Help! How do I keep eyeliner from smudging?

senna ultra last eyeliner ultra black ultra brown 02

For years, I totally snubbed eyeliner. I used to find it hard to apply and so I would tell myself I didn’t need it. Until one day I tried it again. And I got hooked. I love the way it defines my eyes and gives them shape and these days, unless I’m really pressed for time, I never leave the house without.

However, our love affair wasn’t without problems. My lids are a bit oily and so eyeliners have the tendency to smudge and smear down my face after a few hours. So not a good look! Other times, instead, the liner would simply disappear. How frustrating!

For those of you that feel my pain, here’s a few tricks I learned to make eyeliner stay put all day:

1. Prime, prime, prime

Always apply a eyeshadow primer like good old Urban Decay Primer Potion or Senna Totally Transforming Eyeshadow Primer on your lid before lining your eyes. Primers act like a glue that will keep your eyeliner (and eyeshadow) in place all day preventing it from smudging. Some people also recommend applying some powder to your lid to soak up the oil before putting on eyeliner, but I find this works only if your lids aren’t very oily. Otherwise, a primer is your best bet.

2. Set with powder

Once you’ve applied your eyeliner, with a small angle or shader brush, go over the line with a matching eyeshadow. This locks the liner in place, keeping it from straying and smearing down your face.

3. Do your research

Using a good eyeliner is also important. If you buy on impulse, chances are you’ll be stuck with a liner that will soon smudge and smear on you. Instead, do you research and read reviews to know which eyeliners will last the test of time even on the oilest lids.

Do you have any more tips to prevent eyeliner from smudging?

10 Comment

  1. Sherry, don’t you just hate eyeliners that smudge? :( I think when buying eyeliners it is really important to do your research first, especially if you have very oily lids. Otherwise, you’ll probably just end up with a product that smudges within a couple of hours.

  2. Dao, when it comes to eyeliners I always read reviews before buying too. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with lipglosses or body washes for example, but eyeliners are a totally different story. I think liquid liners are the best at staying put once you apply them but they are also the most difficult type to use, at least for me. :(

  3. Wonderful tips! I do ALL of the above as much as possible! with the silly hot and humid down here, researching definitely is the key before purchasing!

  4. Nikki, eyeliners can smear so easy in hot and humid weather so doing your research before purchasing is a must, I agree. :)

  5. I tend to struggle more with eyeliner on my waterline. I have rather watery eyes and any makeup on my waterline does not last.

  6. Rachel, I feel your pain. Eyeliners on the waterline almost never last on me either. So far, the most longlasting I found was Barry M Intense Eyeliner Pen and Urban Decay pencils are pretty good too. I also heard that some people set eyeliner in the waterline with some matching eyeshadows to make it last longer but personally, I’ve never tried it.

  7. Tavia, you’re welcome. I used to be like you. For years I never used eyeliners because every time I applied them I made a huge mess and I didn’t have the patience to learn. But when I finally set my mind on it, I learned pretty quickly. It’s not too difficult and can really define the eyes so well. :)

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