Viral TikTok Eyeliner Hack Stops Your Eye Look From Smudging

Our favorite makeup jokes usually come from makeup artist and influencer Manny Gutierrez, who once tweeted to his 1.4 million followers, "Damn boy, are you liquid eyeliner? Cause I'm probably [going to] f*** this up." It's giving realness. Whether liquid or pencil, mastering the perfect eyeliner that lasts all day, especially in hot weather, almost requires a Ph.D. So, why is the perfect eyeliner so tricky to achieve and sometimes smudges off after just a couple of hours?

Luckily, a viral TikTok eyeliner hack addresses and appears to solve this never-ending issue. Makeup influencer Jamie Zella told her 100k followers about her struggles to alleviate the smudging. "I had about a million people asking me how I tight-line my eyes with a pencil liner without it transferring and smudging everywhere," she explains. "Similarly to how we use our face makeup, we prime and set. A lot of people were recommending that for pencil liner as well." Zella then puts that theory to the test and swears by it. Is she on to something? Should we be using primer and setting powder to set our eyeliner? Let's take a closer look.

Use primer and setting powder before applying your eyeliner

In her TikTok video, which has been liked more than 68,000 times, Jamie Zella applies primer to both the top and bottom lids, getting close to the lash line. Then applies setting powder right before doing her eyeliner. After using her least favorite eyeliner, which she claims normally smudges on her, she sets the eyeliner with some eyeshadow. To see if the liner can stand up to the humidity of the shower, she then proceeds to take a hot shower, without getting her face or hair wet. Lo and behold, she comes back a few hours later, and yup, the liner looked fresh.

It turns out, she really is on to something that professional makeup artists have been using for years, especially when it comes to setting the primer before applying the eyeliner. Rita Ora's celebrity makeup artist Kathy Jeung told Byrdie that eyeliner most likely smudges because the area is sporting some oils from your skin, and as we all know, oil and sweat equal ruined cat eyes. "Before applying eyeliner, you want to make sure the eye area along the lashes is free of excess oil," Jeung told the outlet. "To do this, lightly dust along the lash line with a very small amount of translucent powder to absorb excess moisture and oil, and then apply your long-wear eyeliner and powder for maximum eyeliner longevity."

Use eyeshadow to set your eyeliner and layer it up

Jamie Zella's technique of setting the eyeliner with eyeshadow to prevent bleeding has long been the technique of several makeup artists, beauty professionals, and other makeup influencers. In fact, beauty guru and Youtuber Courtney of Phyrra Nyx told, "My favorite way to keep a liner from smudging or bleeding is by using a strong eyeshadow primer, like Urban Decay's Eye Shadow Primer Potion." Lonyea Maiden of MakeupbyLonn agrees, telling the outlet, "Place a matte black eyeshadow right over the top of where you applied the eyeliner. This will set it and lock it in place for the entire day."

Anna Kendrick's makeup artist, Toby Fleischman, isn't just a fan of setting the liner, he's also a fan of putting dusting powder between the layers of the liner. Speaking with Byrdie, he revealed, "The key to making sure your eyeliner stays put is to layer, layer, layer. It may take a bit more time, but it will be worth it in the long run when your flick is still on point by the end of the night." Fleischman says the best technique is to go in the order of liner, powder, liner, and so on.