Oh, the woes I have had with finding a mascara that doesn’t blink down! I am very busy during the day – often too busy to catch a glimpse in the mirror, and it’s not until I’m finally home in the evening that I notice I have black smudges and flakes of mascara beneath my eyes – a fantastic look. Not! I have started to rub under my eyes during the day to clean up the offending matter, but am wary about pulling and stretching the skin! I don’t want to encourage premature lines and wrinkles. How I would love a mascara that stays put! I have tried many (some make my eyes itch – a gripe for another day!), but I’m yet to find one that doesn’t end up below my eyes.
Thanks LMM, I look forward to your help!!! Fiona.
You are not alone! Panda eyes are a common phenomenon, but unfortunately there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. There are many reasons why mascara can flake and smudge. The quality of the product and the formulation are factors to consider, but often what works for one person doesn’t for another, so it can also be somewhat personal (with things like eye shape and lash size playing a part). For the basics on mascara malfunctions and some handy tips and tricks, read on.
An oily eye area is a common reason why mascara smudges. Basically, the oil dissolves the mascara (which is typically made of wax and pigment), causing it to smear and leave behind those characteristic black blotches. An oily eye area can be caused by natural oils in the skin, or product residue that has been left behind after cleansing or moisturising, for example.
A tell-tale sign that oil could be the issue is your eyelids getting shiny throughout the day. To keep the oil at bay and help your mascara last all day, oil-proof your eye area (both top and bottom lids) with a layer of matte eyeshadow, matte loose powder or eye primer. Also, think about the products you are applying in and around the eye area that could be contributing to your mascara’s demise. Eye cream, foundation, sunscreen, etc. could all be culprits, and the reason your mascara is sliding off your lashes. To help your mascara keep a strong hold, avoid getting these products on the lashes, try applying them more sparingly (particularly around the eyes), or set them in place with a sweep of matte loose powder before you apply your eye makeup.
If your mascara is flaking, the first thing to check is its age. Mascaras that are past their use-by date often dry out, which increases their tendency to flake. The general life expectancy of a mascara is 3 to 6 months (depending on how often you use it). If age isn’t the issue, it could be the amount you are applying. Always wipe the brush off on the neck of the tube or a tissue before you apply it to your lashes. If you apply too much, the excess drops off once it dries … leaving flecks on your face. Another thing to make sure of is that you are removing your mascara properly at the end of each day. If you’re not, any remnants left on the lashes will cause future applications to clump, flake and fall. (more…)