I Have Hooded Eyes—a Makeup Artist Just Showed Me How to Do Eyeliner

I can recall the very first time that I experimented with liquid eyeliner. I loved the look of a winged feline flick, and so I dug out my trusty Rimmel eyeliner to give it a try. As I glided the nib across my lids, I stood back from the mirror, and quite frankly, it was a mess. I couldn’t understand why the winged eyeliner closed off my eyes and looked disjointed, while on my friend’s eyes it looked seamless and eye-opening. After some investigating, I learned that I have a hooded eye shape, which means that eyeliner can prove difficult.


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After speaking with makeup artists, it was clear I was making some makeup mistakes when it came to eye makeup application. The first mistake was not fully understanding my eye shape, which has its own characteristics and requirements for eyeliner application. So what are hooded eyes, and how do you know if you have this eye shape?


(Image credit: GETTY)

"Hooded eyes are hereditary, or you may have excess skin underneath the brow bone,” says professional makeup artist Amalie Russell. They can also become apparent or more pronounced over time as we age. Blake Lively, Samira Wiley, HoYeon Jung and many models such as Karlie Kloss have some form of hooded eyes—it's just one of many beautiful eye shapes.

How to Do Winged Eyeliner on Hooded Eyes


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My second mistake, however, was thinking that eyeliner was off the cards for my hooded eyes. "There are ways around wearing eye makeup to create an illusion so that your eyes appear bigger and larger with eyeliner,” says Russell. Ahead, you’ll find the best tips and tricks on how to apply eyeliner on hooded eye shapes.

1. Don't Stretch Your Lid When Applying Liner


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

When applying eyeliner, it can be tempting to stretch the skin to get an even line, but when your eyes are relaxed, your wing will look different.

"One mistake people do is pull the skin tightly while doing eyeliner, which changes the shape of the eye,” says Russell. I have the type of hooded eyes, which fold over towards the outer edge of my eye. Stretching the skin to apply eyeliner means it won’t sit seamlessly when you let go of the skin and your eyes are rested. Instead, you'll want to fully relax your eyes as you apply your liner.

2. Look Straight Ahead


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

This goes hand in hand with tip one. If you’re looking down at a mirror or raising your brows to lift your lids, you may find that your eyeliner looks different when your eyes are rested. Russell recommends keeping your eyes relaxed and looking straight ahead into your mirror to create the wing. By applying your eyeliner this way, you’ll see where your eyes naturally sit and be able to create the most flattering shape. 

3. Try Batwing Eyeliner


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

This technique involves creating a small batwing shape with your eyeliner, so when your eyes are relaxed, you'll have a smooth wing.

If your lid folds over the crease of your eyelid, you can still do a winged eyeliner look, but it's all about the placement, say Russell. "The next step is creating a line going straight across over the fold or hooded eyelid so that when eyes are closed or looking down, the eyeliner looks like a hockey stick or check mark,” she says. It may even resemble a little batwing, but when you look straight on, you—and everyone else—will see a precise wing.

4. Wing It


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

If you’ve ever done an eyeliner wing then find you can’t see it, this tip is for you. "The tricky challenge is not being shy about overdrawing your eyeliner,” says Russell. "It might seem like you’re taking your eyeliner very far out, but when your eyes are rested, it will look much more neat and flattering.” So when in doubt, wing it out.

5. Reverse It


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

Reverse eyeliner went viral on TikTok and Instagram this year as the alternative to a classic eyeliner wing. Instead of applying your eyeliner on the top lid, you take it underneath the lower lash line and wing it out. I’ve found this way gets me a better result, as the angle of my eye provides a natural path for a flattering wing. For this method, I prefer to use a brown eyeliner pencil rather than liquid for subtle definition and a smoked-out wing that's softer than a crisp liquid eyeliner wing. You can then give it lasting power by applying an eye shadow in the same colour on top.

6. Use Long-Wearing Products


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

If you have hooded eyes, you might find your eye makeup is prone to smudging or moving on the natural fold of your lids. Prepping your lids correctly and choosing the right eye makeup products will ensure your eyeliner stays put. "Always apply a long-wearing, water-resistant primer or eye shadow first, then gel or liquid eyeliner," says Russell. "If you are a beginner, you can start by tracing with a soft brown pencil or gel eyeliner," she says.

When choosing eyeliners, look for long-wearing products that will stay put. "Good long-wearing liquid eyeliners are Bobbi Brown, Clinique and KVD Tattoo liner," says Russell.

Shop the Best Products for Hooded Eyes:

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This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.