How to tell if you actually have hooded eyes


Just as everyone’s eyes aren’t the same colour, the shape of our eyes varies too. The phrase hooded eyes refers to an eye shape where excess skin folds down from the brow bone to the lash line, concealing your eyelid. You may have always had hooded eyes, or they might have made an appearance as you travelled down the path of life.


Still not sure if you have hooded eyes? Look at them in the mirror – if you can’t see your lids, or the majority of them are obscured, chances are your eyes are hooded.


Does having hooded eyes make eyeshadow more challenging?


There is a common misconception that eyeshadow, and eye makeup in general, is a no-go if you have hooded eyelids. While it is true that application needs to be more considered, as very little, if any, of your lid will be showing when your eyes are open, the process of applying eyeshadow is no more complex. It’s just all about making sure that your hard work buffing and blending doesn’t go unnoticed by focusing your efforts in the area above the lid and below the brow. “When working with hooded lids, the aim is to use your eye makeup to make your eyes look bigger, brighter and more open,” says John Corcoran, Pro Makeup Artist at Trinny London.


Eye makeup is also more prone to smudging and creasing on hooded eyes, as the folded part can rub against the lid – disturbing the shadow in the process. For this reason, prepping your lids, and choosing your formula carefully, becomes more important.


Why cream eyeshadow is great for hooded eyes


There is absolutely no reason why someone with hooded eyes couldn’t use either cream or powder formulas. It is ultimately down to personal preference, and which you prefer working with.


However, there are benefits of cream over powder in general. Firstly, cream eyeshadow can be applied seamlessly with either a brush or your fingers. The movable texture makes them easy to blend, which is a welcome benefit for eyeshadow novices and experts alike. There is also less potential for fallout with a cream formula. Powders, by their very nature, are powdery, increasing the likelihood of pigment travelling from the lid and peppering your under eye and cheeks. The pigment is more contained in a cream, so you don’t have to worry about this happening.


Powder can also cling to, and therefore amplify, any patches of dryness, or settle into fine lines. Cream shadows won’t do this, and therefore offer a softer, more flattering look.


What should you apply cream eyeshadow with?


There are no hard-and-fast rules, and whether you apply your cream eyeshadow with brushes or your fingers is completely down to you. That being said, it also depends on how hooded your lids are, as in some cases your fingers might be too wide to place the product where it’s needed. A tapered brush, therefore, will come in handy by helping you to get to those hard-to-reach areas. If you have hooded eyes, a clever technique is to create a fake crease in the space below the brow, which requires a fair amount of precision. You’ll be able to create tighter shading when using a narrow shadow brush compared to your fingers.


How to prep your eyelids for cream eyeshadow


In most instances, it’s not necessary to prep your eyelids for cream eyeshadow when you have hooded eyes. This is partly as if you have any pigmentation or unevenness on the lid, it is unlikely to be very visible. Cream eyeshadows also tend to be quite moisturising, so will slide on nicely to lids that might be dry or dehydrated. The exception is if you have quite oily eyelids, which can cause the product to slip and slide beneath your crease. In this instance, consider using a mattifying primer for extra grip and staying power. “Trinny London Face Finish is a really good base,” says John. “Take a little on your finger and swipe over the lid. It’s going to mattify and take down any oil that may have built up, allowing you to create a really nice soft base for your shadow.”


How to apply cream eyeshadow on hooded eyes step-by-step


Before you even begin applying your eyeshadow, make sure you have a good set up where you can see your eyes straight on. Remember to focus mostly on the areas of your eye that you can see when your eyes are open, as this is what will be on show the majority of the time. You’ll need two eyeshadows, one lighter, and one darker, as well as an eyeshadow brush.


Step 1


Ensure your lids are clean and free from any product or moisturiser. If needed, you can prep the lids with a wash of a mattifying primer.


Step 2


Using either your fingers or a brush, apply eyeshadow across your eyelid, focusing on the inner corners to brighten. The lighter the shadow you choose, the brighter your eyes will look.


Step 3


Next, use the slightly darker shade to create a faux crease. Using a small eyeshadow brush, take the colour from just beneath the start of the brow, across and out towards the outer edge of the brow. You want the line to be relatively flat, curving up slightly at the end. This will add definition and lift to the eye area.


Step 4


As a final step, you can use the pointed end of your brow mascara wand to, depending on the shape of your brows, add in or amplify the arch. This will again draw the eye area upwards, making it appear bigger and brighter.