3 Easy Hacks to Stop Your Mascara From Smudging

Smitha Deepak
by Smitha Deepak
6 Materials
5 Minutes

Why is it always when we’re in a rush to get out that we’re most likely to smudge our mascara?

And it’s usually the last thing we do, so we risk ruining the rest of our makeup or even having to start again!

Try my top three tips for how to stop mascara from smudging under your eyes and you’ll never have to worry about it again.

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Tools and materials:

  • Mascara with slim wand
  • Loose translucent or setting powder
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Clean spiral brush
  • Q-tip
  • Concealer (optional)
How to stop mascara from smudging

1. Roots only

Apply the mascara carefully to the roots of your lashes only. Hold the brush close to your waterline and don’t draw it down to the tips.

You’re much less likely to smudge it on to your cheeks this way and it makes your lower lashes look thicker.

How to stop mascara from smudging

If you get mascara on your waterline, use a Q-tip to clean it up quickly.

How to stop mascara from smudging

This is the easiest of the three methods.

How to stop mascara from smudging

2. Set it with powder

You can use a translucent or setting powder for this technique, as long as it’s loose.

Use an eyeshadow brush to apply the powder under your lashes and on to your upper cheeks.

How to stop mascara from smudging

Hold your mascara wand vertically instead of horizontally.

This gives you more control over it and makes it easier to apply the mascara right to the tips.

How to stop mascara from smudging

Once your lower lashes are coated with mascara, use a clean, dry spiral brush brush and run it underneath your lashes to remove the excess.

Allow your mascara to dry completely before dusting off the powder. Any smudges will brush off with the powder.

How to stop mascara from smudging

With this technique your lower lashes look much thicker and longer.

How to stop mascara from smudging

3. Use a brush handle

This third method is the one that I use when I have no time to risk doing a sloppy job.

Place a brush handle horizontally under your lower lashes.

How to stop mascara from smudging

Apply your mascara as quickly and sloppily as you like. All the excess is going to end up on the brush handle and not on your skin.

It’s a great technique if you’re naturally messy like me! It also gives you volume and length because you’re applying the mascara all the way from the root to the tip.

Any smudges will be in your waterline, and they’re easy to remove with a Q-tip.

How to stop mascara from smudging

The nice thing about these techniques is that you can mix and match them.

For example, use the spiral brush with the last method or powder with the first one.

Smudged mascara

4. Bonus tip

But what do you do if even after using one of these techniques, you still get mascara on your skin?

Here’s a quick mascara hack for removing it from your cheek or brow bone.

The most important thing is to allow it to dry completely, even though your first instinct is to wipe it off immediately.

Cleaning up smudged mascara

Then use your clean, dry spiral brush to scrape it off lightly.

Because it’s dry, it will be flakey and come off easily and not mess up your base makeup.

Cleaning up smudged mascara

If there’s any residue left on your skin, apply some concealer over it and blend it out with your fingers.


Cleaning up smudged mascara

For all three tips, choose a mascara with a slim wand and angle the brush slightly as you remove it from the tube. This will remove a lot of the excess mascara that causes some of the smudging.

You can use the same techniques adapted for your upper lashes, to stop mascara smudging on your brow bone, which can happen if your lashes are super long or your eyes are very deep set.

Let me know in the comments which of these techniques is your favorite.

Next, check out this Quick and Easy Makeup Hack for Tired Eyes.

Suggested materials:
  • Mascara with slim wand
  • Loose translucent or setting powder
  • Eyeshadow brush
See all materials

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