How to Make Hooded Eyes Work For You – Not Against You!

This request comes from Joanna and Lynn and they wanted to know the best way for applying eyeshadow to accentuate hooded eyelids. Thank you for this request, ladies! ;)

For hooded eyes, you don’t need any certain colors to make your eyes appear more natural (you can use any and EVERY color!); the real trick is the placement of your eyeshadow. To create this optical illusion, you’ll need a light color, a medium color and a dark color. The light color is applied to the lid to help to bring the eye forward whereas the darker shades in the crease and outer v will help the eye to appear as if it’s receding. The darker shade applied to the outer v not only helps to give the appearance of an eye socket, but it also creates a ‘lifted’ effect, especially if your eyes tend to look like they’re drooping on the outer edges, as some hooded eyes do.

For complete instruction, I invite you to view the video tutorial below. :)

Neutral Look Using Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette

  • UD Bootycall
  • UD Tease
  • UD Busted
  • UD Foxy (for blending)
  • Red Cherry #46 false eyelashes
  • MAC Hue lipstick

Purple Look

  • MAC Digit
  • MAC Satellite Dreams
  • MAC Indian Ink
  • MAC Vanilla (for blending)
  • Red Cherry #41 false eyelashes
  • MAC Creme d’Nude lipstick


Tags: , , , , ,

Comments & Responses

27 Responses so far.

  1. Joanna says:

    yay thank you SO much!! this is beautiful and very helpful! i do have two questions for you. i’m wanting to purchase some red cherry lashes for the first time, and just wanted to know your favorite styles as well as which ones you wore in this video. also, can someone with hooded eyes still do looks where you use two colors and do the inner half and outer half of the eye, or do a color on the inner third and outer third and a light color in the middle?

    • Zabrena says:

      You are so welcome, Joanna! :)
      You will love Red Cherry! The ones I’m wearing in the video are #46 and 41. For more natural looking lashes, #747L and #82 are my favorites.

      Depending on the type of hooded eyelids you have, you could definitely still do the half and half or three eyeshadows type looks. You would probably just want to carry that color above the crease like I did for the medium shade in this look.

      Hope that helps! :)

  2. Eileen says:

    Zabrena, this is beautiful. I learn so much from you!

  3. Sandi says:

    Thank you for doing this videa, you make it look so easy and I like that you used colors other then browns!

  4. Kat says:

    Thank you! this is very helpful. :)

  5. boops says:

    Great tutorial-I never had hooded eyes, however as I get older the outer corners are beginning to droop a bit and this shadow lesson has definitely given me new ideas.
    Having a terrible time locating the sigma E45 brush-out of stock on the Sigma site and not offered on Ebay. Any suggestions?

    • Zabrena says:

      Oh that’s a bummer! It appears that it’s available on their website at this link:

      Not sure if it’s just a front and they’re really out of stock though. The MAC #222 gives the same effect as the E45, if you’re looking for a similar brush. For that step you could also use either a MAC #217 or #224; they would essentially create the same look. :)

      • boops says:

        Thank you!

      • boops says:

        Yes it comes up on the site, but when you click add to cart it says out of stock. I have emailed them to ask when it will be back in stock. Thanks again

      • Joanna says:

        i think mac discontinued the 222 :( it’d be perfect for my eyes

      • Zabrena says:

        Son-of-a-gun, Joanna – you’re right! Ugh! You made my heart almost stop when I read that! BOO, MAC! :(

        It looks like they replaced it with the #286 as they’re comparing it to the #224 but saying it’s more tightly packed, which is what the #222 really is. So that may be your answer. Sheesh, expensive though.

  6. LRW says:

    Thank you! (I feel so special) :) having tried countless ways to place eye shadow,this tutorial explains it the best. You never cease to amaze me!

  7. Irene says:

    Thank you!
    I’ve been searching for a video like this for quite a while! :-)

  8. Jeanette says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this! You’re my ultimate makeup guru and I find myself on your site almost daily. I choose my eyeshadows based on what you say and the pictures you provide and now you’ve even provided this guide on the perfect placement for my hooded eyelids. You’re amazing! I’m wondering whether you could possibly recommend three natural/neutral shades for this look for me? My skintone is NC20 and my eyecolor is blue?

    • Zabrena says:

      Hi Jeanette!
      Thank you for your kind words – I’m humbled that you think of me that way! :) Wow!

      Some combinations you could try for this kind of technique are as follows:
      – Blanc Type on the lid, Haux (you could also try Cork here) in the crease, Handwritten in the outer v
      – Omega on the lid, Cork in the crease, Mystery in the outer v
      – Brule on the lid, Charcoal Brown in the crease, Mystery in the outer v
      – Kid on the lid, Cork in the crease, Brown Down in the outer v

      And if you can wear orange (some with cooler skin tones can) and you’d like a little bit of color:
      – Arena on the lid, Expensive Pink in the crease, Mulch in the outer v

      Hope this helps give you some inspiration! :)

  9. Ebony says:

    Hi Zabrena,

    I loved how you explained this video. Very helpful.
    I have hooded eyes and use this same design for ages but in the wrong places:(

    I have a real hard time doing smokey eyes. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Zabrena says:

      Hi Ebony!
      I’m glad you found it helpful!
      For smokey eyes, you could probably get away with wearing a medium shade on the lid and carry whatever crease color you’re using above the crease like illustrated in this look. You can always try a dark shade on the lid, but a medium one, leaning moreso light than dark, might be more of the way to go.

  10. Steph says:

    I have hooded eyelids and my biggest problem isn’t really shadow placement, but the fact that the shadows end up looking “muddy” because when you blink the shadows slowly blend together. I suppose there is no remedy for that? I use an eyelid primer, so that’s not the issue. I just think it’s the fact that when you have your eyes open all the shadows are in the same place- like your crease color is rubbing on your lid and etc.

    • My Eyeshadow Consultant says:

      Hi Steph!
      Hmm, that definitely shouldn’t be happening, especially if you’re using a primer.
      Have you tried a different brand? I had an issue with fading on one MAC eyeshadow and when I tried another primer, it completely changed how that eyeshadow performed.

      I realize your issue is a little different, but it may be worth a shot to try a different primer, even if you can get a sample of another before buying the full size. I swear by the NARS one; it’s higher priced but definitely worth it. NOTHING moves with that primer. I use it under the eyes too and after 16+ hours, my eyeshadow liner still looks perfect. It’s ridiculous stuff!

  11. Lindsy Carranza says:

    This is very helpful I have hooded eyes and they drive me crazy especially when trying to put on make up, I have a question how do you prevent the eyeshadow from imprinting onto the hood. When I do my makeup especially with eyeliner it always get imprinted under the hood so when I close my eyes its like a mirror effect (you can’t really see my lids at all when my eyes are open) I hope that makes sense any tips and products tips would be helpful, thank you!

  12. Hannah says:

    Wow, thank you so much for this! I’ve always had slightly hooded eyes but they are worse since I’ve had a baby. I watched your video and then went and tried it out, and it looks a million times better than the all-over neutral that I had been doing. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>