You know the drill. You’ve been working since 9am, gone out to lunch, worked for a few more hours, and now you’re heading to the bathroom to freshen up. You look into the mirror and gasp.
The rather unforgiving fluorescent light shows all your smudges at the corner of your eye, your eyeshadow has bunched up in the crease of your eyelid and your dramatic black eyeliner has worn away, leaving an uneven line. You grumble to yourself, dig out your makeup bag and get to work reapplying and dabbing until you are satisfied. In the back of your mind, you ponder the necessity of all this. There must be a better way to keep your eye makeup in place so you can devote your time to more productive pursuits.
We’ve all been there. The question is, how do we fix this?
Your 8 fixes to make your eyemakeup last throughout the day:
This is an easy step to forget, but an important one to consider if you want your eye makeup to stay in place.There are a number of primers to choose from but they all have one thing in common – they provide a barrier between your skin and your makeup. Primers work to fill in various imperfections, including pores, fine lines and other irregularities.
To make sure your primer is gentle enough for the sensitive eye area, be sure to choose a primer specifically designed for eyes – often simply branded as ”eye primer”. When you use a primer as a first step, your eye makeup will have a smoother application, ensuring the colours stay brighter and your mascara and eyeliner stays in place for longer.
2. Begin with the base
The type of foundation you use directly impacts the sticking power of your eye makeup. If you use an oil-based foundation, your eye makeup is more likely to smudge and run. To ensure a cleaner, non-oily base for applying your eye makeup, do a little research on oil-free foundations. There are many oil-free foundations to choose from – I use an oil-free BB cream, but you can find oil-free foundations, oil-free tinted moisturisers, oil-free BB and CC creams, and even an oil-free mineral makeup base. Remember: the best way to avoid “oily eyelid syndrome” is to go oil-free and build up your coverage from there.
The method you use to apply your eyeshadow is often as important as the type of eyeshadow you choose to wear. There are a few techniques you can use to make sure your eye makeup stays fresh all day. Apply primer first, or if you prefer, you could try concealer as it tends to make the eyeshadow “stick”. Another technique you can use is to layer a powder eyeshadow over a cream eyeshadow for extra staying power. You can also try a double layer of powder eyeshadow to intensify the colour and keep it looking fresh. Another technique you can try is to wet your eyeshadow brush and apply damp eyeshadow to your lid, improving its sticking power. The main thing to remember when applying eyeshadow is that eyeshadow works best when it has the ability to stick to a base layer.
Using waterproof eyeliner can give you the edge when it comes to smudge and streak free makeup application. The biggest culprit when it comes to eyeliner smudging is often the humble eyeliner pencil. I must say, I prefer an eyeliner pencil but if you find yourself with panda eyes every lunchtime, you may need to reconsider your choice of eyeliner. A glide-on eyeliner pen can help your line stay in place and avoid any chance of the dreaded “dotted line” of eyeliner application. However, if you prefer an eyeliner pencil (as I do), you can also find a range of waterproof eyeliner pencils to choose from. Waterproof eyeliner pencils and pens have the added benefit of being more resilient against eyelid sweat and the dreaded humidity factor. An eyeliner pen is more likely to provide you with a “set and forget” solution to your makeup application, so you won’t end up looking like a deranged raccoon for your 2pm business meeting.
Waterproof mascaras often contain waxes to keep your eyelashes silky while protecting them from the elements. You may think that humidity, a smattering of rain, relentless sunshine or windy days are no match for the power of waterproof mascara, however, you need to be mindful that waterproof mascara is not built like cement. You need to keep it as dry as possible, just as you would for non-waterproof mascara. Waterproof mascara is stronger and more resilient, but it is not bulletproof. If you take reasonable precautions, you can rest assured that by the end of the day, your lashes will be dark and your under-eye area will stay free of those smudgy blink marks. Waterproof mascara is designed to stay on, but it is also relatively easy to remove. Just follow your usual routine of makeup removal to keep your lashes smooth and clump-free.
Don’t: Dance in a tropical rainstorm, bake in the sun or dunk your head under running water.
Do: Go about your daily routine, knowing that your mascara will be darker and more dramatic with superior staying power.
5. Setting mists
A setting mist can finish off your look and “freeze” your eye makeup in place. Now, by freeze, I don’t mean it actually freezes your eyelids. A good setting mist can set your carefully constructed look and keep it in place. Be sure to test out the various brands of setting mists on your foundation first, to make sure your skin doesn’t react to the ingredients. After testing it on your face, you can move on to misting your eyelids after your eye makeup application. Make sure you close your eyes while misting – you don’t want to get any mist in your eye. It sounds like an obvious step, but it’s important to first close your eyes, and then mist. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me on this.
Historically, blotting papers were used with quills and ink. These days, beauty brands have come up with blotting papers for the face. A blotting paper is used to absorb sweat and oil, especially useful for the eyelids and the sweat-prone under eye area, keeping your makeup fresh without the need for reapplication. Blotting papers are made from a variety of ingredients, including rice paper, tree leaves, charcoal, flax seeds, and some are even infused with green tea and other botanicals. If you have oily skin, a pack of blotting papers in your bag can be your secret weapon against oil and grime.
Now we’ve covered the tools to help your eye makeup to stay put, we need to identify the natural enemies of a flawless finish.
8.Know your enemies
Hot weather, physical exertion, high humidity and certain foods can conspire to make you break out in a sweat, causing your eye makeup to smudge and run. Make sure you wear light, weather appropriate clothing made from natural fabrics to allow your body to naturally cool itself. On hot days, make sure you drink plenty of water and stick to shady spots. When choosing foods, avoid overly salty, spicy and high-fat processed foods, especially those containing onions. As a bonus, you can rest easy knowing you are reducing your sweat factor and keeping your breath fresh. As an alternative, choose water-dense vegetables such as celery and cucumber. Fruits and dairy such as yogurt and cheese can also keep sweating to a minimum, ensuring your eye makeup stays streak-free.
The wrong makeup
Oil-based foundations can often break down during the course of the day, especially if you are prone to oily skin. Choose a makeup that is appropriate for your skin type, and one that is appropriate as a base for your eye makeup. Make sure you wait for moisturiser to sink in before applying your foundation, otherwise it is more likely to slide right off. Oil-free and colour fast foundations are better for providing a clean, smooth base for your eye makeup. An excellent choice for oily skin, especially in the warmer months, is a powder-based mineral foundation, providing an excellent canvas for layering eye makeup.
Touching your face
Don’t rub your eyes! I have to remind myself of this tip every day. It’s also easy to rest your chin on your hand, touch your cheek, rub your eyelid and scratch the side of your nose. These are all big no-nos when it comes to makeup staying power. Don’t touch your face. Period. If you find yourself doing it, remind yourself that you are smudging your makeup, spreading bacteria and clogging your pores, while increasing your chances of irritating your eyes. Be mindful of this and you will be able to train yourself to keep your makeup on your face and your hands off your makeup.
Now you have the tools to ensure your eye makeup stays fresh and photo-ready all day long. Choose the techniques that work best for you and find the perfect routine that works for your skin type. Once you have perfected your eye makeup application, you can rest easy, knowing that the next time you look in the mirror, you won’t be greeted by the dreaded raccoon eyes. Correct application in the morning means less time reapplying in the bathroom and more “you” time for the rest of the day.
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