Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Eyeliner is a powerful tool in enhancing your eyes and defining your overall makeup look. However, it can be frustrating when your carefully applied eyeliner smudges or fades throughout the day.

To ensure long-lasting and smudge-proof results, it’s important to learn how to set your eyeliner properly. In this comprehensive guide, we will share effective techniques, tips, and tricks to help you achieve flawless eyeliner that lasts all day.

Say goodbye to smudged liner and hello to stunning, defined eyes!

Why Setting Eyeliner is Important

Setting your eyeliner is essential for several reasons:

Longevity: By setting your eyeliner, you ensure that it stays in place throughout the day, without smudging, fading, or transferring onto your eyelids.

Smudge-Proof Finish: Setting prevents your eyeliner from smudging due to sweat, oil, or rubbing.

Intensifies Color: Setting eyeliner can enhance the color payoff and intensity, making your eyes appear more defined and captivating.

Cleaner Lines: Setting your eyeliner helps to create precise, sharp lines, avoiding any feathering or bleeding.

Now that you understand the importance of setting eyeliner, let’s dive into the techniques to achieve a long-lasting and smudge-proof application.

Prepping Your Eyes for Eyeliner

Before applying eyeliner, it’s crucial to prepare your eyes to ensure a smooth application and better longevity. Here’s a simple prepping routine:

Cleanse: Start by cleansing your eye area to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup residue that may interfere with the eyeliner’s adherence.

Moisturize: Apply a lightweight eye moisturizer to hydrate the skin around your eyes. This step helps to create a smooth canvas for eyeliner application.

Primer: Use an eye primer specifically formulated for the eyelids. The primer helps to even out the skin tone, control oiliness, and enhance the longevity of your eyeliner.

Choosing the Right Eyeliner Formula

The choice of eyeliner formula can significantly impact its staying power. Different formulas offer different benefits, so choose the one that suits your preferences and needs:

Pencil Eyeliner: Pencil eyeliners are versatile and easy to use. They provide a softer, more blendable look but may require setting to prevent smudging.

Liquid Eyeliner: Liquid eyeliners offer intense pigmentation and precise lines. Look for smudge-proof or waterproof formulas for better longevity.

Gel Eyeliner: Gel eyeliners come in pots or pencils. They offer excellent control and versatility, allowing you to create different eyeliner styles. Gel eyeliners often have long-lasting properties and are smudge-proof.

Cream Eyeshadow as Eyeliner: Cream eyeshadows can double as eyeliners, providing a soft, smudged effect. Use an angled brush to apply and set with eyeshadow or setting powder.

Applying Eyeshadow as a Setting Powder

Eyeshadow can act as a setting powder for your eyeliner, helping to lock it in place. Follow these steps to set your eyeliner with eyeshadow:

Apply Eyeliner: Start by applying your desired eyeliner along your lash line. Use short, controlled strokes for precision.

Choose a Setting Shade: Select an eyeshadow shade that complements your eyeliner color. For example, if you’re wearing black eyeliner, choose a matte black or dark gray eyeshadow.

Pick the Right Brush: Use a small, dense brush with synthetic bristles for better precision and control.

Press and Set: Dip the brush into the eyeshadow and gently press it onto the eyeliner line. This will set the eyeliner and prevent smudging or fading.

Blend and Soften: Use a clean blending brush to softly blend the eyeshadow into the eyeliner, creating a seamless transition.

Using a Setting Spray

A setting spray is an excellent option to seal your eyeliner and ensure long-lasting wear. Follow these steps to use a setting spray:

Apply Eyeliner: Start by applying your eyeliner as desired, whether it’s a winged liner, tightline, or any other style.

Choose a Setting Spray: Look for a setting spray specifically designed for the eyes. These sprays are formulated to lock in eyeliner and prevent smudging.

Hold and Spray: Close your eyes and hold the setting spray bottle about 8-10 inches away from your face. Mist the spray evenly over your eyelids, making sure to cover the eyeliner.

Allow to Dry: Keep your eyes closed for a few seconds to allow the setting spray to dry. Avoid blinking or touching your eyes until the spray has completely dried.

Utilizing Waterproof Eyeliner

Waterproof eyeliner is an excellent option for those who want their eyeliner to withstand humidity, tears, or sweat. Follow these steps to use waterproof eyeliner effectively:

Choose a Waterproof Formula: Look for eyeliner products specifically labeled as “waterproof” or “long-wearing.” These formulas are designed to resist moisture and stay in place.

Prep Your Eyes: Follow the prepping routine mentioned earlier to ensure a smooth application.

Apply Waterproof Eyeliner: Apply the waterproof eyeliner along your lash line, using short, precise strokes. Build up the intensity gradually.

Avoid Rubbing: Once the waterproof eyeliner sets, avoid rubbing or smudging it, as it may compromise its longevity.

Applying Translucent Powder

Translucent powder can help set your eyeliner and reduce any excess shine on the eyelids. Here’s how to use translucent powder:

Apply Eyeliner: Start by applying your eyeliner as desired, ensuring a clean and precise line.

Choose a Translucent Powder: Pick a finely-milled translucent powder that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter.

Pick the Right Brush: Use a small, fluffy brush or an angled brush to apply the translucent powder.

Dab and Set: Dip the brush into the translucent powder and gently tap off any excess. Lightly press the brush onto the eyeliner, focusing on the line and any areas prone to smudging or fading.

Blend and Dust: Use a clean blending brush to softly blend the translucent powder into the eyeliner, ensuring a seamless finish.

Setting Eyeliner with a Gel or Cream Eyeshadow

Gel or cream eyeshadows can provide an excellent base and help set your eyeliner. Follow these steps:

Apply Eyeliner: Start by applying your eyeliner along the lash line using your preferred eyeliner product.

Choose a Gel or Cream Eyeshadow: Select a gel or cream eyeshadow shade that complements your eyeliner color or adds depth to your eye look.

Use an Angled Brush: Take an angled brush and dip it into the gel or cream eyeshadow.

Press and Set: Gently press the brush onto the eyeliner, layering the gel or cream eyeshadow over it. This will set the eyeliner and give it a long-lasting finish.

Blend and Soften: Use a clean blending brush to blend the gel or cream eyeshadow into the eyeliner, creating a seamless transition between the two.

Long-Lasting Techniques for Specific Eyeliner Styles

Different eyeliner styles require specific techniques to achieve long-lasting results. Let’s explore techniques for popular eyeliner styles:

Winged Eyeliner

Prep Your Eyes: Cleanse, moisturize, and apply an eye primer to ensure a smooth canvas.

Draw the Wing: Using a liquid or gel eyeliner, draw a line from the outer corner of your eye towards the tail of your eyebrow. This line will be the extension of your lower lash line.

Connect the Wing: Create a triangle by drawing a line from the outer corner of your eye towards the center of your eyelid, connecting it to your upper lash line.

Fill in the Wing: Fill in the triangle with eyeliner, making sure the color is consistent and opaque.

Outline the Upper Lash Line: Draw a thin line along your upper lash line, starting from the inner corner and connecting it to the wing.

Finishing Touches: Clean up any mistakes with a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover. Set the eyeliner using the techniques mentioned earlier.


Prep Your Eyes: Cleanse and moisturize your eyes, ensuring a clean and hydrated surface.

Choose the Right Liner: Opt for a waterproof or long-wearing eyeliner pencil for better staying power.

Gently Lift Your Eyelid: Use a mirror and gently lift your eyelid to expose the upper waterline.

Apply the Eyeliner: Carefully line your upper waterline, getting as close to the roots of your lashes as possible. Start from the outer corner and work your way towards the inner corner.

Set with Eyeshadow: Set the eyeliner by applying a matching eyeshadow shade over the line using a small brush.

Smudged Eyeliner

Prep Your Eyes: Cleanse, moisturize, and apply an eye primer to create a smooth base.

Apply Eyeliner: Use a pencil eyeliner or a creamy eyeshadow stick to apply the eyeliner along your upper and lower lash lines.

Smudge with a Brush or Smudger: Take a smudging brush or a cotton swab and gently smudge the eyeliner to create a soft, blended effect.

Set with Eyeshadow: To enhance the longevity of the smudged eyeliner, set it with a matching eyeshadow shade using a small brush.

Optional: Seal with Setting Spray: For extra longevity, mist a setting spray over your eyes to lock in the smudged eyeliner.

Touch-Up Tips for Extended Wear

Even with the best techniques, touch-ups may be necessary to maintain the longevity of your eyeliner. Here are some tips for touch-ups on the go:

Blot Excess Oil: Use blotting papers or a clean tissue to gently blot any excess oil on your eyelids before touching up your eyeliner.

Reapply Eyeliner: Take a small brush or a pencil eyeliner and carefully reapply the eyeliner along your lash line or wherever it needs touch-up.

Set with Translucent Powder: Dust a small amount of translucent powder over the touch-up area to set the eyeliner and prevent smudging.

Removing and Reapplying Eyeliner

Sometimes, you may need to remove and reapply your eyeliner for a fresh look. Follow these steps:

Remove the Existing Eyeliner: Use a gentle eye makeup remover or micellar water on a cotton pad to remove the existing eyeliner. Gently swipe the cotton pad along your lash line until the eyeliner is completely removed.

Cleanse and Prep: Cleanse your eye area with a gentle facial cleanser and rinse thoroughly. Follow the prepping routine mentioned earlier to ensure a smooth application.

Reapply Eyeliner: Choose your preferred eyeliner product and reapply it according to the techniques mentioned earlier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use a translucent powder instead of eyeshadow to set my eyeliner?

A1: Yes, you can use translucent powder to set your eyeliner. It helps to mattify the eyeliner and prevent smudging.

Q2: How can I prevent my eyeliner from smudging on my lower lash line?

A2: To prevent smudging on the lower lash line, consider using a waterproof eyeliner or setting it with a matching eyeshadow shade.

Q3: How often should I touch up my eyeliner throughout the day?

A3: The frequency of touch-ups depends on various factors such as the eyeliner formula, your skin type, and environmental conditions. Generally, it’s recommended to check your eyeliner periodically and touch up as needed.


Setting your eyeliner is the key to achieving long-lasting, smudge-proof eyes that stay flawless throughout the day.

By following the techniques and tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your eyeliner remains in place, intensifies your eye look, and withstands various conditions.

Experiment with different methods and find the ones that work best for you. With a little practice and the right techniques, you can confidently rock your eyeliner without worrying about smudging or fading.

Get ready to showcase stunning eyes that make a lasting impression!

Related Articles