7 ways to prevent your eye makeup from smudging or fading


Buh-bye, racoon eyes!

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / October 24 2019

There are few things as frustrating as looking in the mirror at midday to discover that your eyeshadow is now sitting anywhere but on your actual lids, your eyeliner has smeared under your brow (how does it even get up there?!), and your concealer is just chilling in those creases around your eyes. Sigh.

Letting all that fierce blending and precise lining just fade away is NOT okay. You didn’t spend all that time and money on makeup just to watch it slip off your face by lunchtime, did you? 

To make sure you don’t fall victim to midday panda eyes, we’ve pulled together some of the best products and techniques to help keep your eye makeup looking on point all day long.


Nix crow’s feet

Before you even think about makeup, tackle the creases around your eyes in your skin care routine. If you find that your makeup is always settling into your fine lines and emphasising rather than masking them, injectables aren’t your only option. Try applying something like freezeframe WRINKLE BLOCK before going in for the concealer. This guy helps reduce 78 per cent of expression line wrinkles in just 30 minutes and lasts for 48 hours.


Make sure your lids are hydrated

If your eye makeup is constantly looking patchy, you might have dry lids. The skin on your lids is way thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, making it prone to dryness and flaking. We recommend using a hydrating eye cream like Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Eye Roll-On, because it’s oil-free and fragrance-free, so it’s perfect for this sensitive area.


Don’t prime your lids with concealer or foundation

Um…has anyone else been doing this for like, ever? Because same. Well, this is actually a huge no-no if you want your eyeshadow to stay put. And when you think about it, it makes sense. Concealer and foundation usually contain oil, which tends to cause your makeup to move around your lid.


Use an eye primer

Fact: A quality eye primer is the key to obtaining a budge-proof eye makeup look. Because, let’s be honest, your eyelids are like the least practical place on your body to apply makeup (they’re tiny oily spaces that basically disappear into a crease). A primer will control oil throughout the day, and not only will it make your colours last longer, they’ll look brighter, too. We like Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion.


Use long-lasting eye makeup formulas

For starters, choose a product that is designed for 24-hour wear or is labelled water-resistant (even if you’re not planning on crying/wearing your makeup for that long). Because how well a product stays on without smudging is generally due to its formula. For eyeshadow, we recommend opting for a powder as opposed to a cream. We know glossy lids are totally in right now, but if you want your makeup to last without a zillion touch-ups, a cream formula is not your guy (it’s likely to mix with the oil on your lids and crease). Instead, try something like the Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Eyeshadow Palette – it has great staying power and offers a crease-proof and fade-proof finish. For eyeliner, go for a liquid or gel formula instead of a pencil (because the latter is more inclined to fade/smudge/transfer). We like Maybelline New York Hyperglossy Liquid Liner.


Opt for a tubing mascara

If you’re one of those gals who forever has chronic raccoon eyes, you need to become friends with a tubing mascara. Tubing mascaras are an absolute blessing for anti-smudginess, and they’re the perfect kind of formula for anyone who struggles with sensitive eyes. These mascaras basically coat the lashes in polymers that wrap around each lash for mega length and serious staying power. Try Blinc Cosmetics Mascara – it’s one of the OG tubing formulas and is available in both black and brown.


Invest in a makeup setting spray

Setting sprays aren’t just great for setting foundation, they’re also an absolute weapon for sealing your eyeshadow in place. Opt for a multitasker like Lancôme Fix It Forget It Setting Spray (it contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C) and lightly spritz it over your eyes and face. Your eyeshadow colours will look brighter and your eye makeup will stay put all day long. If you’re not a fan of setting sprays, dust a loose translucent powder over your lids with a fluffy blending brush.

If you’re looking for more advice on getting your makeup to last the distance, check out our top tips for budge-proof makeup.

What’s your trick for getting your eye makeup to stay put? Share with us in the comment section below.

Main image credit: @lilycollins

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.