(Last Updated On: April 15, 2018)

Choosing a smoky look is one thing. And there are eyeliners for that.

But eyeliner smudging from humidity, or streaking out when you touch it accidentally is a complete disaster.

To help you avoid racoon eyes (and other smudge mishaps), we at Unsullyd reviewed around a dozen popular eyeliners to choose the 3 top smudge-proof eyeliners.

At A Glance: The Best Smudge Proof Eyeliners

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum comes with a flexible brush tip that makes it very easy to apply and may flake a bit but won’t smudge.

Maybelline New York Unstoppable Eyeliner is a pretty good smudge resistant basic eyeliner for beginners and anyone looking to apply in a hurry.

FUCHSIA Line Eyeliner Liquid Smudge Proof Makeup Pen – Premium Formula is a felt-tipped liner that has extensive staying power and a very deep black shade.

01. Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum Review

First things first, does it actually help your lashes grow?

We wouldn’t say it actually grows your eyelashes.

There’s only one product that actually grows lashes (increases diameter, length and density) and that is Bimatoprost.

It is FDA approved for cosmetic use and marketed under the name ‘Latisse’.

This eyeliner-cum-serum may enhance the appearance of your eyelashes, stopping them from drooping and so on.

If you do use this eyeliner, drop a comment telling us whether it did actually grow your lashes!

It’s a liquid liner with a really nice brush applicator. Ten to one you’ll think it’s a felt tip when you apply it.

In fact, some people may appreciate this brush applicator even more than a felt tip because the bristles are quite flexible which makes it easy to apply the eyeliner.

On the other hand they’re strong enough to yield a firm line and won’t fray under pressure.

The eyeliner itself applies smoothly; no tugging on the skin.

The black shades may be a little light for many users. Don’t worry; you can build till you get the tone you like.

About building – on the skin the liner will take a bit of time to dry. So give one layer about 30 seconds to dry before you apply the next one.

The liner has a bit of a shiny finish. If you like that, fine otherwise you can use eyeshadow to reduce the sheen.

Now on to the big question – Does it smudge?

We’d say it’s reasonably smudge-proof and water resistant.

You can throw humidity, tears and maybe even a swim against it; it shouldn’t smudge. However you do need to touch it as little as possible.

On the other hand removal ain’t a bitch so if you’re expecting to face excessive perspiration and/or rain, carry cotton swabs and some micellar water.

The smudged bit can be removed very quickly and you can re-apply.

It may flake a bit though, after you’ve been wearing it for say 5-6 hours. If you use contact lenses do trial runs before adopting it as your go-to eyeliner.

It’s available only in 3 shades – ultra black, black and brown – all of which are dark colors.

A lighter shade like champagne would be a highly welcome addition to the color portfolio.

The key ingredients are listed below.

SolventWater
Film formerEthylhexyl Acrylate/Methyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Ammonium Acrylates/Methyl Styrene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer
HumectantButylene Glycol, Glycerin
Viscosity controllingButylene Glycol
AstringentSD Alcohol 40
EmulsifierBeheneth-30
Skin conditioningMyristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Disiloxane Dimethicone
Preservative1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol
BufferSodium Hydroxide
Chelating agentDisodium EDTA
Directions

  • Apply at the base of your eyelashes. Start at the inner corner and sweep outwards.
  • You should give the liner on your skin some time (say 30 seconds) to dry.
  • After you finish lining remember to replace the brush and close the lid immediately. Otherwise the liner will build up and dry on the brush tip.
  • Cotton pads and an oil-based cleanser or micellar water ought to remove it.

What I Liked

Applies smoothly.

The brush is flexible but firm and yields precise lines. You can easily ‘wing’ it!

Works well with eye shadow and setting spray.

Does not sink into and/or accentuate wrinkles.

Mild generally and should be suitable for users with sensitive eyes.

What I Didn’t Like

The liner has a tendency to dry and clump the brush tip.

May start to flake after some time.

The ‘ultra black’ shade may be too light for many users.

02. Maybelline New York Unstoppable Eyeliner Review

With its rich creamy texture this ‘unstoppable’ eyeliner does go on unstoppably – smoothly – and with minimum tugging.

It’s a twist-up/mechanical pencil; there’s no need to sharpen separately.

And to its credit, the tip remains reasonably sharp so you can easily trace wings and other designs. It may not be the sharpest available but it gets the job done.

When you’re applying it, it may take some time to set.

If you want to deepen tone, you can build but you should give each layer adequate time to set before applying the next one.

On the whole however we’d say this is a good choice for those times you’re in a hurry or, even worse, on the go and need to touch up and look presentable.

However even if you’re in a hurry, be careful to not twist the pencil too hard.

If it’s blocked by something, gently coax it up/down. Otherwise the pencil will break and it’ll be very difficult to salvage the remaining eyeliner.

Now, the big question – Does it smudge?

If you have dry to normal skin, yep, you can expect to have a smudge-free wear. It may smudge a little bit at the crease if you’ve been wearing it for 6-8 hours but nothing too noticeable.

If you have oily skin or if the weather’s humid, you should use an eyelid primer just to be on the safe side.

On the same note, it’s not exactly waterproof but it is pretty water and sweat resistant. For example it won’t be budged by a busy day at the office but a gym session could see some smudging.

If you intend to wear this liner for more than 4-5 hours fading may be a concern. But that’s easily solved seeing that it’s portable and quite easy to apply.

It has a wider color portfolio – cinnabar, espresso, onyx, pewter and sapphire – than many.

However on the whole the shades are a bit subdued which could limit their use to the daily routine (not dramatic enough for a night out for example).

In particular cinnabar could definitely be a bit brighter.

Of course choice of shade is highly subjective so you may like them.

The main ingredients feature in the table below.

SolventIsododecane
EmollientIsododecane, Beeswax, Isoeicosane, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Isopropyl Palmitate
Viscosity controllingBeeswax, Carnauba Wax, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Alumina, Silica
Film formingCarnauba Wax
EmulsifierCetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides
Skin conditioningCetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Vitamin E*, Vitamin A**, Aloe (barbadensis) Vera Leaf Extract
AntioxidantVitamin E*, Vitamin A**, Aloe (barbadensis) Vera Leaf Extract
OpacifyingAlumina, Silica
* Tocopherol.

** Retinyl Palmitate.

Directions

  • The swivel may be a bit delicate so don’t twist too hard.
  • Place as close to the lashes as you can and sweep gently outwards. Try to not get any on your lashes; it may clump.
  • You should give it some time (30 seconds to 1 minute) to set.
  • If you have oily skin consider using an eyelid primer like the Thank Me Later Eye Primer from Elizabeth Mott.
  • You can use that time to smudge it a bit for a smoky look. If you do, however, consider using a setting spray or powder.
  • It’s easily cleaned with makeup wipes or cotton pads and any standard makeup remover or even baby oil.
  • The pencil is mechanical and there’s no need to sharpen it.

What I Liked

 Rich creamy texture.

 Glides on smoothly.

 Extremely affordable.

 Mild on the skin and should not irritate users with sensitive eyes.

 Reasonably smudge and flake proof and water resistant.

What I Didn’t Like

May fade after 4-5 hours.

If you have oily skin or are in a humid area you may need eyelid primer.

03. FUCHSIA Line Eyeliner Liquid Smudge Proof Makeup Pen – Premium Formula Review

With its soft but sharp felt tip, this eyeliner from FUCHSIA Line should go on smoothly without pulling at your skin.

The felt tip is sharp and lines can be drawn with reasonable precision.

While you’re applying it, it goes on smooth but a little bit sticky. You need to give it up to a minute to dry.

So we wouldn’t recommend it for beginners because if they flinch or blink during the drying time they can get transfers/smudging. And it’s not easy to remove.

However veterans should not have this problem.

The eyeliner itself is mild and should not cause irritation or tears. However cleaning it off can require a lot of wiping and that may not be to many users’ liking.

This may seem a mundane warning but ignore at your own peril – when you’re done lining, remember to screw the lid on properly.

The packaging is not of the highest quality and if you don’t keep it closed properly the liner can leak out.

It is available in only one color – pitch black – but it does live up to its name.

Pigmentation is impressive and a single sweep is enough to get you a beautifully dark line.

Directions

  • Start at the inner corner and sweep outwards. Keep as close to the lash line as you can but don’t touch the lashes.
  • Upon application it’s sticky for about a minute after which it should have dried. During that time do not blink a lot or flinch. Also try to avoid getting any on your eyelashes.
  • Removal may take some time and effort. Use cotton pads and an oil based eye makeup remover or coconut oil.
  • Removal will require extensive wiping and so we’d recommend not using any make remover other than eye makeup remover.

What I Liked

 Extremely affordable.

 Very deep black shade so suitable for those who want such a shade.

 Very high staying power.

What I Didn’t Like

 Removal will take time and involve extensive wiping.

May take some time to dry when you’re applying it.

Sometimes the pen dries too fast.

What should you look for in selecting a smudge proof eyeliner?

There’s no ingredient or property you can look for that will definitely say whether an eyeliner is smudge proof or not.

In that sense there’s nothing to look for.

But you need to remember two things while going for a smudge proof eyeliner

In many cases a smudge proof eyeliner will be difficult to remove. The more smudge proof an eyeliner the more wiping and makeup remover removal may involve. That could be a problem if you have sensitive eyes or skin.

Humidity is a big factor. If humidity increases around you for whatever reason, your previously smudge-free eyeliner could start to smudge.

Now let’s try to understand some of the properties the ingredients have.

Waterproof is a double-edged sword. A waterproof liner should remain intact through rain, sweat and so on but will also be really difficult to remove.

Water resistant is a good compromise – it doesn’t melt under the slightest sweat but you can clean it off fairly easily.

Skin conditioners, emollients and humectants keep the skin lubricated and supple.

Film formers help the skin retain oil and moisture and impart a smooth appearance to the skin.

Emulsifiers force other ingredients to go into an emulsion in the solvent. An emulsion is tiny droplets of one liquid suspended in another liquid with which it doesn’t mix.

Chelating agents ‘bind’ metal ions in the eyeliner. That keeps it free of contamination.

Opacifying ingredients lend the product a creamy appearance by reducing transparence. In some situations they also help hide blemishes on your skin

Antioxidants have a range of uses including resisting environmental stress and wrinkling.

All the three eyeliners we’ve chosen resist smudging but there’s always the one we’d recommend you try out first, the absolute best smudge proof eyeliner. And that is

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

First is the key question – does it smudge? And as we said, you can throw humidity, tears, even a swim at it and it should still be intact.

On the other hand cotton wipes and an oil-based cleanser or micellar water should clean it off without excessive wiping.

The applicator is a firm but flexible brush tip.

The eyeliner itself glides on pretty smoothly without pulling at your skin.

It works well with other products like eye shadow.

Older users will appreciate it not accentuating wrinkles.

You can easily add layers till you get the tone you want.

When would an eye primer come into play?

One factor that may cause smudging is the oil content in our skin.

If your skin is very oily, chances are even the best smudge proof eyeliners too may smear a little.

An easy remedy to use in such a situation is an eye primer like Thank Me Later Eye Primer from Elizabeth Mott.

We hope you find your HG from among our list of smudge proof eyeliners.

If you think there’s an eyeliner that deserves to be included in our smudge proof eyeliner hall of fame please tell us!

Good suggestions may get a shout-out on Twitter and/or Facebook.

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