48 answers

Eyeliner and Mascara

So I feel pretty ridiculous asking this question, but here goes. About an hour after i put on my eyeliner and mascara, it starts to smudge and starts making me look like a racoon! I don't know if it's the mascara that does it or the eyeliner. I use Maybelline Greal Lash mascara (pink tube with green top) and Loreal Pencil Perfect eyeliner. What are you guys using that stays put all day? I'd prefer it to be something I can get at Target (or even Ulta) just to make life easier for me rather than going to a mall to get it. I don't use makeup remover, so it's not that it's greasy from that. Any tips would be great! I'm tired of using my finger as a makeup remover when I look in the mirror and having no liner on my bottom lid half the time!

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I LOVE bare esentules(cant spell) but you can get it at Ulta. I use Mary Kay eye liner and it stays really well

Hey-S., I know that you have a bunch of responses-but I use Max Factor mascara. I have for 10 years and I love it. The only place I have found it is at Walmart. Looks like you git a bunch of great advice! Have a super day!

Hi! I absolutely love Mary Kay eyeliner and for years I have used Cover Girl Professional mascara. They both stay put all day!

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I don't know if you're familiar with Arbonne's products, but they have a great make-up primer that helps keep all your make-up on and from smudging. Also--I learned from a professional make-up artist to make sure you don't put foundation on your eyelids. That will only make it smudge more.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

If you dust your eyelid and lashes lightly with loose powder, apply eyeliner, then dust with powder again before adding mascara, your makeup should stay put. I didn't believe how well this could work until I tried it!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I used to have the same problem. I am a Mary Kay consultant and I use the eye makeup remover. It is not oil based. I don't get the same smudges. I use the concealer and the foundation under my eyes and they are not oily. Usually the top lids have more oil and under the eyes are more dry. I use a Q tip to get rid of smudges after they dry. Not sure if that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
This started happening to me too.
I switched to a waterproof mascara (Maybelline or Cover Girl)and after I apply my eyeliner, I go over it with a similar color eyeshadow that I apply with a thin slanted brush. The powder of the eyeshadow "sets" the eyeliner. I also go really light on the lower lashes and the eyeliner on my bottom lid and I only line the outer corner on the bottom. The new mineral eyeshadows are great. They really stay put. AND, they sell them at Target!!
One more thought is that if you are applying the liner to bare skin.... it could possibly be your moisturizer. Try a nude base of mineral eyeshadow before your liner.
Hope this works for you!

1 mom found this helpful

It's probably the eye liner. The mascara you use is the kind all make-up artists use. See if you can find a waterproof eye liner.

Check out Bare Minerals/Bare Escentuals. They sell it at Ulta. YOu can also order online or when they have a show on QVC. The eyeliner is all loose powder and you put it on with a brush--either wet or dry. TONS of fun colors and stays on really well. Their mascara is great too! I am and have been a faithful user of this brand for many years and wouldn't use anything else. Good luck!!!

Hey-S., I know that you have a bunch of responses-but I use Max Factor mascara. I have for 10 years and I love it. The only place I have found it is at Walmart. Looks like you git a bunch of great advice! Have a super day!

I'm sorry I didn't have time to read the responses so I don't know if anyone mentioned this one or not, but I use Mary Kay mascara an liner. Both are great! In fact this last weekend I had to use a substitute liner and I had the racoon eyes also, does not happen to me with the mary kay stuff. Their liner also goes on the smoothest and easiest out of others that I have tried.

I had no good luck with that mascara. Now I am using cover girl lash exact and I love it!!

go waterproof with both...harder to get off, but it does stay on.

Hi Stacy,

I use Loreal lash out mascara and it stays all day, no flaking unless it is getting old and then I just need to get a new one. For the liner, I use a slightly damp small eyeshadow brush with some grey or black shadow instead of liner. I found that no matter what kind of pencil liner I use they always smudged and have better luck with a dark shadow. Hope that helps.


I've had the same problem with eye make-up myself. I switched to waterproof mascara, no matter what brand, and had better luck. I am now a BeautiControl Consultant. While I primarily fell in love with them for their incredible skincare and anti-aging properties, they have great make-up as well. While taking their training, I learned that people who have watery eyes or allergies will have the smudging problem and should try waterproof mascara and a long last eyeliner. We have a color freeze line that works great for me...but other lines will make something similar. The other idea is to use a primer on your face, which helps set all your make-up. I would be glad to help you more if you are interested in deptartment store quality products delivered to your home for less. But I do understand the draw of Target or Ulta! Good luck whatever you decide:)

I use the same mascara, (and have somewhat oily skin) and don't have a smudging problem. However, I don't use it on the lower lashes. And I rarely use eye liner. So my guess is it's the liner. Can you skip either the liner or mascara one day, then the other the next to see if you can isolate the problem?

May Kay is the best. I wear it playing softball, swimming, volleyball, and I never look like a racoon. You can also get Eye Primer from them which keeps eye Makeup in its place. Very inexpensive and it is delivered right to your door. Plus you can try it before you buy it. No more running to the stores for your makeup or skin care. Go to www.marykay.com and search for a consultant in your area, I am a consultant as well, and you have heard from a few here. We do not compete with each other so call the first one you heard from. Plus you do not have to hold a party to have a facial. She'll come just for you! Have fun learning all kinds of great new things!

I wish I had an idea for you...but I don't :P I have the same problem!!! I've been trying new products to try to find one that doesn't create that racoon affect; I haven't had any luck yet. I'm getting married in 8 months and would like something that will last for more than an hour.
I've read thru some of the responses and there are some good ideas. If you find one that works, please let me know :)
Thanks and good luck :)

It's the eye liner. I tried to go cheap with the eyeliner as well and ended up doing the same thing. Try Clinque. Works great. Kinda expensive, but last and I love it. It stays on all day.Hope this helps.

The cheaper eye make-up tends to smudge. Use the waterproof variety. But if you use these, then you'll need to use makeup remover at night. Plain soap and water wn't get it off.

I've had luck with Revlon colorstay, Boots, Almay, Neutrogena, and Botanical brands.

Hi! I absolutely love Mary Kay eyeliner and for years I have used Cover Girl Professional mascara. They both stay put all day!

I use the more expensive stuff-MAC and Lancome. I never have those problems. Even though they make it seem like those are quality products, in my experience they are not!

I used to sell Mary Kay, and agree it is my fav. for eyeliner (but I HATE their new formula for mascara). I cannot really suggest much for products, but did want to say, that you should avoid putting liner on the bottom. It will actually open up your eyes and avoid your liner from helping to create racoon eyes.
But I do love all products by Bare Essentials (QVC), and you can get it at Ulta too.

Part of it is the mascara. That mascara doesn't hold very well, but part of it is just normal wear and tear during the day. There are clear mascaras that you can buy that help keep things on longer. There are also eyeshadow primers that help keep things on your eyelids, instead of sliding off. Quite a few brands have them, although MAC is one of the better ones (just my opinion though - and can't be bought at Target/Ulta).

I use Avon's Super Shock mascara and their Ultra Luxury eyeliner and it is great. Doesn't smudge and it doesn't irritate your eyes like some do. If you want to try it let me know. I sell it and could get you some or just go to my website and it will be shipped right to you. Check it out at least, www.youravon.com/lkapsch

I have found Mary Kay works the best...(that is why I started selling it) If you would like a sample e mail me..

try looking avon products. I sell it, email me with your home address I can send a book. Avon has some great products that may help you out


I use Mary Kay liner and Ultimate mascara - which never run. The great thing about it is that you don't have to go to a store to get it, you can order online from a consultant and she will deliver to you (in person or via mail - and no shipping charge)! But then I am paritial because I am a consultant. www.marykay.com/lisawendt

if you put foundation under your eyes it tends to not smudge as much but it could also be the product you wearing, water proof mascara won't smudge

Hi S.-
Well, there are many reasons your makeup could be smearing...but here are ways to FIX it! First, the products you're using probably contain mineral oil which (as it suggests) is oil! Arbonne has great color products, and their eyeliner works great. It doesn't contain the mineral oil and it can be delivered RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR (how convient is that!) Let me know if you'd like to "try before you buy", I'd be happy to give you a custom makeover!

Next, if you decide to stick with the products you're using, buy a matte black eyeshadow. After you apply your eyeliner, apply a thin layer of the shadow over the eyeliner. This will set the liner and you shouldn't have the smudging. Also, for a more finished look, you can get a liquid eyeliner to put on top of the liner and shadow for a more finished look. Many times, when I'm just running errands with my girls I just put the liquid on because it looks more finished without the time of the other two. (Arbonne doesn't make a liquid eyeliner on a regular basis, so I use Mabelline's waterproof liquid eyeliner)

Hope this helps!

Hi S.,

Do you use foundation? Is your skin oily?

Have you tried you using a matching eyeshadow to set your eyeliner?

Do you put concealor or eyemakup on your eyelids before using eye products? I don't recommend doing so, but some people have to.

Do you use a eye cream? moisturizer?

These are all the things I would ask before being able to help you further. Each person has a different skin type, use different products, etc.


Hi S.! Wow you've gotten a lot of answers. While everyone is helpful, I'm not sure someone hit on exactly what you asked? I like to consider myself somewhat of a makeup Guru (much to my husband's chagrin!). :) Here is what I would suggest that you CAN get at Target or Ulta and that you do NOT have to have an agent to order.... (I am a strong believer in being able to find great things in all price-lines. For instance did you know the exact same company that makes Lancome also owns Loreal?)

Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion - A primer will realllllly help stop all your problems no matter what other products you use. This one is a cult fav and was just this week voted (by the public) as one of Sephora's best. You can get it at Ulta. While it was designed for shadow it will also help your liner stay!

Eyeliner: Revlon Color Stay long-wear eyeliner. This is what I use personally and love it! It lasts up to 16 hours but still comes off at night with soap/water.

Mascara: L'Oreal Voluminous - This mascara is designed to build volume but also to be flake and smudge free. Its a great staple mascara. If you have the money and want to splurge however I'd suggest Chanel's Interminable. Its amazing and never flakes or smudges!

Also, I just wanted to concur with the mom who said to coat your liner with a similar colored shadow using a thin angled brush. That's also a great tip. Best of luck to you in finding your perfect products!!

Hi S.,

Over the years I have tried a few different brands, expensive to not so expensive, and the one I have used the longest is Almay. They have a couple of different types. It has always worked great for me and it is very cost effective. You can buy it at Target, Walmart, Walgreens and I think even Ulta. I would try changing your products one at a time to figure out which one it is.
The other recomendation I have is, buy new mascara every 3 months. Because of the bacteria that gets into the mascara container. I don't remember how I learned this or where I read it.
Oh, and I don't work for nor do I sell any makeup products!! :-)

Have a great day!

I have used Great Lash since I started wearing mascara as a teenager...I've tried others over the years, but nothing stays like Great Lash. It might be your eyeliner? The only eyeliner I've found that stays all day is the Mary Kay eyeliner pencils. They don't pull the skin on your eyelids when you put it on, like so many pencils do.

I wear full makeup everyday, but as far as eyes go, I have foundation on face first, powder, then black self sharpening (physicians formula twist up kind) eyeliner and dust over that with the eye shadow to keep it in place, (it would smudge on me too if I put it over the eyeshadow or without eyeshadow) and then mascara. Hope that helps :)


Try Physcians Formula "felt-tip eye marker". It goes on wet but dries quickly and stays in place. It's really easy to use, too. Good luck!

Its def not your mascara. Try a waterproof eyeliner like Mary Kay and perhaps an eye primer if you are oily. I can send you samples. :)

I can't stand having mascara or liner smudge. I feel like it makes me look tired!

I use a mascara you can get at www.sephora.com .
There are two kinds that I absolutely love and they are both water resistant but to get it off you use WARM water. It slides right off if you wet it with warm water and gently wipe it. It binds around each lash like little tubes. One kind is called "kiss me" by Blinc (they also make a liquid liner that uses the same technology but I haven't tried it yet. Here is the link to the mascara:

And then there is another brand that uses the same technology but they added fibers to it so it's almost like you have lash extensions. That one is called Imju Fiberwig.

I like both of them, just depending on what mood I'm in whether I want a more natural look or dramatic.

For eye liner I use something by Bobbi Brown that you can get at Nordstrom online. It is water resistant and doesn't smudge (unlike other water resistant liners). It comes in a little pot that you have to apply with an eyeliner brush. It is called Long-wear gel eyeliner. I like to apply it IN my lashes to it looks more natural and my lashes look thicker.

Good Luck!

Hi S.:

So funny that you mentioned mascara because Catherine Horgan from mystylefiles.com just tested over 100 mascaras for top and bottom lashes and determined which ones didn't flake, smudge, etc. It's the best info so check out her blog site and if you have a problem finding it on her site, contact her from her site and she'll probably send it to you. I'm making changes to her recommendations because other suggestions she's made about other products have been spot on!!!

Hope this helps


Waterproof mascara is dissolved by oil, so the natural oil in your skin can cause it to smudge and run. I would try switching from the waterproof formula, it that is what you are using. Personally, I like the covergirl great lash.

I LOVE bare esentules(cant spell) but you can get it at Ulta. I use Mary Kay eye liner and it stays really well

I have the same prob if I use a heavy moisturizer or don't wait long enuf after I apply my moisturizer and let it dry.

That has happened to me before, and I've found it really doesn't matter what brand--except for the liquid eyeliner by Victoria's Secret. However it stings like a #*$&! if you let it touch your eyeball. Then again these days I wear neither mascara nor eyeliner on my lower lid. If it's a day that I wear makeup, I wear these two items on top only and avoid the lower lid altogether. I save the lower lid for eye-circle concealer.

I have a different answer than everyone else. It may not matter what brand of mascara you use. My mom has this same problem and has NEVER been able to wear mascara, no matter what brand. So recently, when I heard something about this, it stuck with me. Apparently, we all have sweat glands in our eyebrow area. Some people's are more active than others and they also can contribute to more "greasiness" in the eye area. The article I read recommended using a loose powder (like covergirl, with the powder puff that comes with it) to powder your face - including your brows and eyelids. Do that each morning before putting on your eye make-up and later again in the afternoon, if needed. Guess it is very common! I'd love to know if it works. Good luck!

First of all, you might just need to keep trying products until you find what works for you. I feel strongly that much of the success of a product for an individual has to do with chemistry. I know a bunch of women who all use the same brand and have great results, but the products don't work AT ALL for me.

With that in mind, I'll tell you what I love for me... I know you'd like to avoid the mall, but I've tried them all from Wal-Mart specials to products you can get only from direct-sales persons and I always come back to Estee Lauder. I don't wear heavy makeup so my eyeliner and mascara last a good six months, so two trips to the mall a year is worth it to get the quality product to me.

****One thing about mascara, though... After applying it, don't blink (or if you have to, blink as slowly and lightly as possible) until you gently pinch your eyelashes with your fingers. That will remove the excess that is often the cause of runs.

One more tip: At the store where I get my makeup, I'm on a call list so I get a call a month before they run a special (buy a certain $ of makeup and get extra goodies!) and if I decide to buy then, I get even more extras than the typical ones. I never ever have to buy lipstick or blush anymore because of this!

try using the water proof stuff-or a different product-i personnally wear little or no makeup-good luck

I used to sell Mary Kay and quite honestly...it is junk. I quit selling it because I couldn't stand by the product. Now, it is not unusual that friends and family ask me where I buy my make-up because it looks perfect throughout the day. I swear by Merle Norman. SWEAR BY IT. If you live in Omaha I would highly recommend going to the store on 50th and Dodge. Anne McKnight is a professional make-up artist and did a lot of work for TV and print. I am pale and have red hair and she is the first person who knew what to put on me. Regarding mascara...I have read that you do not need to splurge on this stuff at the name brand stores and that over the counter stuff is fine simply because you go through it so fast and it is all the same. Good Luck!

That's easy! You have to try the Arbonne Primer!! It sets your face for makeup, just as an artist sets a canvas w/primer prior to applying the paint.
I had very low expectations for the product, since I didn't know what to expect. Well, it blew me away with how well it worked! And it feels like silk going on.
It's hard to write these blurbs w/o sounding like an advertisment. But if I didn't have such a passion for it, I wouldn't risk looking like such a salesperson.
W/Arbonne, you have 45 days to return it if not satisfied. Even if the product is empty!! So you have nothing to loose.
Feel free to email me or check out my website.
We also have botanical make-up, and you don't have to leave to house to go to the store! You just order it online and it's delivered to you.

Hope to hear from you, S.!
____@____.com www.mychoice.myarbonne.com

Hello, oh my gosh, I've used the EXACT same mascara and it was a nightmare for me, too! I wear contacts and it kept flaking off into my eyes. I've tried several kinds (expensive and not so expensive) and the kind that works best for me is from Arbonne.


I believe they just came out w/a new eyeliner, too that I haven't tried.

good luck!

Good Morning:

Although you can't get this at Target or Ulta, I have found that Mary Kay mascara and eyeliner are both great products. They usually don't smudge or run..I have had both on and have cried many times and I still look good....as far as cost, they don't run much higher than a typical mascara or liner from Target....each are $10.

You may know a Mary Kay consultant in your area if you want to give it a try. I can also help you. Hope this helps.



Stop waisting your money and find a Mary Kay Consultant in your area. If you can't, I would love to help you.
Mary Kay has been the number 1 top seller for several years. 100% satisfaction. Our customer service is spectacular.
My website is marykay.com/cjmarcus.
Good luck.
C. Jae

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