Quick Tips : Eye Edition

So I’ve been wearing more makeup more often lately (thanks, blog!), which means I’ve gotten better at some stuff, but also means I’ve come up against new problems and conundrums. Here, a few Ways To Do It Better that’ve become VERY HELPFUL HABITS for me :

EYE PRIMER : Yes, you need it (most of the time). Yes, you can probably find one that works for you, even if you’ve got sensitive and easily-irritated eyes like me! (Wet N Wild’s is my current fave, but the e.l.f. Shadow Lock primer is workable too.)

TIP : Sure, smear it all over your upper lid! BUT ALSO hit your lower lids to help prevent undereye liner and shadow from migrating downward, and rub some into your brows to slightly increase the longevity of your brow fill!

EYE SHADOW : They’re so often judged on how densely and opaquely they apply … but don’t toss the ones that go on too sheer for your [usual] tastes!

TIP : Yeah, too-sheer shadows can often be made more opaque with standard eye primer, or via applying with a brush dampened with water or setting spray, or even crushed up and mixed with glitter primer. BUT ALSO, a semi-sheer wash of shimmery color is probably the easiest way to “fix” a too-dark or hard-to-blend crease color or gradient. Just dust a coordinating sheer shimmer over the whole area, and it’ll lighten your too-dark color or diffuse your unblendable edges without making a mess or requiring a total redo.

MASCARA : Listen I am pretty good at mascara, and yet I can count the number of times I’ve applied it perfectly on like, half of one hand. (2.5 times, because one time I did it perfectly/cleanly on only one eye.) YES, you need a lash comb! NO, it’s not something that only your great-grandma needed for her weird cake mascara!

TIP : Most lash combs are plastic, and they are bullshit because those tines (or teeth, or whatever) are waaaaay too fat to get between your lashes. I have this one which was $15 at Sephora, and check out those TINY SKINNY DENSE METAL COMB TEETH! The brushhead side is a bit too wide for my woefully skinny brows, but that comb is FAB, and will easily pull the clumps and chunks out of your wet lashes like whoa. (Try to avoid combing through dried mascara — you’ll likely just make a bunch of flakes, AND you risk pulling out lashes, noooooo.)

MASCARA TIP 2 : Get a lot of undereye smudges? My top tip would be, of course, Dinoplatz. But my next tip — and what I do when I’m using basically any other mascara — is to spritz some setting spray (Urban Decay All Nighter or similar) on a wide yet soft ‘n’ floppy eye brush and gently “paint” the lower surface of your lashes with it. (Be careful not to blink for a couple seconds after, since you’ve just wetted down your mascara a little.) This doesn’t 100% prevent smudges for me, but it DOES help to a noticeable degree! If you don’t have setting spray, you can try the same thing with hairspray — but I’d recommend a patch test on your eye-area skin first to make sure it doesn’t have anything that irritates your eyes.

CLEANUP : Now, more than ever. Using more powder / pressed powder shadows instead of my CREAM-ONLY PLS routine of recent years means I’m dealing with fallout now. And since I almost always do my foundation/face makeup first and am usually unwilling to hold tissues under my eyes (or worse, those Shadow Shields things) … :(

TIP : Resist the urge to wipe your undereye area with a tissue, omg I’ve made this mistake so many times. If it’s just a sprinkle of a light shimmery color, you can probably safely dust it away with a loose brush. But for little mascara flecks, stray dots of liquid liner, or a few crumbs of dark or bright eyeshadow? Cotton swab. And — the real trick — don’t wipe, spin. Put the tip of the swab (slightly dampened, if necessary) directly over the teeny spot and twirl it in place like a car spinning its wheels on mud or snow. This’ll pick up your errant product without smearing it out into a long streak, and will do minimal damage to any underlying makeup. Regular Q-tips are good, smaller/harder/denser cotton swabs (Muji’s are GREAT for this) are better, and for tiny/precise cleanup, a dual-tipped pointed applicator is superb. My current ones (above, in the lavender case) are Face Secrets from Sally Beauty, but when I run out I’ll probably replace them with these (same-but-less-expensive!) from Ulta.

NEXT-LEVEL TIP : Did you make a mess with your eyeliner wing? Girl I been to that place and got the punch card. Don’t clean it up with makeup remover, and don’t paint over the edges with your expensive concealer pen — both of those can break down the eyeliner and make it more likely to disintegrate. INSTEAD, get one of those pointy-tipped swabs, very lightly moisten the end with setting spray, and clean up your errant strokes. The wetness will usually be enough to help lift off not-yet-set liner mistakes, but also it doesn’t have oils or surfactants that’ll bleed into your perfectly-fine areas and screw them up. <3