The 11 Best Eyeliners for Hooded Eyes—Plus the Best Application Techniques From the Pros

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Whenever I look at Cher, there’s one thing I always think of (besides her iconic role in Mermaids)—it’s that I’m slightly jealous of all the real estate she has on her lids for makeup. I have hooded eyes, so any eyeshadow and eyeliner I apply becomes more subtle and hidden. As someone who swears by winged eyeliner, it can be a little frustrating to draw an immaculate, dramatic cat-eye, only to close my eyes and have it almost disappear. Thankfully, I’ve practiced and learned some tricks along the way that have helped me master eyeliner, even though I don’t have Cher’s adequate lid space—and the star of the show is the best eyeliners for hooded yes. (Just some encouragement for fellow hooded-eye peeps who worry about getting eyeliner FOMO: You can do it!)

Experts In This Article

What are hooded eyes?

If you need a little more insight into what hooded eyes are, Steve Kassajikian, Urban Decay’s Global Makeup Artist, characterizes them as “if the skin on your lid hangs down over your crease.” Hooded eyes come in all sizes, with some being more hooded than others. (Jennifer Lawrence and Blake Lively are examples of celebrities with hooded eyes, FYI.) While it can simply be something you’re born with, hooded eyes can also occur as a sign of aging, as the loss of collagen and elastin can cause the skin above the eye to sag and hang over it.

Best eyeliner style for hooded eyes

The "best" eyeliner for your eyes is always going to be the one that makes you feel your best. With that said, certain styles tend to be easier to create on hooded lids—so if you've got a less-than-steady hand, listen up. "Eyeliner styles can still be worn in various ways on hooded eyes, especially a winged style and a traditionally lined eye with a bit more width to it," says celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli. "On hooded eyes, I would also consider lining the lower lash line, especially if you're looking for a more defined, or evening look." Beyond the liner, Scibelli also recommends creating a bit of your own faux crease by dusting a slightly deeper or warmer color up to the halfway point of your lid.

What eyeliner shape is best for hooded eyes?

Simply put,  there's no wrong way to do it—when it comes to eyeliner looks for hooded lids, the options are truly endless. In addition to your typical winged look, you can also experiment with other types of winged eyeliner, such as reverse cat-eye, which starts underneath the lower lash line and then extends outward like a regular wing, or a double wing, which is when you draw two lines at the end of the wing.
It’s all a matter of preference, but the main point is that if you have hooded eyes, you don’t have to let that stop you from being an eyeliner pro.

The best eyeliner technique for hooded eyes

So now to the important part: Drawing winged liner on a hooded eye.

There are a few different ways you can get the job done — it just depends what feels right for you. Kassajikian recommends starting from the inner corner, and applying your liner against the lash line. "Then, when you get to where the crease folds, pull the liner outwards and upwards so that the wing is visible when the eyes are open,” he says. This is a similar technique to drawing on a bat wing, which makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes demonstrated in a viral TikTok video.

Scibelli, on the other hand, prefers to start on the outside of the eye—mapping out how far you'd like tour cat eye to go, then working your way lining inwards from that point. "This will ensure both end-points are level, and you'll also get more of a realistic point of view of your liner if you apply it looking in the mirror with your eyes already open," he says. "For beginners, I always suggest sitting at a table-top mirror and anchoring your elbow on the table for a sturdy application while keeping your eyes open looking downwards into a mirror.

What type of eyeliner is best for hooded eyes?

In terms of what type of eyeliner to use on hooded lids, Kassajikian likes pencils best for application in the lash/water line.

“Gel is preferred for winged liner for hooded eyes as it’s smooth and will avoid transfer/smudging,” says. Scibelli adds that these types of liners "are great for hooded lids, "because you can smudge them along the lash line and build dimension around the eyes."

Scibelli is also  fan of liquid formats—just as long as they're waterproof. "Liquid liners are also a great liner tool because they offer flexibility on how thin or thick you'd like to create your liner, as well as a winged effect which is flattering for hooded eyes," he says. Ready to find the best eyeliners for hooded eyes? Ahead, you’ll find 12 of our favorite picks, from jet-black liquid liners to gel pencils that go on like butter.

Additional eyeliner tips for hooded eyes

Opt for a waterproof formula

Because eyeliner is more likely to transfer on hooded lids, Scibelli recommends using a water-resistant formula, as these are more likely to stay in place throughout the day (and all the inevitable blinking).

Prep with a primer

If your favorite eyeliner formula isn't waterproof, not to worry—just be sure to prep your lids with a primer before you apply. "Starting with an eye primer is a great way to keep any eyeliner formulas from smudging around your eyes, especially in the warmer months," says Scibelli.

Try a pop of color

Don't limit yourself to using basic old black and brown liners. "Color liquid liners can also be a great option to explore on hooded lids," says Scibelli. "I'd suggest having fun with a bit of color on hooded lids while also staying smudge-proof with waterproof gel eyeliners. They glide on easily, allowing you to create both a traditional line, winged liner, or even just some accents of color on the top or bottom lids."

The best eyeliners for hooded eyes

urban decay
Urban Decay, 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil — $22.00

This eyeliner pencil goes on so smoothly, you’ll be able to draw on a cat-eye with little effort. The waterproof formula protects your lid against smudges and transfers. Choose from classic black or one of Urban Decay’s numerous other color options, which include everything from Deep End, a stunning metallic peacock-blue, to Goldmine, a golden shimmer with tiny sparkles.

Shiseido, MicroLiner Ink Eyeliner — $22.00

If you’re looking for a liner with an ultrafine tip for tightlining and precise lash line coverage, try out Shiseido’s MicroLiner, which is inspired by the sumi ink sticks used in Japanese calligraphy. When you’re ready to draw your lines, the pencil’s formula transforms from a solid to liquid once it hits your skin.

rare beauty
Rare Beauty, Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner — $19.00

If you’re in the market for one of the best liquid eyeliners for hooded eyes, you can’t go wrong with this pick from Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty. The waterproof matte liquid eyeliner is vegan, cruelty-free, and free from all sorts of questionable ingredients found in other products such as sulfates, formaldehydes, parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone, coal tar, and more. The flexible tip on the brush will help you create a gorgeous wing that will last your whole work shift.

NYX, Epic Ink Waterproof Liner — $9.00

When it comes to drugstore faves, you can’t beat NYX’s Epic Ink. The easy-to-use brush tip will help you reach winged eye goals in no time, thanks to its flexible construction. The waterproof formula goes on strong and precise for a bold look, but it’s versatile enough to create a more subdued cat-eye as well (just go lighter on the pressure). Plus, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and PETA certified.

Haus Labs, Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner — $20.00

For an inky-black liquid eyeliner that stays all day (and night) long, get your hands on this liquid liner from Lady Gaga’s Haus Beauty line. The flexible tip allows you to draw bat wings with ease. Make sure to nab La Vita Punk, the limited edition gold edition, from the new Casa Gaga collection.

Huda Beauty, Quick ‘N Easy Precision Liquid Liner — $21.00

If it’s a sharp and precise wing you crave, look no further than Huda Beauty’s Quick ‘N Easy liner. It’s ultra-thin, flexible tip will help you achieve a perfect cat-eye, tightline, dot in between lashes for a fuller look…practically anything you need in an eyeliner.

thrive eyeliner
Thrive Causemetics, Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner — $22.00

Thrive’s buttery eyeliner has become a favorite among eyeliner aficionados, thanks to its unique formula, which contains shea butter, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. The skin-nourishing ingredients not only help the pigmented formula go on smoothly, but it ensures your lids and lashes are taken care of as well. It’s also dermatologist tested, and proven to be non-irritating for people with sensitive skin.

‎e.l.f., No Budge Retractable Eyeliner — $4.00

For just four bucks, you’ll have an incredible eyeliner to work with in E.l.f.’s No Budge pencil eyeliner. Its waterproof, vegan, and cruelty formula delivers high-impact coverage so you can create everything from a dramatic smokey eye to a simple and subtle wing. It’s also under Target’s Clean category, which means it’s free from phthalates, SLES, and more.

florence by mills
Florence by Mills, What's My Line Eyeliner — $14.00

The creamy formula on this liner lasts for 12 hours, so you can go about your day without having to worry about embarrassing smudges. But another standout feature is its special easy-grip component, which helps you control and apply the eyeliner effortlessly.

Stila, Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner — $22.00

Stila’s popular, award-winning liquid eyeliner has been a favorite of beauty lovers for good reason. The pigmented formula goes on easy, smooth, and dries fast, and the flexible tip allows you to draw on anything from a subtle stroke to bigger and bolder wings. An added bonus? Reviewers name this as one of the best eyeliners for hooded, oily eyes thanks to its staying power.

Kaja Beauty, Wink Stamp Wing Eyeliner Stamp & Pen — $25.00

If you are still unsure about your eyeliner skills but dream of the perfect cat-eye (hey, we’ve all been there), consider using an eyeliner stamp, like this one by Kaja Beauty. All you have to do is stamp a flick on the outer corner of your eye, then follow up with the pen to connect a line. This genius stamp makes it super easy to get an even wing every time.

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