Q: How Do I Apply Eyeliner on the Lower Lid?

Without looking like you've been up all night.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you. You're getting ready for a night out, maybe playing a few tunes, doin' your eye makeup all smoky and stuff. (And really—isn't this, more often than not, the BEST part of the night?) Anyway, you're zipping about with your eyeshadow and eyeliner like some kind of makeup maestro. You look great (if you don't say so yourself). But THEN... a few hours later... you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and it's all gone south.


I'm talking about the Case of the Migrating Eyeshadow. And Eyeliner too. It's a problem. Reader Ashley writes: "It looks so great on the models, but whenever i do shadow or liner under the eye people ask me if I had a rough night! ... not exactly the right reaction. how do you do it without looking super tired?"

I hear you Ashley. It DOES look great on the models. I've been talking up looks like this (from Roberto Cavalli's S/S '11 show):

and this (from Oscar de la Renta's S/S '11 show):

and even this (Miss Hilary Duff at her book signing earlier this week):

So what's an under-eye makeup enthusiast to do?

First of all, preparation is half the battle. If you're putting any significant amount of eye makeup on you really should be using a primer. Look for one made specifically for the eye area and apply it not just on the top lid but underneath the lower lashes. It will help the colours adhere and prevent them from smearing.

I've mentioned before (as recently as yesterday, I think) that I like this one, which you can buy at Murale—it doubles as a concealer, too!

Urban Decay also just sent me some of their wonderful Eyeshadow Primer Potion, which comes in both invisible and several other nude/shimmery finishes (the shades below are launching for Christmas!). So you could use it the same way:

As for your colour products, although the primer will help, for extra insurance you want them to be waterproof, smudge-proof, budge-proof... SOME kind of -proof. (Another synonym is "long-lasting.")

Two eyeshadow brands to try: YSL Ombre Solo Lasting Radiance Smoothing Eye Shadows and Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadows

Lighter colours are obviously less risky than deep, smoky shades, and remember to concentrate the colour in the middle part, right underneath the iris. Here's an example of what I'm talking about—this was what makeup artist David Goveia did on me at the Clairol event we hosted in August. (Not sure why my skin looks so weird and mottled here... I will blame the lighting.)

For eyeliner, even though I talked about Hilary Duff applying it the regular way—instead of tightlining—for one of her book launch appearances, I think that if migrating liner is a problem for you, you really MUST get acquainted with lining the waterlines.

Yes, it will still smear a bit after a few hours, and this cannot be helped because our eyes just naturally produce tears that will wash the colour away. BUT it is still sitting closer to your eyes than eyeliner applied the regular way... so it's therefore it's not going to drag your face down quite as much when it smudges.

There is an entire post I wrote dedicated to the best long-lasting liners for achieving the tightlining effect. The brands that came out on top include Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, Bobbi Brown's gel liner and various offerings from M.A.C.

When you do this kind of eye makeup, it's probably a good idea to carry a little mirror with you and maybe some Kleenex or makeup wipes so you can check yourself out every hour on the hour (!) and make sure nothing is astray. Sorry—this look is not a low-maintenance one.

Final tip: Make sure you’ve applied concealer at the inner and outer corners of your eyes, as usually there are dark areas there and bringing light to them is even MORE important when you've shaded underneath the eye area. You could also use a bit of white highlighter at the inner “V” for some extra sparkle. My fave product for this is Cargo's EyeLighter:

So now tell me...

Do you ever apply eyeshadow or eyeliner under your eyes?

Or are you strictly an upper eyelid kind of girl?

Got any other tips on this topic? Because I am convinced that the lower lid is where all the action is now. Really.

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