Isn’t it embarrassing when you catch sight of your reflection after an important meeting at work, and you have a black smear of eyeliner UNDER one eye? Or when you’ve had a hilarious lunchhour with your girlfriends, and rushed back to the office without checking your makeup, only to find – hours later – that “artistic” trails of mascara have settled halfway down your cheeks?
There’s no need to suffer the paranoia of checking your makeup every hour, on the hour. Here’s how to make sure that your eye makeup stays where it’s supposed to be – all day long.
Prime the eye area
Start with clean, smooth skin. Make sure that your eye area is thoroughly cleansed of any residual heavy eye cream or oils. Apply a moisturizer that contains a high SPF to ensure the area is not only lubricated, but also protected from UVA and UVB rays during the course of the day.
Once the skin on and around your eye area is clean and moisturized, there are two ways of ensuring that your eye makeup will last longer. One is to use a primer, available from chemists and department stores, which smooths and prepares the area around the eye.
The other is to apply a thin, even layer of oil-free foundation to the eye lid, and wait for about 60 seconds until it sets. Whether you opt to use foundation or primer, taking the time to do this step in your makeup routine considerably prolongs the life of your eye makeup.
Think of this stage as the makeup equivalent of applying undercoat when painting a house. If you don’t prepare the walls properly, the paint soon peels right off again. The same principle applies to eye makeup.
Choose your product
When your goal is to apply your eye makeup once and forget about it until it’s time to take it off again, it’s hard to go past waterproof makeup, and the new ranges of “budge-proof” eye makeup. Both forms of cosmetics are designed to stay put for much longer without smudging. However, there are a few things to remember when applying such products.
These long-lasting eyeliners are available in both pencil and liquid forms. Remember that waterproof and budge-proof makeup ranges tend to allow only a limited amount of time before they “set”. This means that eyeliner must be applied quickly and accurately. Correct any wobbly lines before it dries or sets. Otherwise, you will have no choice but to remove it and start again.
The same warning is valid for the waterproof and budge-proof eyeshadows, which often come packaged in a tube, and have a fairly solid consistency. Many of these eyeshadows will also “set” after a little while, but you usually have more time to adjust the amount of color and shadow on your face, and to smudge the edges of blocks of color and harsh lines with a cotton tip.
Mascara has to be the biggest culprit when it comes to smudging and smearing. Waterproof mascara can usually be relied upon not to run and leave you with black marks under your eyes, which will emphasise any dark circles and tiny lines.
Although waterproof mascara requires a custom-designed eye makeup remover, it is well worth the trouble of using such a product. After all, it’s pretty heartening to see at the end of the day that you need to remove your mascara from your eyelashes only, and not the various other parts of your face it has migrated to in the past!
Conditions which threaten eye makeup
Remember that anytime you’re exposed to excessive moisture or heat, your eye makeup is under threat. The weather will certainly affect the staying power of your eye makeup. Rain, humidity and dry heat are all extreme climatic conditions which will really challenge the staying power of even the highest quality waterproof mascara.
Under these circumstances, you may find that less is more. While you should still opt for the waterproof and budge-proof products, remember that they simply will not stand up to every situation. You may find that one layer of mascara, and a neutral eyeshadow are easier to retouch if the weather insists on melting or washing away your best efforts.
In most situations, however, if you choose some good waterproof or budge-proof cosmetics and learn to apply them deftly, you’ll find that you breeze through the day – or night – with not an eyelash out of place.
by Elizabeth Hardy