When she’s not working with big names like Suki Waterhouse and Meghan Markle, celebrity makeup artist Mary Greenwell is part of the Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Collective, and she’s agreed to share her expertise with us via our new Ask an Artist series.
A hooded eye: That sounds a little dark and mysterious, but it’s not. It’s simply an eye shape. Some people have brown eyes; some blue. Some people have almond-shaped eyes, and others have hooded eyes. Just as you change the shadow shades you’re working with based on your eye colour, the way you apply your eye makeup depends on eye shape. Since there isn’t a defined crease, hooded eye shapes pose the unique challenge of how and where to add that definition. Enter: Mary Greenwell. She gave us the basics and taught us a pretty dreamy look for hooded eye shapes. Of course, it’s one that not-so-hooded eyes can do too. See for yourself.
Always start with a primer. Greenwell advises using a pinkish primer like Eye Basic in Peach (£21), which works perfectly for this. Follow with a base colour. "Start with a light shade of the Laura Mercier Matte Caviar Stick in Blossom or Au Naturel (£23) and apply all over," says Greenwell. And as any pro will tell you, blend, blend, blend before moving on to your next shade.
Next comes the obvious yet tricky part: Creating the illusion of a crease. "For this, you need to use a matte, rather than shimmery, texture in a darker colour to create the illusion of a natural crease," explains Greenwell. To do this, use the Matte Caviar Stick in Cobblestone or Fog (£23).
Top tip: You’re trying to create something that’s not there, so you need to look directly in the mirror in order to place the colour exactly where you want it—where you would see a crease. So for hooded eyes, this is slightly higher than you might see with other eye shapes—just above that fold where the lids meet.
As you blend, you’ll naturally sweep a little bit of colour towards the inner corner. We used Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Burnished Bronze (£23) for this step.
Greenwell stresses the importance of eyebrows. “Brows are key,” she says, “they frame the face, particularly with a hooded eye.” To emphasise them, use a lighter shade Matte Caviar Stick in Au Naturel (£23) to highlight the brow bone and blend into the darker shades used in the socket, again to avoid any harsh lines and really open the eye up. "Avoid shimmery colours on the brow of a hooded eye. Stick with matte to keep it subtle rather than theatrical," says Greenwell.
Crease colour was focused on the outer corner. Now it’s time to brighten up the inner corner with a light shade. Take that same light-coloured shimmer (for us, that’s Vanilla Kiss), and apply it to the inner corners. This not only opens up the eyes but also helps elongate their shape.
If you want to bump up the definition and keep the upper eyelid wide and open, avoid eyeliner and instead use a sharp black or brown eye pencil in the roots of the upper lash line. We used Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner (£19.50) with a Flat Liner Brush (£22.50). Dip the brush into clean water, then work the liner into a thick paste. Apply the liner underneath the root of the upper lash line by wiggling the brush between individual lashes.
Greenwell recommends that a traditional pencil eyeliner can be used too; Longwear Crème Eye Pencil (£19.50) works well. Use the same pencil on the roots of the bottom lashes to define and open the eye.
An area often forgotten is the lower lid. Greenwell advises you replicate the upper lid colours onto the lower lid; this accentuates a wide-eyed look. Just like with the crease colour, let the lower lid colour taper off as you near the inner corner. We used the Copper Caviar Stick Eye Colour (£23) for this step and smudged a bit of Burnished Bronze (the crease colour) directly into the lash line for a little added definition.
Finally, add mascara and lots of it. We like Laura Mercier's Extra Lash Sculpting Mascara (£21). Don't be afraid to add it to the lower lashes too. Greenwell’s final tip for hooded eyes? "Don't feel insecure. You don't have to try to create a more open eye; work what you've got. With hooded eyes, people are more drawn to the eye and its colour rather than to the area around it. Work to accentuate your eye colour! If you have blue eyes, go for rust hues on the lower lid. On green eyes, smoky greys look wonderful, while bronze and gold can accentuate brown eyes."
Any other questions to ask our makeup artist? Tell us anywhere—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—and our resident pro Mary Greenwell could answer your question!