How To Prevent Eye Makeup From Running Under Eyes

We all know how annoying it is. You watch a pathetic movie, you listen to a beautiful song or you are present in a humid room… They all have the same thing in common. The makeup around your eyes can start running.

Not something you want of course! If you ask anyone about their makeup fails, most of them will say that running eye makeup is on top of their list!

I asked my friends what they thought about it and they also said that it is one of the most annoying things to happen! So, how do you prevent your makeup from ruining your eyes? I went on the internet and talked to my local beauty stylist professional to give you the best answers. I did found out a bunch so keep reading!

So, how to prevent eye makeup from running under your eyes? Three main things can prevent your makeup from running. Stop using too much moisturizer, start using waterproof liners so that your makeup can’t run under your eyes and the last thing to do is powder up! A translucent powder will do wonders for you.

how to prevent eye makeup from running under your eyes?

As I said above, I talked to a bunch of people and all of them said that they found it very annoying when their eye makeup started running. So I went to my local beauty professional and she told me that you can mainly do 3 things to stop the makeup running. 

Below I’ll go a little deeper into the 3 things that I mentioned earlier.

Stop using too much moisturizer

The excess moisturizer that stays under your eyes can cause your makeup to smudge. The best thing you can do to prevent that is just not over-moisturize. Yes, you should moisturize your eyes to a degree where they aren’t dry, but don’t overdo it. Don’t overdo it right before you want to apply makeup or intense liner.

Another tip is to not forget to prime your eyes before you apply makeup! 

Waterproof makeup is your friend

Using a waterproof liner can make the difference between raccoon eyes after listening to an emotional song of seeing and movie, and not having them! If you want to prevent your eyes from running, you should use waterproof liners.

Up your powder game

Using a powder can help you in the case of running makeup. After you’ve applied the liner to your upper lid, you should go over it with a translucent powder. This will help the liner stay put. If you also want to do your lower lashes you should try using a sheer pressed powder along the lash line. You can do this before and after you applied your liner just to be extra sure that it sets. 

How do you apply the powder?

Step 1

Dip your brush into the powder and load it up at both sides.

Step 2

Now that you’ve done step one, you can place the brush in a vertical position directly and precisely below the liner (adjacently touching it). When your brush is placed in the vertical position you should then stamp and sweep the brush from one corner to the other. This will prevent your makeup from running down.

Step 3

After you’ve done the first sweep, you can do it again (without loading up your brush again to blend everything in really well.

Why does your makeup run under your eyes?

Now that you know how to prevent your makeup from running under your eyes, you might find it interesting to know why your makeup starts running at all. It seems that a couple of things can be the reason and I’ll explain them to you below.

Eye shape and eyelid movement

No two people are the same, no eye shapes are the same and not even your own eyes are 100% the same. Some people blink harder than others and some people have lashes that are hooded up. There are so many variables. It is when your skin folds that the smudging begins. 

If you know that your smudging is because of how you blink, you can solve it pretty easily. Avoid placing your eyeliner close to your lash line.  You can also use a transfer-resistant eyeliner that is waterproof such as the Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner.

Your skin type

Everyone has a different skin type. Some have dry skin, some have oily skin, some have a mix of all or and are between everything. You can imagine that if you have oily eyelids, the chance of smudging makeup increases. Now you might think that you can’t do anything about it, but that’s wrong. You could simply apply an eyelid primer that can help to some extent. Of course, this depends on how oily your eyelids are, but it is worth a try!

You, simply you

Your makeup can also start smudging and running out because you change. The quality of the sebum changes (Depending on the environment), your skin quality, and the movement of your eyes change.

There’s nothing you can do about it except to accept the way it is. When you come down with a cold, there’s nothing you can do about it. Nothing is prepared for sneezing because your eyes becoming damp and the sneezes your produce can just make smudging a possibility. The only thing you can do at that moment is to remove all your eye makeup for today and try to live with it.

How do you keep eyeliner from smudging under your eyes?

There are a couple of things that you can do to stop your eye makeup from running under your eyes. A smudging eyeliner is one of the things that you can normally resolve quite easily. How? Read on!

Good eyeliner

It is no secret that if you use a good eyeliner formula, the chances of it running out are reduced. Always invest in a good eyeliner for your makeup. It will be well worth your money. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to go to the expensive eyeliner. There are lots of affordable eyeliners that do just fine. The Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Eyeliner and the Kryolan Liquid Eyeliner are two of them that you can try!


Now you might know that when you want to apply lipstick, you already use this tactic. You apply lipstick, blot, and apply again. You can use the same technique when it comes to layering eyeliner! Apply your eyeliner, carefully smudge it out with a pencil brush, for example, apply the eyeliner again and your eyeliner will stay on for much longer! It also will not slip or smear! A great technique :).

Oily skin? try this!

If you have oily skin and this happens to be a huge smudging factor for you, you can try to use oil-absorbent sheets and blot the areas that are oily to remove the excess oiliness. Removing the excess oil on your eyelids for example can help to last longer without creasing and slipping your eyeliner.

How do I prevent mascara under my eyes?

Having run down mascara on your face can be a huge pain in the ass. There are a couple of things that you can do to make your life a little easier!

You can make use of an eyelid primer for example

Covering your eyelids in an eyelid primer can cut down the grease on your lids. This will lessen the likelihood of smudging because of the oiliness in your eyes.

Try a tubing formula

A tubing formula is great because it works by coating your lashes with little polymers that stay on (and I mean really on!) You can almost only remove it with warm water. A decade ago these tubing formulas were all the rage but not anymore because of all the new formulas on the market. But still, using a tubing formula can be a lifesaver because it works a little differently.

As always, use waterproof

I have mentioned it a couple of times already here but if you want to prevent your eye makeup from running under your eyes, waterproof makeup is your best friend. But if you wear waterproof mascara every day, your nightly routine is a disaster (as you might know). It is terrible to remove the stuff that has a death grip on your lashes. Here’s the tip that I hope will work wonders for you!

TIP: Do not apply waterproof mascara all over your lashes. Only use waterproof mascara on the tips of your lashes and use normal mascara for the rest. This way you still don’t smudge your eyes, and the waterproof mascara (the bit that you used) is much easier to remove at night!

Final thoughts

Eye makeup than runs down your eyes isn’t fun. You look like a raccoon and you don’t have any control over it. But, now you know how you can prevent your eye makeup from doing this! Waterproof makeup is your friend (And use the tip!), a translucent powder will work wonders, and easing off of the moisturizer can also be a huge help. If you use the tips, tricks, and techniques I described above, you never have to worry about eye makeup running under your eyes!


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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