Tips For Nailing Winged Liner On Hooded Eyes

Getting your eyeliner to work for you and your eye shape takes a lot of practice. Graduating from pencil eyeliner to liquid or gel is a big deal, and then finally mastering a winged eyeliner is truly a great accomplishment. Even just being able to do a basic cat eye without each eye looking a completely different shape is cause for celebration.


But for certain eye shapes, even basic eyeliner can be a tricky skill to master. People with hooded eyes fall into this category because of the way their lids settle. When their eyes are open, their brow bone and skin cover a lot of their eyelid, limiting the space of their "canvas" to apply makeup on. It doesn't give a ton of room to see the lid from the front, meaning it's harder to see the eyeshadow or liner they apply. This, of course, then limits the looks people can actually see in pictures or at a party. So if you have hooded eyes and are struggling to get your eyeliner right so that you, and others, can actually see your work, we have some tips.

Apply your eyeliner with your hooded eyes in mind

Again, the unique "problem" that people with hooded eyes face is how their eyelids look when their eyes are open. When someone without hooded eyes does a cat eye or regular winged eyeliner—where the liner goes on your lash line and flicks off in a straight line or dramatic wing—you can fully see the straight line. But hooded eyelids will often hide the wing or eyeliner as a whole. But as professional makeup artist Amalie Russell told Who What Wear, you can "create an illusion" of that winged look but in a way that is visible when your eyes are open.


The way you do that is by applying eyeliner in a way that doesn't distort your eye shape. If you stretch your eyelid taut so that it's a smooth and tight area to apply liner (which is normally how you see people applying eyeliner), you're changing the shape of your lid and making a visible area to put eyeliner on when your natural shape will cover up your work when you're done. So don't stretch your eyelid and make sure to apply the liner straight on. Again, this is because you want to see the natural, relaxed shape you're working with. Basically, you want to make sure that you're applying it in a way that won't hide with your natural lid.

Use the bat wing liner technique instead of a cat eye

Going off the concept of creating an illusion with your makeup so that your eyeliner is visible, one technique you can try is a batwing liner trick. Instead of the well-known cat eyeliner, Who What Wear reported that creating a "batwing" line will look a bit different or jagged when you're applying it, but when your eyes are open, it creates a perfect wing that looks seamless with your hooded eyes. Again, the batwing shape can be created by making a slightly jagged wing going off your upper lash line. To better visualize what that batwing should look like, Amalie Russell, the makeup artist, said that the wing flicking off your eye should look like a checkmark or hockey stick.


Another method you can embrace is TikTok's seductive trend, siren eyes. As Pure Wow reported, it takes the concept of a cat eye and flips it so that your dramatic wing is flicking off of your lower lashline, not the top lid. You can either do a very bold look by connecting the top and bottom lines in a big wing, or you can do a smaller line. There's still an aspect of lining your top lid for this trend, but the wing's focal point is the bottom, so it cures the issue of your wing going missing because of your lid.

Clean it all up

One really great, yet simple, trick for hooded eyes and eyeliner comes from L'Oréal Paris. They write that the excess skin from your brow bone that hides your lid will oftentimes make your makeup smudge or transfer onto the part of your lid that folds over into your lash line or close to it. So even if you do a batwing or other technique, it could end up ruined or messy after a bit of time wearing it. That's why they suggest using an eye primer before any eye makeup application to hopefully delay smudging.


In the same vein, L'Oréal Paris also recommends setting any gel liner you use with black eyeshadow to mattify the creamy gel liner used. In the same way that you might "bake" your face with setting powder to make sure your foundation and concealer aren't slip-sliding anywhere, this trick with a black eyeshadow (or whatever shadow color that matches your eyeliner of choice) makes it hard for the liner to smudge. And, just like with any makeup you want to look sharp, Masterclass wrote that you can use concealer to clean your eyelid up.

Use the eyeliner to open up your eyes

Trying to give yourself eyeliner that looks good and shows with hooded eyes can be tricky (hence why you're here). But you don't want to be too cautious that you don't make the dramatic or bold look you want. "The tricky challenge is not being shy about overdrawing your eyeliner," professional makeup artist Amalia Russell told Who What Wear. "It might seem like you're taking your eyeliner very far out, but when your eyes are rested, it will look much more neat and flattering." We never want to fail horribly that we have to start our look over or completely smudge something so that our look is unsalvageable. But taking the risks you need to get the wing you want with hooded eyes is part of the fun and kind of necessary when learning a new makeup trick.


On the topic of taking risks, L'Oréal Paris noted that adding triangles to the inner corners of your eyes can really help make your hooded eyes look wider and more open. Inner-corner liner might be new for you, but it could make a difference in the end result. Also, white eyeliner on the bottom lid helps give the look of bigger eyes which could accentuate your look when combined with other eyeliner techniques here.

Change up your product or tools

Tying new makeup looks seems like a big undertaking that requires so many new products and a lot of trial and error. And while it definitely involves the latter, it doesn't always have to require a ton of products. In fact, when figuring out how best to do eyeliner on hooded eyes, L'Oréal Paris suggests just switching out tools. For example, they suggest ditching your eyeliner pencil for something more precise and creamy like gel. They write that gel eyeliner from a pot and a "fine-tipped brush" are the best tools for hooded eyeliner application. Again, they're more precise which will help with a batwing technique or other wings you want to try. Gel eyeliners also come in pencil form, but those tend to not have as fine of a tip, so be sure to have q-tips to clean up your lines after applying them. But, of course, once you try out different methods, use whatever product you can work with best.


All in all, eyeliner and wings are 100% possible with hooded eyes, despite what you might have experienced in the past. With the right technique, tools, and practice, wings can be visible, and dramatic even, while also accentuating your natural eye shape.