Raccoon Eyes

Dear Miss Beauty Nerd,

What products or makeup techniques would you recommend to prevent raccoon eyes? I’ve tried setting my eyeliner with a smudge brush and eyeshadow, and used a variety of waterproof eyeliners all to no avail. At the end of the day those dreaded smudges are still there. Someone suggested that new Laura mercier translucent setting powder. What are your thoughts?


Dear M,

The dreaded raccoon eye can be frustrating! It sounds like you are on the right track, searching for waterproof liners and setting powders. Throughout the day our skin produces oils (some more than others) and moisture –all which wreaks havoc on our perfectly-applied-makeup! Hopefully some of these tips will help you avoid that raccoon eye!

Setting Powders:
I would definitely start by ensuring you are ‘setting’ your foundation and concealer with some sort of translucent powder. The Laura Mercier Setting Powder{1} you mentioned is a great product. I keep MAC Blot Powder{2} in my purse for quick touch-ups  throughout the day as it will not keep adding layers of powder to the skin but just blot away the shine. You also want to ensure that you are applying some powder over your under eye concealer as this area is close to the lashline and can contribute to smudging your eyeliner.

Eyeshadow Base/Primers:
Next, I would recommend using an eyeshadow base/primer product.  This will help prevent any creasing of your eyeshadows and extend the wear of your eyeliners. I have been using MAC Paints in Bare Canvas{3} for years as a base. It comes out as a creamy consistency that dries to a powdery finish. Trust me, a little goes a long way – you just want a sheer wash of it. Your finger is the best tool for this product! Don’t skip adding this to you lower eyelid as this will help prevent the raccoon effect when you are lining your lower lashline. Another product I love is Urban Decay’s Primer Potion{4}. You can apply the product directly with the wand and smooth it out with your finger or stiff brush.

Waterproof/Gel Liners:
Sticking to waterproof formulas will give you an edge over the smudge battle. I ‘m a fan of MAC Fluidline{6} and Bobbi  Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner{5}. Gel-liners are particularly long wearing and definitely stay put. It does usually come in a pot form, which requires the use of a brush. It can sound intimidating but with a little bit of practice, it’s worth it! I find it a lot easier to apply vs. liquid liners. Gel-liners go on super smooth and are perfect for that winged look. Once it is applied, you have a few seconds to ‘play’ before it sets.  If I want to soften the intensity on the lower lashline, I will lightly run my finger over it.  Since a harsh line on the lower lashline doesn’t look so flattering, I often like to add a bit of eyeshadow (I like a dark brown) on the bottom to soften the line.


I hope some of these tips help with the raccoon eye battle! Good luck!


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