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Grandma's Makeup Rule: Debunked!

I can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve shocked people with the tip that I’m about to fill you in on. I’m talking gasps….clutching of the pearls … Ok. This isn’t a horror movie from the 1920’s. But still. This one might shake up your makeup-routine a little.

Start your morning routine with your eyes FIRST, clean up underneath with a makeup wipe or makeup remover and then do your skin/complexion/concealer last.

For many, this could be old news. (And good for you. Here’s a gold star.) But for most, it’s not. In fact, I’d go ahead and say that 8 out of 10 of my day-to-day clients, be it photo shoots, weddings, portraits, have never heard this theory or have ever had it explained to them. If it sounds weird to you, then this is for you. Let me hit you with a generalized scenario that I often get approached with both in-person and via the interwebs.

Anonymous Instagrammer: “OMG…no matter what I do, I can’t seem to fully minimize my dark under-eye circles. I use the concealer that you told me to buy, I apply it with a brush, I put plenty on and yet halfway through the day, it looks muddy and messy. HELP!”

Immediately, I ask them to walk me through their makeup routine step-by-step. Without fail, it’s almost always the same. “I start with my concealer, then move to foundation, powder, bronzer and blush. Then when I get my whole face done, I start on my eyes.”

Pump the breaks. It’s as if there’s this BIG book of Makeup Rules that our Grandmas passed down to all of us and most don’t deviate from the way we were taught.

Their way: Let’s pretend for demonstration’s sake that your concealer is the pot cream concealer from MAC. (Cream is the nice word for it…it’s more like butter. Or clay. I love it…but it’s thick-ish.) You apply it to your chin, the zit on your cheek, and a nice coat under each of your eyes. Then you move on to your foundation and so on, and so forth. Fast-forward 3-5 minutes into your routine and its shadow time. You select your 2-3 colors, (too much? Let’s pretend we woke up early,) grab a makeup brush and go after it.

Break it down: Your shadow brushes make your eye makeup look SO much better. But think through the actual act that they’re performing for you: teeny tiny little bristles, grabbing powder and moving/blending it onto your skin. Did you dip into a matte brown eyeshadow? A dark green? Maybe charcoal or black one. Not every single powder particle goes where you want it to. In fact, when you’re using a brush to blend, tiny fragments fall down and settle right where they land. And where is that??

______________________________!! (Answer: YOUR UNDER EYE!)

And not just on your under-eye. They’ve settled INTO the CONCEALER on your under eye. So until you can flush those babies out with a cleanser or something like it, they aren’t moving. That is until you smudge them on accident right before you’re about to post your best Insta. Bummsies.

Think about it: When you’re fresh-faced and have clean skin in the morning, you usually can’t even see the fallout from an eyeshadow if you aren’t looking for it. They’re single flecks of powder and your temperature is pretty normal since you haven’t moved around too much yet. But…as you makeup settles and your move about your day changing temperatures between in and outdoors, those little shadow particles that you couldn’t see in the morning start to open-up, expand, and smudge. Suddenly that soft and subtle brown matte eyeshadow that you applied ONLY to your crease, has created a soft and subtle brown matte fanny-packish shape to your under eye. AKA the part of your eye that you’re trying to LIGHTEN, BRIGHTEN and freshen-up so you don’t look tired and dead. Shoot, even a light pink with sheen or shimmer in it can make your under-eye look muddy because it doesn’t belong there!!

Getting those eyes shaped, smoked-out and perfected BEFORE putting anything else on your skin will do two things.

  • Scare you. It’s weird to have full-eyes done without any face. But trust. It’s gonna come together.

  • It’ll allow you to clean up ALLLLL of that fallout from underneath so when you get your foundation and concealer on, you’re putting it on a clean under eye. Everything will be CLEAN, stay where it’s supposed to, and last you ALL day long. Talk about getting more mileage out of your under-eye and under-eye concealer. Sheesh balls.

Tools for the RIGHT way:

ŸWipes: Finish your eyes first, ( top liner and mascara too!) and then cut the corner off of a makeup wipe to clean up the under-eye. This will give you FULL confidence that all of those powder particles are gone. You can use a warm washcloth too but without a makeup-removing property involved, there’s no guarantee that you removed the pigment completely.

gma debunked tools.jpg

ŸConcealer: A GREAT concealer pays for itself. My faves are: Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, MAC Prolongwear (glass bottle) and Kat Von D.

ŸShadow base: Make sure you’re packing any shadows into an eyeshadow base that’s made to keep it from falling lose while you wear it. Applying shadow directly to your lids without something to lock that product down is begging for a murky under eye.

Let’s keep smoky eyes where they belong and throw the finger to the smoky UNDER eye.

Try it, love it, tag me @makeupwithme_!!


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