Share a Tip Tuesdays: This Quick Cleanup Tip Rocked the Foundations of My Eye Makeup

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

eye makeup tips
Using an Hourglass Foundation/Blush Brush No. 2

This week my tip is one I use pretty much every day. Since I like to apply my foundation before doing my eye makeup (but more on that in a few), my foundation brush is usually within arm’s reach, which is great, because I also use it to clean up after myself, by sweeping away any excess eyeshadow fallout.


Before I ever gave this a try, I just assumed the brush would only scoot the pigments around, rather than pick them up, making the issue of fallout even worse, but nope! Like a makeup Swiffer Sweeper, the brush picks up the pigments it can, and brushes the bigger crumbs away.

eye makeup tips

It saves from having to clean up with a cotton pad or cleansing water (I can be messy, after all).

eye makeup tips

On a related note, I didn’t always apply my foundation before my eye makeup. In fact, it’s actually a pretty recent development…

No real reason for the switch, though, other than wanting to try something different, but after doing it a while, I came to prefer it — putting on my base before my eye makeup. And now, doing it this way, I can finish my makeup faster than I could before.


Ya know, it’s true what they say — it never hurts to try new things with your makeup. 🙂

And speaking of that, thanks for all the great tips you left last week on our first Share a Tip Tuesday. Here’s just a taste of the delicious knowledge you dropped about eyeliner in the comments last week…

“My eyeliner tip would be – do your eyeliner in stages. I normally do teeny tiny dots really, really close to my upper lash line, and then after im done, I connect the dots. With this technique, I can get my eyeliner really close to my upper lash line, which is how I like it.”
— Nina

“Whoa! Look at all the eyeliners! My tip is to draw a thick messy line and then thin it out with a q tip. that gives me complete control over the thickness.”

“My eyeliner tip: show some love to navy blue eyeliners. They make the whites of your eyes look whiter and clearer, thus you look more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. That and a shimmery wash of shadow on the lid and you look like you’ve actually had some decent sleep!”

“When applying eyeliner with a brush on someone else, come in from the side of the face for the top of the eye and angle the brush down (so the brush is pointing down, vertically, and you’re not going in horizontally), and brace your hand on the jawline and angle the brush up for under the eye. I did makeup for 4 other gals this last weekend for my sister’s wedding, and after the second person I started using this technique. I was too worried about touching peoples’ faces at first, but it turns out it really helps to steady your hand if you brace it against the person’s head!”

“For liquid liners, get your line perfect BEFORE you start winging out for that cat eye. Blink a lot before you put on liquid liners. The hope is that your eye muscles are steady while you try to cover your lash line. Dashes work better for liquid liner. Put your attention to places you struggle with before you do the easy areas. Quick strokes go on thinner than slow strokes.”

This week, I’d love to hear how you clean up your eye makeup mistakes. Got any tips to share?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Oh, if you have a makeup/beauty tip on a different topic (not related to cleanup), please share that one, too. The more the merrier! 🙂


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So far, 21 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. While working with glittery pigments, you can some medical tape to gently lift off any fall out from the cheeks/under eye. The adhesive picks up the loose glitter but leaves the base makeup intact. I saw a makeup artist use this trick, pretty neat I’d say!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Whats on your Beauty Wishlist right now?

  2. Nadege says:

    I, too prefer putting on your base before your eye makeup. To me, it speeds up the process and I can see the whole look coming together better.

    One trick I’ve learned recently is to pat my setting powder into the skin. I always used a powder brush to brush and set my powder, but have since switched to a flat top brush to really dig the powder into the skin. This guarantees that my foundation will last all day and the oiliness is under control for a little while longer. Plus, I don’t get that heavy buildup powder can sometimes show. I also use this technique with certain foundations. I’ll spread, then pat.
    Nadege recently posted … Revlon Fire & Ice Lipstick Review (A beautiful pinky-red!)

  3. Amber says:

    I love the ELF Makeup Remover pen! It has just the amount of moisture in the tip to remove mistakes, but not ruin the rest of my makeup. Perfect!

  4. Chelsea says:

    Pointed cotton swabs and eye makeup remover can fix almost any eye makeup mishap!

  5. slick says:

    I do my eyes first and I noticed this “scooting” problem with fallout you speak of. So what I do now is apply only my face primer before I do my eyes. The primer keeps the fallout from sticking and sinking to the skin – so its very easy to brush off afterwards. I then go back and apply foundation after eyes!

  6. Kim says:

    This will illustrate just how basic I am. 🙂 My only real clean-up issue is mascara on my lids/ upper lash line. I used to put on liner first and then mascara but it drove me nuts to have black spots on my brown liner. So, now, it’s mascara first. I clean up any smudges with a Qtip (that I’ve licked, naturally), the put on my primer and liner. It probably won’t work for complicated looks where you want to finish and fan the lashes out with mascara at the end. But, it’s great if you’re just a liner person. 🙂

  7. Nadia A says:

    Hi! My Tuesday Tip is related somewhat to eye makeup. A few months ago, I decided to start using a new baby shampoo to start cleaning my makeup brushes. I decided to use Johnson’s Baby No More Tangles Extra Conditioning Shampoo.

    This baby shampoo is awesome at cleaning my makeup brushes!!! I was able to quickly clean all of my makeup brushes in half the time it took me to clean them with Johnson’s regular baby shampoo. Each of my brushes’ bristles looked great after I cleaned them. They also did not have any residue that some brush cleaners and other baby shampoos can leave behind. I highly recommend this baby shampoo for cleaning all types of makeup brushes.

  8. Gabi says:

    Whenever I’m out of eye makeup remover I grab the nearest facial moisturizer, put some on a q tip and erase any mistakes. It works like magic!
    Gabi recently posted … Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser.

  9. penelope says:

    My best tip is to use q-tips soaked in olive oil and/or moisturizer. The best ones I’ve tried are by Almay and they are called the makeup eraser sticks. These tiny q tips fit conveniently in purses and are great for on the go. You can also make your own at home by dipping a clean q tip into olive oil. Nothing has worked as well and I’ve tried everything.

  10. I used to put on my foundation before eye makeup, but I did get annoyed at the amount of fallout out sticking to my cheeks. Now I apply it after. Since my skin is non-sticky before foundation, I just use a clean, fluffy powder brush to sweep away excess.
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Jouer Mineral Powder Bronzer in Suntan Review & Swatches

  11. Teri says:

    I never realised until recently that people do their make-up in a different order. I always start with the base, I thought it was the logical thing to do, lol. When I make a make-up mistake I use a q-tip slightly drenched in make-up remover and swipe it over the mistake. It works like a charm! I do avoid messy powdery eye shadows, but if I ever get into loose pigments I definitely want to try the shadow shields! There must be a way to create your own tho, must look into this!
    Teri recently posted … Cream Eye Shadows: A Guide and Comparison

  12. Katherine G says:

    I have a few makeup removing pads from Almay that work to clean up mistakes. I also do my foundation first so that I don’t layer on the eyeshadow or liner too heavy. In the summer it’s been tinted moisturizer and Physician’s Formula Mineral Glow pearls as my foundation. If I’m out of makeup remover, a Q-tip with Vaseline or lotion works wonders. For completely removing my makeup, I’ve fallen in love with Sonia Kashuk’s eye makeup remover. It easily removes even waterproof makeup and leaves my eyes feeling fresh, not rubbed raw.

  13. I use either a slightly damp q-tip for mascara or eyeliner smudges or my fan brush for powder fall out mess. It’s gentle enough that it doesn’t mess up my foundation or blush.

  14. Lulle says:

    I usually do my face after the eyes, especially if I’m using powder shadows.

    To clean up fall out, I haven’t found anything better than makeup removing wipes! I tried fan brushes but they don’t remove enough pigment.
    Lulle recently posted … Milani High Speed Fast Dry Nail Lacquer – Violet Dash

  15. Nina says:

    Ive always been an eye makeup before base type of gal, but tomorrow, ill try your tip, Karen, and do my base makeup first!

    My clean up tip would be really, really basic – QTips are your friend. They make specially pointed QTips for makeup use and the pointy tip helps clean up smudges, define the brows and also clean up excess lipstick from the edges of the lips!

    While the regular sized QTips work as well, there’s something about the pointy tip thats so nifty that makes me adore it!

  16. Liz says:

    I do my eye makeup before foundation. I use Pond’s wipes to get rid of any fallout after doing my eye makeup. Then I proceed with the rest of my face.

  17. Nothing new, but I like to use a q-tip soaked in non-oily makeup remover to fix mistakes. I’ve been using Simple, but I bet a micellar water would work really well!
    Emi at Project Swatch recently posted … Sinful Colors Enchanted Collection Swatches & Comparison

  18. Christine says:

    I always do the wings of my eyeliner before I line my upper lashline; since I have a monolid the wings are all you really see, so I perfect those first.

  19. BooBooNinja says:

    Karen, how does putting on your base/face makeup first make the whole process faster?
    A Makeup Noob. 🙂

  20. For very graphic make-up, I like to use measuring tape 🙂

  21. Alexandra says:

    I use a cotton bud or q tip as you call them,with a tiny bit makeup remover on it.
    May i ask what brush you are showing in the pics ?

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