Updated for 2021

Sometime over the age of 40, most of us will begin to experience the dreaded “hooded eyes”. This is where, as your skin loses it’s elasticity, the upper part of your eye begins to droop forward onto the mobile part of your lid. Among other things, it makes your eyes look puffy all the time and makes doing eye makeup significantly challenging. You will notice that the way you’ve always done your eye makeup, no longer works for you and it can be incredibly frustrating.

P.S. If you’re looking for Budget Skincare for mature skin you’ll find that here.

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I want to talk about some tips and tricks to apply your eye makeup and give you some help in dealing with your hooded eyes. I’m not a makeup artist, I’m just an average 50 something year old woman trying to look my best.

Before and After Makeup

I’m also not a photographer, lol. These pictures were taken with my phone, on the same day and in front of the same window. The “Before” was taken first thing in the AM and the “After” was taken a little later after applying my makeup. The window light is a little brighter in the second one. 

Here is the “before” photo, sans make-up. (Stifle that scream, please.)  I wasn’t even trying to make this look extra bad y’all. But that’s where I’m at.

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

You can see that I definitely have the dreaded hood. The skin from the upper part of my eye is beginning to droop onto my mobile lid.

And here is the “after” photo, with a natural-look makeup look. (A full natural makeup looks for mature skin is here.)

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

My eyes still look mature- because they ARE mature – BUT the difference is quite amazing considering it’s all just using color to play with the light and make my eyes appear less hooded, brighter and generally just more AWAKE! I also use and highly recommend these eye drops for making the whites of your eyes REALLY white and avoid the deathly grey look in my top picture, lol.

Shop My Everyday Makeup

The Overall Concept:

Place darker colors on the places you would like to “hide” or make less noticeable…..creating a shadow. Place lighter colors on the areas that you would like to “bring forward” or accentuate…….creating a highlight.

1. Choose a makeup palette

I’m using an inexpensive and easy to find palette that I picked up by NYX and it’s called the “Dream Catcher Palette”. I’m showing you the brushes and the colors that I personally used today going from left to right. You can get it HEREI can also recommend this palette by Winky Lux.


2. Assemble a few brushes

You don’t need all of these for this look but they come in a set. I’ve used these brushes daily for years and still highly recommend them if you’re looking for a basic brush set that is inexpensive but still good quality. These do the job and there’s no fallout from them.  And they’re gorgeous! You can read my full review of these brushes HERE.  These are a steal at under $30 –> Pick them up here.

Makeup brushes for average, everyday use.

3. Use an eyeshadow primer

This is a MUST if you are wearing anything at all on your lids. Now that the skin on our lids is looser, anything that touches them will end up settling into the crease which instantly screams “OLD”. The only one that works for me is “Shadow Insurance” by Too Faced. I have tried other, cheaper brands but they just haven’t worked. This holds everything on my lids right where I put it and it lasts all day. (and because you use so little, a tube lasts forever!) I highly recommend it. 

4. Neutral shade first.

Find a flesh toned neutral, matte shade and sweep from the lash line to the brow bone to give you an even, all over matte canvas to begin. This will even out any discolorations on the lids as well. I used the third one over from the top with the #9 oval shadow brush. (If using the Winky Lux palette, start w/ the Brulee’ shade).

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

**If you have very loose or crepe’ skin use your make up brush in a top to bottom motion using small strokes. This will prevent that “skipping” effect over loose skin. If the skin on your hooded eyes is quite loose, reach over with the other hand and lift the skin while applying shadow, to create a smooth lid.

5. Medium matte shade ABOVE crease= magic

A medium matte shade will be your new best friend. It can be any color, but it needs to be matte. This is the color that you will use to create an illusion, and cause your hood to appear receded. It takes some practice but looking straight into the mirror and using a crease brush, place this color above your ACTUAL crease and sweep along the natural shape of your eye. This will probably seem quite high on your eye the first time you do it. This color MUST be VISIBLE when you look straight into the mirror. If it isn’t you need to place it higher. Try doing one eye and look at the effect created, compared to the other eye. It is quite dramatic in the way that this shadow appears to push the hood back. I used the 4th color over from the top with the #4 pointed crease brush. (For the Winky Lux palette, use the color “nutmeg”)

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

5. Blend, blend, blend

Use a soft blending brush to blend and blur the line, using an upward motion. I used the #5 blending brush.

6. Make it pop!

To further enhance the look, use a very light catching matte or shimmery shade on the center of the mobile part of your lid. You want this color to be light and bright to draw attention to the mobile lid and make it pop out more. You can use a brush, but I find that this color placement goes on best just using my finger. I used the first one on the top. Bring it all the way to the lash line, using up every single bit of precious mobile lid (the part of your eyelid that actually moves) space. (Use the “honey lavender” shade in the Winky Lux palette.)

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

7. Highlight the brow bone

Use a light highlighting shade and a very small, stiffer brush. Only place brow highlighter just below the arch of the brow in a thin line. It should give a nice effect when it catches the light, but don’t bring it down any further, to avoid highlighting a puffy, upper lid. This highlighter can also be placed on the inner corner of the eyes to make the eye appear wider and brighter. I used the first one on the bottom with the #10 brow/liner brush. (Use “sugar crystal” shade in the Winky Lux palette). 

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.


8. Final Touches 

Eyeliner is a personal preference.

When using eyeliner on hooded eyes, keep it extremely tight. You don’t want to take up any of that precious lid space. Use an eyeliner with a tip that is very fine and gives you great control. Depending on your own eye shape, play with the looks that look the best on you. But for MOST mature eyes, when it comes to liner- less is more and placement is everything. Today I used Wet n’ Wild megaliner in Electric Purple which helps to accentuate my hazel eye color.

Curling your lashes and adding mascara will really make them pop.

This mascara will blow you away for mature eyes! It curls your lashes as well as lengthening them! It’s seriously awesome. You can add magnetic lashes or any other false lash to make them even more dramatic. Lashify is a total game changer and is my Holy Grail now! I wrote about it here.

Do your brows.

Your eyebrows are the frame for your face. There are many brow kits out there now. The one I’m using is from Ulta and is quite easy to use. Here is one that is almost exactly the same. You don’t have to do anything dramatic. Just pluck any major strays and use the brush to lightly fill in where your brows are sparse using a shade thats closest to your brow color. A brow shape that is straight across will accentuate your hooded eyes, whereas a lifted arch will automatically give the eye a more “lifted” appearance.

P.S. You’re Gorgeous!

If you are bothered or frustrated with your hooded eyes, don’t be afraid to play and experiment with eye makeup. It takes some practice, but it’s fun and when you find the right shades and colors, you can actually love the way your eyes look! None of these are meant to be hard fast rules. Makeup is art, so do what you want and what makes YOU happy. But the above tips will work for anyone who is looking to help reduce the look of hooded eyes.

Shop My Everyday Makeup

A quick list of what is needed to create my look:

  1. Lid Primer
  2. Makeup Brushes
  3. Winky Lux Eye Palette
  4. Eyeliner
  5. Benefit Soft & Natural Brows Kit – 03 Medium
  6.  The Best Mascara for mature eyes!

How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

Do your older eyes give you trouble? I’d love to hear any of your eye makeup tips that work for your more mature eyes. Here’s an updated post on my lash game now.

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How to apply makeup to mature, hooded eyes.

You may also like to read my post on Budget skincare that works for mature skin…..and how to use it!

And this other post on makeup for our mature eyes or these tips to look more vibrant TODAY.

Or this post on The Best Drugstore Makeup For Women Over 40 


Until next time lovelies!