The Best Makeup for Oily Eyelids

Waterproof liner and eye primer have become as irrelevant to my personal needs as natural deodorant. With ridiculously oily eyelids, makeup doesn’t have a shot past noon. I’ve tried drying out my lids to the point of flaking (not recommended). I’ve layered primer, shadow, powder, and blotting sheets. Still, everything ends up creasing like bottled sand art. The mission to find truly grease-proof makeup became personal. It was more time-consuming than it probably should have been. I’ve tried dozens of recommendations, and in an American Gladiator showdown between my eyes and makeup, I found the only victors worthy of the title.

RELATED: 7 Truths About Sweatproof Makeup

Using primer is an exercise in settling: It’s better than nothing, but it never really satisfies. The most successful ones go on like putty and make smudging or blending nearly impossible. And eventually, they too slip into those familiar shiny striations. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only recently tried it, but when I wore, it was the most magical formula for oily eyelids. The white cream felt more like a serum going on, dried to an invisible, matte finish, and it didn’t cause any sticky resistance to liner or shadow. I tried it while running errands during a heat wave. Eight hours of swampy, sweatiness, and the powder shadow on my primed lid was pristine compared to the control, which is what I’m much more accustomed to seeing in the mirror.

Left: Unprimed lid; right: lid primed with Nars base

Cream shadow is equally flighty on naturally oily eyelids. One that can survive over primer is great. But one that lasts all day on its own is an effing miraculous.

Maybelline New York Color Tattoo by Eye Studio 24HR Eyeshadow

is actually that good. The shimmery gel-cream comes in pretty neutral tones, and they day I wore it, it didn’t slip until after I got home from work. Expecting any product to stay that long is just unreasonable. And although most liquid liners are pretty solid grease resistors, there’s one that no boxing class or un-air-conditioned subway car could disturb: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. That ink is serious. My liner hasn’t smeared in days.

For beauty hacks using another hero product, concealer, check out this video: