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Makeup Fail Day: I Had a Weird Reaction to My Makeup + Today’s Eye Look


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Don’t you just hate it when this happens? I put my eye makeup on first this morning and was really happy with how it turned out. Then – disaster struck. I applied my primer, foundation and powder and to my horror discovered a weird patchy area on my cheek that was very noticible. The more I tried to fix it – the more weird and patchy it got. Then, my eye started watering, and continued most of the day. By noon, I looked like I had a dry mess on my cheek, a patchy rash below my eye from the watery eye, and a puffy eyelid!

Not the look I was going for.

Needless to say – today was a complete makeup fail!

I’m not entirely sure what caused the reaction. I’m still fairly new to makeup. For years, I was happy wearing a double duty powder foundation with a little mascara . . . maybe a little eyeshadow. But that was it!

In about October of 2018, I signed up for Boxycharm (a makeup subscription service) and a love/obsession with makeup was born!

But, as a newbie- I am still learning a lot. I am still trying out products and techniques to see what works and looks good on me. I am 40, so I am learning how to take care of my skin and deal with lines, wrinkles, and skin issues that I didn’t have when I was younger!

It never ceases to amaze me – I spend the same amount of time on my face/makeup each day. Some days everything looks amazing and other days, I look like a sad clown. 

I’ve used all the products in today’s makeup look before. So I was pretty surprised when I started having problems. Unfortunately, with having to leave for work, I wasn’t really able to “fix” anything. I just had to make do and live with the fact that the makeup looked patchy and odd and was coming away in some spots and sticking badly in others. By the time I got home from work, my face felt raw and the patchiness had only worsened. Plus, my teary eye had made the makeup disappear from parts of that eye and below, so I had a red mark from worn off makeup above my patchy spot.  

So, in all it was a great fail, even though it started out looking good. So what happened? 

What Caused My Makeup Reaction?

Let’s start from the beginning. I have been trying out some skincare products from the Caudalie brand that I got from bonus Sephora VIB points:

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence & Caudalie Radiance Serum

Caudelie The Eye Cream

Caudelie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

I have been using them for a couple of weeks now.  

So far I’ve been liking all the products. I especially like how none of them make my face feel greasy or oily, which is a major pet peeve of mine with some other skin products. Since I have been using them for a couple weeks, I don’t think the Caudelie products cause my makeup reaction today. However, maybe the combination of those products with today’s primer and foundation was the problem?

I had been using Maybelline True Fit or Loreal Infalliable Matte Foundations without any issues, and I’ve also been on a run of Benefit’s The Porefessional Matte Rescue Primer, and have been happy with the results.

For some reason, I decided to change things up today, and that may have been my big mistake!

I switched the Porefessional for Bobbi Brown’s Moisturizer/Primer Face Base, and did Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation on top. As soon as I started applying the Rimmel, I knew things were going south.

The disappointing part was, I had done a nice shimmery eye using the Too Faced Natural Lust Palette combined with the ABH Norvina Palette and it looked good. So when my foundation started going on badly, I panicked. I had to leave for work soon. I couldn’t take it all off and start again. So I tried to patch the spot on my cheek the best I could. It was when I was driving to work that my eye started tearing, and it got so bad I had to press the sleeve of a jacket to my lower eyelid because the tears kept running down my face!

photo of reaction to makeup products

Soon, the skin around my eye felt raw and sensitive. I couldn’t wait to get home from work so I could just wash my face! The worst part was, I had to run a bunch of work errands, so my crazy makeup was on display everywhere I went. 

I have worn every one of the products before, just not in that particular combination. I don’t find that I have truly sensitive skin, but I apparently react to some things more than others.

Plus, I have had Psoriasis since I was a kid. It’s a skin condition characterized by burning, itchy, scaly patches of skin. Most of my flare ups are on my scalp, ears, or inner elbows, but lately I’ve been wondering if I have some on my eyelids, so I will need to keep an eye on that.

When I got home, I did wash my face right away. Instantly, I felt so much better! I will stick to my old combination of primer and foundation for a little while to see if that helps. 

So, unfortunately I can’t point to one reason why my skin reacted so badly to my makeup today. I have to guess that it was the combination of products used. 

Silicone vs. Water Based is a “Thing”

One possible explanation for the foundation creating patchy spots on my skin is that there could be a “repelling” between primer and foundation products if one is silicone based, and one is water based. One will pull away from the other product instead of adhering to the product beneath it, creating the appearance that your face makeup is blotchy. Unfortunately, before I used the Bobbi Brown primer and Rimmel foundation, I did not check the ingredients.

I searched the ingredients as I was writing this post, and I found that the Bobbi Brown Face Base Primer has Water as the first ingredient listed, but it also contains Dimethicone Crosspolymer. From what I understood, this is a silicone based ingredient and would cause the product to not adhere well to a water based product, but since this appears to have both, I am not sure what the answer is here. The Rimmel Stay Matte’s first ingredient is cyclopentasiloxane, which is derived from silicone. 

The whole water-based/silicone-based idea is new to me right now, so I will have to learn more about it!

In the meantime, if you are interested in looking up your own products to see what you can or can’t use together, there is a link to a spreadsheet posted on Reddit that has primers, foundations, concealers, CC and BB creams, and more categorized as water, silicone or oil based here:

Reddit Makeup Spreadsheet 

Today’s Eye Look

Before everything went haywire, I had created a nice eye look. Here’s how I did it: (keep in mind that although I do have some crepey skin below my eyes and on my eyelids, I still really like shiny, shimmer, glitter and sparkly eye products! I know these items may not work for everyone).

makeup eye look

First, I applied Ulta’s eye primer.

From the Too Faced Natural Lust Palette, I used “Love Language” over the outer lid, in the crease and slightly above the crease. Then, I took DM Me on a small brush and put it on the outer edges and a little under the eye. From the Norvina Palette, I used Volatile over the outer edge of my eye, and then I used my finger to pat Dazzling on the lid. Then back to the Lust palette for some All Tied Up in the inner corner of my eye. I touched that on with my pinkie finger. In my lower waterline, I applied Maybelline’s Tattoo Liner in Brown. I used Benefit Roller Lash Mascara.

Full List of Makeup worn today:

Caudelie Eye Cream

Bobbi Brown Moisturizer and Primer

Rimmel Matte Foundation

Rimmel Loose Matte Powder

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

Wet and Wild Mega Glow Highlighter

Urban Decay Peach Corrector

Jeffree Star Concealer

Laura Mercier Loose Powder

Two Faced Natural Lust palette

ABH Norvina Eye Palette

Maybelline Tattoo Liner on Waterline

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray on eye makeup

Elf Matte Setting Spray on face

Nyx Lingerie Matte Liquid Lipstick

Steve Laurent Gloss in Champagne

*Note: I purchased all makeup items myself because I like playing with makeup. None of the products mentioned are sponsored or affiliate links. I receive no compensation for any of these items!

I hope you enjoyed today’s adventures in makeup! All in all, it was a pretty terrible makeup day, but at least I learned something. Mainly, that I need to give myself more time to apply my makeup in case something goes wrong and I need to wash it off and start over! 

Feel free to share your own makeup adventures in the comments!

I own 18 eyeshadow palettes, and I ranked all of them from worst to best in this Epic Eye Palette Review post. 
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Jaime Leigh

Hi, I'm Jaime! I am a mixed media artist working in oil, collage, ink, and any other fun stuff I can get my hands on. I blog about mixed media art and the real tea on being an artist. I also love coffee, skulls, my family, and using naughty words (not necessarily in that order!) See my art at, follow me on Instagram to see works in progress, and read the blog for ALL the mixed media art things!
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