Skip to content

How to apply eyeshadow correctly for drooping eyelids: How to make up drooping eyelids to open the eye

Every eye shape has its own peculiarities that should be taken into account when applying makeup in order to achieve a flawless look (okay, except for the seemingly uncomplicated almond shape, perhaps). The drooping eyelids seem to be a particularly big challenge here. Nothing seems to hold properly, eyeliner is barely noticeable, not to mention eyeshadow. Are there any tricks to applying eyeshadow correctly to droopy eyelids? Most certainly, and we explain what you should keep in mind.

The right combination of high-quality products, preparation and technique

Apply eye shadow correctly for drooping eyelids - tips and tricks for open eyes

With drooping eyelids, it is the hanging skin flaps that make make-up so difficult. This is because they lie on the eyelid and smudge pretty much everything you apply. To prevent this, or at least reduce it as much as possible, not only are the right techniques important, but also high-quality products (waterproof!) and especially the right preparation. Here’s what you should include in your makeup routine to ensure you apply eyeshadow properly for droopy eyelids:

Hanging eyelid makeup – primer is essential.

To get smudge-proof makeup on the upper eyelid, it is very important to start with a primer. This will later provide the eyeshadow with a perfect base to adhere to. For the whole thing to work, apply this primer on the entire upper eyelid: from the inside to the outside and up to the eyebrows, that is, on the entire brow bone.

On top of this foundation, apply a skin-colored eye shadow. On the one hand, this fixes the foundation and, on the other hand, provides a good basis for blending different eyeshadow shades and colors together later.

Applying eyeshadow correctly for drooping eyelids – concealing the drooping eyelid

Emphasize mobile eyelid with bright, shimmering colors and conceal drooping eyelid

You want to make your eyes bigger so that the drooping eyelids are less noticeable. For this purpose, this very eyelid must be made up. This is the only way to conceal the excess skin flap. To make sure you get this right, you should not close your eye and apply eye makeup, as is usually the case. Instead, you should apply the eye shadow properly on drooping eyelids by leaving the eye open. This way, you can perfectly estimate where their natural eyelid crease begins and apply the accent just up to it.

So, the visible crease on the drooping eyelid does not match the actual one on the moving eyelid, but don’t let that mislead you and stick to the drooping eyelid. Create a “false eyelid crease” so to speak. There (above your natural crease and not the moving lid!) apply a light eye shadow (in windshield wiper movements), which can shimmer a little, but should not be more than two or three shades darker than your natural skin tone. The eyeshadow may also get a little darker on the outside.

This trick will ensure that your makeup is actually visible. If you were to close your eyes to apply makeup, the color would end up sinking under your droopy eyelid.

Make up drooping eyelids in the right colors

As already mentioned, you should go for light and natural shades that shimmer. This opens up the look and conceals the drooping eyelid. Light or darker matte shades, on the other hand, tend to add depth to the eye, which is why they are well suited for the outer lid area. You can use them to create the popular cat eye look.

Apply eyeshadow correctly for drooping eyelids – create more make-up area

Apply eyeshadow correctly for drooping eyelids - Highlighter under the eyebrows

When applying eyeshadow for drooping eyelids, you have to be content with relatively little space, since the movable eyelid is covered. However, you can add a little makeup area with a few simple tricks. How to make up drooping eyelids for this purpose?

  • A very thin eyeliner visually opens the eye, but leaves enough space for the eye shadow.
  • using the natural eyelid crease instead of the actual moving eyelid as a guide, as described above, also gives you a lot of makeup space that you wouldn’t have if you only applied makeup to the moving eyelid

Make up the inner corner of the eye brightly to open the eyes


  • when applying eyeshadow properly on drooping eyelids, do so not only in the area of the crease, but beyond it
  • on the brow bone as well as on the inner corner of the eye, also apply a highlighter as a finishing touch to visually enlarge the eye

Make-up tip for drooping eyelids: the straight line technique

Make up a false eyelid crease and cat eye with black color

For a darker outer corner of the eye, the aforementioned cat eye look is optimal. You can get this quite easily with a little help: take a pencil, a piece of paper or similar, hold it to the corner of your nose and place it so that the other end runs along the outer corner of your eye and beyond. This will allow you to make up a straight line on the slip eyelid in just the right place with the brush and eyeshadow, which you will then blend with the lighter part.

Look how in the picture above the crease of the eyelid was blended through the drooping eyelid instead of being used to define it.

Smokey eyes for drooping eyelids.

Apply eye shadow correctly for drooping eyelids - make up smoky eyes


The popular eye makeup is also possible with drooping eyelids, with the right technique. How to apply eyeshadow correctly for drooping eyelids:

  • Start with foundation, then apply a light gray, glittery eyeshadow to the moving lid and almost to the eyebrows.
  • Using an applicator, then dab black eyeshadow on top of the gray, but only on the moving lid area. With the eye open, the black part should only be slightly visible. So if needed, you can pull it up a little more, depending on how pronounced the drooping eyelids are.
  • Outline the rest of the eye with the black color as well.
  • Blend the black with a brush (just soften the hard edge towards the gray color).
  • Below the brow bone, i.e. on the bone, apply a light eye shadow, which you also blend well in the direction of gray.
  • Apply a black eyeliner (first let it dry, then open the eye) on top and kohl on the lower waterline.
  • Apply mascara, done!