By Rachel Lankester, Mutton Club Editor

There’s lots of conflicting advice out there about how best to do makeup for hooded eyes over 60 and for older women in general. It can be challenging working out what to do for the best. As our faces age, our skin tone and texture changes too, dark circles can become more of an issue and the skin above our eyes can droop over our eyes. But with the right products and advice on the best way to make the most of what we have, you can still have fun with eye makeup at any age. 

Firstly it pays to consider that you can have hooded eyes over 60, or at any age. It’s a shape of eye rather than just associated with getting older. And much of the world’s population have hooded eyes as part of their genetic composition. The upper eyelid is very different between Caucasian and East Asian races for example where almond eyes are the norm.

If your eyelid is more hooded than it has been or the shape has changed, try not to see it too negatively. It’s an evolution not a degradation! There are also Caucasian women like Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Blake Lively who have hooded eyes at a young age. Often it’s the change in our appearance that we find most concerning and we can often want a more lifted look. How can we achieve that with makeup for hooded eyes over 60?

makeup for hooded eyes over 60

Start at the brow bone! 

I never paid much attention to my brows when I was younger. They were always quite bushy and I plucked a few stray hairs but never very much fortunately. Many of us over-plucked in our youth, when the style for brows was very different. Mine are still pretty good now, although they are thinning out. But I now take time to groom my eye brows every day. Doing this lifts my whole face including my mature eyes and mature lids! So don’t dismiss your brows! Getting those right frames your whole face.

I fill in any gaps with my Bare Minerals Brow Master pencil or the Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil, making sure to give them a good lifted shape in the middle and then finishing them off with ELF Wow Brow Gel. I used to use a setting gel from Boots No 7 but now I prefer the Wow Brow, because it has some colour, as well as setting power and is less wet and gel-like. It can even work alone if the gaps aren’t too obvious. But I do have quite full brows still. Here’s a great video below from Look Fabulous Forever for how to fill in and make the most of thinner brows with a brow pencil without making them too heavy.

Here’s another video below on brows from Midlife Rambler, for if you prefer a fuller look. It gives best tips on how to map out the shape of the brow and how to shape them to optimally to lift the eye as a whole.

You may find that filling in your brows, a thin line of liquid eyeliner along the upper lash line (because that often stays in place the best and isn’t smudged by a hooded lid!) and mascara are all you need – that usually works for me. I have one eye more hooded than the other currently because I fell a few years ago and split open my eyebrow! The scar over my brow bone is almost invisible now but I have noticed that the upper lid on that side is more hooded than the other one. You can read about how I managed that facial scarring with acupuncture here. I think only I notice it, so I try not to let it bother me too much!

Enhancing the eyes themselves

If you’re a big fan of eyeshadow and don’t want to give that up because you now have mature hooded eyes, stay tuned for some great makeup techniques. 

1. First get yourself a great eye primer. One of the reasons I’ve never used a lot of eyeshadow is because it just doesn’t stay on my lids for very long. I still have quite greasy skin and eyeshadow always just slips off. But the good news is that a primer can save the day and stop that happening. There are lots to choose from. Here are some good ones: 

2. Use a warm light matte eyeshadow shade on your lids. This will give you a good base from which to work and will brighten the whole eye area. (See the video at the bottom for an alternative approach with a darker starting shade.)

3. Create a crease even if you don’t really have one. Use a darker color to highlight the area just above the natural crease to give the illusion of a bigger lid area and lifting your eyes. 

4. Use another darker shade if you want, to further accentuate the outer corner of the eye. Some people say that shimmery eyeshadow doesn’t work on older eyes. I reckon it’s up to you. If you like a bit of sparkle go for it. A little bit of the right shimmery shades can really help enhance your eyes or make them seem bigger. Some influencers especially recommend a touch of shimmer in the inside corner of the eye to further open it up. Don’t go overboard, but carry on playing.  That’s the fun of makeup don’t you think!

There are lots of eyeshadow palettes out there to choose from from relatively cheap to very pricey. I’m a fan of E.L.F. which has brilliantly priced products and I’ve also enjoyed Bare Minerals products which are more pricey but a bit more ‘natural’ than many others. I’ve always tended toward the neutral tones and there are loads of those around. Here are some eyeshadow palettes to try.

5. Use a gel eyeliner or another liquid liner to create a very slim, tight line on the upper lash line. This will make your lashes seem thicker and also open up the eyes considerably. But take care not to make the line too thick as this will take up space on the upper lid. You may want to try tightlining which is also often recommended for hooded eyes. I have very sensitive eyes having previous worn contact lenses and having had laser eye surgery, so I don’t like any products potentially slipping into my eye and it seems a bit much of a faff for me! By all means, smudge the eyeliner if you prefer more of a smoky eye look.

You could also use the darkest shade of your eyeshadow palette and push the colour into your upper lashes, but you may find this smudges too much now. You may find that a pencil eyeliner still works well for you, but if the excess skin on the lid is further smudging that, it may be time to move to a waterproof formula for greater staying power. I also prefer liquid because it doesn’t drag on the sensitive skin around the eye like a pencil can, especially important when considering makeup for hooded eyes over 60. I like the Boots Number 7 Dark Chocolate Liquid Eyeliner. It’s the only one I’ve found so far that stays put on my eyes!

6. Use your favorite mascara to complete the look but only on the upper lash line. You may want to use an eyelash curler first if that works for you. Personally I’ve never used mascara on my lower eyelashes. I just feel that brings my own eyes down – but that’s just my preference. If you feel it works for you then go for it. I also never use an eyeliner on my lower lashes for the same reason. It’s all about that illusion of lift!

7. Don’t forget your undereye concealer which you may also need on the sides of the bridge of your nose too. A little bit of concealer may be all you need, but obvious shadows under your eyes may undermine the work you’ve done to beautify your eyes overall. I love the Stretch Concealer from Glossier.

8. Use a setting powder once you’ve completed your whole face to make your makeup last throughout the day. I love this super light Wowder setting powder again from Glossier. 

More inspiration

I’m a big fan of natural beauty Dominique Sachse for makeup for more mature women. She has some great eye makeup tutorials, as well as for the whole face. She’s not in her 60s but she has some some fantastic tips for how not to do our makeup as we get older. The video below has some great makeup tips for how to lift the whole face including hooded eyes. It’s a great tutorial of how to do makeup for hooded eyes over 60 and at any age.

She doesn’t accentuate the lower lash line with mascara or liner either. She’s also clever at modifying the brow shape to create a more uplifted look. She starts with a darker shade but makes sure that it lifts upwards and is blended well with her other eyeshadow shades. She shows that as we get older and we have more downturned eyes, when it comes to eye makeup, less is definitely more!

I hope you’ve found these easy top tips for how to do makeup for hooded eyes over 60 helpful and empowering. Getting a bit older is never a reason to not do something! Makeup is such a fun tool to change and enhance our appearance at any age. So make the most of these tips so you can feel confident with your makeup and look great!

Rachel Lankester is the founder of Magnificent Midlife, author, host of the Magnificent Midlife Podcast, a midlife mentor and editor of the Mutton Club online magazine. After an initially devastating early menopause at 41, she dedicated herself to helping women vibrantly transition through the sometimes messy middle of life, helping them cope better with menopause and ageing in general, and create magnificent next chapters. She’s been featured in/on BBC Woman’s Hour, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, The Age Buster, Woman’s Weekly, Prima Magazine, eShe, Tatler HK and Woman’s Own amongst others. She believes we just get better with age. Get her book Magnificent Midlife: Transform Your Middle Years, Menopause and Beyond which was recommended in the New York Times.

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Last Updated on January 12, 2024 by Editorial Staff

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