How to prevent raccoon eyes from eyeliner

Tips on avoiding raccoon eyes with eyeliner for all-day wear
  Reading time 10 minutes

Waking up with a flawless makeup look can feel like a daily victory, but maintaining that perfection can be quite the battle, particularly when it comes to preventing the infamous ‘raccoon eyes’ caused by smudging eyeliner. The main topic we’re addressing here is how to keep that bold, concise line around your eyes intact without it traveling southward, creating shadows that could cause you to resemble a furry forest creature. Preventing smudging is vital in keeping your makeup fresh and in place all day. This article will cover a comprehensive guide filled with tips and techniques that can help keep your eyeliner where it’s supposed to be.

Understanding Raccoon Eyes

What Causes Eyeliner to Smudge?

Raccoon eyes often hold the spotlight for all the wrong reasons; they’re the result of eyeliner that has betrayed you, leaving dark circles under your eyes that resemble those of our nocturnal animal friends. Smudging or bleeding eyeliner could cause this unintended look, and several factors can be at play here. Skin type, especially oily skin, can break down eyeliner faster, causing it to smear. Additionally, the anatomy of one’s eye shape, like hooded or deep-set eyes, can contribute to frequent smudging due to increased skin contact with the eyeliner. Preventing raccoon eyes begins by identifying these contributing factors and then taking measures to tackle each.

The Impact of Skin Type and Eye Shape

When tackling the smudge dilemma, remember that eyeliner, like any makeup product, adheres best to a smooth and clean surface. Using a gently formulated eyes cream or makeup remover, cleanse the eye area thoroughly before applying makeup. A clean base removes any natural oils or residual products that might interfere with your eyeliner’s staying power.

 Effective methods for preventing raccoon eyes caused by eyeliner smudging

Preparing Your Eyes for Eyeliner Application

Importance of a Clean Base

Preparation is key to helping prevent your eyeliner from wandering. Before you even reach for the eyeliner, ensure your eye area is primed and ready to lock in the pigment. The importance of a clean base cannot be overstated—it sets the stage for a look that will last. Gentle cleansing is followed by pat-drying the area and then applying a dedicated eye primer. Selecting the right primer tailored to your skin type helps prevent smudging and prolongs the wear of your makeup.

Selecting the Right Primer

A primer intended for the eyelid can also create a barrier that prevents oils from disrupting your artful application. It’s all about creating a non-slip surface that will keep eyeliner in place. For those with exceptionally oily lids or who find makeup transferring to their glasses, a mattifying primer could be a game-changer.

Choosing the Right Eyeliner

Pencil vs. Liquid vs. Gel Eyeliners

As we wave a cautious hello to the endlessly diverse world of eyeliners, it’s worth noting that selecting the right type of eyeliner is pivotal to preventing those unsightly smudges. Eyeliners come in various forms: pencil, liquid, and gel, each with its own set of pros and cons.

  1. Pencil eyeliners are user-friendly and easy to control but may not offer the endurance needed to avoid raccoon eyes.
  2. Liquid eyeliners, on the other hand, provide precision and lasting power but require a steady hand and some practice to master.
  3. Gel eyeliners, typically found in pots and applied with a brush, strike a happy medium between the two, offering ease of application with enhanced staying power.

Waterproof and Smudge-Proof Options

When considering which type will help keep your eyeliner in place, take into account the formula as well. Waterproof and smudge-proof eyeliners can be particularly effective in maintaining a clean, sharp line. These types of eyeliners will make sure that your efforts are not easily undone by a teary moment or a sweaty afternoon. Here’s a quick glance at the best types of eyeliners to keep raccoon eyes at bay:

Eyeliner TypeWater-resistantSmudge-ProofSkill Level Required
 Techniques to stop eyeliner from smudging and creating raccoon eyes

Expert Application Techniques

Knowing how to apply your eyeliner is just as critical as choosing the right type. Meticulous application not only ensures your eyes are defined but also maximizes the product’s potential to resist smudging. Here’s a step-by-step guide to flawless eyeliner:

  1. Begin with primer: Once your eyes cream has absorbed, dab some primer onto your lids to create a smooth canvas.
  2. For pencil eyeliners: Sharpen the pencil for a precise line, and gently pull your eyelid taut to create a smooth surface.
  3. For liquid eyeliners: Start with the inner corner of the eye and carefully drag the applicator along the lash line to the outer corner.
  4. For gel eyeliners: Use a clean brush and apply with short strokes, building the line as you go along.

Each stroke should be confident and steady to ensure a crisp line. For those with less steady hands, drawing a few dots along the lash line and then connecting them can be a helpful trick. Remember, the goal is not just aesthetic perfection but also creating a barrier that secures the eyeliner in place.

Once the liner is applied, waiting a few minutes for it to set before blinking intensely or applying mascara can help. This pause allows the product to dry down properly and adhere to the skin, reducing the likelihood of transferring. Additionally, applying setting powder around the area where eyeliner tends to smudge can soak up excess oils and contribute to a smudge-resistant barrier.

Aftercare and Daily Maintenance

After striving for the perfect eye look, it’s frustrating to find smudges appearing within hours. To help keep your eyeliner in place, carry a small kit for touch-ups, which could include:

  • A cotton swab to clean up any smudging.
  • A small sample of your primer to reset the area before reapplying liner.
  • A travel-sized portion of your chosen eyeliner for quick fixes.

Quick fixes for smudges throughout the day include lightly dabbing at the affected area with a cotton swab. It’s essential not to rub, as that will likely spread the product further. If you’ve prepped with a primer sample, a tiny application followed by a fresh eyeliner stroke will help restore your makeup’s integrity.

Furthermore, some recommended products for eyeliner preservation include setting sprays and blotting papers. A high-quality setting spray can be misted over the face to lock in your makeup look for extended periods. Blotting papers will help to eliminate any oil build-up throughout the day without disrupting your meticulously applied makeup.

Prevent raccoon eyes by mastering the art of long-lasting eyeliner application


Avoiding raccoon eyes requires understanding the factors that contribute to smudging, selecting appropriate products, and mastering the right techniques. By starting with a clean base, using a suitable primer, choosing the right eyeliner, and applying it precisely, you can significantly reduce the chances of ending up with smudged eyeliner. Remember to give your eyeliner time to set and keep a little kit handy for any necessary touch-ups. With these practices in place, you can feel confident that your eye makeup will stay fresh and impactful all day.


Q1: What is the best type of eyeliner to prevent raccoon eyes?

A1: Waterproof and smudge-proof eyeliners are typically the best options for preventing raccoon eyes as they are designed to resist moisture and skin oils that can lead to smudging.

Q2: Can oily eyelids contribute to eyeliner smudging?

A2: Yes, oily eyelids can break down the eyeliner faster, leading to smudging. Using a mattifying primer can help control the oil and keep eyeliner in place.

Q3: How can I fix smudged eyeliner when I’m not at home?

A3: Carry a small kit with a cotton swab, primer, and travel-sized eyeliner for touch-ups. Use the cotton swab to gently clean up smudges, apply a little primer, and reapply the liner if needed.

Q4: Is there a particular way to apply eyeliner to avoid smudging?

A4: Yes, applying eyeliner with steady, confident strokes, allowing it to set before blinking or applying other makeup, and setting it with powder can help avoid smudging.

Q5: Are there any products that can help preserve my eyeliner throughout the day?

A5: Yes, setting sprays can help lock in your entire makeup look, including eyeliner. Also, carrying blotting papers can help absorb excess oils without ruining your makeup.

Related posts