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There's a big difference between eyeliner that's been intentionally smudged and looks super carefree and accidental smudging that totally kills your vibe. If you've been contending with the latter beauty conundrum far too often lately, it might be time to add one of these expert-approved, smudge-proof eyeliners to your makeup bag.
Smudge-proof eyeliners makeup experts recommend
Wondering why your eyeliner is constantly coming undone halfway through the day? Your skin oils might be to blame. "They break down smudge-proof eyeliners, so I always recommend using an eye shadow primer on the eyelids first," celebrity makeup artist Robert Bryan advised.
The makeup expert adores this retractable waterproof liner that's safe to use on your waterline and free of parabens. The affordable price tag is certainly intriguing us, too!
The key to preventing smudging? A waterproof formula. "I actually think that all eyeliner should be waterproof, but they are not all created equal. There are times you will have to test different ones to see which works best," Kelsey Murrell, one half of the YouTube duo The Glam Twinz, told us.
If you’re looking for a precise application and an intense look, the makeup maven suggests trying a liquid liner like this vegan one that she says is her go-to. "Liquid liners are best because of the fine tip," she said.
Bryan looks for waterproof liners when he wants to go smudge-free, but also seeks out a few other key characteristics. "I also look for eyeliners that are soft and densely pigmented. This ensures that I can apply the least amount of product with the most color pay off, thus leaving less layers of product that can transfer off," he revealed.
This waterproof cream liner meets Bryan's seal of approval and is a dream to blend. It dries quickly and also has a durable matte finish that will work just as hard as you to make it through the day.
Craving bold color that won't budge? The name of this glide-on eye pencil says it all. "It's made to stay put all day," celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello said.
The award-winning eyeliner from Urban Decay comes in an impressive array of 38 colors (our favorites are called Electric Empire and Psychedelic Sister) and has a waterproof formula that's as smooth as silk, making application a breeze. It's also paraben- and cruelty-free.
Celebrity makeup artist Aaron Paul recommends looking for smudge-proof kohl pencils to help line the inner rim of your eyelids. The makeup pro is a big fan of this soft pencil from MAC that's available in seven colors (we're gravitating towards the ones named Prunella and Minted) and offers intense color and a smooth finish.
"These creamy formulas are made specifically for the waterline and stay put without irritating sensitive eyes. They also make a great base for a smokey eye when blended onto the lid," he explained.
Yasmin Maya, founder of Birdy Lashes, suggests this smudge-proof liner for anyone who likes to get creative with their eye makeup looks. "The fact that it comes in a pot means you can use whatever brush you like to create all types of lines on your lids and the gel formula allows for a silky smooth application without any skips," she explained.
The long-wearing formula lasts for eight hours and won't fade throughout the day. It's also formulated with clean ingredients and is free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oils and phthalates.
If you want your liner to go the distance, there are a few ways to prevent pesky smudging. For instance, celebrity makeup artist Melissa Hurkman let us in on one of her best kept secrets. "Set your eyeliner with the same shade of a powder eye shadow over the top to lock in that product," she recommended.
The beauty expert digs this highly pigmented, water-resistant liner gel that has a cream, quick-dry texture. It's kind of like the Energizer Bunny because it just keeps going, going, going.
You don't have to dig deep in your wallet to find a quality smudge-proof liner. Case in point? One of Hurkman's favorite options retails at under $7. "This liner is very inexpensive and the pigment is super deep so it's perfect for an all day/night smokey eye," she said.
The affordable find from Milani comes in black, brown and plum colors and can last up to 16 hours without budging. Not bad for the price tag!
TikTok creator Angelica Torres has fallen hard for Lady Gaga's eyeliner lately and she's not alone. The bestseller has nearly 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon and is pretty popular with the singer's "Little Monsters."
"I just love how the tip of the eyeliner glides so amazingly and easily on the eye," she told us. "The brown shade looks so subtle yet cute," she told us.
One pro tip that Torres swears by? Swatching eyeliners on your hand to see how long they'll last. Simply apply a bit of color, wait a minute and rub it to see how it reacts. The TikTok creator is currently obsessed with this double-ended, waterproof and smudge-proof liner from Huda Beauty that lasts for up to 48 hours.
"It's great because it has two sides (liquid and pencil), which makes traveling a lot easier as you have to carry less in your makeup bag," she told us.
Plenty of pigment? Check. Waterproof, matte finish? Yep! It's no wonder Maya swears by this exquisite liner that comes in six colors and has a precise tip.
"My favorite part about this eyeliner is that it is made to last all day on your waterline," the makeup expert told us. "Unlike other eyeliners, this formula was created specifically to be smudge-proof, meaning it won't run on your under eyes and it maintains its pigmented intensity all day long."
After Hurkman called this the "the most budge-proof eyeliner pencil" she's ever used, our ears definitely perked up. "These pencils come in black and brown, and I use both shades a lot," she said. "I love this for tightlining the eye line or using it in the waterline because it's so soft yet stays all day."
The waterproof formula is built to last up to 24 hours and is basically the perfect love child of a liquid liner and a smooth kohl pencil. Did we mention that it's also free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates?
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