May 12, 2013

Makeup Tips for Small Hooded Eyelids [TUTORIAL]

Like most people of Asian descent (I'm Korean and Swedish), I was born with something called hooded eyelids.  A hooded eyelid refers to the extra fold of fat that extends past your orbital bone and goes over your natural crease, causing your actual crease to look smaller, or in some cases, look like it doesn't exist at all.

At first glance, it may not look like it presents many problems, but it does: People often apply eyeshadow on the contours of the eye, but the extra fold of fat makes your entire eye area flat, like a blank painting.  Also, because it covers the crease of your eye, you can't simply apply eyeshadow to your crease because this fold of fat will hide it.

As you see the first two photos, there's plenty of contouring on my eyelids in the first photo, but once I open my eyes, most of it is invisible to the naked eye.  That, unfortunately, is the hooded lid in action.

Do Only Asians Have Hooded Eyelids?

While it is very common to see people of Asian descent with a hooded eyelid, it doesn't just affect the Asian population.  If you're white, black, Namekian, or even just middle aged (eyelids droop with age, creating a "hood"), you can have a hooded eyelid.

Some famous celebrities who rock the hooded eyelid include Blake Lively, Patrick Stewart, Renee Zellweger, and Drew Barrymore.

What's the Difference Between Hooded Eyes and Monolids?

It's very simple--monolids don't have an actual eyelid crease.  If you see a crease to your eye, you have hooded eyelids, no matter how big or small your actual lid area is.

Tips for Applying Makeup to Hooded Eyes

Here's the fun part--how to apply your makeup.  To demonstrate, I will use an eye model of a Namekian!  I name him, um, Hiccoro...

As you can see, this model has a small eyelid crease, covered by a thin fold of fat.  His entire eye area is flat so it's not so easy to figure out where to apply eyelid color, definition, and highlights...

To figure out where you apply eyeshadow, we want to concentrate on contouring the actual crease, bringing the color slightly above it to create the illusion of a large, more defined eye.

To start, apply a light eyeshadow on your mobile lid.  Never place any super dark colors here (unless you're going for a smokey eye), otherwise this will make your crease look even smaller.  We don't want that.

Afterward, find where your socket area is.  You can do this by lightly poking around your eye to feel where the general area is.

So here is where Hiccoro's socket area is.  It sort of curves gently just above the crease.  Here's where you want to place your defining eyeshadows.  Defining eyeshadows are the darker eyeshadows you use to create definition and depth to your eye.  Place them exactly where your socket line runs, just above the crease so the colors are actually visible.  Make sure the edges are really blended--you want a soft, natural gradient to your eyelids.

I like to use two defining shadows as a minimum to create proper depth around the eye.  Here's how I would place these shadows.

Notice how I'm still following the socket line, putting the shadows just above the crease.  First, I use a dark shadow all over this area.  Then, I'm going in with a slightly darker shadow and placing it in the central part of the lighter dark shadow.  Doing this creates a soft gradient that helps your eyes pop and look less hooded.

This is basically the easiest (and most effective way) to apply eyeshadow to hooded eyelids that won't's really not that hard.

Other Tips

Obviously you're not just going to use eyeshadow on your eyes, so for additional tips for working with hooded eyes, here are my suggestions:

Tip 1: The mobile lid of hooded eyelids are usually small, so keep your eyeliner really close to the lashline.  Make it too thick and it will make your eyes look even more hooded.  For really tiny mobile lids, consider tightlining instead of drawing a small eyeliner wing.

Tip 2: Focus on widening your eyes.  Hooded eyes usually appear smaller because the extra flap of fat can push down on the eye (if that makes sense), so use techniques to widen the eye.  Adding highlight on the inner corners of your eyes, adding mascara on your top lashes, or tightlining the bottom eyelid with white eyeliner are all ways you can make your eyes appear bigger.

So that's basically it!  Also, if you had trouble following this blog post, I also made a quick tutorial that takes you through what I just explained, step by step:

Questions, comments?  Let me know.




  1. Hi, my hooded eyelids are so extreme, they hood to the point that they almost look like monolids and I find it very difficult to put eye makeup :'(
    Got anymore tips? (Photograph below)

  2. Hi Minsooky, this is a great page, really helpful, I'm glad I found it because i just started my own page about hooded eyelids, maybe we can learn from each other! Please take a look at my site ? Let me know what you think? Thank you, K x

  3. I have the same problem too.

  4. Same here! I usually just put some liquid shadow on my lid and some mascara for special events, because it makes a smidgen of a difference! We could try putting some highlight on the inner third of the lower lashline..

  5. If it bothers you that much, use eyelid glue/tape. Im considering doing xD


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