Selecting Eye Makeup Products by Skin Type

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beautiful-blonde-girlIt is the brave woman who ventures forth without eye make-up, which is the holy grail of all things cosmetic. There are those who will forgo foundation, blush and even lipstick but … no eyeliner? No mascara? Never!

For eye makeup that goes on easily, looks perfect and lasts through the day and into the night, you have to purchase the right products. Skin type has a huge bearing on the type of cosmetics you should use on your face. This includes eye make-up.

Skin Type

Skin varies greatly from one individual to the next, even among siblings. You may have skin that is as dry as the Sahara desert while your sister has oily skin. Some women have “normal” skin, without dry or oil tendencies.

Most women, however, have combination skin, with areas like the forehead, nose and chin that are oily, and others, like cheeks and neck, that are dry. Women who have combination skin often have pores that are larger on the forehead and cheeks but normal size elsewhere. The individual with combination skin possesses good natural color and, for the most part, smooth and uniformly textured skin.

Dry skin can be an issue from early on while others acquire it as they age. The person with dry skin is susceptible to wrinkling and flaking. If the skin is not adequately moisturized it feels tight and uncomfortable. The skin can look lackluster or pasty due to dead skin build-up.

Before you purchase cosmetics, know what skin type you have.

What kind of eye make-up for oily skin?

Those with oily skin tend to be shiny and feel “slick” or over-moisterized. While oily skin ages and wrinkles less rapidly than dry skin, it also presents makeup challenges. One downside of oily skin is the propensity to break out, which will affect the types of cosmetics you purchase. Longevity is also an issue for makeup on oily skin.

Your goal is probably not to look like a raccoon a few hours after applying eye make-up, but this tends to happen if you have oily skin.

To prevent eye makeup melt, experts advise putting foundation and pressed powder on the eyelids before applying liner, shadow and mascara. Additionally, using pressed powder eye shadows is recommended for the oily types. If you use cream or liquid eye shadows, it's going to smudge. Liquid eyeliner should generally be avoided as it will splotch easily on oily skin.

You can confine color by using an eye pencil after applying a crayon liner. Put some pressed shadow on top of the pencil line to keep your eye makeup in place.

What kind of eye makeup for combination skin?

Combination skin is the easiest to deal with because excessively oily or overly dry. You can wear liquid eyeliner and expect it to stay put. Most agree powder shadows produce the best results for combination skin, but experiment and see which type works best for you.

Choosing makeup for dry skin

The last thing you want is to dry your skin even more, so avoid powder, which is inherently drying. Choose velvety eyeliner and creamy powder shadows. The products should be water-based. Steer clear of oil-free products and matte items.

Keep the area around your eyes lubricated, warding off those pesky wrinkles. Eye creams are specifically designed for that area and work better than a standard moisturizer. Dry skin that is well-moisterized will “hold” eye makeup colors longer.

What about aging skin?

As a person's skin ages, it loses elasticity and wrinkles appear. You do not want your make-up to accentuate this. It should conceal these age-related problems not draw attention to them. Avoid shimmery make-up. Use light colors around the eyes and on the face rather than the darker shades.

Powder gets stuck in creases and advertises wrinkles rather than concealing them. When a woman gets older, less can be more. Apply your makeup with a light rather than heavy hand.

Cindi Pearce is a former news writer and editor whose fiction and non-fiction appears in many national magazines. She is an artist, gardener and yoga instructor, and writes on those topics as well as many others.

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