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!

  • Erin
    August 7, 2009

    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!!

  • pik
    August 7, 2009

    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!

  • Meredith
    August 10, 2009

    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.

  • Gloria Yang
    August 17, 2009

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *