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If it’s a shimmery shadow, my finger. If it’s a matte…well no matter what I do my eyes before my base, so I can clean up any fallout.
I always do eyes before face, so I don’t worry too much about fallout. But with most powder eyeshadows, I start with NYX Proof It Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer and apply the eyeshadow while the primer is still tacky. For eyeshadows prone to fallout, I use my finger to apply it and a black-handled e.l.f. Blending Brush to blend.
For shimmers, glitter glue plus a finger. I always apply shimmers with a finger for maximum payoff in any case. If it’s a matte formula, I don’t worry about it that much. I don’t pick up that much so I don’t have that much of a problem.
One of two methods: 1.) Nyx Glitter Primer, then apply with either my finger or a flat concealer brush that I bought for exactly that purpose, great for glittery, flakey or softly pressed multichromes, or, 2.) Pick up the eyeshadow in question with a flat shader brush, spray it with MAC Fix+, usually best for metallic or shimmery shades.
Since I put foundation on my lid, I usually do like you, use my finger or a flat brush to lay the shadow down. I also tend to put a base shadow that holds the second powdery shadow. I also “knock off” some of the shadow, if I must (after packing in on the flat brush).
None – I only get fallout from metallic shadows and hate it so much that I switched to mostly cream and liquid metallics/glitters/shimmers. They’re easier to use, last longer and aren’t prone to fallout. I have hooded eyes and tried everything to keep sparkles from falling onto my face, from wet brushes to glitter glue to duraline, and it was just too much of a faff to deal with compared to liquids and creams that are easy to swipe on and blend.
I do all matte looks most of the time but when I do want to amp it up, 80% of the time I reach for a liquid or cream over powder shimmer.
For applying an eyeshadow that is prone to a bit of fallout, I gently wet a small eyeshadow brush (just a bit damp) to apply the eyeshadow carefully. I generally, these days, apply an eyeshadow primer first – currently I am using Mecca’s own primer – which has a doe applicator and so far I have been very happy with it.
Fingers for glittery w a kleenex held under my eye to catch fall out. But in reality if its super glittery i almost always end up w some glitter in weird spots on my face. I probably would weee more if i had a better method
a fixative or primer on application area, then depending on product
my clean finger, a sponge applicator, or a flat shadow brush pre-sprayed with a light fixative.