The Upside-Down Smoky Eye: Perfect For Those Of Us With Hooded Lids

Finally, a high-drama eye-makeup look that those of us with eyelid issues can wear!

I’ve mentioned my hooded eyes in my past articles, and it always invited requests for makeup tutorials for hooded eyes. To tell you the truth, I’m still trying to figure this out myself. Whenever I put eyeliner or eyeshadow on, I have two big problems: it smudges as soon as I open my eyes, half of it ending up on my brow bone, and once my eyes are open, you can’t really see any of the makeup I applied anyway. So what’s the point?

It’s kind of a bummer--and I haven’t even mentioned how insanely creased and oily my eyelids are. Let’s just say that most eye makeup looks are a headache for me, which is why I’ve always stuck to lipstick… until now.

Yes, I’ve finally found the perfect eye makeup look for girls with hooded eyes and other eyelid problems. Everyone say thank you to Christian Siriano.

I only just noticed the beauty look he created for his Fall 2013 show recently when I was looking through Pinterest or whatever. I loved the natural, glowy look paired with the dark eyes. I wasn’t going to try it, however, because in addition to my aforementioned problems with eye makeup, I always look like a raccoon when I do eyeliner all around my eye.

Then I noticed that some of the models only had eyeliner below their eyes and on the outer corners. It was like an upside-down smoky eye. I immediately knew I had to try it!

I followed Siriano’s and Polly Osmond’s beauty look as outlined below.

You only need a few things for this look: your weapon of choice for nice skin (or just nice skin), highlighter and bronzer for contouring, clear lip gloss or lip balm, and whatever combination of gel, liquid or creme eyeliner that you prefer. A light-colored shimmery eyeshadow is optional.


First, I tried to fake flawless skin with my Clinique Redness Solutions foundation in Calming Alabaster. It gives natural-looking coverage that’s still heavy enough to cover my spots and redness.

I then dipped my finger into my e.l.f. Beauty Book eyeshadow palette for two shades: a sheer peachy-golden shade on my cheeks and a darker brown shade to contour my cheekbones and nose.

Then I dabbed some highlighter on my cheekbones, brow, and inner eyes. Use whichever highlighter you prefer; I’ve tried a lot but my current favorite is my little Sephora sample of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. It’s a sheer, shimmery highlighter that goes perfectly with my skin tone: not too orange or too pearly white. I’d say it’s a very sheer golden peach.

For the lips, I stuck with my naturally pigmented lips, although if you want some extra color I suggest using a light mauve like they did. Then I slicked some Vaseline on top of that because I don’t own clear lip gloss. It doesn’t hurt to put a dab of highlighter above your upper lip as well.

Don’t forget to fill in your brows a bit so they look neatly groomed.


As for the hair, you want a wet, slick look--but not too severe. The models all had their hair parted in the center and pulled back. This is definitely doable for short hair, too.

Instead of pasting my hair down completely flat (I tried that and it was very unflattering), I allowed the sides to go up and back in a slight wave. I basically just used my fingers and some gel to style my wet hair the way I liked it, and then sprayed some hairspray on top for hold.

Make sure to create a perfect center part. I’ve never done a center part with my pixie cut before but I liked it!


Now it’s time for the eyes. (These first two steps below were already done in the pictures that I’ve shown so far, FYI.)

First, I wanted to have a bit of shimmer on my eyelids; this step is totally optional, but it helps to balance out the black that’s coming later.

After using e.l.f. Eyelid Primer, I applied Clinique All About Shadow Duo in Buttered Toast (it was a sample that came with my foundation) going from the inner corners of my eyes out over the entire lid. It’s particularly important to have that lightness in the inner corners of your eyes to brighten and open them up.

Next, I drew a very thin black line along the lash line on my upper lids with eyeliner. I used a waterproof eyeliner pen from e.l.f. first.

Later on I went back and touched it up with Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner to make it slightly darker, using a small, stiff brush for precision (I’ve found e.l.f.’s brushes to be perfectly adequate if you’re in the market for makeup brushes).

After that, I used the Maybelline gel eyeliner to draw a black line under each eye (not in the waterline but right under it). Make sure to go all the way to the inner corners of your eyes.

It’s OK if the line is a little shaky or messy; we’re going to smudge it anyway.

Next, I used a black eyeshadow stick (I used the black one from a Forever 21 set) to make a slightly thicker line along the first one, and then smudged it gently with my pinky. Make sure you smudge upwards or to the side, never down.

You could definitely just keep using gel eyeliner for this step but I preferred the eyeshadow stick because it had some sparkle in it and it was easier to smudge.

The black line should continue to the outer corners of your eyes, going upwards slightly.

Finally, add just the slightest bit on the outer corners of your eyelids.

If you’re looking straight ahead, the black should stop just as it reaches your iris.

That’s it, you’re done! I like how customizable this is. You can leave the rest of your eyelids nude or add a shimmery neutral; you can make the black line under your eyes as thick and messy as you want, or leave it thin and neat; or you can extend the line upwards a bit for a smudged cat eye.

Christian Siriano obviously thinks this looks best when paired with gold sequins, and I wholeheartedly agree, so I threw on a glitzy dress and my best snobbish face.

This is my new holiday look right here: so glamorous that nobody will suspect how fast and easy it was.

I’m really happy that I tried this, and both of my sisters want to try it on their hooded eyes as well. If you have hooded eyes--or even if you don’t--will you give this a shot?