Onions and shallots make me sob, not a couple of tears but full on gushing. Even just peeling and cutting in half to throw into the food processor makes my eyes start running. I've tried a variety of techniques: wearing contacts, wearing goggles (now that's pretty), keeping onions in fridge, cutting them in a bowl of water (messy and too hard), and finally I just gave up and let the tears and mascara run down my face...until now!
I read a tip in Cooks' Illustrated to cut onions near an open flame such as a candle or a gas burner. Since I have a gas stove and my cutting area is right next to it, I decided to give it a try. If I am cooking the onions anyway, I figured I could warm the pan and the oil while the burner is on thereby killing a couple of birds with one stone.
Et voila! It worked. The fumes from the flames counteract the fumes in the onion that burn the eyes. So put a candle nearby or get that skillet warmed up next time you have to cut up an onion.
I love those Cooks' Illustrated people! They have such good ideas. If you know of other techniques that work, let me know.