Whether you experience your own oily eyelids, or someone that you are applying makeup to, they really can cause a challenge. Getting eyemakeup to stay on, and stay in place can be near-impossible. So let’s take a look at some of the causes and ways you can manage oily eyelids with your makeup applications.

surefire tricks to combat oily eyelids effeectively
a close up of a woman's eye with makeup

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Exploring some of the causes of oily eyelids.
  • Some of the products you can use to prep the skin and combat oily eyelids prior to makeup.
  • The one thing you should avoid at all costs if you have oily eyelids to contend with.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 53: Show notes

a close up of a woman's eye with makeup

After many years of working as a film and TV makeup artist, I’ve encountered countless individuals struggling with oily eyelids.

It’s a common frustration that can wreak havoc on your makeup application, leaving you feeling like nothing will stay in place.

So I wanted to take a look at some of the challenges and surefire tactics that you can use to combat oily eyelids effectively.

From understanding the causes of oily eyelids to prepping the skin and choosing the right makeup products and techniques, we’re gonna cover it.

What Causes Oily Eyelids?

So, what causes oily eyelids, you may ask?

It could be due to genetics, hormonal shifts, overactive sebaceous glands, skincare products, diet, or stress levels.

What Can I Use to Combat Oily Eyelids?

Once you identify the issue, it’s important to prep the skin effectively.

From witch hazel to makeup primers like Mac Prep and Prime, NARS Eye Primer, and Mac Paint Pot, there are various products and techniques to combat oily eyelids.

For beauty makeup, using a soft pencil liner and opting for waterproof mascaras can be game-changers.

And remember, avoiding eye creams, moisturizers, or anything in the hydrating oil or moisturizer world near the eyes prior to applying makeup is crucial. If this topic resonates with you and you have some surefire products you love for this situation, feel free to share your own product solutions with me on Instagram at @themakeuprefinery.

I hope you found these quick tips helpful and that they will elevate your makeup game.

Click here to listen to this episode!


Episode Transcript

[00:00:02]: The other day I applied a makeup to someone who it just felt like nothing would stay in place on their eyelids. It’s ironic, isn’t it? Because usually, this is the place we want to add moisture and add dewiness to to hydrate.
But every once in a while, you come across someone who fights the exact opposite at battles with their eyelids.

[00:00:27]: So how do you manage oily eyelids effectively and get makeup to stay on?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this episode.

[00:01:10]: But first, I think it’s important to understand why this might be happening.
What causes oily eyelids anyway?
It could be any number of things, from genetics and hormonal shifts for an individual to an overactive sebaceous gland. And yes, these glands are active in and around your eyelids, so it is actually possible that they overproduce sebum, which results in oily eyelids.

[00:01:37]: Some skincare products may cause this response in the skin on your eyelids as well. And even diet and stress levels can trigger excess oil production within your eyelids and in makeup.

[00:01:50]: As you probably well know, this can absolutely wreak havoc with your morning application, from no corrective or beauty makeup ever going on, let alone staying in place on the eyelids to prosthetic appliance makeup, not adhering to the eyelids and just sliding around. Even with the strongest glues available non the market today, oily eyelids can create a challenge for makeup on the eyes.

So let’s take a look at some products and techniques you can use to nip that in the bud, and not only to identify that the person you are about to make up has oily eyelids, but how to combat it before you get any makeup products to their eyes, so that when you do, it’s going to go on like a dream.
And stay where it’s put.

[00:02:43]: Of course, once you have identified that a client or performer indeed has oily eyelids, and this may simply come from visual cues or even a quick, subtle wipe with a blotting paper once they’re in the chair. Or they may even just tell you straight out, especially if it’s an ongoing challenge for them in their day to day life.

But acknowledging this before you start makeup is a must to save you from your day of chasing it.

Now, your next step is prepping the skin as best you can to bring it back to a dry state, like prepping a canvas that is ready for painting. While I tend to use a lot of what’s affectionately known as Blue Kiehls, and this I am absolutely sure would combat oily eyelids, well, it’s important to know that it does contain menthol and may be quite irritating to an individual’s eyelids, so tread carefully there.

[00:03:39]: I also like to use witch hazel, as it is known to tighten pores and minimize sebum. It also acts as a natural sweat deterrent, so it’s a great choice to help minimize oily eyelids. Now, some folks swear by more makeup-friendly removers, such as micellar water, but.

[00:03:58]: For me, this always has me wary because the idea of putting a makeup remover on the skin with the end goal of putting makeup on on top of it just seems counterintuitive. But hey, if it works for you, then go for it.
So once you have astringed, removed, cleansed, prepped the skin, the next step for beauty makeup would no doubt be a fine priming of the eyelids.

And I view this step as bringing the skin back to neutral ground, as if your canvas is ready for paint. After this step is complete, Mac Prep and Prime and 24 Hours Extend are the most popular makeup primers that can help your eye makeup get to work.
And some other primers of choice are the Nars Clear Primer, Hourglass Primer, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer, which is another one of my favorites.

[00:04:54]: Now, be sure to work fast and get your primer down in a fine blended layer quickly. Some primers can get creepy and sort of pick up on themselves if you work too slowly. So get it on effectively and move on to something else while you wait for it to dry if it needs to.

[00:05:12]: Like if you have to do a nail polish, that might be a good task that’s completely removed from the eyes or cover a tattoo or something, but use that time well.

And if your person is young in age, you can even do a light powder set at this point as well, which will give you an added layer of absorption on those eyelids. But I would keep this away from older clients, as less is really best when we’re talking layers on the lids.
And I’m sure you can understand that.

[00:05:41]: An always favorite of mine in these instances is the Mac Paint Pot. These go nowhere ever and are usually my go-tos for eye makeup that has to last a long time – regardless of oiliness or not. But if you do come across a client or performer with oily eyelids, MAC Paint Pot is going to help you.

I love Painterly and Tailor Grey for middle of the road, neutral base shades and Soft Ochre, which will create more of a highlight base on the lid and then I can intensify the look or do what I want from there.

[00:06:18]: I also suggest using a soft pencil liner if you’re going to do eyeliner and blending with a soft brush as opposed to using a liquid liner in case you have any movement during the day. A soft blended look is far more easily disguised than a clean liquid line that may not look so clean. With this scenario, a few hours into your day and as far as mascara would go, I would veer towards waterproof everything and keep it clean.

[00:06:48]: And one last word for you to keep in the back of your mind, as sometimes this can be totally overlooked and if so, will set you up for failure, I’m afraid.
But do not repeat, do not be tempted to use any eye creams, moisturizers, or anything in the hydrating oil or moisturizer world anywhere near the eyes prior to applying your makeup.

[00:07:17]: If your person is already dramatically oily in their lids, adding more emollient will only increase the challenge that you’re facing and everything will slide around on that lid all day long.

Kerrin [00:07:29]:
So keep that stuff till the end of the day when it does really all come off okay.
And that’s it for how to effectively combat oily eyelids.

That was kind of fun to brush over. And if you have some other surefire products you love for this situation, please dm me on instagram and tell me, educate me. Share the wealth.
I’m @themakeuprefinery and in the meantime, if you love hearing this troubleshooting guide and you’d like some more eyeshadow tactics, you might like my free guide that will expose you to ten common eye makeup mistakes and what to do instead.

Kerrin [00:08:08]:
And you can find that at https://themakeuprefinery.com/eye-makeup-mistakes I’ll be sure to include the link in today’s episode show notes that you can always find at the bottom of the podcast episode as well.

[00:08:24]: You can just read the episode description and find a link that usually reads something like Episode Website and that’ll take you straight to the show notes page.

And that’s it for today. I hope you enjoy your day no matter where it takes you and what it brings. And I’ll see you next time. Bye.

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