Eyeliner dramatically enhances your eyes when you first apply it, but keeping the cosmetic in place for hours can present a challenge. Oil-based and wax-based eyeliners melt from body heat and migrate to the under-eye area. Powdered pigments have greater staying power and act as a dam to prevent eyeliner from shifting. Adding powder to both the un-lined skin and to the eyeliner itself ensures a lasting application.

Things You'll Need

Blot your upper and lower eyelids with a clean, dry tissue to absorb any residual moisturizer or facial oils that could impede the adherence of the makeup to your skin.

Apply a thin layer of concealer to the upper and lower lids, but not all the way to the lash line. Leave a concealer-free space for the eyeliner; the liner can cling to bare, clean skin better than to a layer of another cosmetic that could shift.

Blend the concealer with the pads of your ring fingers, pressing and patting the concealer into place. Patting on the cosmetic gives it a smoother texture than dragging, and using your ring fingers avoids pulling delicate under-eye skin.

Collect a small amount of translucent powder on the tip of a cotton swab and sweep it over the concealer to set the makeup.

Apply eyeliner along the lash line and try to keep the makeup to areas of bare skin. Work the liner among the eyelashes as well as along the base of the lashes for an unbroken line of color.

Pick up a dark eyeshadow that closely matches the eyeliner color on the flat edge of a small eyeshadow brush. Tap away any excess shadow and press the edge of the brush over the eyeliner. The layer of powdered color will help the oil-based liner stay in place on the eyelid.

Go over the eyeliner with the eyeshadow brush and press the powdery eyeshadow into the liner. Feather and blend the eyeshadow with the brush for a smokier line or leave a sharp delineation between eyeliner and concealer for a crisp liner style.


  • Pencil and gel eyeliners have less stamina than liquid liners, but produce a softer line.

  • Softer pencils apply more easily.

  • Use waterproof eyeliner for additional staying power.

  • Try different shades of eyeshadow as a setting powder for eyeliner.

  • Keep dramatic liner shapes like winged eyeliner symmetrical with a little time away from the mirror; after applying, do something else for a few minutes and return to the mirror to check for symmetry, correcting as needed.