hooded eyes

Hooded eyes: How to get a lift without surgery

4 min read |

Hooded eyes may occur as we age but they are nothing to worry about.

Facial muscles tend to lose tone as we get older, and this can mean that the skin on the eyelid falls down closer to the eyelid.

In this piece we will explore hooded eyes, what causes them and non surgical solutions to create lift and bring back life to your eyes.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover in the article:

  • Hooded eyes are when eyelid skin droops toward the lash line
  • This can be because of ageing, but people of any age can have hooded eyes
  • Surgery can lift the appearance of the eye, but is invasive and expensive
  • Makeup tricks can be a good way to ‘open up’ the appearance of a hooded eye
What causes hooded eyes

What is a hooded eye? 

Hooded eyes are perfectly natural and normal in most cases. Anyone, of any age, can have them, though they become more prevalent in people as we get older. 

The medical term for hooded eyes is dermatochalasis. 

A hooded eye may, in extreme cases, cause some obstruction of vision, or some mild discomfort if the eye is extremely hooded. 

But most people find that a hooded eye is a cosmetic imperfection rather than a condition to be concerned about.

There are plenty of ways to change the appearance of a hooded eye, including surgery, botox, facial exercises, and most easily, using makeup.

What is a hooded eye

What are the causes of a hooded eye? 

There are several causes of hooded eyes. Some people are just genetically predisposed to them. 

As we age, hooded eyes become more common. The skin of the face loses muscle tone, and eyebrows can begin to droop. This can mean that the skin on the eyelid falls down closer to the eyelid. 

Despite what you might read or see on social media, weight gain or loss has little to no effect on a hooded eye. 

The fat around the eye socket is rather different to fat in the rest of the body. This means it is not really affected by weight gain or loss. 

Other causes of hooded eyes

Hooded eyes may be caused by a stroke, where one side of the face may be partially frozen and sag downwards. 

Bell’s palsy, ​​unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis, may have a similar effect.

The weakening of facial muscles causing the eyebrow to droop but it is usually temporary.

cosmetic surgery hooded eye

Is there cosmetic surgery for a hooded eye? 

Plastic surgery for hooded eyes is called blepharoplasty or an eye lift.

This can apply to either upper or lower eye surgery. Lower lid surgery will not affect the appearance of hooded eyes.

The procedure to ‘lift’ the eyelid costs between £2000 and £6000 in the UK (approx prices in 2022).

It involves cutting away some of the excess skin or muscle tissue between the eye and the eyebrow. 

The incision will then be stitched closed, with the scar concealed in the new natural fold of the eyelid.

Eye lifts may be performed under either local or general anaesthetic.

Brow lifts

Depending on the severity of the hooded eye, a brow lift may open up the appearance of a hooded eye somewhat.

A brow lift can be achieved with surgery or with Botox, depending on the desired look.

Plastic surgery is a costly and invasive option, and must be well considered before taking any decisions.

There may be complications and extra costs for follow up care.

Face yoga anti aging (1)

Is face yoga good for hooded eyes? 

Face yoga has become more and more popular in recent years.

Its devotees swear by the power of facial exercises to change the tone of facial muscles. 

You’ll need to study facial exercises or take a course from a practitioner to get the best results.

Unfortunately, there is not much scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of face yoga. 

On the plus side, facial yoga is not invasive or as costly as plastic surgery. It may well be worth trying!

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How can I change the appearance of a hooded eye myself? 

The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to change the appearance of your hooded eyes is by using makeup. 

Before you apply any makeup though, you may want to try eyelid tape.

Using eyelid tape

Eyelid tape is a thin strip or a crescent of firm tape, sticky on one side. 

The other side is usually matte, for makeup application on the top. Usually the tape is clear in colour. 

Place the sticky side on the eyelid, just where you want to create your eye socket line. You can apply one, two or more tapes to create the look you want to achieve. 

The tape holds the skin to create definition where the eyelid previously dropped down over the eye socket.

Other tape options

Face tape can also be employed to create a lifted brow effect.

This pulls at the skin of the forehead and upper cheeks to make a more taut and lifted skin appearance. 

Lifting up the brows can pull the hooded eye skin upward and away from the lash line.

By lifting up the brows, the hooded eye is stretched out to create a more defined eyelid. 

This tape may be best used under a wig to conceal it, though there are invisible versions available.


Make up for hooded eyes (1)

Makeup for hooded eyes

A cut crease or smokey look is very popular on people with un-hooded eyes. 

This technique is where a dark shade of eyeshadow is placed in the crease and corner of the eye socket. 

A lighter shade is then used on the lower part of the eyelid in order to open up the eye. 

The darker shade might be taken out to form a winged look. It can be either subtle or dramatic, and in a variety of colours. 

Does the cut crease look work on hooded eyes?

A cut crease cannot be created traditionally on hooded eyes, because there is no ‘crease’ to enhance with dark shadow. 

But, people with hooded eyes can create a faux cut crease, and enjoy an open-eyed look. 

If done correctly, this can create the illusion of a more open and un-hooded eyelid. 


eye make up for older women

Getting the cut crease look

Select a dark shadow (of any colour, brown is flattering for most eye colours) and hold a teaspoon lightly against your eyelid. 

Using a thin pencil brush dipped in your dark eyeshadow, draw along the upper side of the teaspoon.

This will create a line above your normal eye socket ‘crease’. 

Fill this in with more dark eyeshadow, then use a fluffy blending brush to blend out any harsh lines. A soft, blurred line is complimentary. 

Next, take a flat brush and dip it into a little more concealer.

Paint a little of this in the inner corner of the eye, covering about half of the eyelid. Pat this into the eyelid well.

over 50s makeup

Use shades for definition with hooded eyes

Finally, take a light shade, lighter than what you used to create the cut crease. Use another flat brush and gently press the light shade over the area covered in concealer.

To finish the eye, take an eyeliner pencil and press it against the lash line of the upper eyelid, through the lashes. 

Drawing a pencil line above the lashline can rub off or smudge on hooded eyes. Instead, create a super fine dappled shadow on the eyeline, by drawing through the lashes.

Highlighting your brows

To compliment this eyeshadow look, add some brightening highlighter under the arched part of the eyebrow. 

Highlighter on the brow bone opens up everyone’s eyes, so is particularly good for a hooded eye. Make sure to blend this well to avoid a hard line

eye lashes for mature woman (1)

Create a wow with your eyelashes

Another complementary technique is to curl the eyelashes to open up the eye further.

Take your curler and curl the lashes at least three times. 

Applying mascara to curled lashes will help to set the curl. Darker, longer curled lashes will also distract from the hooded element of the eye. 

False eyelashes can also be applied to hooded eyes to add some additional drama. The additional length will again serve to open up any eye, particularly a hooded one.

makeup for older women (1)

How to help hooded eye makeup last longer

Makeup often rubs off hooded eyes thanks to the hooded skin rubbing together. 

To minimise this, it’s a good idea to use a primer or a concealer as a base. 

Set this with powder to ensure a lasting finish. 

The technique involves drawing a faux crease above the hooded part of the eye using a dark shade of eyeshadow.

Want to know more about keeping your skin healthy as you age? Then check out our latest guide on age spots

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