3 Reasons Why Your Mascara Keeps On Smudging


via Giphy

Mascara-induced panda eyes… Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Whether it caught you by surprise or you live in a humid AF desert like us, mascara smudging happens to everyone. While you’d immediately think to blame your mascara, it can actually be caused by a range of other factors, all of which you can fix – yaaay! From makeup hacks that prevent smudging to avoiding skincare formulas that mess with your beat, here are three reasons your mascara keeps on acting up.

1. Your Eye Cream is Too Heavy

Before you even pick up your mascara of choice, it could be doomed for failure if you’re using a heavy eye cream. But why? Well, the moisture and oil from the eye cream mix with the heat and oils from your skin, rising upwards towards the mascara. Soon enough, it affects the formula of your mascara and breaks down the ingredients, causing smudging and bleeding. The solution? Save your super-rich formulas for nighttime and grab a lightweight formula during the day. Plus, make sure you allow your eye cream or moisturizer enough time to absorb properly, before applying your makeup.

2. You Didn’t Prime your Lid

If you want to avoid your mascara smudging onto your upper lids, priming your lids is non-negotiable. There are two ways you can prime your lid. First, you can use an eyeshadow primer to help balance and control any oil that could otherwise smudge your mascara. Our go-to is the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $25, as it preps the lid so your eye makeup stays flawless all day long.

Alternatively, you can set your lid (either bare skin or after foundation or concealer) with powder. Once you’ve applied your foundation, take a small fluffy brush and apply a light veil of loose powder, like our Easy Bake Setting Powder, $34, and dust it all over the lid. This will help absorb any excess oil while creating the perfect even canvas for eyeshadow application.

3. You Forgot to Bake

Baking, which involves letting a heavy layer of powder sit on top of your skin for a few minutes before dusting off the excess, is one of those makeup techniques that once you start, you’ll never stop. Not only does it brighten your undereye and snatch your face, but it also sets your makeup and prevents your mascara from smudging under your eyes, as it helps create a barrier between the oils on your skin and your mascara.

Use a loose setting powder to bake like a pro. Once your complexion base (foundation, concealer or any cream formulas) is done and fully blended, dip a damp makeup sponge into your loose powder and apply a thick, even layer to the undereye area using a light dabbing motion. Once you’ve let it sit for a few minutes (whatever you have time for), dust away the excess powder using a fluffy brush.

If you’re baking, priming, and side-stepping eye cream and your mascara is STILL smudging, now is the time to blame the mascara.

via Giphy

Finding a formula that complements your lashes is also super important. In general, there are two types of mascara: water and oil-based. Oil-based mascaras are typically waterproof, however, they also have a tendency to dry out your lashes whereas water-based ones do not. Consider this when shopping for your next mascara. Plus, it’s important to note that some formulas simply just smudge more than others.

Our fave formulas that never smudge include the Revlon So Fierce Mascara, $11, for fluffy, natural-looking lashes, and the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara, $13, for longer lashes. Of course, a waterproof topcoat is always a good idea – our Huda Beauty LEGIT Lashes Waterproof Top Coat, $19, is the bomb and is completely waterproof and will make your fave mascara formula smudge-proof, and pretty much life-proof!

For more makeup tips, check out why your concealer keeps on creasing.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.