As a makeup artist, one of the questions I am asked most frequently asked is how to keep eyeliner from smearing.
I know what a drag it is to work so hard to do your makeup in the morning and have it smudge, smear and disappear by the afternoon. So let me help with that. Here are three tricks to keep eyeliner from smudging and smearing. Plus, I have created the FREE How to Keep Eyeliner From Smearing Checklist for you to download!
1) Choose long lasting eyeliner products.
This may sound obvious but not all eyeliners are created equal. Whether you prefer pencil or liquid formulas, make sure to buy eyeliners that are advertised as “long wearing” or “smudge resistant”. If you don’t buy eyeliners with “long wearing” promises, it’s really a gamble to see how long they will last.
One of my favorite makeup tricks is to use cream eyeliner on the eyes. I find cream eyeliner to be very versatile as well as long lasting. For tips on how to apply cream eyeliner, check out my makeup tutorial How to Wear Blue Eyeliner. This video shares lots of great tips, even if the blue eyeliner look is not your thing!
Also… avoid, avoid, avoid kohl eyeliners at all costs. Soft kohl eyeliners are fantastic, but will always create smoky eyes, whether you actually intend to or not! Will waterproof eyeliners last? Absolutely.
2) Set the under eye area with powder.
The thin skin under the eye area tends to be a bit oilier than other parts of your face. This natural oil will break down eyeliner fairly quickly if you don’t “mattify” it with a little powder. I recommend using a small, fluffy brush to sweep a little powder under your eye, prior to adding eyeliner. This will create a matte texture on the skin, which will help grab the eyeliner and keep it in place.
I recommend using the Blot Powder by MAC. It is super lightweight and oil absorbing, so it’s the best powder to use underneath the eye area. It won’t be too heavy for the delicate skin there, or settle into fine lines.
Also consider what kind of under eye concealer you might be using. Cream concealers are emollient based and keep more moisture at the surface of the skin. Too much moisture on the skin is the enemy of long wearing makeup!
Try switching to a liquid or water based concealer underneath the eyes. As water based concealers dry on the skin, the moisture evaporates. This makes the concealers longer wearing and more smudge resistant. By having a nice matte surface under the eyes, this will add to the staying power of your eyeliner.
3) Apply eyeshadow on top of eyeliner.
After applying eyeliner, add an eyeshadow of a similar color on top of your eyeliner to “set” it. Use a very small brush and press the shadow into place. This will add maximum staying power and will keep eyeliner from smearing. If you don’t have an eye shadow of a matching color, a little translucent powder will work as well.
Want to have a free downloadable checklist to help remember all of all of these tips? Perfect! I created one for you, just click the picture below.