How to Update Your Eye Makeup for Hooded Eyes

How to Update Your Eye Makeup for Hooded Eyes

As we get older, our eyes can become hooded, where the skin of our brow becomes heavy and droops over our eyelids, covering our eyelids partially, or in some cases fully. When this happens we need to change our eye makeup technique to create a lift to our eyes and to fake the appearance of a crease. Here’s how to update your eye makeup for hooded eyes.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

A few years ago, I looked in the mirror and realized I now have hooded eyes. I have other problems I noticed as well. My eyelids are getting a crepey texture. And my eyelids have freckles now, thanks to a misspent youth in the sun, as well as dark patches that affect the color of any eye shadow I use.

What to do? Well, for starters, I needed to adjust my makeup to my new reality. The routine I’ve developed over the years wasn’t working any longer. Time to learn some new techniques.

So, I spent a lot of time watching tons of makeup and skincare videos on YouTube to see what tips I could learn to help me feel a bit more confident in aging gracefully. In the end, I developed my own technique, which works for me and my eyes. I hope you find it useful.

How to Enhance Aging Hooded Eyes

Here’s an overview video of the process and the steps are described in depth below. You can find a longer YouTube video at the end of this post if you want more details.

Makeup for Aging, Heavy, Hooded Eyes
Watch this video on YouTube.

Always Apply Eyeshadow Primer

Eyeshadow primer is extremely important for aging eyes for several reasons:

It keeps your eyeshadow in place. I notice more and more that my eyeshadow can tend to slip around the day. Eyeshadow primer keeps my eye makeup in place throughout the day.

It helps create a smooth surface for your eye makeup. My skin on and around my eyes is probably the most wrinkled and crepey skin I have right now.

If I put on eyeshadow without primer, it sticks to some parts of my eyelid and skips over other parts, leaving my eyeshadow looking messy and unfinished. I hate to use the word “spackle” in terms of the face, but primer really does act as a kind of spackle to even out the surface of the eye.

Primer gives your lids a consistent color and can brighten the eyelid. My eyelids have freckles now, as well as other dark areas. Using primer helps keep my eyeshadow colors looking the way they do in the palette, rather than taking on an undertone caused by my uneven skin tone.

I like to use a primer that’s slightly lighter than my lid color because I feel like it helps brighten my eyelid.

Getting the Look

  1. Apply primer with a concealer brush or even your finger evenly over the whole eye.
I used NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skin Tone

2. Cover the Entire Lid with Powder to Set the Primer.

You can use eyeshadow for this step (I used White Chocolate in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette) or simply a translucent powder applied with a fluffy brush. This sets your primer and gives a nice smooth surface on which to apply the eyeshadow.

3. Define Your Crease

Apply a medium eyeshadow shade with a small, flat eyeshadow brush slightly above your natural crease. Make sure you can see this when your eye is open! Extend it out only as far as the edge of your brow. Blend this down to your lid and up toward your brow with a fluffy brush.

I used Salted Caramel in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

4. Lightly Line the Lower Lash Line

Using a flat, liner brush, take the same color you used for your crease and line underneath your lower lashes. When you get to the outer corner of the eye, bring the color up toward your outer brow for just the width of the liner brush.

I used Salted Caramel in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

5. Apply Lid Color

Apply color over the lid, up to your transition color.

I used Salted Caramel in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

6. Define the Outer Edge of the Eye

Take a darker color and further define your crease and the outer corner of your eye by applying a darker shade slightly under your original crease-defining shade and using the same color to cover the outer third of your eye.

I used Semi-Sweet in the Chocolate Bar Palette.
The blended look so far

7. Highlight the Inner Corner of the Eye and Just Under the Brow Bone

Using a small brush and a bright, light color, highlight the inner corner of the eye then just under the brow bone to add definition.

I used Champagne Truffle for this

8. Apply Eyeliner

Apply eyeliner using the method that best suits your eyes. Because I can sometimes have issues with eyeliners, I took a dark eyeshadow color and applied it just along the upper lash lane in a pressing motion to give depth to my lashes.

I used the color Triple Fudge in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

9. Curl Your Lashes and Apply Mascara

Curling your lashes helps give a lifted look that helps combat the look of down-turned eyes.

I used IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara on my top lashes and Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara in Blackest Black on my lower lashes

10. The Finished Look!

Other Great Tips for Hooded Eye Makeup

Looking for the videos I mentioned in my original post? I’ve created a YouTube playlist with all of those videos and several I’ve found helpful along the way.

Playlist: Makeup Techniques for Hooded Eyes
Watch this playlist on YouTube

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  1. October 25, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    These are great tutorials and tricks! I don’t have hooded eyelids, but there is crepeyness and sun damage. My brows have thinned and lightened up so I am always on the hunt for good brow makeup and tricks.

    • Katy
      November 5, 2016 / 9:54 am

      Very timely comment Terri! I’m also dealing with thinning eyebrows and I’m about to investigate some ways to deal with that issue. Stay tuned!

      • Missie
        November 26, 2016 / 9:52 am

        Yes – tutorials on eyebrows, please! Mine are suffering as a result of aging and over-waxing. Thank you!

    • Meaux McDonald
      February 18, 2017 / 9:13 am

      I have the same issue. Anastasia is the name for any brow enhancement… and the “pot of gel” I find to be the best. I have discovered one shade lighter to be the best option. I use a pencil first? Either type of pencil, to basically draw your favorite shape. I have two slanted brow brushes- one shorter than the other. I know it takes a bit longer, but I keep a tiny cup of water next to my application area to ensure accuracy, and swipe at the end for a realistic look.

      • Katy
        February 18, 2017 / 9:15 am

        Thanks for the tips! I’ve also recently switched to using a lighter color then the one shown in the pictures- it looks a little more natural for every day use.

  2. Mel
    December 11, 2016 / 3:22 am

    Trish McAvoy , or Benefit for eyebrows . They are great . With the right shade they look very natural .

    • Katy
      December 11, 2016 / 8:40 am

      Thanks Mel – I’ll have to try!

  3. Barbara
    May 1, 2017 / 3:59 am

    I imagine you’ve solve this problem by now. Fortunately a lot of the make ups now come with wax and brow powder. I’ve always had very light eyebrows both in color and amount of the brow. This is been the best solution so far.

  4. Allie F
    July 22, 2017 / 3:46 am

    Good tips. I have a slight difference in shape of eyes, due to eye operation, didn’t wear eye make-up for ages. Will definitely try new techniques, I like the primer.

  5. Lori ruzek
    August 24, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Thank you! I will purchase the smash box primer. I don’t care for the one I have. I’m excited to check out the new techniques.

  6. Cynthia Rose
    December 31, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    How can I get a list of of the products from Stephanie Lange’s her Mature Makeup video?

  7. Diane
    February 20, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    Thank you! Good eyes for hooded lids. Ore more more mature makeup

  8. Rosemarie Ritter
    March 31, 2018 / 8:29 am

    Video still too long!! Not necessary

  9. J Bear
    May 19, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    I wear glasses so I would like to see a video of how you would do your eye makeup if you were glasses. Thank you.

    • Jennifer
      August 13, 2019 / 7:17 pm

      I have hooded aging eyes and wear glasses. I don’t do anything different with the eye makeup except to be sure I do the brows. I think the shape and color of your glasses will make more of a difference. A definite no-no for hooded eyes IMO is eyeliner going all the way around. A lot of liner and shadow on the lower lids make the eyes look smaller.

  10. Montie
    May 20, 2019 / 10:09 pm

    Thanks for such good info. Your eyes, and you are just beautiful.

  11. Amy
    May 24, 2019 / 7:29 pm

    Great tutorial! Easy to follow direction and love your easy going personality!

  12. Mg
    June 7, 2019 / 9:22 pm

    I really enjoyed the video. To be honest, since retiring, I rarely wear makeup. In the last few months, I’ve tried to find some basic tips because I have some special events coming up soon and I would like to feel pretty. It’s been a long time since I’ve worried about that! Anyway, I’ve tried to watch a few videos, but never made it beyond the first few seconds, felt silly, even a little frustrated- closed the laptop quickly and moved on to other tasks. Now, with just a week before a big family gathering, I thought I’d try again. Your video was the first thing I clicked on in my search. Wow! You won me over immediately. Your comfort on camera, made me feel more comfortable about something that was making me feel a bit ridiculous. Thank you for being a real woman, talking to viewers like they are real, and giving such detailed and useful tips. You seem so comfortable on camera, it’s like having a girlfriend talking you through the process. Please keep doing what you do! You have a gift that real women need.

    • Katy Kozee | Midlife Rambler
      June 10, 2019 / 9:35 am

      Oh thank you so much! I know just how you feel about feeling silly. One reason I’m starting to make these videos (and a few more our on their way soon) is to show women our age that it’s totally ok to still care about these things and we don’t need to be a 20-something YouTube star to look good and wear makeup. Your comment made me tear up! Thanks so much!

  13. June 24, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    Thanks, Katy. I will be trying these ideas. My eyelids are not quite hooded yet, but they are definitely sagging and I’m dealing with the unevenness of my skin now.


  14. Cathy
    July 17, 2019 / 7:35 pm

    I recently became glasses-free thanks to cataract surgery with replacement multi-focal lenses. Wow that is a life-changer. BUT now my eyes seem so plain and small and, well just out there without my glasses. I’m 60. I stopped wearing eye shadow a long long time ago when my lids started sagging, and it just all ended up in the crease. In the past years I’ve just worn eyeliner on the bottom lids and mascara, got away with that when wearing glasses but not flattering now.
    I started researching videos and articles for sagging/hooded eyes, yours is by far the most helpful and most comfortable. Your techniques are well demonstrated in the video, and I like very much your no-nonsense dialog. This has changed my life, in that I am now feeling excited to highlight my “new” eyes and you have given me the go-to techniques. My eyes are older and “crepey-er” than yours but the approach is great and I am tweaking as needed for my eyes. Thank you SO MUCH. You are truly a beautiful woman, all the more for sharing and helping others. You have made a wonderful difference for me.

    • Katy Kozee | Midlife Rambler
      July 18, 2019 / 10:11 am

      Wow Cathy – thanks so much for your comments! I’m actually releasing a new post in the next week or two with some hacks I’ve learned lately. One thing that’s helped me a lot was switching from primer to concealer or a creme eyeshadow as my base. This seems to really help smooth out my eyelids and the crepy-ness that plagues us so.

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