'I'm an over-50s beauty writer. Here are the best mascaras for hooded eyes.'

I've been on the search for the perfect mascara for years. As someone who has very hooded eyes and now also deals with ageing, sagging lids as well, the search has been ongoing. With so many new mascaras on the market (it feels like there's a new launch every other day), you would think it would be easy enough. But oh no, my friend. And if you think that, then you clearly aren't a member of 'the hood'.

Because those of us with hooded eyes know the biggest issues are finding a mascara that: a) doesn't end up all over our eyelids (because sometimes our lids SIT on our lashes) and b) makes our lashes look long and luscious when that pesky hood is taking away valuable airspace.

Watch: Four mascara myths that'll change the way you put it on. Post continues after video.

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Now, I've probably used around 100 mascaras over the last few years. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to prop up the mascara economy. And while I do love a 'gift with purchase' or redeeming rewards with beauty points, I've probably purchased more than half of those. 

I've tried everything from super savey mascaras to ridiculously priced luxury brands — and before you tell me I need a good tubing mascara, I can confidently tell you I have tried at least a dozen of them as well. 

Here's the thing: as someone with both hooded and sagging eyes, as a general rule, tubing mascaras just don't give me the "oomph" I want. That's not to say they're bad and don't work — but I need to use every trick I can to make it look like I have lashes and to help camouflage the hanging, saggy veranda at the corner of my eyes.


So, if you are in the same boat as I am, I've put together a list of five of the best mascaras that I just keep reaching for. These are the ones that work for me and my over 50s, hooded lids — and they may be just what you are after.

Now, surprisingly, despite putting everything from Lancôme to Charlotte Tilbury and Laura Mercier on my lashes, none of the luxury brands make my list. 


In fact, two brands are indie-owned Aussie companies and three of them are Chemist brands. Because let me tell you, nowadays, chemist brands have it over luxury brands in the mascara space.

And yes, for tubing mascara lovers, I have one or two that made the cut. No, not *that* one (even though everyone loves it for the price). And no, not that legendary spendy one. 

Let's get into it.

1. Holme Beauty Loyal Lash Mascara, $42.

Image: Supplied.

I'm normally really underwhelmed by tubing mascaras, mainly because they just don't give... enough. Not enough volume. Not enough length. Which are both important with hooded eyes. 

However, the Holme Beauty Loyal Lash Mascara gives more than other tubing mascaras I've tried — and still looks pretty natural. It volumises, curls, is transfer-proof and doesn't break down during the day, which is the one thing I dislike about tubing mascaras. Because I don’t want little flakes appearing under my eyes before the end of the day. 

This delivers. If you want a bit more in the length and volume department, like I do, then you can pair it with their Loving Lash Primer, $38.


2. Maybelline Sky High Mascara, $12.99.

Image: Supplied.

It seems like a weird secret that the Maybelline Sky High is actually a tubing mascara. Did you know? Take a look at the ingredients. There’s a polymer in there (the ingredient that wraps around your lashes so they don't smudge or flake). 

This mascara gives you a stupid amount of length and adds a bit of volume as well. The design of the brush is super flexible and aids in the application of getting into the root of your lash. It's a super lightweight formula and is known to be one of the best performers on the market.

I have this in both black shades as well as the newer brown shade because it's that good! If I am going to use mascara on my lower lashes, this is the only one I use.

3. L'Oréal Paris Lash Paradise, $15.39.

Image: Supplied.

This has kept itself permanently in my makeup bag since I discovered it years ago. Big, juicy, fat lashes are what you get from this aptly named Lash Paradise. It's the one I have recommended over the years for both hooded and non-hooded friends who have lamented about their sparse, spindly lashes. 

It's a whipped, volumising formula infused with castor oil that leaves your lashes soft and non-clumpy. Speaking of L'Oréal mascaras, the brand has recently come into the game with a newbie that might take the prize for the best new affordable mascara to market...


4. L'Oreal Panorama Mascara, $19.69

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 The magic in this one is in the multi-level brush, which allows you to get right into the inner corner of your eyes without slapping yourself on the lid. The unique brush also allows you to really fan out the outer corner lashes, creating wide-awake, doe eyes. 

It's also clump-resistant so your lashes don't look too heavy. When I tried this, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did and this one sits permanently on my makeup table. This is the first mascara in a long time that I have instantly loved.

5. Okkiyo Prioriteyes Mascara, $49.50

Image: Supplied.

Lastly, we have another new local brand released late last year. And if you suffer from dry eyes, sensitive eyes or are experiencing signs of ageing around your eyes, then this is what you've been looking for.

Created by leading Australian ophthalmologist Dr Jacqueline Beltz, Okkiyo Prioriteyes Mascara is tailored for sensitive eyes in mind, and designed to feel comfortable and irritation-free. 

I suffer from extremely dry eyes and let me tell you, the sensation of having grit in your eyes or the associated itch is a real struggle. What I love about this is that it performs like the highest of luxury brands and it looks damn good. The packaging is square which will ensure it doesn’t roll off your table either (which can be more annoying than you think!).


So, there you have it! Hopefully, there should be something for everyone in this lot. 

While there are others I could give shout-outs to, these are just a selection of picks that are on heavy rotation in my makeup bag right now. 

So, if your eyelids are hooded or sagging or you're struggling with sensitive eyes, check some of these out. 

Do you have another holy grail mascara you'd like to add to the list? Share what it is (and why you love it!) in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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