Whilst on a family vacation two weeks ago, as my sister in law and I sat together putting on our makeup, she noticed I was using a dark shadow as my eyeliner. She then asked, “But doesn’t it fall down all around your eyes? I always seem to make a mess!” and before I knew it, I’d rattled off a handful of ways to prevent the dreaded ‘fallout’, so I thought I’d share them here as a bit of a beauty hack so to speak.
Depending on the look I am going for, I will use one or several of these methods to ensure dark or glittery eyeshadows and pigments stay where I put them, and not floating around my cheekbones. Here’s some scenarios that you might encounter, and some ways to prevent your shadow from misbehaving:
Keeping Shadow in Place, Everyday:
I always start with a base to keep my shadow not only lasting longer and looking more vibrant, but also as an ‘adhesive’ to keep things from moving. I’m a huge fan of the NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base for this, and if you’re planning on using darker shadows, a cream shadow that sets makes a wonderful base to create depth. The Maybelline Color Tattoos work wonderfully as a shadow base, as do MAC Paint Pots or the super handy Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. For actual glittery shadows and pigments, nothing beats Too Faced Glitter Glue for anchoring that pesky sparkle in place.
Packing Shadow on the Lid:
When it comes to wearing eyeshadow all over the mobile lid, there are just certain shades and formulas that like to migrate. To still get that maximum impact without wearing it all over your face, first start with a base as mentioned earlier, then go in with a firm, flat eyeshadow brush such as the MAC 239 or 242. You will want to use these brushes with a patting motion, and to amp them up even more you can spritz these brushes with something like MAC Fix+ or Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, which will help bind the pigment to the base you already laid down.
Using an Eyeshadow as Eyeliner:
Firstly, the brush is super important here folks! Choose an angled brush that has relatively densely packed, firm bristles; I only use the MAC 266 for shadow liner, and have sworn by it for well over a decade (I’ve tried so many others, and this still beats them all!). If you pick a brush that is too flimsy or overly soft, it will kick product up instead of laying it down. Also, if you use more of a patting or pressing motion to apply the shadow versus a sweeping or dragging technique, you’ll get the most pigment out of the shadow and less chances of sweeping it right off your lash line. Also, if you’re shadow is wet/dry, try dampening the brush slightly to really ‘grip’ the colour.
When Fallout is Inevitable:
Sometimes, you just can’t avoid fallout. You’re rocking a wicked smokey eye, or a fun glitter liner for a night out and you know it’s going to go everywhere at first application. In this case, I know some folks like to do their eyes first followed by their foundation/concealer/etc so that they can wipe away fallout with a makeup wipe or some micellar water. While this is a great option, I sometimes find it a bit tough to blend my concealer around existing eye makeup. There are also methods involving tape, and products like Shadow Shields which stick on with an adhesive, but you would not want to use these post foundation/concealer.
In this situation, I will use the ‘baking’ method: after applying your concealer you want to use a makeup sponge to press an excess of loose translucent powder under the eyes. Then while you have all the loose powder sitting under your eyes (and subsequently looking crazy) go ahead with your badass smokey eye. When you’re done creating your look, sweep away the excess powder under the eyes, which has not only set your concealer ironclad, but as also caught any shadow or glitter fall down!
I like to use a really finely milled powder for this, such as the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, which doesn’t cake up and says silky feeling rather than chalky. I like to apply this with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which has the perfect flat edge to press powder under the eyes.
Let us know in the comments below what your tips are for avoiding fall out, or if you plan on trying any of these. Please also let me know what other makeup problems you might face that you’re looking for solutions for!
Jaime Pickering | 30-something, makeup hoarding (I prefer to call it "collecting"), classic rock loving, jeans and t-shirt girl - who just happens to love a little gloss from time to time.