How to Make your Eyeliner Stay Put

Crafting the perfect cat eye, only to find it smudged an hour later, can be a heartbreaking and frustrating dilemma – no matter how good eyeliner looks when you put it on, by the end of the day most of it has spread all around your eyes, giving you the appearance of a raccoon. While sometimes you might be able to pause for a touch-up, some days are too busy to allow for the luxury of a touch-up. In these cases, there are a number of methods you can employ to make sure your eyeliner stays put throughout the day.


  • 1

    Use a liquid (gel or cream) eyeliner instead of the pencil varieties – these do not smudge easily, and have extreme longevity. Try out products like the Bobbi Brown gel liner, the Mac Blacktrack gel liner, the Maybelline waterproof liquid eyeliner, or the L'Oreal Linear Intense eyeliner.

  • 2

    Always opt for the waterproof and smudge-proof varieties – while kohl might be suitable for creating a smudgy and soft smoky eye, it is far from practical for everyday use. If you must, use kohl only on your water line – for the upper lash line, always select a waterproof and budge-proof eyeliner.

  • 3

    If you are planning to use pencil liner, apply some concealer to your eyelid before putting on your liner. This will not only help the eyeliner stick to your lids for longer, it will also give the line added intensity and sharpness. Other products you can use to increase longevity are face primers or  moisturisers – apply some on your lid before using the liner, and the stickiness will help the eyeliner stick to the lid. Once you are done applying your liner and eye shadow, dust a little bit of powder over your eyes, to help the makeup stay put.

  • 4

    Make sure you wash your face before the application of makeup and eyeliner – this might seem like a basic step, but oftentimes it is the excess oil on skin that can cause eyeliner and makeup in general to smudge – cleanse your face with a good clarifying face wash, apply a little bit of light moisturiser, and then proceed to put on your liner.

  • 5

    Try freezing your eyeliner 10 minutes before the application. Eyeliners are made of wax, so the time in the freezer will harden the liner, and enable you to create a crisp and sharp line that will stay put throughout the day, as opposed to a melting line that will start to droop the moment you step out the door.

  • 6

    When you apply your liner, do not slide on excessive strokes – be quick and precise about it, as the more the layers, the more likely the liner is to melt and smudge. Try sticking to the “two strokes” rule – first, apply one stroke of liner from the middle of your eyelid to the outer crease, and then another stroke from the inner corner of your eye to the middle.

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