Nothing makes the heart sink faster — at least beauty-wise — than seeing a carefully thought out
eye look start to smear and run down your face minutes after you put it on. To avoid such heartbreak, you should turn to melt-proof eye makeup.
But before diving into what products to use, you should understand what causes makeup to melt. “There are so many reasons why a makeup look would break down throughout the day,” says
Nick Lujan, global director of artistry and education for Kevyn Aucoin. Lujan lists oily skin, too much heavy skin care, too many oil-based cosmetic products layered on, and long exposure to heat and humidity as just some of the common ways eye makeup can run. Luckily it’s an easy fix and there are a few things you can do to combat it. Kate Synnott, celebrity makeup artist and beauty creative director for ROEN, first suggests taking a look at your skin care. Synnott says keeping skin clean and your routine simple will help keep eye makeup stay intact. (“Layering too many products will make it slide,” she says).
Next, you’ll also want to look for the right ingredients and formulas. “The most resilient makeup products are silicone-based,” says celebrity makeup artist
Jamie Dorman. “Silicone resists breaking up from both water from sweat and oil.” Dorman lists ingredients like dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclomethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, and cetearyl methicone as ones to look out for if you want your makeup to stay put and advises that those with oily skin should apply a layer of primer before foundation, along with eye makeup made with those same ingredients. You’ll also want to look for products that are labeled water-proof so that sweat and oil won’t affect it too much.
To narrow the best melt-proof eye makeup products, we asked Lujan, Synnott, and Dorman to share their picks for makeup that stays on. From
eyeliner to mascara, see the 20 products they picked below. Pencil Eyeliner
Lujan’s pick for the best melt-proof pencil eyeliner is the Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Eye Definer. “It is a self-sharpen, quick-dry, and long-wearing pencil,” says Lujan. “I use this as an eyeliner in the waterline and as a base shadow for a smoky eye look.”
Synnott says that pencil eyeliner can be a little more difficult to make sweat-proof, but some cream-gel ones can work wonders. Her pick is the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil because it sets easily and doesn’t move easily. It lasts up to 14 hours and you get a cool, smudge-y texture perfect for a smoky eye that you’ll want to last all night.
“[Gel liner] is the most versatile and can be used as a shadow or to create precision liner looks,” says Lujan. “There is a lot on the market, [but] the one I always return to is the MAC Blacktrack Fluidline.” This goes on so smooth, promises 16-hour wear, and is smudge-proof. Lujan recommends using an angled brush for a precise line.
Dorman says that Sephora Ultimate Gel Waterproof eyeliner pencil is the ultimate gel eyeliner. “[It’s the] perfect combo of easy to apply, blendable, and long-lasting once it sets into place,” she says.
For Dorman, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a longtime makeup artist favorite. It’s a gel-based formula that is highly pigmented and pretty much transfer and humidity-proof with it’s eight-hour wear.
Lujan’s favorite brand for waterproof and sweatproof liquid eyeliners is Make Up For Ever. “They are known for creating products used by the water ballet in Paris,” says Lujan. “Their latest version of liquid liner is called Aqua Resist, and it comes in a lot of fun shades.” The Aqua Resist also promises up to 24-hour wear and it has a felt-pointed tip for precise application.
Dorman likes the Westmore Wing Effects Liquid Eyeliner. “[It’s] a great sweat-proof option as it dries down and sets into place for all-day wear.” It has a thin felt-tip point for precise application and makes it super easy to line your eyes for that classic wing effect.
This waterproof liquid liner has a super fine felt tip to make it easy for you to line your eyes however you want. It goes on smooth and is pretty much smudge-proof, which makes it perfect for when you want to rock a cat-eye in the summer heat.
Powder Eye Shadow
Lujan likes the shadows from Cozette. These shadows contain micro-fine pigments that give great color payoff in a number of different finishes. Plus, all the shades are super fun.
Powder Eye Shadow
If you prefer palettes, try Lime Crime’s Prelude Exposed Eyeshadow Palette. “[It] lasts well due to its strong pigment and silica that helps absorb moisture,” says Dorman., It goes on buttery smooth and comes in a mix of matte, metallic, and shimmer finishes.
Cream Eye Shadow
Most experts agree that a cream formula shadow will fair better against sweat and humidity. This cream-to-powder shadow goes on so smooth with incredible color payoff. It’s also waterproof so it won’t fade and contains
vitamin C and E to really nourish skin. Liquid Eyeshadow
I — and many beauty lovers — can personally attest to the staying power of this shadow. It is packed with pigment and prettiest of glitters and shimmer that you need really need just one swipe to cover your lid. No matter how humid or sweaty I’ve gotten, this shadow stays put and is perfect for any summer adventure.
This super pretty shimmer liquid shadow is crease- and flake-proof. It is non-greasy and dries fairly quickly so that color and glitter do not transfer. The round applicator also makes it easy for precise application.
Sometimes, a liquid and cream shadow delivers the longest wear — and best color payoff. Lujan’s go-to is Danessa Myricks’ Colorfix Eye, Cheek, and Lip Cream Pigment. This multi-purpose product is supremely pigmented for the boldest and most fun makeup looks, and it lasts up to 24 hours. “Her Colorfix product comes in a wide range of shades and finishes,” Lujan says. “You can use them on their own or as a base for other shadows.”
Synott’s pick is her brand Roen’s Cake Mascara. “[It’s] incredible,” she says. “It’s super hydrating for your lashes so it holds and doesn’t flake or drop down.”
Dorman’s pick is Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara. “[It’s] a great waterproof mascara that adds volume the way a non-waterproof does, while staying in place,” she says. Thanks to the beeswax, carnauba wax, and mineral pigments in its formula, it also lengthens, curls, and conditions lashes.
Not only do you get intense volume with this mascara, but you also pretty much get zero clumps thanks to its water-resistant formula. The curved brush lifts lashes to get that deep curl and evenly distributes the mascara for full lashes that will stay lifted and not run all day.
The Urban Decay Primer Potion has been a staple for Dorman and beauty lovers for years. “It is the most intense primer I’ve used,” she says. It intensifies color to make product more vibrant and ensures crease-free wear for 24 hours. There’s a reason it’s reached cult status.
While Lujan doesn’t normally use a setting spray over eyes, he does like the Melanie Mills Gleam Setting Spray. He says to close your eyes and mist from a distance. It dries instantly and holds makeup extremely well. It will not only set your eye makeup, but also set your entire face.
Dorman like the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray because it blurs texture and leaves a breathable film made of polymers to keep your makeup in place.
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