How To Prevent Your Eye Makeup From Smudging

Do you know where your eye makeup is? Probably smearing all over the place, unless you use these tips...

Yesterday was a glorious day. The sun was shining, I wore open-toed shoes and, because for once I'm enjoying a tiny lull in between mag deadlines, I played hooky and walked around all afternoon following a lunchtime media event.

But (because you knew there would be a but) then my world came crashing down.

Okay, not really, but I was trying on some new gym clothes at Lululemon and suddenly noticed that the eye makeup I'd so artfully applied that morning—to go with my artfully arranged side ponytail and Chanel lipstick—had migrated both above the crease of my eyelids and beneath my lower lashes. Quelle horreur! (And I know I always talk about how the lower lash line is the new thing in eye makeup, but I mean that when you apply it there deliberately—not in an OMG-it's-3pm-and-I've-sweated-it-all-over-my-face kind of way.)

Clearly, I wasn't fully prepared for this warmer weather. (And clearly I don't always use my own tips.) So to go with the first week of spring '12, let's talk about the things we ALL should be doing to prevent eye makeup meltdowns.

Not to prime is a crime

If you're really serious, you will incorporate this step, a.k.a. a primer, before you put on anything else. Personally, I tend to be a) lazy and b) forgetful, so it's nice to have a combo product like this one that I always mention, which does the job of concealing and priming all in one. Kat Von D also makes a combo concealer/shadow base, but after the whole Sandra Bullock thing I'm not so sure I want to use her beauty products.

Some concealers will also say that they double as primers, so check the descriptions. My old favourite Nvey Eco Organic Erase is one of them.

Of course, there are a zillion solo eyelid-priming prodz that brands have come out with lately. Make Up For Ever is launching one called Eye Prime in June, which will probably be awesome. Or consider ones from Too Faced, Cover FX, Gosh, Sephora... I could go on and on.

The original and still one of the best is this guy from Urban Decay:

Or—if you don't feel like buying something new, just apply a thin layer of concealer or foundation all over your lids, and then set with translucent powder. It'll dry out the lids and give the colour products something to grip to.

Choose waterproof prodz

These used to be the hardest things to find. I speak from experience, because I've got the Jennifer Lawrence-style eyelids where any shadow or liner you put on them creases (especially if it's warm outside), leaving you with a lovely double line—the original along the lashes, and then a new, second one just above the crease where it hits when you blink.

This is what happened to me yesterday when I used a regular old navy shadow as liner, applied with an angled brush.

Thankfully a few beauty brands have decided to help me/us with this problem and are coming out with new long-lasting formulas. Maybelline New York just launched Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow, which follows in the footsteps of other longwear shadows-in-a-pot like those from Giorgio Armani, L'Oréal Paris and Chanel.

From what I can remember of those other lines, the difference with Maybelline's is that they have more non-metallic options... like that turquoise, which is what I'm wearing as we speak. You could take preemptive measures against smudging and wear it all softly diffused out, all the way around the eye like this Oscar de la Renta look from last year...

... or go more defined and apply it with an angled brush to the upper lash line for a hit of colour like this:

Another fantastic option for shadow? These brand new Aqua Shadow Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencils from Make Up For Ever, which are coming out in May. Sneak peek!

They are awesome blossom. As you can see, the colour selection is much more neutral, and I also find they have a drier texture. Remember the discontinued DiorShow waterproof shadow I talk about that I've pretty much worn every single day since 2006? Well, stop the presses because this might just be the best replacement yet.

Obviously waterproof liners are the best choice for the warmer months as well—whether or not you put them in the waterlines—so check this post for recos. I tend to reach for Urban Decay most often.

Oh, and if I can give one final shout-out to UD, they also make a fantabulous waterproof mascara called Cannonball:

Unlike most waterproof mascara formulas I've tried, this one isn't at all clumpy or flaky. And since "chunky" lashes are very much on trend for spring, you're going to want to wear more mascara than you've ever worn in your life... trust. That includes the lower lashes, which are the most smear-prone. It could get ugly without this product. (Check this post for lower-lash mascara application tips. My favourite product for removal is from Aïny, which is sold here.)

Translucent powder is your friend

That's because if you combine it with your liner or shadow, you're going to double up on the longevity. Hooray!

It doesn't really matter which brand you use (and you can actually even use a matching coloured shadow, although on me that still smears). Just either lightly dust it all over the eyelid or, if you're setting a liner, go over it with a clean angled brush dipped in the powder for more precision. You can also do this in the waterlines if you're very, VERY careful. I'm a contact lens wearer, so I don't... but if you want to, make sure to tap off the excess so it doesn't get in your eyes, and then and gently press on top of the waterline liner.

And now... over to you:

Does your eye makeup tend to move around?

Which products and techniques do you swear by to make it stay put?

Have you tried an eye primer or long-lasting shadow yet?

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