Dear Carissa- Eyeshadow Trouble

Hey Carissa,

My problem is with shadow. I feel like I’ve tried EVERYTHING imaginable to try and get my shadow to stay on all day, but haven’t had any luck yet. Help!


Hey there Cover_Grrrl,

I have a few go-to’s in my bag of tricks that are sure to get shadow to stay on for hours (literally, my girls can keep their same makeup for days after a good application).

But first let’s talk basics.

When is the last time you washed your brushes? Get a bottle of baby shampoo (just the cheap stuff) and shampoo all of your brushes until the water runs clear when you rinse them out. Gently squeeze the brushes and lay them flat to dry overnight. When you can see the brushes are coated, wash a few of them in the morning right after you use them just to keep them in good shape.

Don’t use eye cream or moisturizer on your lids in the morning.

Use a primer first. Give the powder shadows something to stick to with a cream primer.

I like, (from left to right), Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow, M.A.C Paint.

Only Shadow Insurance is a true primer, but the other two are great to grab on to shadows and hold on to them for a full creseless day.


  1. I always use a primer over my entire eye area, then I out a base shadow on my lid only, then a shadow in my crease & blend, this is where I run into problems. At the moment I have been using some shadows by Fashion Fair. The brushes I use are just soft blending brushes, but I haven't found one that works good for the crease yet, sometimes I wind up using my concealer brush.

  2. Hooked On Beauty says:

    A loose pony-tail, or crease brush is best if you aren’t already using one. Make sure it’s clean!

    Are you using a primer or base shade first?

    Sometimes if the shadow is dragging, you don’t have enough of a base shadow on to give it some slip.

    What shadows are you using?

    I find that some shadows blend better than others, I find that MAC is a little tricker and especially matte shadows.

  3. Do you ever have problems with blending? I've had some real problems
    blending the shadow in my crease lately, I don't know if it's the
    brush I'm using or the shadow or what, but it never seems to blend
    right, especially matte shadows. Either one side blend out lighter
    than the other or one side is stubborn & won't blend at all, &
    sometimes I over blend & wind up rubbing some of the shadow of in an
    area. Got any good ideas or tips for blending????

  4. Hooked On Beauty says:

    That’s a good call- that’s why I love Laura Mercier’s Caviar liners. So good for laying down a foundation of color. Especially for a smokey eye.

    For fair to med skin and every day- I love Bobbi’s cream colors in Malted (all over) and Sand Castle.

  5. One thing I've been playing with & it works pretty well, is using a black gel or creme eyeliner as a base. You just put it on your lid, but it makes your shadows looks a ton more pigmented!!!

  6. Hooked On Beauty says:

    You bet! Let me know if there are other products you have found to work too!

  7. Thanks for sharing, great tips! I have the same problem also and this could help to me a lot!

  8. Thanks a lot I will give those a try, I love bright colors so I am gonna love sampling!

  9. Hooked On Beauty says:

    Hi Kimberly,

    It might be time to switch shadows.

    There are some women (myself included), who have skin that seems to eat up the color and you need to play around with different products in order to get a good color payoff.

    Try artistry brands; I like the soft shadow at Stila which always go on well for me. I also like Make Up Forever for intense shadows. Laura Mercier just re-formulated theirs and the colors are really bold. L’Oreal’s HIP line is great too.

    If powder shadows aren’t working, try cream ones, like the Bobbi Brown or M.A.C Paint, or Pots where you’ll get intense color.

    You have some options, you might just need to try something else for a while until you find something perfect for you.

    Nordstrom and Sephora both have forgiving return policies if you find you need to exchange to try something new.

  10. My problem is similar actually but I can't get my shadow to go on evenly & I use a shadow primer. It's always thin & almost transparent especially close to my lash line, no matter if I use a brush or foam applicator. I try to layer it on thick, but with not a lot of luck. Help please, this is so frustrating.

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