How To: Create Your Own Long-wear Eye Shadow
I use a primer every day, and while I do own some of the acknowledged “best” in the market (Urban Decay, Too Faced, NARS and Lime Crime), sometimes after 12-16 hours, there’s no stopping your eye shadow from fading to almost nothing.
So short of bringing your eye shadows out for touch-ups, how do you make your powder shadows last and stay vibrant for longer?
With a makeup sealant.
Many brands have sealants (Illamasqua, MAC Pro, Ben Nye, Mehron, Graftobian, etc). Online theatrical makeup stores like makeupmania tend to carry quite a few brands.
What you want to look out for are those that:
- Don’t contain alcohol (those are good for general use away from the immediate eye area but since you’ll be using a fair amount of it, I recommend non-alcoholic formulas like Ben Nye LiquiSet)
- Don’t come in a spray bottle. The spray-on formulas aren’t quite as lasting because they are designed to stil feel light when misted over your face. The ones I’m taking about are real sealants designed to turn eye shadows and pigments into liquid liners so they are a lot more concentrated.
- Has an ingredient list that includes one or more of these words: -acrylate, or -polymer. (These are film-forming ingredients that will really set and leave a water/transfer-resistant surface so things like Fix+ and eye drops are not going to do quite the same thing.)
Application tip: You don’t want to add this into your eye shadow pan directly or you will ruin it immediately.
- Apply your eye shadow as you normally would first. An initial layer is going to act as a base of color. If you want a very sheer look, skip this step.
- With your fluffy blending brush (or clean finger if you’re using a loose pigment) pick up an adequate amount of shadow, and then dab only the very tip/s lightly into the sealing liquid of your choice. Don’t just dunk the brush or dip your finger in. You need just the tiniest amount or you will end up smearing shadow all over the place. This is also why I don’t recommend using a flat brush as it tends to pick up more fluids.
- Gently stroke and blend over the initial layer of shadow, like you would apply and blend out a gel or liquid shadow, until you get a uniform layer. Then let set for a minute before opening your eyes.
What this gives you is stronger color, a more beautiful sheen or finish, and shadow that is going to be a lot more resistant to fading over the day. If you have oily lids, this will help reduce creasing as well.