Help! My Mascara Is All Over My Eyelids

how to keep mascara from ending up all over your lids - cover photo

This one is very real for me, ladies. I spent years trying all sorts of mascaras and contorting my face into various deformed shapes whilst applying it, only to have most of it smeared all over my lids by the end of the day. No more! Here are my favourite tips on how to keep your mascara on your lashes where it should be, no matter the brand or price tag.

  • Prime your eyelids.

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion photo
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in ‘Original’

This is particularly important if you have greasy eyelids like me. Apply primer to your lids (face primers or non-oil-based foundations work fine too) followed by a light layer of face powder. Do the same on your lower lashline and around it to prevent any eyeliner or mascara on your bottom lashes from smudging onto your under-eye area. Bonus – this helps with blending your eyeshadow when you get there too. Two birds with one stone etc.

  • Pull your lids up when applying your mascara.

woman applying mascara with brows raised photo

As if you were about to tightline your eyes. Especially if you have hooded eyes, raise those brows and pull that lid up to stop skin from folding over your eyelashes whilst your mascara is still wet.

  • Allow your mascara to dry.

clock photo

Which leads me on to this one. It sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised how often we run out the door with wet mascara on, and wonder why we have black flakes on our lids when it’s barely gone 9am. Allow each coat of mascara to dry fully before applying the next.

  • Make sure your wand isn’t too big for your eyes.

make sure your wand isn't too big for your eyes - photo

Yes, a fat wand gives you great volume and curl but it isn’t always the best choice for everyone. I personally like a slim, natural fibre wand – it gives me plenty of volume and I can get length from pushing it right into the roots without the fibres touching my lids and leaving mascara there, or pushing my lashes up against my lids because of the sheer size of the wand.

  • Get rid of clumps.

photo of mascara wand

Whilst your mascara is still wet, brush out the clumps with a clean old mascara wand or toothbrush. Build your layers gradually rather than piling it on and creating a huge goopy mess. This can weigh down the lashes too – allowing the first layer to dry properly holds your curl in place and any layers on top will give you volume.

  • Powder the tips of your eyelashes.

photo of eyeshadow brushes

The tiniest dusting of any face powder across the very tips of your eyelashes keeps mascara from ending up under your eyes. I’m particularly prone to a greasy eye area, so I personally do this on my bottom lids to stop both eyeliner and mascara from smudging. Works like a charm!

Have you tried any of these? Let me know how they work out for you! Until next time – you go girl.

– J

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Disclaimer: All images used in this post have been obtained from Pixabay under a Creative Commons License and edited on Canva by J, exclusively for This post may contain affiliate links.

9 Comments on “Help! My Mascara Is All Over My Eyelids”

  1. Ok, so I won’t be offended if you take a dumper truck full of salt with any beauty advice I might give but… mascara, I have 35 years worth of experience trying ALL the mascara looking for one that didn’t make me look like I shoaled be in a Chinese breeding programme.

    I have found one, Benefit – They’re Real, actually stays on my lashes. At the end of the day it does feel a bit strange, but it beats looking like a panda!

      1. I have tried so many, from the cheap stuff to ridiculously expensive with just about every mascara that Lancôme ever launched along the way. All of them eventually ended up on my cheeks, the Benefit one doesn’t. No brainer. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing! Your posts are so light hearted, this made me chuckle (but is also very good advice!) I am dying to try the urban decay primer. I look forward to the next one! ?

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