I always, always rely on mascara to look fresh even on no-makeup makeup days. It’s because I have naturally long, curly lashes and mascara helps me draw attention to those and away from my not-so-flattering features. With that goal, I sometimes overdo it on purpose and go for a clumpy look. So I’m way too familiar with the concept of mascara smudging and I deal with it a little too often. I’ve seen that my mascara can smudge because of the way I apply it, what I do before or after applying it, or even how much I apply it. For that reason, I’ve basically tried every single method known to makeup artists to prevent the mess. While some are worth trying, others are a complete waste of time. So I’m about to save you some time! Keep reading to learn how to prevent your mascara from smudging.
How To Keep Mascara From Smudging
1. Use Eyelash Primer
An eyelash primer, sometimes called mascara primer, helps your mascara by enhancing length, curl, and volume. More importantly, an eyelash primer coats the lashes and creates an even base.
This allows for an even layer of mascara application and fewer to no clumps. It also reduces the number of coats you need to apply to achieve your desired look. As a result, there’s less smudging.
So if you’re someone with short, scarce lashes and you tend to require several coats of mascara, lash primer can help. It’ll keep your mascara from smudging by making you use less mascara than usual.
On a side note, I’m not a huge fan of lash primers as my lashes are naturally long and curly. If you’re like me, know that you may end up applying several coats of mascara to get that black pigment anyways.
2. Curl Your Eyelashes
Less mascara means less smudging. So if you have straight lashes and you apply too many coats of mascara to curl and lift them up, you can try a curler for a major lift and length. That way, you won’t need too many coats of mascara.
On the flip side, if you’re someone with already long and curly lashes, this method may not work for you. It’s because that lift makes it impossible to apply mascara by creating a mess all over the eyelids.
3. Set Your Concealer with Powder
An under-eye concealer is usually a creamy, and sometimes sticky product. So when your mascara smudges under the eyes later during the day and you try to get rid of it by wiping it off using your fingers, you’re smearing it.
It’s because the black, pigmented fallouts from your lashes stick to the concealer. But by using an undereye powder in advance, you can get rid of smudging simply by dusting it off when things start to look ugly a few hours later.
In the end, you have these smooth, almost flawless under-eyes that feel powdery to the touch. And even if it doesn’t actually prevent mascara smudging, it makes it incredibly manageable.
So after applying concealer under the eyes, set it in place by using a loose setting powder. You can use a powder brush or a makeup sponge to apply it.
You can also consider using oil-free concealers. But if I were to rate all these methods, I’d rate powdering your under-eyes 5/5 because that’s a fool-proof way to keep your mascara from smudging, especially when the weather is testing your makeup.
4. Use Waterproof Mascara
First of all, know that waterproof mascara does not necessarily mean smudge-proof mascara. Waterproof mascara can still transfer, smudge, and smear.
However, using waterproof mascara can solve your smudging problem if it’s caused by watery eyes. For example, I have ocular rosacea and my eyes are pretty sensitive.
So they get watery too easily and if my mascara is not waterproof, it starts to smudge all over. If what you’re using is regular mascara, it might be time to switch to a waterproof or at least water-resistant formula to prevent smudging.
Additionally, you can also try to layer your mascara by using a regular formula first and then topping it off with waterproof mascara. This gives you fluttery lashes all day!
5. Pay Attention To Under-Eye Care
If you’re using an eye cream or an eye serum and if it’s too creamy or emollient, it can leave residue under the eyes or on the eyelids. And when that residue mixes with your mascara, you may end up with mascara smudging.
It once took me a while to realize that my mascara was smudging because I was using sunscreen around my eyes. So pay attention to your eyecare products and make sure you apply no more than what’s necessary.
If you can’t change your eye product, try an eyeshadow primer. An eyeshadow primer soaks up excess oil on the eyelids and under the eyes to mattify the area. That way, you don’t deal with oily lids, watery eyes, and smudged mascara.
6. Avoid Layering Too Much Mascara
Again, applying too much mascara is one of the main reasons for smudgy under-eyes. So there’s an art to layering. And once you coat lashes with too much product, it’s really difficult to get rid of it.
To avoid that, start things right getting rid of the excess mascara by swiping the wand on the side of the tube top. This allows you to slowly build up your mascara and apply as needed as opposed to going in with too much product.
On the flip side, if you do end up applying too much mascara and a clumpy look, try going over the lashes using a spoolie brush. Because the brush is clean, it picks up clumps from the lashes and practically cleans up without removing the pigments.
So these are the best ways to prevent your mascara from smudging. It goes without saying that good quality mascara and knowing how to properly apply mascara can actually save you a lot of trouble by keeping your under eyes clean. So invest in a good option and perfect your application technique. Until then, try these tips to smudge-proof your current mascara.