Creasy eyeshadow is something almost every makeup-lover has encountered, but it doesn't have to be the reason you skip your smoky eye. "Oily lids are the most common cause for eyeshadow creasing because the oil from your eyelids is mixing with the shadow and causing it to slide around," explains celebrity makeup artist Renée Loiz. But that's not the only culprit. "Eye shapes, like monolids or hooded eyes, can also affect the longevity of eyeshadow," says Talia Cich, an Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Artist. Luckily, there are simple solutions and steps you can take to preserve your eye makeup. Read on for nine ways to keep your eyeshadow from creasing straight from Loiz and Cich.
Meet the Expert
- Renée Loiz is a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Quinta Bruson, Sherry Cola, and Chelsea Peretti.
- Talia Cich is an Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Artist based in Los Angeles.
Prep Your Skin Properly
Cich says that the key to avoiding creasing lies in proper preparation. "You want to start with clean, dry skin," she explains. "For oily eyelids, I recommend a true eyeshadow primer versus concealer or foundation. Most primers dry down to a matte finish, which is ideal for oily skin."
"More emollient bases like concealer or foundation must be set with powder if you are on the oily side. Keep in mind less is more," she continues. "Also, using long-lasting, smudge-proof, and waterproof primers will help keep your eye makeup from moving."
Use a Gripping Eyeshadow Primer
"Primers create a smooth, clean canvas that adheres eyeshadow to the skin for the highest vibrancy and payoff," Cich says. "It essentially grips the eyeshadow to skin and locks it in place for all-day wear." And applying it correctly will help it work even better. "Apply an eyeshadow primer either with a clean finger or eyeshadow makeup brush," advises Loiz. "Apply a thin layer across eyelids and blend in. Make sure the entire area [where] you're applying eyeshadow is covered with the eye primer." Play it safe by applying primer from the lashline to the brow bone for seamless blending.
Try Priming With Concealer in a Pinch
No eyeshadow primer? No problem. Concealer can work as a substitute in a pinch. "Using a waterproof concealer can also prevent eyeshadow creasing, but if you have oilier eyelids, a primer is still the best option," Loiz says.
If you have oily lids, Cich recommends setting concealer with a translucent powder before applying eyeshadow. Those with balanced or dry skin can use concealer solo to prime. "You can apply it directly to the eyelid using the concealer wand and blend it with a brush or beauty sponge," she says. "Concealer gives coverage, which will help to even out any discoloration while also creating a smooth base."
"Concealers I recommend are Cle de Peau Beaute's Concealer ($75), the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer ($29), and the Radiant Creamy Concealer from NARS ($32)," Loiz says. "Apply these with a concealer brush on the entire eyelid. Start out with a small amount and spread over the lid, then let set in place for a minute or so before applying eyeshadow."
Don’t Skip Your Skincare
It might not make sense on the surface, but sticking to your skincare routine can actually help your eye makeup. "Skin prep is important for smooth, long-lasting makeup," Cich says. "Hydrating and moisturizing the eyelids will help make sure the lid area is prepped for eyeshadow application. You can use whichever eye cream or skincare that's best for your skin type. Just make sure to give it time to absorb before applying makeup."
When it comes to skincare that can help prevent eyeshadow creasing, Loiz advises looking for products that are oil-free and have a matte texture.
Use Setting Powder
Setting powder can help prevent creasing by removing the oil before you apply your eyeshadow. "It is best paired [with] a concealer or foundation to prime the eye," Cich says. "The powder will set the cream or liquid products and lock them in place with a smooth, matte finish." Her product pick? "I love to use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Loose Setting Powder ($38). You can use the shade Translucent for all skin tones or a shade close to your skin tone. It's a super fine powder that absorbs oil and leaves a flawless, matte finish that helps to extend the wear of your makeup."
Consider Your Formulas
"Powders are less likely to crease, as well as cream-to-powder formulas, but with just a straight-up cream eyeshadow product, you will definitely have creasing," Loiz cautions.
Cich explains that cream and liquid formulas are more prone to creasing because they are emollient. In these cases, "Using any long-wearing, smudge-proof, waterproof products will help create a long-lasting base for eyeshadow," she tells us. "Sometimes, I like to use waterproof eyeliner to create a custom base with color. For example, if I want to do a smokey eye, I will apply the Anastasia Beverly Hills Darkside Waterproof Liner ($18) at the lashline and blend across the lid. This will give you a smokey base that eyeshadow will adhere to for color payoff and long wear."
Layer Different Types of Eyeshadow
You don't have to stick with just one formula—mixing them up can actually help increase staying power. "Layering is great," Loiz says. "I recommend using an eyeshadow crayon with liquid eyeshadow to prevent creasing. Eyeshadow crayons are creamy and glide on beautifully, and they set on the eyelid flawlessly, as do liquid eyeshadows. The Glaze Dual-Ended Eyeshadow Crayons from Iconic London ($30) are my go-to because they are gorgeous and come in a ton of colors. They are dual-ended, with an eyeshadow crayon on one side and liquid eyeshadow on the other. These are staples in my pro kit."
Cich recommends starting with the matte finishes first. "This not only builds dimension quickly but will also help to set metallic finishes if you are on the oily side," she says.
Use the Right Tools
"Brushes depend on the type of formula you are applying and personal preference," Cich tells us. "Brushes help to keep application precise and controlled. Small, flat synthetic concealer brushes work great for applying to the eyelid and brow bone. Fluffy brushes are ideal for blending and diffusing. You can also blend using a beauty sponge. I love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #18 ($18) and A26 Pro Brush ($26) for applying and blending primer."
It's fine to use your fingers to apply products instead of a makeup brush, but make sure they're clean and oil-free. "That oil can cause creasing and affect how the shadow wears," Loiz cautions.
Make Sure to Finish With Setting Spray
They aren't just for locking in foundation: Setting sprays can be used on eye makeup, too. But first, "Always ensure that the formula is tested safe for the eyes," Cich says. "One of my favorite pro tips is to spritz the brush with the setting spray after picking up eyeshadow. This will amplify your eyeshadow and give you more intensity and payoff. It's also great for creating a foiled effect with metallic finishes." Once makeup is set, spray on the setting spray again to lock makeup in place, advises Loiz.