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How to Keep your Eyeshadow from Smudging

How to Keep your Eyeshadow from Smudging

When you first got that eyeshadow palette, it might have been love at first sight - but smudges, smears and creased colour can rapidly put a stop to that honeymoon period  (especially if you’re stuck with a shadow that fades faster than your interest). Before you break up with your makeup, try these tips first.

Keep it Clean

Starting with a clean face goes without saying - but in the case of your eyelids it’s important for a very specific reason: the natural oils in your eyelids can cause eyeshadow to slide around, breaking down the pigment in the makeup and seriously messing with your look. A quick swipe of makeup remover can be all you need to de-grease those lids.

Don’t Skip the Eye Cream

When it comes to skin care, don’t just stop at facial moisturiser. There is in fact a point to eye cream - whether it’s a cooling gel to help take down any early morning puffiness or a moisturising formula to soothe a dry under-eye area.  Just be sure to let it sink in before applying your makeup - or you could end up with another slippy situation.

Give it Something to Stick to

While face bases are generally designed to create a smoother canvas for foundation to rest on, eye bases are designed to give eyeshadows a slightly tacky surface to stick to. Much like face bases, eye shadow bases can come in various shades including colour correcting formulas to help tone down everything from redness to shadows.

Some advocate using concealer to prime lids - but in general it’s a no-no: concealers might look like a decent base, but they lack the adhesive qualities of a proper primer. Stick to using your concealer for disguising blemishes, defining brows and as subtle highlights instead.

Brush Up

For the most effective application, makeup artist Maria Asadi recommends using a dense, flat brush (you can even use a concealer brush) - ideally with synthetic bristles, as these are more likely to produce a smooth effect.

In the rare event where your brush kit isn’t to hand - there is a solution at your fingertips (quite literally). The aim here isn’t precision, however - so don’t expect to create a sharp cut-crease. You can instead build diffused, buildable colour by tapping a ring finger over your lids.

Don’t Let it Fade

On the topic of consistency, it is possible to make cream shadow or even a glossy lid last for a while, but if you want to guarantee your eyeshadow won’t stray (or fade), powder is your best bet - and if you want the colour to last, you need pigment - and lots of it.

Highly pigmented eyeshadows are less likely to face away as the day (or night) goes on. For even greater staying power, consider using a waterproof formula that will stay put, come rain or shine.

Power up your Colour

For concentrated colour, try wetting your makeup brush before applying - this works particularly well with strongly pigmented eyeshadow palettes such as rainbow, neon or jewel tones. Another good tip is to put the tiniest amount of setting spray onto your blending brush before using it to apply your colour.

For precise application, you can use cosmetic tape or even sticky flags (yes, the same ones you use in books) to create a razor-sharp edge with your eye makeup. Just be careful the glue is skin-safe (some adhesives also contain latex which can cause major irritation, especially if you’re allergic - so check the label) - and make sure it’s not too sticky: the skin around your eyes is super-delicate.

The Great Bake-Off

Contrary to what some might think, it wasn’t Kim K who started the whole makeup baking trend: in fact (as with many other makeup techniques), it’s a practice dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. For the uninitiated, baking has nothing to do with putting your makeup in an oven (this would ruin your eyeshadow palette before it went anywhere near your face).

Essentially, it’s all about using powder (and sometimes a combination of powder and concealer) to set makeup. How well it works really depends on the texture of your skin: if you already have lines and wrinkles, this might be one to avoid as makeup tends to settle in creases.

Prevent a Fall Out

While pandas are generally cute, panda eyes are definitely not. Specks of pigment (or “fall out”) appearing on the cheeks isn’t a good look. To prevent it, you can dust a very fine veil of loose powder underneath the eyes before sweeping away with a fan brush.

Another great tip is to apply your eye makeup  before the rest of your face - while you’re doing this you can even multitask - with a mask! Placing gel eye masks under your eyes can help to catch falling specks while nourishing and smoothing the under eye area: win-win.

Set and Lock

Setting sprays can help lock your whole look in place - (just be sure to keep your eyes and mouth shut when applying to avoid any unpleasant surprises!).

Bear in mind that as much as setting sprays are being embraced by the beauty world right now, they’re not always the best option - particularly for oiler skins that tend to break down the formula. If this sounds more like you, a dusting of translucent powder might be the best way to help your makeup stay put, for as long as you want it to.

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