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FAQ Friday | Why Apply Eye Makeup Before Face Makeup?

Early on in my career as a makeup artist, I would start on a client's makeup, eye makeup first, only to be stopped five minutes into eyeshadow application. Looking for reassurance and afraid to offend, my client would sheepishly ask, "You're going to apply makeup to my whole face, right?"

Yes, of course!," I would chuckle. A wave of relief would visibly wash over her face and I would launch into my explanation about my process and why I choose to apply eye makeup prior to face makeup. This experience (one of many) was an excellent lesson in the importance of communication and building trust between makeup artist and client before the first stroke of makeup is ever applied to the face. Fast forward to today, after a quick skincare analysis and discussion of the client's vision for makeup and her/his makeup preferences, my process as a makeup artist is the first thing I discuss with the person in my chair before diving into makeup application.

So, why apply eye makeup before face makeup? The answer is actually very simple.


Do you ever notice little bits of eyeshadow that have fallen onto your cheeks, either during or after eye makeup application? The proper term for this is appropriately named, "fallout". You try to wipe it away and despite your concerted efforts to keep your foundation and concealer in tact, you inevitably are left with black, brown, or the absolute worst, GLITTERY smudges over what had been perfectly concealed under eyes and cheeks. (Mehhhhh.)

The second that a powder eyeshadow falls onto your cheeks, face oils and oils from your foundation/concealer grab onto it and absorb the eyeshadow. Essentially, the foundation and eyeshadow fuse together, making it impossible to remove from your cheeks and under eyes without disrupting the makeup on your face. You're faced (pun) with either a feeble attempt at removing the flecks of pigment with a Q-tip, smearing eyeshadow and swearing under your breathe along the way, or taking a makeup wipe to your under eyes and reapplying your concealer, foundation, and blush. If you are applying an eyeliner, especially winged liner, most of us (myself included) need to steady our hands by resting it on our faces. Again, you disrupt your face makeup and have to correct any smudges or cover up any redness that has been uncovered. This right here, this is why I always start with eye makeup first. It is time saving, money saving, and without sounding totally dramatic, keeps your inner peace and your makeup in tact. It is so much easier to quickly clean up some fallout on a bare face with a makeup wipe than to painstakingly remove eyeshadow that is now forever fused to the rest of your makeup.

Give this a try next time! Apply your eye makeup, mascara and all, wipe away any fallout and sharpen up that wing. THEN apply your face makeup. If you can't break out of your makeup routine and really love applying your foundation and concealer first, there are several ways to protect your foundation and concealer from eyeshadow fallout and smudging. If you would like my take on how to do that, leave a comment on this post. This way I'll know it is a blog topic that you are interested in. Thank you so much for reading! I will see you next week for another FAQ Friday. XO,


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