Eyeliner can dramatically enhance the appearance of your eyes. A single line can change the shape of your eyes and be the finishing touch to your look. However, if you use an eyeliner that’s not waterproof, you may get smudges and smears around your eyes throughout the day since natural skin oils, heat and humidity can make your eyeliner run. To keep your eyeliner from coming off, create a matte base using a variety of makeup products.

Things You'll Need

Wash and dry your face. Use a mild facial cleanser made for your skin type. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and use a towel to pat your face and eyelids dry.

Moisturize your face with a facial moisturizer geared toward your skin type. Avoid the eye area, because moisturizer that gets on your eyelids may make them greasy.

Apply primer to your eyelids to make your eyeliner last longer. Use a special eyelid primer or a general facial primer in a neutral color. Avoid vigorously rubbing the product on your eyelids; instead, use light taps from your ring finer to distribute the primer.

Dot foundation on your eyelids and spread it out with your ring finger. Use a foundation color that’s closest to your skin tone. Work from the inner corners of your eyelids toward the outside. Wait one minute to allow the foundation to set.

Dip a powder brush in translucent, loose powder and tap it on the edge of the powder container to remove excess product. Apply the powder to your lids with light patting and sweeping motions. The powder helps set the foundation and absorbs oil.

Apply eye shadow to your lids. This should be done before applying eyeliner because the sweeping motion made when applying eye shadow can wipe away and smudge your liner.

Pull the eyelid taut with your fingers and draw a line from the inner corner of the eyelid to the outer corner. Apply the liner as lightly as possible because the thicker your application, the greater the risk of it running and smudging. Avoid blinking your eyes for one minute; if the liner is not dry it may smudge on your skin.

Apply translucent powder to your eyelids to help set your eyeliner.

Apply liner to your lower eyelids. Line the outer part of your lids up until the tear duct. Avoid the tear duct area because the moisture may make the eyeliner run.


  • Use a gel or a cream-to-powder eyeliner as these are less likely to come off, smudge and smear.