What's the Best Makeup for Dry Eyelids?

Dry eyelids can be flaky and red, ruining even the most diligent eye makeup application. Here's how to choose eye makeup that looks beautiful and doesn't irritate dry lids.

If your friends complain about smeared eyeliner and mascara, whereas you wonder why you have scaly eyelids, you're not alone.

The delicate skin surrounding your eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, making the former especially vulnerable to dryness and flaking. If your skin is sensitive, you may also find that moisturising the eye area safely and effectively is challenging.

The right eye makeup for dry skin offers a flawless finish without highlighting flakes or settling into fine lines. But as always, beauty begins with proper skincare and self-care.


model with glossy lids

More Than Makeup: Prep Your Skin

You probably already know that moisturiser is the key to happy dry skin. What you might not realise is that your usual lotion is probably not right for your eyes.

Select a cream or gel moisturiser formulated for the eye area. Such products are both richer than face lotions and slightly less irritating to delicate skin. Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream offers protective hydration while reducing dark circles and puffiness.

If your eyelids are extremely flaky, rough, red, swollen, itchy, or otherwise irritated, you should visit a doctor. You could have a medical condition, such as blepharitis or contact dermatitis, that can be treated.

Never apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone or other general skin remedies to the eye area without consulting a doctor.


How Primer Can Help Dry Eyelids

Just as primer for your face helps smooth imperfections and correct discolouration, a special eyelid primer can help your eye makeup glide on more smoothly. Primer also gives your shadow and liner something to stick to, and creamy formulas offer a pop of moisture, reducing flakiness and irritation.

One product to try is theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer Dry contains light reflective particles, making your lids look extra brilliant.


model applying primer to eyelids


Eye Makeup Formulas for Dry Skin

The right eye makeup can almost completely eliminate flakiness. Look for cream or gel formulas, steering clear of powders and cream-to-powders. If you love a smoky look, creamy formulas are also incredibly easy to blend and smudge, offering a perfectly imperfect finish.

Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner allows you to control where your eyeliner goes, and its softly moisturising formula is unlikely to flake as the day passes.

Stock up on cream or liquid eyeshadows. These options offer rich, multidimensional colour that looks luscious, not flaky. Try using these in a pencil form - it's quicker and less messy. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick can double as a liner and comes in a wide range of colours. 


Shop theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer

Making Creamy Eye Makeup Last

Because creamy eye makeup contains moist ingredients, it tends to be less long-wearing than other formulas. Long-wearing products offer a matte finish that settles into the skin, but moisturising formulas tend to sit atop the skin, so they're more vulnerable to smearing.

If your eyelids are naturally dry, you may find that cream products stay put on you longer than if you had normal or oily skin. If you're not sure, try using a setting spray to keep your eye makeup in place. Skindinavia Bridal Finish leaves a dewy finish, whilst locking your makeup in place.


What's the Best Makeup for Dry Eyelids?