Here's How to Prevent Your Eye Makeup From Transferring, Once and For All

Panda eyes? We don't know her.

Here's How to Prevent Your Eyeliner From Transferring, Once and For All
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Odds are that if you've ever worn eyeshadow, eyeliner, or mascara then you've likely experienced makeup transfer. You know, when you leave your home in the morning with an intact look only to find that in a few hours your eye makeup has traveled to another part of your face.

This problem is all too common, but it doesn't have to be. Instead of accepting a long life ahead of you filled with panda eyes, you can take control of your makeup now so that you never have to smudge away any mishaps.

We tapped three celebrity makeup artists to break down why eye products transfer in the first place, who is more prone to it, what exact steps to take to avoid transfers from happening, some of their favorite products that they promise won't budge, and how to fix any smudges without ruining the rest of your makeup. Read what they have to say, below.

Why Does Eye Makeup Transfer?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why eye makeup can transfer. New York-based celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay says that factors such as formulas, skin types, and forgetting to set your makeup can all be causes. "For example, if you're using a mascara and a creamy under-eye concealer, the emollience of the concealer can break down your mascara" she explains.

Additionally, fellow celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes says that weather can also cause makeup to transfer, but stresses that the main culprit is creamy products applied near the eye area.

What's the Best Way to Prevent Eye Makeup From Transferring?

When planning your smudge-free makeup look, it all comes down to technique and product formulations — and it's much simpler than you imagine.

  1. Start with a clean canvas. Hughes suggests washing your face with a cleanser that's neither creamy nor oily. This will ensure that there's no leftover residue in the area that could interfere with your products and their formulas.
  2. Conceal and set. Hughes then says to apply a touch of matte concealer on the eyelids and use powder on the areas where you have folds or creases. Gabbay suggests using the Urban Decay Primer Potion on the lids too, as she says it'll lock shadow in place. Then, for every cream product, she says to set it with powder following application. "If you're wearing eyeliner, dab a similar-toned shadow over for extra stay power," she adds.
  3. Opt for longwear or waterproof formulas. Hailey Hoff, a bi-costal makeup artist, says that using a waterproof mascara is a fool-proof way to ensure that the formula won't budge. To that point, makeup that's designed to stay put is key, which is why Hughes swears by the Glossier No. 1 Pencil. "Once it's on, it's on," she adds

VIDEO: Everything You Need To Know About Applying Makeup For Your Eye Shape

How Do I Avoid Makeup Transfer Throughout the Day?

The game isn't over once your makeup has been set. No, keeping your eye makeup intact is an all-day commitment — and there are things you should be aware of so you don't accidentally end up reversing all the good work you did.

"If you sweat, tear up, or rub your eyes — makeup transfer can happen more frequently," says Gabbay. "The natural oils and heat in our hands can turn even the sharpest liner into a smoky eye if you rub hard enough."

Then, there's the issue of weather. While you obviously can't control humidity levels, it's something to look out for and take into account. Hoff points out that if you sweat, it could take a toll on your look, so consider bringing a small fan with you if you really want to keep everything locked in place.

If My Eye Makeup Does Transfer, What's the Best Way to Fix It?

Sometimes you can do everything right and mishaps will still occur — but that's ok! There are ways to erase any mistakes without affecting the rest of your makeup. And yes, you can definitely keep smudging it away with your fingertips, but if you want something a little more elevated, Gabbay says that her favorite and underrated tool is a mini eraser sponge. "It's a mini version of a blender sponge and can help buff out any leaking under the eyes," she explains. Easy peasy!

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