When it comes to achieving the perfect eye makeup look, smudged eyeliner can be a frustrating setback. Smudged eyeliner can leave you looking tired and unkempt, undermining all your efforts to create a polished appearance. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent eyeliner from smudging, ensuring that your eye makeup stays flawless throughout the day.

To prevent eyeliner from smudging, it is crucial to start with a good quality eyeliner that is smudge-proof or long-lasting. Look for eyeliners that are specifically designed to resist smudging, such as waterproof or gel formulas. Additionally, applying an eyeshadow primer on your eyelids before applying eyeliner can create a smooth and oil-free canvas, helping the eyeliner adhere better and last longer. Finally, remember to gently pat on a translucent or setting powder over the eyeliner to set it in place and absorb any excess oil or moisture that could cause smudging.

how to prevent eyeliner from smudging

Understanding the Causes of Eyeliner Smudging

Eyeliner is a staple in most makeup routines. It helps define the eyes and adds that extra touch of glamour to any look. However, one common issue that many people face is eyeliner smudging throughout the day. This can be frustrating and ruin the overall effect of your makeup. To prevent eyeliner from smudging, it is essential to understand the causes behind it.

There are a few factors that contribute to eyeliner smudging. Firstly, oily eyelids can cause the eyeliner to break down and smear. The natural oils on your eyelids can mix with the eyeliner product, causing it to transfer and smudge. Secondly, using the wrong type of eyeliner can also lead to smudging. For instance, using a creamy or gel-based eyeliner on oily eyelids can increase the chances of smudging. Finally, certain environmental factors, such as humidity or excessive sweating, can exacerbate smudging issues.

So, how can you prevent eyeliner from smudging? One useful tip is to apply an eyeshadow primer or a lightweight eyeshadow as a base on your eyelids before applying eyeliner. This creates a barrier between your eyelids and the eyeliner, helping to absorb excess oils and prolong the wear time of the eyeliner. You can learn more about how to use eyeshadow as a base for eyeliner by following this link.

Choosing the Right Eyeliner Formula

When it comes to preventing eyeliner smudging, choosing the right formula is crucial. Different eyeliner formulas have different wear times and levels of smudge resistance. Here are some popular eyeliner formulas and their benefits:

1. Waterproof Eyeliner

Waterproof eyeliner is designed to stay in place, even in the presence of water or sweat. This formula is highly resistant to smudging and can last all day without any touch-ups. If you have oily eyelids or live in a humid climate, waterproof eyeliner can be an excellent option to prevent smudging. It provides a long-lasting, smudge-free finish.

Key Benefits of Waterproof Eyeliner

  • Highly resistant to smudging
  • Long-lasting wear
  • Waterproof formula
  • Perfect for oily eyelids or humid climates

Tips for Using Waterproof Eyeliner

  • Make sure to properly remove waterproof eyeliner with a gentle makeup remover.
  • Use an oil-based cleanser or a waterproof makeup remover to effectively dissolve the product.
  • Avoid rubbing or pulling on the delicate eye area to prevent irritation or damage.

2. Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliners are known for their creamy and long-lasting formula. They provide intense pigmentation and glide smoothly on the eyelids, making them an excellent choice for preventing smudging. The gel formula sets after application, ensuring a smudge-free finish throughout the day. Gel eyeliners are also versatile and can be used to create both subtle and dramatic eyeliner looks.

Key Benefits of Gel Eyeliner

  • Creamy and long-lasting formula
  • Intense pigmentation
  • Smooth application
  • Versatile for various eyeliner looks

Tips for Using Gel Eyeliner

  • Ensure that your brush is clean and free of any product buildup for a precise application.
  • Set the gel eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow to further enhance its longevity and prevent smudging.
  • Store your gel eyeliner in a cool, dry place to avoid it drying out or becoming too creamy.

Applying Eyeliner: Tips for Smudge-Free Results

In addition to choosing the right formula, there are some application techniques you can use to achieve smudge-free results with your eyeliner. Follow these tips for a flawless finish:

1. Prep Your Eyelids

Before applying eyeliner, it’s essential to prep your eyelids properly. Start by cleansing and moisturizing your face and ensuring your eyelids are clean and free of any oil or makeup residue. Use a primer or lightweight eyeshadow as a base, as mentioned earlier, to create a smooth surface for the eyeliner to adhere to.

2. Use a Thin Brush

Using a thin brush allows for more precision and control when applying eyeliner. A small, angled brush or a fine-tip eyeliner brush can help create clean lines and prevent excess product from smudging.

3. Set the Eyeliner

To further enhance the longevity of your eyeliner and prevent smudging, consider setting it with a matching eyeshadow color. After applying the eyeliner, use a small, dense brush to lightly apply a similar eyeshadow shade over the liner. This acts as a barrier and helps lock the eyeliner in place.

4. Finish with a Waterproof Mascara

Lastly, finish off your eye makeup with a waterproof mascara. This will prevent any potential smudging or transfer from the mascara to the eyeliner, ensuring a clean and polished look.


Preventing eyeliner smudging requires a combination of the right formula, application techniques, and proper prep. By understanding the causes of smudging and implementing the tips mentioned in this article, you can achieve a smudge-free and long-lasting eyeliner look. Remember to choose a formula that suits your needs, prep your eyelids, use thin brushes for precise application, set the eyeliner with eyeshadow, and finish with a waterproof mascara. These steps will help you achieve flawless eyeliner that stays put all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers to help you prevent eyeliner from smudging.

1. How can I prevent my eyeliner from smudging throughout the day?

To prevent your eyeliner from smudging, start by properly preparing your eyelids. Ensure that your eyelids are clean and dry before applying eyeliner. Then, use an eyeshadow primer or a concealer as a base to create a smooth surface for the eyeliner. Set the primer with a translucent powder to prevent smudging.

When applying eyeliner, choose a waterproof or long-lasting formula. Gel or liquid eyeliners tend to be more smudge-proof than pencil eyeliners. Apply the eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible, and avoid applying too much product. Finally, set the eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow or a setting spray to lock it in place.

2. How do I prevent eyeliner from smudging on my lower lash line?

To prevent eyeliner from smudging on your lower lash line, start by applying a thin layer of translucent powder to your lower lash line and under-eye area. This will help absorb any excess moisture and oil that can cause smudging. Next, choose a waterproof or long-lasting eyeliner formula specifically designed for the lower lash line.

When applying the eyeliner on the lower lash line, make sure to avoid applying it too close to the waterline. Instead, focus on the outer two-thirds of the lash line. If you have oily skin or find that your eyeliner still smudges, consider using an eyeshadow or an eyeliner sealant on top to further enhance its staying power.

3. What can I do to make my eyeliner last longer on my oily eyelids?

If you have oily eyelids and struggle with eyeliner smudging, there are a few tricks you can try to make it last longer. First, start by using an eyeshadow primer specifically formulated for oily eyelids. Apply a thin layer of the primer to your eyelids, focusing on the areas where you usually apply eyeliner.

Next, choose a waterproof or long-lasting eyeliner formula that is known for its smudge-proof properties. Gel or liquid eyeliners tend to work well on oily eyelids. When applying the eyeliner, avoid pulling or tugging on the eyelid, as this can cause smudging. Lastly, set the eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow or a setting spray to lock it in place.

4. Are there any tips for preventing eyeliner from smudging in hot and humid weather?

In hot and humid weather, preventing eyeliner from smudging can be a challenge. To combat this, start by applying an eyeshadow primer to your eyelids to create a smooth and matte surface. This will help the eyeliner adhere better and stay in place.

When choosing an eyeliner, opt for a waterproof or smudge-proof formula that is specifically designed to withstand humid conditions. Gel or liquid eyeliners are generally more long-lasting than pencil eyeliners.

To further prevent smudging, avoid applying too much eyeliner and keep the application thin and precise. Set the eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow in a similar shade or with a translucent powder. Finally, consider carrying blotting papers or a travel-sized eyeshadow and eyeliner for touch-ups throughout the day.

5. How can I fix smudged eyeliner without removing all of my makeup?

If your eyeliner smudges but you don’t want to remove all of your makeup, there are a few steps you can take to fix it. Start by taking a clean cotton swab and gently dab it on the smudged areas to remove any excess product.

Next, take a small angled brush and dip it into a matte black eyeshadow. Gently tap off any excess product and carefully go over the smudged areas, following the shape of your eyeliner. This will help to redefine and darken the line, camouflaging any smudges.

To prevent eyeliner from smudging, there are a few tips you can try:

First, make sure your eyelids are clean and oil-free before applying eyeliner.

Next, try using an eyeshadow primer or a matte eyeshadow as a base before applying eyeliner. This can help absorb excess oil and prevent smudging.

Additionally, opt for waterproof or long-lasting eyeliner formulas, as they tend to be more resistant to smudging.

When applying eyeliner, make sure to let it dry completely before blinking or touching your eyes to avoid smudging.

You can also set your eyeliner with a matching eyeshadow or a translucent powder to lock it in place and prevent smudging.

Lastly, avoid rubbing or touching your eyes throughout the day, as this can cause the eyeliner to smudge.

By following these tips, you can keep your eyeliner in place and prevent smudging for a long-lasting, flawless look.


  • Maria J. Morrison

    Maria is a professional Beautician and his hobby is beauty & Personal care. she has been for the last 5 years and he loves makeup while on outings as well. Based on his experience with the different types of makeup. She is sharing his opinion about various makeup so that a beginner can get started the right way. Find him onTwitter here. Happy reading.