Melting eyes
March 19, 2011 9:02 AM   Subscribe

How on EARTH do celebrities keep their elaborate eye makeup on throughout an entire evening (i.e. awards shows, even the 15 min on the red carpet) without it dripping down their face?

Do I just have an unnaturally oily eye area? I can't keep even eyeliner on (corners of my eyes, it just disappears or ends up on my cheek through teleportation I assume) for 2 hours without worrying about a touch-up.

What is the secret?!
posted by sarelicar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
posted by quiet coyote at 9:07 AM on March 19, 2011 [6 favorites]

For eyeliner, blinc and Wet N Wild both make great waterproof liquid eyeliner that does not move. Sometimes the Wet N Wild flakes a bit, especially if it's been 12+ hours since you applied, but it's 1/6 the cost of blinc. You can blend it in with a brush or apply black eyeshadow over it if you don't like the look of liquid.
posted by quiet coyote at 9:12 AM on March 19, 2011

I think you probably do have an oilier-than-average eye area, and there are primers like quiet coyote recommends to help with that.

But I also wonder what kind of makeup you're wearing? Drug store makeup or even department store makeup isn't the same as what celebrities are wearing to red-carpet events. I wear professional-grade makeup for dance performances, and it stays put. Like, for days, even when I want to get rid of it. I end up with emphatic smokey eyes for two days after every performance.

And lastly, celebrities have teams of people around them to make sure they always look great and to do touch-ups as necessary. We mere mortals shouldn't compare our looks to theirs, as theirs are engineered to appear perfect at all times. That's why US Weekly-type magazines always feature celebs with no makeup so gleefully.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 9:14 AM on March 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: The best eyeliner I've found is Urban Decay's 24-7. Better than Makeup-4-Ever. For eyeshadows I use Nars and Urban Decay mostly. Urban Decay's eyeshadow primer helps but still I need touchups. Seriously I'd settle for 5-6 hours. My hand has never been steady enough for liquid but maybe I just need to give myself a week of 4 hours steady-hand practice per day. What do you think?
posted by sarelicar at 9:19 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

At sephora there's a face spray called Allnighter that does an awesome job (on the phone, so no link)
posted by mercredi at 9:25 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yes, seconding eyeshadow primers. Urban Decay primer potion is very popular and people seem to love it. I have Two-Faced Shadow Insurance. It works great. I have oily skin and oily eyelids. I put some on my bottom lids as well to help shadow and liner to stay put. When I use this primer it stays on all night.

I also own a Paint Pot by MAC called, "Painterly". It's pretty decent at keeping shadow on. The Paint Pot gives the shadow something to "stick" to.

I have also heard great things about MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua Creams. These are creaseless cream shadows that can be used alone or as a base for powdered eyeshadow.
posted by Fairchild at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Urban Decay Primer Potion. I also like Too Faced Shadow Insurance. There are some great long lasting creams - I get good wear out of Benefit's Creaseless Creams.
posted by nerdfish at 9:26 AM on March 19, 2011

I have had way better luck with cream eyeshadow than I ever did with powder. It stays where I put it and looks great.

You can also use a small brush and a dark color of cream shadow to line your eyes, which might be a happy medium for you between a pencil liner and dealing with liquid.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:35 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

In this video, and a few others, make-up artist Lisa Eldridge uses the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream eyeshadow:

Eye Shadow Primer review on YouTube

Long-lasting Makeup Techniques

Lisa Eldridge's Bridal Videos also use long-lasting techniques.
posted by Fairchild at 9:35 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: You guys are awesome
posted by sarelicar at 9:37 AM on March 19, 2011

I have oily eyes like you and no makeup stays put through a night out except these:

Eyeliner: MAC Liquidlast. You can't blend it, but it comes in beautiful colors from subtle to bright and it can't smear. If you leave it on all night then by the morning it might crumble off if you rub, but that's it. Milani makes a knockoff of it which works just as well but has fewer colors; it's available at Target.

Mascara: the "tubing" formulas can't smear. Unfortunately I have had trouble finding a true jet black, but the ones I have tried are pretty good and, again, can't smear because of the way they're formulated. Blinc Kiss Me, Fiberwig, and L'Oreal has one called Beauty Tubes.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:07 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I also have oily lids. Smudgetastic! I swear by the combo of Urban Decay Primer Potion, MAC Fluidline (very easy to use, and that shit does not BUDGE), and tubing mascaras. It's the only thing that works against the attacks of smudgemonster, but it definitely works. Will last you through a moshpit.
posted by tigerbelly at 10:58 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love Urban Decay primer potion as well.

You mentioned UD's 24/7 liners - although they stay fine on my top lid, they won't stay on my waterline. The ONLY thing that will stay on my waterline for hours is gel liner (I used Maybelline; I'm sure MAC or Bobbi Brown gel liners would work as well or better) set with eyeshadow. The "set with eyeshadow" step is essential - without setting it, gel liner doesn't last for me.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2011

My favorite lid primer is Origins Underwear for Lids, which is a base with a bit of shimmer and color. I use the color Beige Gaze, which is a shimmery neutral (I use it alone during the day, and if I'm dressing up a bit more I put shadow over it).

The eyeliner with the most staying power, for me, is Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner (I use black brown). It really stays put. There may be similar products from department store brands, but I haven't found one yet.
posted by JenMarie at 2:25 PM on March 19, 2011

I'm seconding fingersandtoes' recommendation of tubing mascaras. L'Oreal Beauty Tubes is the only mascara I can wear without having raccoon eyes in about 5 to 10 minutes (no exaggeration). It comes in black and "blackest black." The trick I've found to avoid clumping is to put on the base coat (the white stuff) in a very light, even coat.
posted by Majorita at 2:28 PM on March 19, 2011

I have oily lids and find Clinique's cake liner (I think they call it "water-resistant") to be pretty much bombproof -- also exceptionally easy to apply.
posted by kmennie at 2:58 PM on March 19, 2011

Smashbox makes the only liners that seem to stay on my eyes. I use their primer for face, primer for eyelids, and their cream and waterproof cream eyeliners. Bonus: their kits usually go on sale at Sephora, and include brushes and instructions for a variety of looks. Awesome.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 3:19 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Celebrities' makeup "always" looks so great because you're mainly seeing them in photos. Which aren't an "always" kind of thing - they're a moment in time. It takes only a few minutes to do the red carpet thing. If it's an award show or event where the person will be expected to be on camera after their arrival, they'll touch up in between.

In terms of the actual media you recognize these people from (movies and tv, especially), there are entire teams of people whose sole reason for existing on the job is to touch up the actors' makeup. Before the camera rolls, someone calls out "LAST LOOKS!!" and the hair, makeup, costume, and prop people come out of the woodwork to make ultra-super-REALLY sure that the actors are perfect. Oh, and then there's someone else whose job it is to note down every aspect of all of this for continuity and editing purposes, just to be absolutely SURE that you only see these people at their best.

So don't worry about how oily your eyelids are. Please.
posted by Sara C. at 3:24 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Celebrities' makeup "always" looks so great because you're mainly seeing them in photos.

True, and they are also wearing it much heavier than looks good in real life, I imagine. Still, there are a lot of great products out there that will stay put and look good, so I think it's worth it for the OP to try some of these things people are recommending.
posted by JenMarie at 3:30 PM on March 19, 2011

I have oily skin and before I started taking the relevant bcp, my makeup would start to slide within 15 minutes no matter what I did. Starting the bcp was like turning off a tap, no joke. If the oil is coming through that fast, nothing you apply to your skin will change that. Only serious pharmacology will make any real difference to the amount of oil your skin produces, and if keeping eyeshadow on is the worst problem it's causing you, it's probably not worth it.

Post-bcp with oil at significant but socially acceptable levels, here's what I do: moisturize with Cetaphil Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion. Max moisture, min grease. Leave for 10 mins.

Apply sunscreen. If chemical, leave for 30 mins, if physical, no need to wait. Alternatively, apply water-based liquid foundation.

With a brush, apply loose powder. Carry around a small jar (eg a round pillbox) and a brush during the day.

Comb out eyebrows and lashes. Apply any pressed powder eyeshadow using a different brush per colour. Blend.

Apply another layer of loose powder. Comb out brows and lashes again. Curl eyelashes and apply mascara. I only use waterproof mascara, ymmv. Comb through the lashes again.

Now the stuff should stay wherever it's put. Twice a day, morning and afternoon, I blot with a single ply of tissue, smooth the inevitable creases with my finger, and powder down again.

Because I have a crease in my lower eyelid, I never put shadow under my eye, only line the lower lid on the inside, and never put mascara on the bottom lashes. If I do, it will just go straight into the crease.
posted by tel3path at 4:50 PM on March 19, 2011

I find that MAC paintpot in a neutral colour under a powder shadow (i generally use MAC, Clinique or Napoleon Perdis) stays all day and then night. Doesn't budge one bit, even when I don't have time to remove it before soccer training. Also, MAC khol eyeliners tend to stay on so well that I have trouble getting them off at the end if the day.
posted by cholly at 6:07 PM on March 19, 2011

Oh, and celebrities aren't using any radically different product or technique from what the rest of us would use. The real difference is that they have professionals following them around for frequent touch-ups.
posted by tel3path at 7:55 AM on March 20, 2011

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