The eye shadow trick that will save your face!



For years I’ve been on the receiving end of questions about why I do my eye makeup before my face makeup. I did an entire post about it here, but to sum up : I do my eyes first because I can clean up any fall out from eye shadow before I apply foundation.

I’ve tried doing my face first but I always see darkness on my cheekbones, no matter how careful I think I am applying the eye shadow.

But I have a hack for you today! Whether you need to darken up your eyes later on in the day and don’t want to redo your foundation, or if you just can’t quit doing your foundation first altogether – this will surely help!

I remember seeing this trick an eternity ago in a magazine, and it’s something every woman who uses eye shadow should know.


On the tops of your cheekbones, fairly close to your eye, dust a heavy amount of loose translucent setting powder. This can be the cheapest stuff you can find, as it’s only purpose is to keep the dark shadow from sticking to your face and then it will be wiped away. Baby powder or talc is not a great choice though, so make sure you use a translucent setting powder. In this step by step, I’m using the Pixi Quick Fix Powder. You can also find really cheap powders (like $6.00) by ELF that would do the trick!


Then, apply your crease color as you normally would. Any fallout will fall on top of the setting powder, and therefore it won’t smudge onto your face.


Then, wipe it away, toward your temples, using light strokes. Don’t press it in – think of it as dusting the powder off.


It may accidentally add a touch of lightness to your cheekbones, which is never a bad thing. So it’s kind of a two for one deal.

So the issue of eye shadow fall out is resolved! I’ve used this trick when getting ready for a surprise date night after I had already done some simple makeup that morning. It’s a game changer.

My shirt is from Nordstrom and it’s what striped shirt dreams are made of, in case you are wondering. Also, the brush I’m using is many years old from Real Techniques. More questions? I bet you’ll find the answer here.







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Comments (35)

  1. Lauren says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I hate doing my eyeshadow first even though I’ve heard repeatedly that it’s the best for preventing fallout. I typically lightly hold a folded tissue under my eye but that sometimes causes some of my foundation to rub off. I’ll definitely give this a try!

    By Lauren M

  2. Parker Pearson says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I adore your blog, and I understand monetizing it. With that said, your Walmart advertiser is terrible, spammy and hijacks access to your content. (Can’t get past it without completely closing out my browser). Thought you’d want to know.

    • Kate says
      Posted November 1, 2016

      That’s helpful to know–I will look into that today!

      • Pam Holzworth says
        Posted November 1, 2016

        I always do my eyes first also!

      • Cait K says
        Posted April 17, 2017

        I’ve also been trying to submit a question to you abt this and it keeps giving me an error abt entering the wrong captcha code. Which I’m not. I’ve tried 4 times! 😣

    • Frankie says
      Posted November 1, 2016

      Get a pop up blocker?

  3. Alyssa says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I’m such a creature of habit that I haven’t been able to get myself to do my eyemakeup first. Yet I always get the fallout :/

    I’ll have to try this!

    • Pam Holzworth says
      Posted November 1, 2016

      It took me awhile to get use to it but it just seems natural for me to do eyes first…Give it some time.

  4. Elizabeth says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I recently just bought that brush from Ulta to it is still available!!

  5. Posted November 1, 2016

    I flip back and forth with whether I do my eyeshadow first or last, but this tip is always helpful!

  6. Kelly says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I just bought these brushes yesterday!!

  7. Posted November 1, 2016

    Hmmm, I’ve always done my face makeup first and I haven’t had issues with fall out. Maybe I’m not doing it right? This is a great trick nonetheless!

  8. GWENN says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I can’t get my mascara to stop leaving dark circles even thought I use waterproof. Any ideas?

  9. Dana says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I do my eyes first. Instead of powder, I use tape.
    I put on my eye shadow as normal, then I take a small piece of scotch tape. To make it less tacky, I put it on the back of my hand first, then use the tape around the outside of my eyes. Works great, doesn’t hurt and gets all the eye shadow up. I don’t like having the extra shimmer of eye shadow on my cheek bones. I add a bit of moisturizer after I am done.
    This was recommended by a consultant at Sephora.

  10. Sarah says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I’m pretty sure you made that shirt sell out! I clicked over this morning and was contemplating the small, but I contemplated too long because when I clicked on it, it was gone! Now all sizes are gone! Boo lol

  11. Posted November 1, 2016

    I use ShadowSense- they’re cream-to-powder shadows and never have this problem!

    • Cait K says
      Posted April 17, 2017

      Where are those sold?! I’ve never heard of them and I thought I was in the know on these things! Are they also good in all the typical other respects? Do they crease after a while? Thanks so much! I love hearing about new (to me aw) brands. 💙Another Kate

  12. Posted November 1, 2016

    you look so happy, kate!!

  13. Katherine says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    I got so sick of powder eye shadow being so messy, plus it was always so time consuming for me to do my eyes, that I switched to Clinique Chubby Sticks for eyes. With a couple swipes of the fat pencil, my eyes are done. They’re creamy, blend well with a finger, and there’s no fallout. I have a couple dark colors and a couple light frosty colors. They probably don’t last as well as powder, but they’re so much quicker and easier that doesn’t bother me.

  14. sahara says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    oo so cool <3


  15. Ashli says
    Posted November 1, 2016

    Thank you for the tip!

  16. Angel says
    Posted November 2, 2016

    I have seen you recommend doing your eyes first and after about thirty years of doing the opposite I tried it and you are a GENIUS!!! Why didn’t I think of doing this ages ago? It’s the only place I may make a major mess up so why not save the time and product to fix that eyeliner that is just not even, or worse, the shakes handed stab of mascara on the side of my nose? Changed my routine totally. Thanks!

  17. Posted November 2, 2016

    I always do face first. Eyes aren’t as important to me as face and I could probably go to a party without eyeshadow but I couldn’t go without face. I don’t tend to get much eyeshadow falling onto my cheeks anymore as I started wearing it about 4 years ago and I’ve had a bit of practise. But just to be 100% I usually hover my hand over my cheek without actually touching it incase I’m ever doing a quite heavy look.

  18. Posted November 2, 2016

    This is such a clever trick, I’ve never heard of! I will definitely have to try it! I’m someone that applies eyeshadow after foundation (just a habit) so I’m excited to see how this goes! xo

    McKenzie |

  19. Maria says
    Posted November 2, 2016

    I am concerned about something that occurred on your site today. Yesterday night, I posted a comment on here. It wasn’t offensive, there was no bad language. Yet today, it’s been removed.
    I also notice that another user’s comment who posted after me has also been removed. Her comment was something to the effect of “I don’t have this problem with my eyeshadow.” I have no idea who she was, I’m just pointing out that hers was removed along with mine.
    I have always noticed a surprising lack of negative comments on here. I always assumed that you just have very loyal, supportive followers. Now I’m disappointed to find that it’s because you remove any slightly negative comments.
    I’m not trying to be mean, at all. I just feel like your readers should have the right to say what they want. If you don’t want these comments, screen them before publishing-don’t let them be published in the first place.
    I also know this comment won’t last long on here, but I really hope you read it and fix this problem.
    Thank you.

    • Kate says
      Posted November 2, 2016

      Hi Maria, I assure you there are plenty of negative and sometimes very hateful comments left for me on blog posts. It wouldn’t take you very long to scan through any posts with a lot of comments to see them. That being said, I don’t recall removing any comments from this post and my blog host just updated some things on their servers and there’s a chance your comment was lost. So, I don’t know what happened but if you’d like to submit a new comment you are free to do that.

  20. Rachel says
    Posted November 3, 2016

    That’s such an awesome quick fix! I love that it’s super affordable too.

    Rachel Gregory

  21. Mel says
    Posted November 6, 2016

    I always do my eye makeup first for exactly the same reason! There’s always fall out! But this is such a clever trick! Love it!!

    Mel |

  22. Kitty says
    Posted December 1, 2016

    I love your bangs it too 10 years off of you. So pretty

  23. Wendy says
    Posted January 4, 2017

    I absolutely love this beauty trick! Thank you for sharing!!!! I now have another use for my translucent powder. YAY! This is especially useful when using an eye shadow with glitter in it. Also, the eye shadow brush used in the photo,,,, is it a Real Techniques brush? I love the shape of the crease brush and always looking for good brushes.

  24. Posted March 3, 2017

    Nice! I didnt know about that! I will try it out! BEAUTYPUSINKA

  25. Emily says
    Posted March 23, 2017

    Love this trick! Side note: can you explain/describe your hair cut? I like it and I’m wondering how I’d explain it to my stylist. Thanks!

  26. Posted June 15, 2017

    Love your blog, and, yes, I have always put my concealer and foundation on first. Starting tomorrow I’m going to try it your way. As a much older woman than your average follower, I have noticed that I have a hard time lightening up the inner corners around my eye socket, although I use a light concealer. My eyes seem more deep set than they used to. The concealer usually disappears along with the white powder I put in the corner after 4 or 5 hours or less. Any suggestions.?