ask the makeup artist: tips for hooded eyes

makeup hooded eyes

I’m so pleased to present the first installment of what I hope will become a periodic feature, “Ask the Makeup Artist.” My friend Brian Haugen is a hair stylist and makeup artist who has worked with not only with celebrities for their film, TV, concert and red carpet appearances, but has developed his Makeover Workshop program to teach women of all ages and occupations makeup application techniques to achieve a variety of looks from daytime casual to evening glam. He developed a line of cosmetics previously available to those who attend his workshops, and which can now be purchased online.

I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful, and please let us know if you have any makeup questions for future installments! I’ve kicked off the series with a question of my own:

une femme: Hi Brian, I’ve always had slightly hooded eyes but have noticed over the years that the hooded appearance has become heavier and more prominent. Is there a way to counter this and “open up” my eye area a bit?  

Brian: This is such a great question!  I’ve encountered this issue many times throughout my travels offering makeover workshops. And I have some quick and easy steps to have your eyes appear more open and beautiful.  I know you will enjoy them.

I will be using cosmetics from the line I created called “Makeover Workshop”. You can purchase any of the items I reference online at


makeup for hooded eyes

Using the Face & Eye Conceal and Eye Shadow Blend brushes apply a light veil of Eye Shadow Magnet.  Start by circling in the corner of the eye and then sweep across the lid and up to the brow bone.  Use gentle sweeping motions back and forth over the entire eye lid from inner lash line to outer lash line, from lid, through crease to the brows.  This product is a cream that evens the color and gives shape to the eye, lifting any droop.

Suggested cosmetics: Eye Shadow Magnet either 01 | Light or 02 | Natural.


makeup for hooded eyes

Using the Eye Shadow Apply brush circle a highlighting eye shadow, a favorite is Naked Glow (satin texture) or Naked (matte texture) to the inner eye corner of the eye and brush across the eyelid. Finish highlighting on the brow bone directly under the eyebrow arch.

Highlighting draws attention away from the hooded crease.

  • tip & trick Use matte eye shadows for highlighting on textured skin. Satin and Metallic shadows will draw unwanted attention to mature, possibly textured skin.

Suggested cosmetics: Eye Shadows to highlight: Naked Glow, Lace, Naked, Flirt, or Trinidad.


makeup for hooded eye, eye shadow

Using the Eye Crease Blend brush sweep back and forth a medium matte eye shadow into the crease.  Concentrate above the crease but don’t go all the way to the brow.  The skin that is above the crease is what is causing the hooded effect, so by using a medium shade of shadow you are camouflaging the hood effect.

  • tip & trick Blend shadow on in layers. Adding a little at a time you can watch in your mirror and know where to add more shadow creating depth, contouring away the hood.

Suggested cosmetics: Eye Shadow: Sahara, Stone, Earthen, Jasmine, New Romance


eye liner hooded eye

Apply Eyeliner into the lash line. In other words, approach your eye with the pencil tip facing the sky and line in between upper lashes from outer corner to the end of lash line (NOT all the way to corner, unless you what a more dramatic look.) The eyeliner will frame the eye and draw any attention away from the hooded eye.

To finish, curl your lashes and add mascara.  When you curl your lashes, it “lifts” the eye counteracting the hooded effect. Add mascara to hold the curl and finish your eyes.

Suggested cosmetics: Long Wear Eye Liner in Pitch Black, Brownstone or Coal. Max-defining Lash Mascara


Thank you, Brian! If you have any makeup questions for Brian or areas you’d like to see addressed in future posts, please leave a comment or email me at info (at) unefemme (dot) net.



Brian Haugen is a professional hair stylist and celebrity, commercial and high-fashion makeup artist whose passion for teaching led to creating Makeover Workshop, a program that helps women of all ages learn how to select and apply makeup to make the most of their own unique beauty.

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. May 8, 2015 / 4:02 am

    What a fabulous feature! The instructions are clear and user friendly. You certainly keyed in on a prime trouble spot too! I look forward to the next in the series.
    Accidental Icon

  2. suburbohemian
    May 8, 2015 / 4:08 am

    Great concept! Keep the tips coming.

  3. May 8, 2015 / 4:09 am

    I have this issue too, but I’m having trouble understanding some of the instructions. A video of how to achieve this would be much appreciated!

  4. Cla(i)re come le jour
    May 8, 2015 / 4:26 am

    When you wrote about the Chantecaille lip chic lipstick I asked if you had any tips for an older woman who hasn’t worn lipstick for several decades but who now feels she would benefit from a little lip colour. Main problem is very thin, almost straight line, lips – and a long-standing habit of pressing them in. Lip gloss feels alien and too sticky, and anything too obviously pink seems to accentuate the pinkish patch of fine vein damage on the top part of my nose where a skin cancer was removed a few years ago. Does Brian have any suggestions?

    • May 8, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      “a little lip color” is always good! I have found using a lighter neutral pinky brown lipstick to work for many women with these challenges. Sometimes using a lighter colored lip liner is also a great start. Now, if you were in one of my Makeup Party classes I would show you how to cover and camouflage the vein damage on your nose so it’s now looking accentuated. When women attend my workshop I’m able to encourage and offer different product to try. There’s not like being at a live event! I hope that helps a bit. ~Brian

      • Cla(i)re come le jour
        May 8, 2015 / 4:51 pm

        Thank, Brian, but I live in Australia so a live workshop is not an option, unfortunately.
        Any suggestions for a brand/colour for a “lighter neutral pinky brown” lipstick?

  5. May 8, 2015 / 4:28 am

    OMG, this is my exact problem. It’s genetic: my mom had the same hooded eyelids. I’ve never been able to figure out how to use makeup on them. There’s a tip or two in this that helps but, as the previous commenter mentioned, the instructions aren’t clear enough.

    • May 8, 2015 / 12:30 pm

      Hopefully I can can a video edited for you to see that actually steps. This is why I always say to many of my followers, “there’s nothing like a live Makeup Party Event! You can read all of the magazines that tell you how, but many of us need to be shown how!” Come to one of my workshops or invite me to you city and I’ll create a Makeup Party Workshop for you and your friends!

  6. May 8, 2015 / 5:30 am

    thanks for this, Une Femme. My eyes didn’t *used* to be hooded — hmmm, what happened there? xo

  7. pink azalea
    May 8, 2015 / 5:39 am

    Really good post. Information I know I will use. Thanks!

  8. May 8, 2015 / 5:47 am

    Merci! What a great post and fantastic tips! In my youthful days, I didn’t have hooded eyes. NOW not only are they hooded, but my crossed eyes have gotten worse. I’m a hot mess. These tips will just make me hot without the mess! Encore Merci!

  9. May 8, 2015 / 7:25 am

    OMGosh! I love this post. Her before and after is demonstrable. . . I’m trying this today!!

    • May 8, 2015 / 12:33 pm

      Glad to hear your giving this a go! Good luck. Check out my website!

  10. May 8, 2015 / 7:26 am

    Great tips, thank you very much, Question: are the products recommended for all eye colors? Mature lady here with dark brown eyes and my hair is darker brown. Should I use recommended products or is a packet available for dark brown eyes?

  11. Chris M
    May 8, 2015 / 7:56 am

    This is the first time I have seen anyone address this common problem. Thank you!

    • May 8, 2015 / 12:38 pm

      I look forward to hearing about your success trying it out!

  12. May 8, 2015 / 10:38 am

    Love the idea of cosmetic lessons. And I too have hooded lids.

    Here’s another possible topic. I’m in my mid-sixties, have very fair skin , strawberry blonde hair and greenish hazel eyes. I need to emphasize my eyes but black or very dark brown liner and mascara look too hard and harsh to my eye. I have tried plum but it doesn’t go with my skin and use an olive green pencil which has been discontinued. I like a natural look – BB cream, blush and eye pencil.

    Does Brian have suggestions for a softer way of emphasizing eyes?

    • May 8, 2015 / 4:35 pm

      I love the idea of using an olive green eye liner with green eyes. I use Jaded, I love this color. I teach an eyeliner technique in everyone of my workshops which provides a softer subtler look. A brown eye liner will also work well with your skin tone, hair color and the technique. On your skin I would use a light tinted moisturizer. A favorite of my customers is Liquid Mineral Tint. Also, when you add a light blush to your cheeks it softens the strongness of the eyes. Feel free to contact me at I can offer a one-on-one consultation.

  13. Sally
    May 8, 2015 / 11:09 am

    Susan this is fabulous–thank you! I like Carolyn’s question too–soft look for woman 68 with silver hair and hazel eyes. My hazel eyes tend to look ‘sea green’, as in North Sea, or blue-green. I tried navy for eyeliner (bobby brown) and plum (chanel) and like both, actually. The plum seems to help make my eyes pop a little without looking harsh. I like the natural look also and tend to go for an all in one tinted moisturizer with spf as my foundation.

    • May 8, 2015 / 4:38 pm

      Sounds like you have great ideas and found colors that work well for you. I enjoy doing my mom’s makeup and it sounds like you have similar tones. If you have further questions feel free to email me at

  14. KarenLA
    May 8, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Your blog is one of the best out there. I’m curious, does he have one-on-one consultations? Where is he based?

  15. May 8, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    This is a perfect post for me. Thank you. I had no hoods when I was younger, but now I have a pair of sagging canopies that not only make me look tired and older than my years, they hinder my peripheral vision (according to the ophthalmologist)……The joys of midlife and an example of when 60 is definitely not the new 40! Bon week-end.

  16. KarenLA
    May 8, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    Where is Brian based? Does he have a website? He is really talented.

  17. stinedurfdl
    May 8, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    This is such an excellent post. My eyes have always been hooded and of course it has gotten more pronounced with age. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  18. Jer
    May 9, 2015 / 9:26 am

    So glad you are adding this feature and this one was PERFECT for me because I have hooded eyes and have been wondering how to open up my eye area. Thanks!!!!!

  19. karen
    May 14, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    Brian is a stone fox and knows his hair and makeup. To that I can personally attest!

  20. Becky Johns
    April 29, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Love these tips! I am interested in a primer and foundation for aging skin that does not make the wrinkle even more prominent.

    • Brian Haugen
      April 29, 2016 / 2:20 pm

      This is a common concern. I use a quadruple combination for this concern. It’s all about keeping the face moist and plumped to prevent dry looking hills and valleys. I start with Makeover Workshop spritz, Skin Refreshing Spray and use the spritz throughout the day if more moisture is needed. I’ll add Moisture Glow which contains and strobing effect on the skin to hide the wrinkles and I’ll finish with Tinted Primer or my clear Foindation Primer both work wonders on the skin. I finish if I want more coverage with Liquid Mineral Tint. Here’s a tip for the under eye area do not layer a any tinted foundation/primer/concealer cosmetics over each other. This is what I’ve found shows up the wrinkles is too many layers under the delicate eye area. If you have questions let me know. Brian

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