You’re keen to see if you can pull off the blue eyeshadow you’ve spotted on lids everywhere, from runway to street. But something (besides the bold color) has made you think twice: you’ve just had a lash lift.
Your lash tech warned you about a few don’ts after your procedure, and you can’t remember if wearing eyeshadow is one of the no-nos. So, now you’re wondering: Can I wear eyeshadow after a lash lift?
You can wear eyeshadow 24 hours after a lash lift. Choose oil-free, easy-to-remove eyeshadows, like powder-based, and avoid long-wear and glitter eyeshadows. Don’t wear your eyeshadow overnight. Gently remove it with a mild, oil-free cleanser before you sleep.
I’m a huge eyeshadow fan. My collection ranges from nude to neon shades! I also like to keep my lifted lashes looking amazing, so I’ve perfected how to use eyeshadow without spoiling my lash lift.
Want to know the best eyeshadows to wear after a lash lift and tips for applying and removing them without losing your lift?
Can I Apply Eyeshadow After a Lash Lift?
Don’t apply eyeshadow in the 24 hours after your lash lift. Actually, don’t put on any eye makeup for a day after your procedure.
Your results will only have fully set 24 hours after you leave the salon, and applying eyeshadow during this time can stop your new lift and curl from being locked in for up to 2 months.
Applying eyeshadow too soon can deal your lash lift a triple blow:
- Blow #1: Exposure to lash-lift-flattening ingredients. Some eyeshadows contain ingredients that work against the solutions that give you lasting lift and curl. You want to avoid getting even an accidental dusting or smear of these shadows on your lashes while they’re setting.
- Blow #2: Handling. You’ll likely touch or brush against your lifted lashes while you apply eyeshadow. Moving your lashes isn’t a good idea during the day after your procedure when you should aim for zero contact.
- Blow #3: Exposure to water. This is the biggest blow of the 3. Water has the power to spoil a lash lift during its first 24 hours. And you’ll need to wash off your shadow within this period (assuming you don’t want to commit the ultimate beauty sin: sleeping in your makeup!).
After 24 hours, eyeshadow is your lash lift’s friend, and you can use the two together to really make your eyes pop.
But hold on a sec! Not all eyeshadows work well with lash lifts. I’ll tell you which ones to pick and which to skip.
Best and Worst Eyeshadows After a Lash Lift
Let’s talk chemistry for a moment.
Here are 4 basic steps for whipping up a batch of eyeshadow1:
- Step #1: Start with a base filler like cosmetic-grade talc, mica, or kaolin clay.
- Step #2: Add a binder, such as zinc or magnesium derivative, to help the powder stay on the skin.
- Step #3: Throw in some pigment (for color), a substance to help the shadow go on smoothly, and a preservative (to prevent a bacterial invasion).
- Step #4 (optional): Change the powder texture to cream or liquid by adding waxes and oils.
After having a lash lift, your mission is to find an eyeshadow formulation that skips the optional step 4: adding oil.
Best Eyeshadows After a Lash Lift
Your top pick is an oil-free powder shadow.
Oil-free powder shadows save your lift and curl in 2 ways:
- #1: They’re easy to wash off. Freeing you from having to scrub to remove them – and rough up your lashes!
- #2: They don’t contain oily ingredients that weaken your lift.
Alternatively, you can use an oil-free stick, cream, pigment, or liquid eyeshadow, but I find these are more difficult to remove than powder formulations.
Worst Eyeshadows After a Lash Lift
Avoid long-lasting products like waterproof shadows and formulations that contain oil. The oily formulations can make you lose your lift too soon, and removing long-wear products with a gentle touch is pretty impossible.
Trying to think up ways to wear oil-based shadows without getting any on your lashes? Be warned that most wax- or oil-containing shadows are tricky to get off – so you might keep your lashes shadow-free, but you could still mess them up when you rub your eyes later to remove the just-won’t-quit shadow!
Another eyeshadow to avoid is glitter eyeshadow. It’s difficult to clean off and can irritate your skin and eyes.
Good to know! Can’t stand it when your powder eyeshadow crumbles in its compact? Go for matte shadows, which don’t break as easily as frosted shades. Violets and blues are shades most likely to crumble2.
Tips for Applying Eyeshadow After a Lash Lift
These are my go-to techniques for applying eyeshadow with lifted lashes:
- Use an oil-free primer. You can apply an oil-free primer to your lids before you add shadow to give staying power (since long-wear shadows are a no-no).
- Use a brush, not your fingers, to apply the shadow. An eyeshadow brush with a narrow ferrule (the metal bit that attaches the bristles to the handle) can get closer to your lash line without ruffling up your lashes.
- Choose a small tight-bristled brush to rim your lids. This brush is best for creating a defined line and preventing shadow fallout onto your lashes.
- Use a handheld mirror. Position the mirror and angle your face to help you see what you’re doing.
- Try to avoid touching your lashes while you apply your shadow. No tugging or rubbing, OK?
- Neaten up your lashes after you’ve finished applying shadow. Brush a spoolie or clean mascara wand through your lashes to get them looking tidy.
How to Remove Eyeshadow After a Lash Lift
Even if you wear only lash-lift-safe oil-free powder eyeshadows, you can still flatten your lashes if you don’t remove the shadows carefully.
Here’s the right way to remove your eyeshadow after a lash lift:
- Choose a mild, oil-free cleanser like lash shampoo, oil-free micellar water, or diluted oil-free baby shampoo.
- Using a cleanser-moistened cotton pad, gently pat (not like a windscreen wiper in a thundershower!) your eyelids. Then lightly wipe your brows and lashes from root to tip.
You can dress up your eyes in shadow 24 hours after your lash lift. Wearing oil-free (preferably powder) shadow is A-OK a day after your procedure but skip oil-based and long-wear formulations.
You might as well get your lids looking their best to match your stunning lifted lashes, right? Whether you use shadow to give your face a playful pop of color, create a sultry smoky eye, or hide lid blemishes, be sure to remove it gently with a mild, oil-free cleanser before you go to sleep.
- Liesa Goins – medically reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD (2012). The Makeup of Makeup: Decoding Eye Shadow. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/decoding-eye-shadow (Accessed on 31 August 2022)
- See reference 1
Life Is Short, Your Lashes Don’t Need to Be
Sign up for exclusive insights, tips, and tricks for long eyelashes to fall for!
100% free. Only the good stuff.