How to Keep Your Eyeshadow From Fading and Disappearing


E writes:

Hi Nadine- love your blog and all your advice!! I have a question I don’t know if you have answered before…but my eye makeup seems to disappear. Like there is it all pretty and nice and I swear 10 minutes later it’s gone! Faded into my eyes? Fallen off my face? UGH! I cant get eye shadow or liner to stay on…any advice on what to use as a base on my eyes before the makeup to make it last? Do you recommend a type of eyeliner that seems to stay on as well? Thanks greatly!

Hey E.!  Thanks for your email.  Believe me, I can relate to the Case of the Disappearing Eyeshadow!  Even those who aren’t cursed with oily skin sometimes fall prey to Slick Lid Syndrome.  Luckily, a few simple tricks will help your shadow (and liner!) stay put.  Here’s my routine:

– Apply a makeup primer to eyes, patting gently with your 4th finger to avoid pulling the delicate skin.  I like OC Eight Mattifying Gel, but any primer will do.  (A great option is Skindinavia, which makes a slew of oil- and paraben-free Makeup Finish mists to hold shadow in place.  Try Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish.)


– Use a makeup brush, not your fingers.  The oils on your fingers will transmit to your lids, speeding up the fading process.  High-quality brushes are fine and dandy, but even cheapie brushes from the drugstore, Target or Sephora will aid in smooth, longer-lasting makeup application.

– After you apply eyeliner, double back over it with an eyeliner brush dipped in translucent powder, or in a shadow the same color as the eyeliner.  (This trick also works on eyeliner on the “waterline” inside lower lids.)

– Finish with a light dusting of translucent powder over shadow (my standby is Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Mineral Veil), topped off with another spray of Skindinavia Makeup Finish.

– Finally, if you’re out and about, keep some blotting papers handy.  Clean and Clear makes fabulous, cheap versions–or, in a pinch, run to the ladies’ room and use a toilet seat cover!  Sounds gross, but it works like a dream to banish oil.

Good luck!

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  1. Erin

    You rock! I knew if anyone had a good answer to this you were the gal to go to. Thanks so much for answering my question and so speedy :-} Just in time for the weekend…you are the best!!

  2. pik

    on top of all of jolie’s great tips…if you want a really good primer, MAC’s paint pots have never let me down, and they are great because they come in lots of pretty colors too!

  3. I’m going to have to try the Skindinavia finishing spray. I use the MAC Fix, and it’s okay, nothing that I’d rave about. Especially if it helps with the shine.

  4. You can also use concealer as a primer/base. It works great and you probably have a bunch of concealers that you don’t use (too yellow, too light, too whatever) hanging around.