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Skin Deep: Here's what to do with your makeup when you know you're going to be crying

It might be a wedding or a funeral, or a final break-up chat.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

Sometimes in our lives, we will find ourselves putting on makeup, knowing that we’ll soon be crying. It might be a wedding or a funeral, or a final break-up chat. Perhaps, if you’re like me, it’s simply a relatively intense one-to-one meeting which you seem to be absolutely incapable of getting through without tears, no matter how hard you try. But one thing is for sure, tears are on the horizon.

These situations often make the application of makeup feel somewhat futile, but aside from the therapeutic value of the process, feeling like we look our best can help us find strength when heading into difficult situations. So, with that in mind, what can you do to make your makeup as cry-proof as possible?


First, it’s important to think strategically. You may like to wear perfect black eyeliner flicks every day, but those bad boys are not going to survive a real cryfest. Once the tears have dried, you can go and apply your flicks, but if you have them on during the crying it’s going to be black streak central, both in your actual eyes or running down your face. With that in mind, let’s keep things simple and emphasise the lips. A bold, matte lip won’t be impacted by crying, but it still provides a healthy dose of glamour.

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When it comes to the rest of your face, avoid powder if possible. Powder and tears don’t mix, as you’ll know if you’ve ever collected your younger sister from a teenage disco. If you have a cream blush, use that, and apply it before your foundation. Not only will this give you a natural blushing look, but your blush will be more likely to last. Same goes for your contour. If you’re happy to leave it out entirely, do, but if not, use cream products under your foundation (NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick is handy and won’t break the bank). Now, when I say under your foundation, I obviously don’t mean under super-heavy full-coverage foundation. If that’s what you use then there’s no point. Honestly though, a lighter foundation will yield better results when mixed with tears as the impact will be less noticeable. If you have a longwearing foundation then definitely make use of it.
Unless you’re planning on really losing it, your brows should survive as normal, and when it comes to your actual eyes, again, simplicity is key. A cream eyeshadow will survive best. The secret to using these effectively is blending, and blending quickly. Lash a neutral colour on the lid and along the lower lash line, but then blend the edges thoroughly. I like Mac Pro-Longwear Paint Pots and Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo 24 Hour Cream Gel Eyeshadow. You can follow this with a slightly darker colour in the crease and around the outer corner of your eye if you like, but remember a light eye with a glam lip looks really beautiful and modern.

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Next, apply lots of mascara. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but mascara has come a long way and even non-waterproof mascara tends to survive relatively well these days as long as you don’t rub your eyes. And frankly, life is too short not to wear mascara. Obviously, in this situation, a waterproof mascara is recommended (I like Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara), just make sure you have some decent eye-makeup remover for getting it off at the end of the day (this Vichy one is my favourite, it gets everything off with minimal effort).
Finally, apply your lipstick with aplomb. Line those lips, and fill them in with your favourite long-lasting liquid lipstick (I like Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Lips, or NYX Lip Lingerie). Your tears shouldn’t impact your lips, but if you’re at your face with a tissue then accidents may happen with a traditional lipstick. Then, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are strong and you can get through whatever it is you have to get through.

071715-kourtney-kardashian-cry-face1 Source: E! Entertainment

P.S. In most cases, once you start crying, you’ll probably stop caring about your makeup, but if you are still concerned, then here are a few tips:
  1. Dab, don’t rub. Rubbing will make a mess, dabbing will do minimal language.
  2. Rather than rubbing a tissue back and forth over your nose, squeeze it gently around your nostrils to soak up any offending liquid without increasing redness.
  3. Channel the Kardashians and get those tears right out of the gate. Dab your tissue gently in the corners of your eyes when the tears come before they can do any damage.

New Product

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 21.05.24 Source: Inglot

These days, many beauty fans are asking questions about the environmental impact of their habits, with packaging often providing pause for thought. Our massive use of plastic packaging certainly isn’t doing the planet any favours, so you’ll be glad to hear that Inglot have introduced a new flexi palette made of naturally coloured bamboo. You can still fill it with your favourite products, but you can feel a little bit better about what happens to it when you’re finished with it. The empty palette will set you back €18.

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