How to Conceal Drooping Eyelids With Makeup

Skip the surgery & try these makeup tips instead

Woman making up herself
Bambu Productions / Iconica / Getty Images

Drooping eyelids are a natural part of the aging process. The good news is you don't have to invest in an eyelift to camouflage them. Here are some favorite (and free) makeup tips to conceal drooping lids.

Focus on Your Eyelashes

Open up the eyes by focusing on your lashes. Make them as long and lush as possible with these tricks:

  • Always curl your lashes before applying mascara. Curling lashes always makes eyes pop. Shu Uemura makes the best curlers. 
  • Apply a couple coats of thickening mascara. I like Almay's One Coat Nourishing Mascara, Blackest Black 401
  • Apply mascara to your bottom lashes. For more tips on mascara application, check out 15 Mascara Tips and Tricks.
  • Always remove eye makeup at the end of the day, leaving mascara on your lashes can cause the to break. Been there, done that. It's not a good thing. My preferred eye makeup remover is Clinique's Take the Day Off

More tips: 4 Simple Ways to Get Amazing Eyelashes. 

Cover Dark Shadows With Concealer

Everyone's eyes are different. Some of us have shadows on the inside corners of our eyes (me! me!) whereas others have deep circles under the eyes. These shadows make our eyes recede, which can be unflattering. 

The key is find the perfect shade of concealer to fix these shadows. One shade lighter than your skin is ideal. You also want a concealer than won't sink into your lines and highlight them.

Always apply concealer in dots and dab them in with the pad of your middle finger. 

Bobbi Brown makes excellent concealers

Lift Eyes With Highlighter

A highlighter pen is one of those beauty products that can change your life. Nothing offers an instant facelift than adding light where there are shadows.

 

A highlighter pen can be used above each brow to visually lift the eyes. 

Learn more about highlighter and my favorite products in Eye Makeup Tricks: Make Small Eyes Look Bigger. 

The Upper Lid Trick

A general rule of thumb is to keep eyeliner to the upper lid only. If you line your bottom eye, it can act like a picture frame on your crepe-y eyes, bringing more attention to them.  

I find a liquid liner stays better than pencils. You can practice curving the line up on the outer corners of eyes to "lift" them. Avoid thick, heavy lines, however.

Not all beauty rules apply to everyone. If you do like to line your bottom lid, use a pencil instead of liquid liner and make sure to smudge it with your finger so the line is not harsh and drawn-on. all beauty rules apply to everyone. If you do like to line your bottom lid, use a pencil instead of liquid liner and make sure to smudge it with your finger so the line is not harsh and drawn-on.

And never line your waterline -- the inside of your eyes. The late, great Charla Krupp, the author of "How Not to Look Old" warns against lining the inside of the eyes. Your eyes will look beady if you do it (my mom used to do this and it drove me crazy).

For more eyeliner tricks and secrets, see How to Apply Eyeliner.

Skip the Shimmer

Shimmer can be your worst enemy because shimmery eyeshadows only highlight crow's feet. The one area they work in is the inside corner of the eye. Apply a dot of shimmery light eyeshadow in the instead corner of the eye to make eyes pop.

For more fun eyeshadow tips, see 10 Eyeshadow Tricks I Wish I Knew Years Ago.

The "Less is More" Rule

When you have a saggy upper lid, no need to go all out with several different colors of eyeshadow. Instead, keep eyeshadow in place all day with an eyeshadow primer, then apply a couple sweeps of a light eyeshadow that's flattering to your skin color. Skip the bright, crazy colors.

Check out some great primers in How to Keep Your Eyeshadow in Place for Hours.

Say "Yes!" to False Lashes

False eyelashes have made a comeback. 

If your lashes are short or barely there, head to an eyelash pro and have extensions applied.

They can last up to 4 weeks.

You can also master the application of false lashes. But skip the full strip of lashes from the 70s and instead opt for individual lashes. 

I give the full scoop on How to Apply False Lashes.

Return to 25 Makeup Tricks for Older Women