Smudging Eyeliner? How to Keep It in Place All Day


We’ve been wearing eyeliner for centuries, dating way back to Ancient Egypt and further. But nowadays, keeping your eyeliner in one place for a full day of work or play is a challenge.

Do you continue to struggle with eyeliner that smudges, transfers, or just fails to maintain those crisp lines you desire? Let’s explore the top ways to keep your eyeliner in place all day, every day.

Find Your Ideal Pencil

It all starts with the perfect eyeliner pencil to bring sharp contrast to your eye area. Whether you prefer thin and subtle outlines or like to lay it on thick, you need the right tools for the job.

Find a sleek pencil that you can aim and control, but still has enough size to shade effectively and glides with ease.

Also find out the expected duration of your eyeliner before you buy and apply it. Most products are meant to hold strong for around six hours, then become more prone to smearing and smudging.

Certain pencils are approved for long wear, while others are better for the short term. Ask friends and read online reviews to see which eyeliner pencil gets the job done and lasts as long as you need.

Follow the Blueprint

Everyone gets comfortable with their daily makeup routine, sometimes forgetting the proper order of operations. It’s worth a reminder that eyeliner is one of the later steps in the process, even for minimal applications.

Moisturizer and eye cream are the most important items to set a solid foundation, followed by tinted layers and balms that provide spot coverage. If you’ve been skipping the under-eye concealer, you may be missing out on better adhesion for both eye shadow and eyeliner.

In short, prepare your face first with a healthy, smart skincare routine before even looking at your eyeliner or anything else for the eyes. The goal is to set a strong foundation of glowing skin that isn’t too oily or dry, then work with the canvas once ready.

Try Primers or Setting Sprays

Some say that primers and setting products are unnecessary with the right moisturizer and skincare routines, but it couldn’t hurt to set the stage for longer-lasting eyeliner. Some are powders, others are sprays, but they are all designed to keep colors in place for a longer duration.

Just a bit of powder can go a long way for adding extra glow to the eye area and maintaining eyeliner for hours on end. This can be especially useful for a long and grueling daytime event like a wedding or outdoor party.

As always, experiment with a few simple products before committing to a routine, and see which ones interact best with one another and your skin.

Attack Oils at the Source

Oily skin is the worst enemy of eyeliner, so neutralize oils by configuring your skincare, diet, and other lifestyle tweaks. It’s not 100% in your control, of course, as genetics do play a role here.

However, a few minor changes can alter oil production in the skin for the better and allow your eyeliner to stick around far longer. Some products help keep oils to a minimum, but ultimately, it takes time and effort to attack this issue properly.

Layer Slowly (Not All at Once)

With highly pigmented pencils, it’s easy to get carried away with the eyeliner and end up with color overload. Alternatively, you can layer slowly with thinner, more accurate swipes and avoid this problem altogether.

A lighter touch can serve you well, and you may discover that less is more when it comes to eyeliner of any kind. Slower and more precise layering will also help build color bit by bit and help combat smudging throughout the day.

Slow it down and take your time with lighter layers, and you may avoid those streaks and smudges completely.

Consider Reapplication

Why not keep your trusty eyeliner in your purse or backpack as you go about your day at work or school? There’s nothing wrong with a subtle reapplication every now and then.

After all, eyeliner looks best when freshly applied, and it should only take a minute or two once you’ve mastered the process.

You may even benefit from an extra dab of moisturizer or concealer to reset your eye makeup entirely after a long morning and afternoon. This helps refresh the eye area and gives you the extra boost of confidence you want for the evening hours.

Keep it (Somewhat) Sharp

A sharp eyeliner pencil provides more accuracy and ensures that each line is applied perfectly. Don’t let a dull pencil point be your downfall when applying eyeliner.

Just like middle school, keep a pencil sharpener in your bag so you always have a fine point to maximize precision and get the look you really want.

No More Smudging, Ever

Nobody should have to deal with smudging eyeliner if you’ve got the right tools and techniques. Refer back to this guide and take control of your look around the clock.