Saturday, November 9, 2013

Using Cheap Eyeshadow Pencils Fearlessly

Warning: I ramble, so if you don't want my back story and just want the solution to smudgy, creasing eyeshadow pencils, skip to the bottom of this entry.

I'm sure most people can relate to working a job where you never really know what's going to happen over the course of a day.  When I walk into the high school where I work I don't know if I'll just be in my classroom with my kids all day without incident, or if I'll end up subbing a P.E. class (what an awkward experience that was), breaking up a girl-fight, or crying over/with a kid who is going through hard times.  So at the end of the school day, when I then have to meet with a parent, stay at the school and put in 15 hours to work an event, run my own errands, or anything else where I'm still going to be seen in the public, I'm always a little worried I'm going to look icky.

It took me some time and a lot of experimenting, but I've been able to work out some tricks on how to prevent that issue with various products.

When I use cheap products (I'm not just talking price, but in quality too) I always worry my work of art is going to smudge, smear, crease, fade, whatevs before I make it to the end of the day.  This is a big problem--for me anyway--with eye makeup, especially eyeliners and eyeshadow pencils.

Once upon a time, I saw this wonderful picture of a woman wearing this periwinkle eyeshadow and winged black eyeliner.  (See the pictures below.)  I fell in love.  While I'm still looking for the perfect periwinkle, I did decide I wanted to try it with baby blue in the meantime.  The only brand I could find that had a dead-on baby blue in a powder shadow was MAC.  That isn't exactly a color I'd wear often enough to be willing to buy in an expensive brand like the rest of my shadows (I usually buy Urban Decay, specifically for its staying power), plus I didn't really know that I'd like how it would look on me.  So I decided to go cheap, and the only thing I could find that was actually the color I wanted was an eyeshadow pencil by NYX.

The only eyeshadow pencils I had used prior to this were Urban Decay, which "dry" quickly and stay put all day.  I was less than thrilled when I found out NYX's pencils weren't going to do that on my eyelids.  It stayed creamy and was therefore prone to looking melty and moving around as the day went on.  It was exactly the color I wanted though, so what could I do to fix my problem?

I started thinking about cream concealers.  They don't really "dry".  If you want to set them you have to use a powder over the top.  But what powder could I use over the top of a cream eyeshadow that wouldn't dull or otherwise alter the color?

I had just made a huge E.L.F. purchase to try out some of their stuff and one of the things I had got was their Studio High Definition Powder in translucent.  It ended up not being the replacement for my usual--and unfortunately discontinued--face powder that I was looking for.  Plus, I was not in love with the ingredients for something I was going to be putting on my skin every day.  It really was translucent though, and not so bad ingredient-wise that I wouldn't be willing to use it sparingly when the need came up... Like it was in this situation.

After playing around with the products for awhile I found a method that worked!

  1. Apply the eyeshadow pencil (or other cream eyeshadow) where you want it
  2. Lightly dust the E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder in translucent over the shadow with a fluffy eye makeup brush (I used Urban Decay's Good Karma crease brush)
  3. Apply a second coat of the eyeshadow if so desired (I do)
  4. Apply a second light dusting of the powder if you chose to do a second coat of shadow

The shadow barely budged after working all day, taking a nap (I sleep with the covers over my head and face too!), and going back to work a football play-off game at the school until 10:00 that night.  The picture of my eyelid in the collage below was taken at 11:00 pm after I got home.  The stuff had been on since 6:00 that morning!

So if you want to rock a similar look, like any of the ones below... yes, even the "Mimi"... you totally can, even if all you can find in the right color is a cheap pencil or cream shadow. (PS--The image on the right is the one I love!)

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