When applying shadow it’s quite common for little flakes of shadow product to fall off and land underneath your eyes and onto your cheeks during application. This is called “shadow fallout” and it happens to everyone, even professional makeup artists.
The most important thing to remember when shadow fallout occurs is to not panic or frantically retreat back to safe neutral shades. There are easy ways to clean up shadow fallout and even tools that help prevent it from the drag powder trick to buying shadow shields and other tools. However, it really comes down to preference and how much time you have. We have provided a few basic suggestions below based on items that you most likely already have in your makeup kit.
INVEST IN EYE PRIMER At the base of all great eye makeup looks is shadow primer. It creates a fool proof barrier between the natural oils on your eyelid and your makeup. This barrier is important because your eyelids constantly move and with the help of primers, pigments are magnetized to the eyelid preventing shadow pigments from slipping and falling onto your face. Some primers come in neutral shades to help even out eyelid color while acting as perfect base shades.
EYE MAKEUP FIRST While most of us like to apply our foundation first, switching the order of your makeup routine will not only make cleaning up fallout easier but also save you a lot of time. If you apply eye makeup before foundation and concealer, you can remove pigments without worrying about messing up your base.
TAP OFF EXCESS One of the most common errors is forgetting to tap off excess shadow product before applying to your eyelids. This quick little step will ensure that excess powder doesn’t fall off your brush and onto your face.
TOOLS From cotton tips, fan brushes to shadow shields, it all comes down to preference. We would advise, however, not to use office grade sticky tape. Even though some online forums recommend sticky tape -- just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This type of sticky tape is designed to adhere to textiles, not human skin. The eye area is extremely delicate and even medical grade tape will pull too much when removed day after day. It can also leave a hint of sticky residue behind even after using makeup remover. See below for some recommended tools:
HOW TO CLEAN UP By prepping the eye area before makeup and incorporating a few application tricks into your routine, you can reduce the amount of shadow fallout to make cleaning up the area easier. Below is a simple step-by-step application guide.
1. Apply shadow primer across entire eyelid. Allow to set before applying shadow. Optional: Some liquid formulas require a dusting of translucent powder to completely set it.
2. Pick up shadow with a shadow brush and tap off excess product before application.
3. Pat shadow on rather than sweeping so that the shadow can adhere to the primer. This will prevent fallout while intensifying the shadow color so you don’t have to keep going back in with more product.
4. With a clean blending brush, gently blend out hard edges. Finish off by applying eyeliner and mascara.
5. Take a clean mascara comb or disposable mascara brush and comb through lashes to remove any clumps that may fall later onto your cheeks.
6. With a clean fan brush, gently dust underneath the eye area then cheeks to remove shadow fallout. If you don’t have a fan brush, a clean shadow brush will work.
7. Come in with either a cotton tip or makeup remover wipe and remove excess shadow. Never use fingers to wipe away fallout as it will leave a darker smudge or frosty muddy glow behind.
6. If required, touch up underneath the eyes with foundation. Less is always more so try skipping foundation underneath the eyes and go straight to a concealer that is designed to naturally mimic your skin like MATRIX UNDER EYE CONCEALER, which is “made to order” based on your individual skin color to create a natural lift to the eye.
7. Pat and press concealer with fingertip or use a concealer brush to hide any leftover darkness.