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Skin Deep: Here's how to make the most of your gorgeous hooded eyes

Make the most of your eye shape.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.


Just like people, eyes come in all shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, the type that tend to feature in beauty campaigns and makeup tutorials are round and wide, with taut smooth eyelids. That’s fine if you have round, wide eyes with taut smooth eyelids, but if you have a hooded eye, you’re going to feel a little left out. Chances are if you don’t know what hooded eyes are, you don’t have them, but just in case, let’s explain.

The term ‘hooded eyes’ when we’re talking about makeup actually has nothing to with the eye itself, rather it refers to the eyelid.

Essentially, a hooded eye exists when the crease in the eyelid is not visible due to excess skin from the browbone. Jennifer Lawrence has them, as does Summer from the OC (or Rachel Bilson as some people like to call her) and Serena from Gossip Girl (sigh… Blake Lively, I suppose). Noted ride Bella Hadid has them. Claudia God Damn Schiffer has them.

Basically, having hooded eyes is not a barrier to extreme hotness, but for some women, it can make makeup a little confusing, and in some cases, cause a little bit of shame. There is no need for shame! The only reason hooded eyes tend to feature less in beauty campaigns and tutorials is that the makeup itself tends to be less visible. Hooded eyes are just as fabulous as other shapes, they just require different makeup techniques. So let’s get to the bottom of some of them today!

I’m a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chamelon pencils because once they’re on, they don’t move. Makeup Forever’s Aqua Cream shadows are also excellent, as is Maybelline’s Eye Studio Colour Tattoo Cream Shadows (I feel like I go on about these all the time, but they really are the best budget option, in my opinion).

The secret to success with cream shadows is to quickly apply the product in the rough shape of what you want to achieve, and then very quickly blend the edges with a fluffy blending brush before it sets. If you’d prefer not to use cream shadow, then be sure to invest in a decent primer. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion is a perennial favourite, and for good reason. I think it’s worth investing in.


Their shape means that a lot of the eyelid won’t be visible when it’s open, so keeping your eyes open gives you a better idea of how things are going to look at the end. For example, you may lash on your cream shadow, but then open your eyes to attend to the buffing along the edge of the product. If you want to add some vampy darkness, focus it on the outer corners, and smudge it on with your eyes open so you can see exactly how it’s going to sit. A little goes a long way, so build product slowly and use small brushes to make sure you apply the product exactly where you like it.

If you’re going for a feline eyeliner flick, do the middle to the flick with your eyes open. You can clean up any smudges with some micellar water, and if the line isn’t exactly straight but the flick looks the way you want it to when your eyes are open, don’t worry about it! The vast majority of the time your eyes will be open!

One great thing about this eye shape is that it means you can wear really bold colours because most of the time only the tiniest glimpse of colour will be visible, with a nice surprise for lookers-on when you blink or look down.

Another is that applying makeup under your bottom lashes is always going to look amazing because that’s where the focus will be. You may want to keep your upper lid really simple, and then apply something sparkly or metallic under your bottom lashes.

This always looks sexy and little rock and roll on hooded eyes, in my opinion. It’s also a good idea to apply some bright shimmery shadow in the inner corner of your eyes, as it makes your eyes look bigger. This works on all eye shapes, but is especially useful for hooded eyes.

The best thing you can do for your eye shape is to play around. Most of the techniques for hooded eyes break the ‘rules’ of makeup, which are generally based on one type of face. The thing is, there isn’t one type of face, so if you feel like a technique isn’t working for you, try something else. The more you experiment the more you’ll discover what you like and the more fun you’ll have. Feck the rules, and enjoy.

New Product


In a recent moment of Katie Jane Hughes induced insanity, I purchased the KKW x Mario eyeshadow palette. Well, it wasn’t totally KJH’s fault. Kim’s steady Instagram stream of clips of beauty influencers talking about how amazing the formula was had done the groundwork – KJH just pushed me over the edge. It arrived this week, and it’s nice, but it’s not worth the eighty quid I ended up spending on it once I’d covered shipping and customs (which doubled the price). The colours are lovely and blend together beautifully, but it’s not dramatically better in formula than any of the many palettes which already exist in similar colour schemes. Will I use it? Yes. I’d want to for eighty quid! But I could have done without it.

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