How To Prevent Eyeshadow From Creasing

Do you want your eyeshadow to stay vibrant and intact all day?

You’re not alone!

Eye makeup can make or break your look, so finding the correct technique to ensure it lasts is essential.

Here are some tips and tricks to prevent eyeshadow from creasing and ensure it stays put all day:

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Start With a Clean Base

face cleansers

Before you even reach for the eyeshadow, ensure your eyelids are clean. Oils and dirt will prevent the eyeshadow from sticking and cause it to crease more easily.

A clean surface is essential for a long-lasting look, so don’t skip this step!

I usually wash my face with a gentle cleanser before starting my makeup and rinse my eyes with water to get rid of dirt or oils.

If you have oily eyelids, you can use blotting paper to remove any excess oil from your eyes. These blotting sheets are one of the best I’ve tried: they are gentle yet effective.

Just dab them on your eyelids, and you’ll instantly have a matte surface that will help your eyeshadow stay in place for longer.

TIP: If you have dry eyelids, apply a hydrating eye cream, but let it sink in for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

Use a Primer 

eye primer

Once your eyelids are clean, it’s time to prime them. A good eyeshadow primer will help the pigment stick to your skin and prevent it from creasing.

I’ve found that using a primer is an absolute must for me. Even if I want to create a natural eyeshadow look, I always apply one, as it makes all the difference!

Make sure to use a good primer that blends easily into the skin. Avoid thick and heavy formulas, as these may cause your eyeshadow to crease.

TIP: You only need a small amount of primer to cover your eyelids, so be sure not to apply too much.

Many people make this mistake and end up with a thick layer of primer which can prevent the eyeshadow from blending smoothly on top.

After applying the primer, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

You need to know the difference between an eye base and an eyeshadow primer.

An eye base is supposed to cancel any discoloration and create a smooth surface, while an eyeshadow primer is designed to help the eyeshadow adhere better and last longer.

This eye primer is one of my favorites, as it ticks all the boxes – it’s affordable, easy to apply, and does a fantastic job of keeping eyeshadow in place.

Many people like to use concealer as an eyeshadow base. While it can work well, avoid using it if you have oily eyelids, as it won’t help your eyeshadow last longer.

Concealers can’t replace eye primers as they have a thicker formula that might cause your eyeshadow to crease, especially if you have oily eyelids.

Also, face primers can’t be used for eyeshadow as they have a different formula that might not work for the delicate eye area. Stick to an eyeshadow primer for the best results.

Check this guide on the best eye primers for mature skin.

Set With Powder 

loose powder

Once you’ve applied your primer, it’s time to set it with a light dusting of powder.

A sheer layer of translucent powder will help absorb any excess oil during the day and keep the eyeshadow in place.

Keep in mind that you only need a small amount of powder. Too much can cause your eyeshadow to look cakey and cause it to separate.

Use a lightweight formula and dust lightly over your eyelids to set the primer and help your eyeshadow last longer.

Use Good Quality Eyeshadow 

eyeshadow palettes

If you want your eyeshadow to stay vibrant and crease-free all day, you will need good quality eyeshadows.

Good eyeshadows don’t have to be expensive, as many affordable brands offer excellent quality.

This inexpensive palette is one of the best I’ve ever used. The eyeshadows are highly pigmented, blend easily, and last all day long. I’ve had this palette for so long, and I still reach for it every time I do my makeup.

You can check the eyeshadow palette review to see the swatches.

As a rule of thumb, choose eyeshadows with good pigmentation and smooth formula. Avoid chalky eyeshadows, as these can cause your look to crease quickly.

Cream and liquid eyeshadows tend to crease more easily than powder eyeshadows, so if you want your look to last all day, opt for a powder formula. 

You can also set your cream eyeshadows with a light dusting of powder to help them stay in place for longer.

If you are looking for a good liquid eyeshadow, you can check out these Eye Tint Long-Lasting Liquid Eyeshadows.

They have a very pigmented but easily blendable formula that performs very well on the eyes. For more details, you can check the full review and swatches.

Use the Right Tools 

eyeshadow brushes

A good set of makeup brushes is essential for achieving a flawless eyeshadow look.

The best brushes for eyeshadow are those with dense bristles, which will help you pick up the right amount of product.

For depositing the color on the lid, use a flat but dense brush like this eye shader brush.

For blending, use a soft brush with densely packed bristles like this blending brush.

Make sure to invest in good brushes, as the right tools will make all the difference in your look.

The way you hold your brushes also matters. For better blending, hold your brushes away from the top to ensure you’re not putting too much pressure on the bristles while applying the eyeshadow.

Tap off the excess product from the brush before applying it to your eyelids, as too much product can cause the eyeshadow to crease quickly.

Apply Glittery and Shimmery Shadows With a Damp Brush 

shimmery eyeshadows

If you’re using glittery or shimmery eyeshadows, apply them with a damp brush.

Dampening the brush will help the eyeshadows adhere better and stay put for longer.

I like to spray a few spritzes of MAC FIX+ onto my brush before applying the eyeshadow, as this helps it stick better. Avoid spraying too much to prevent your eye makeup from looking patchy.

TIP: Applying eye shadow with a damp brush can help accentuate the color and give your look a more intense finish.

Use Clean Tools

It’s always important to use clean tools when applying your makeup.

Ensure you wash your brushes regularly, as bacteria and dirt can accumulate, leading to breakouts and uneven application.

Plus, applying your eye makeup with dirty brushes can cause your eyeshadow to look muddy.

I usually wash my brushes every other week, depending on how often I use them.

Less Is More 

When applying eyeshadow, less is more. Too much eyeshadow can cause it to crease and look heavy, so use a light hand when applying your makeup.

Layer the eyeshadow and build up the color as needed. This can take a bit more time, but it’s worth it for a flawless look that will last all day.

TIP: If you have hooded eyes, avoid applying too much eyeshadow in the crease line. The shadow is more likely to crease and gets stuck inside the fold when you open your eyes.

Using a lighter hand and blending well with a soft brush will help prevent your eyeshadow from creasing during the day.

Set The Eyeshadow

This step is optional but if you have oily eyelids, you can apply a setting powder to set the eyeshadow.

The powder will help absorb excess oil and keep your look in place all day. You can use a mattifying powder but make sure it’s translucent and not too heavy.

A light dusting of powder will do the trick, so make sure you don’t apply too much.

Apply a Setting Spray

setting spray

A good quality setting spray can make all the difference in ensuring your look stays put all day.

Close your eyes and hold the bottle about 12 inches away from your face. Apply a small amount of setting spray and ensure not to over-spray, as this can make your eyeshadow look wet and uneven.

I like this setting spray as it keeps my makeup in place all day with minimal effort. 

It works great for special occasions, but I don’t use it daily as it contains alcohol and can dry out the skin if used too often.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes

Throughout the day, avoid touching your eyelids, as this can cause your eyeshadow to crease.

The oils in your fingers can ruin your eyeshadow, resulting in a smudged, uneven look.

If you have oily eyelids, you can remove any excess oil by gently blotting your lids with a tissue or blotting paper.


Creating a perfect eyeshadow look that lasts all day can be tricky, but it is achievable with the right tools and techniques.

Make sure your eyelids are clean, and start by applying a thin layer of eye primer to create an even base.

Then use good quality eyeshadows and brushes for application, dampening your brush when applying glittery or shimmery shades for better adherence.

Remember to apply a small amount and layer as needed; use setting powder if you have oily lids, then finish with some setting spray.

These simple tips and tricks will help you achieve a flawless eyeshadow look that will last all day without creasing.

prevent eyeshadow from creasing infographic

Your Questions, Answered

Why Do Your Eyeshadow Creases Even With Primer?

Eyeshadow can crease even with primer for so many reasons. It could be due to applying too much primer, using the wrong primer, or not setting the primer with powder.

If you have oily eyelids, choose a primer with a matte finish and a lightweight, oil-free formula.

Avoid using a concealer or foundation as a primer, and apply a minimal amount of primer to prevent creasing.

Set your primer with a thin dusting of setting powder, and use a good quality eyeshadow to help prevent creasing.

Is It Better To Apply Eyeshadow Wet Or Dry?

It depends on the type of eyeshadow you are using. It is generally better to use a dry brush to create an even finish for matte shadows.

However, for glittery and shimmery shades, it is best to dampen your brush before applying them for a more intense look.

You can apply eyeshadows with a lot of fallout, such as loose pigments, with a damp brush to help minimize the mess.

Spritzing a small amount of face mist or MAC FIX + onto your brush can help intensify a shadow and provides a good grip.

Shadows will not all react the same way to being applied wet, so experimenting is the key to knowing what works best for you.

Should You Apply Eyeshadow With Fingers?

In some cases, applying eyeshadow with your fingers can give excellent results. It all depends on the eyeshadow formulas and the look you are trying to achieve.

For cream eyeshadows, fingers can work best as they help blend the product more quickly and evenly.

Some shimmery powder eyeshadows can also look more vibrant when applied with fingers as it helps pick up more product.

However, using your fingers can transfer dirt and oils from your hands onto your eyelids, which might not be the best thing for your skin.

Brushes are a better choice for eyeshadow applications as they help blend shadows more evenly and prevent eye creasing.

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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