How to Prevent Dreaded Mascara Bleeding

Makeup has the rather annoying tendency to look great when you put it on in the morning, but deteriorate over the day – the smoky eyes you did up with such meticulous care before you left home will most likely end up looking like raccoon eyes by the time you return home in the evening. Among the types of makeup that smudge most easily is mascara.

Mascara smudging – or bleeding – occurs when the mascara begins running down your eyes. This might occur because it was a hot day, you took a nap, or accidentally rubbed your eyes. Whatever causes it, mascara bleeding can be extremely annoying – however, by employing a few techniques, you can prevent it from happening altogether.


  • 1

    To start with the prevention of mascara bleeding, begin by picking the right formula of mascara for your daily needs. Your safest bet is to invest in a tube of waterproof and smudge-proof mascara – this is a good start, although it will not save you from mascara bleeding entirely. Experiment with different types until you find the one that works for you, and keep in mind that it isn’t always the formula that is responsible for making the mascara run – it might be the oils on your face that are causing excessive smudging.

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  • 2

    Now that you have discovered which mascara that works for you, focus on other techniques to prevent bleeding. Try using an eyelash primer before applying your mascara – this works as a sort of foundation, that increases the longevity of the mascara, and reduces any chances of running or smudging.

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  • 3

    Do not apply mascara on your lower lashes, as these are closer to your skin, and come into contact with the skin oils – this, in turn, might lead the mascara to bleed. Restrict the mascara to the upper lash line only.

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  • 4

    When applying the mascara, wait in between coats, and allow it to dry fully before you move on to the next coat. In between coats make sure you use a lash comb to brush through and separate your lashes, otherwise they will clump together to create an unpleasant, spidery look.

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  • 5

    If your mascara is very prone to running, carry some emergency supplies with you in your purse. This can be a small compact mirror, cotton swabs, mascara, and concealer. These supplies will allow you to touch up your makeup on the go, and catch and correct any smudging the moment it happens.

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