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Post in Beauty Advisors

Powder eyeliner.

I have seen a lot of people use eyeshadow on the waterline. It looks smokey and soft. I want to buy a powder eyeliner for waterline usage. Could anyone recommend some that they have personally used?  I am looking for something black, smudge free and with good stay power. Also, I have used Indian powder eyeliner but I am running out at the moment. It is definitely dark and smokey lookimg though.

Re: Powder eyeliner.



Also, I have the Bare Minerals Liner Shadow in mind.

Re: Powder eyeliner.

Hi, opinionatedjenn!  I've used BE eyeshadow/liner as a regular liner in the past and was very happy with it.  I used to mix it with a product that I don't think BE sells anymore (another company may have a similar product though).  In a separate container, you would put some of the powder and then a drop or two of this liquid and then mix it together.  It made the liner liquidy and waterproof.  It stayed on and was smudge-proof.  If you put powder on your waterline without waterproofing it, your natural tear production will probably smudge it and/or make it run.


My eyes water so badly just from having anything on the waterline, that whateve I put there smudges and runs.  Powder doesn't have a prayer!

Re: Powder eyeliner.

Thank you for the detailed feedback. My eyes are used to powder products so, that won't be a problem. However, using a liquid with it does make sense. My question about that is won't you loose the smokey shadow look if you add in liquid? 

Re: Powder eyeliner.

Could you clarify as far as the the smokey shadow look in regards to the waterline?


Generally when the waterline/inner lash line are lined, it provides more of a solid, clean streamlined effect as there's really only so much space/room to line and apply product, unlike lining the actual lash line, which allows you area to blend and smudge outward.


Lining bottom waterline/inner rim:

Tightlining/top of inner rim:


Often times tightlining/lining the waterline is combined with lining the lashline for the smokey eye look as it encompasses the eye even more in deep pigment, drawing heavy on emphasis:


The above shows the waterline lined solid in black (like the first pic above) but also the bottom lashline itself is lined and smudged.


You can still use soft, creamier liners to do this, as it does smoke out and blend easier than traditional hard lead pencils. Look for longwearing or waterproof varieties to ensure once you smudge, the product will stay in place and not fade or wear down as the day goes on.



Re: Powder eyeliner.

I love how you provided pictures. The first picture is what I am talking about when I say smokey. The liner looks powdery-smokey. A lot of the liners I use end up looking more like liquid vs that soft liner look. 

Re: Powder eyeliner.

The first picture was more than likely achieved by using a creamy liner or cream shadow smudged along the bottom lash line (not the actual waterline itself) or even utilized eye shadow as there's no hard/clear cut "liner line".


The black in that first photo outlines the lining of the waterline, I suppose this is the instance where your original post might have gotten a tad lost in translation. Waterline in the beauty world refers to the actual portion of the eye that touches the eyeball, it's kept wet because of this, and happens to lead to the tear ducts.


If you're looking to a smokey look that adheres more to the lash line itself, try a creamy liner to start with. This can be gel, pencil, or cream, as long as the formula itself is "soft" enough upon initial application for you to smudge and blend down.


The lining of the bottom lash line can be outlined (no pun intended Smiley Tongue) in the photo below:

See how the bottom black line is "below" the waterline, more so right against the underside of her bottom lashes, this showcases the placement of lining the lower lashline.



The above photo shows an example where the waterline is not lined (you can see its fleshtoned color showing even though the camera angle is moving upward to her eye. The bottom lashline is outlined first in black and then a blue shadow is smudged along it, softening the black line. There is still definition provide by the black, but it's not as "hard" or solid of a line like the below photo:


For a soft, smudgey, smokey look, here are a few options:


If you prefer pencil, try Urban Decay, MUFE, or Tarte (the Smashbox pencil in my original post can also work well too):

24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilAqua EyesSkinny SmolderEYES™ Intense Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

Check into the sale and gift section, there's lot of kits and items marked down in the brands.


If you prefer creams or gels, check out Stila, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, and Clinique:


Smudge PotsJet Set Waterproof Eye Liner

Long-Wear Gel EyelinerBrush-On Cream Liner


For some reference on smudge brushes or tools, check out:


I provided some examples from various brands there and features to look out for in tools.


You are always able to add some powder/shadow over/on top of the liners to help enriched the color or give it more of that feathered look, especially once you begin smoking out your line and want the finished look to be softer/more organic feeling (to where the liner looks like it's slowly and softly fading out into skin and how some hard outline with a clear cut difference on where the line's edge is and where skin is).

Re: Powder eyeliner.

Powder alone on the won't fare too well as the inner lash line/waterline stays wet and eventually will break down a powder far easier than a gel or cream.


If it's a kohl based liner you want, Smashbox's Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl pencils are designed to give you that easy to apply, smokey look for the inner and outer lash lines in a convenient pencil form with a cap that keeps the a fine point.

Smashbox - Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner


There's a bit of controversy around kohl, as true kohl is deemed illegal for use by the FDA due to the heavy levels of metal in it's formulation.


Laura Mercier has her Kohl Liner Extreme that is dermatologist and ophthalmologist safe for inner rims of the eyes:

Laura Mercier - Kohl Liner Extreme


If you absolutely want something in powder form, Laura Mercier and Illamasqua have cake liners. These resemble hard, pressed eye shadows with dense pigment that is activated with a mixing medium, normally a type of activating fluid to make applying the product a lot more smooth.


Laura Mercier - Tightline Cake Eye LinerLaura Mercier - Tightline Activator


Illamasqua - Eye Liner CakeIllamasqua - Sealing Gel


The liquids help seal and lock down pigment a lot better than using powder alone and cake liners are notorious for being used for tightlining.


Sephora has a cake and gel eye liner duo that's currently on sale that you can give a try as well, it comes with a handy applicator brush too.

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Pitch Black All-In-1 Waterproof Eye Liner



Re: Powder eyeliner.

You provided lots of recommendations. Thank you for taking your time to do that. But, yeah, there is a controversy about such products. The Indian product I have is true powder kohl. It is like the Guerlain Terracotta Powder Kohl. I will definitely be trying the Smashbox or Laura Mercier liners if the Sephora one doesn't satisfy me. I am going to look up the Sephora duo right now. I have some friends that just use plain old eyeshadow and it actually does stay smudge free. But, I am hesitant to do that because I think the ingredients for eyeshadow would be different and possibly eye irritating. 

Re: Powder eyeliner.

If you use strictly powder or eye shadow rather than a eye liner, to help "lock" down the powder/shadow and prolong its wear and durability, lightly line the lashline (not waterline/inner rims) with eye shadow primer. This will help the product grab on and "stick" better to the area you want it to be and not fade or melt down as the day wears on.

Re: Powder eyeliner.

Oh, okay. I will try that as well if needed.  Smiley Happy

Re: Powder eyeliner.

P.s. I am staying away from the Guerlain one because the swatches show a shimmer in it. 

Re: Powder eyeliner.

I actually just use the blacks that I have in palettes, like the one that comes in the LORAC Pro and the one in Naked 2. They've both done the trick for me Smiley Happy

Re: Powder eyeliner.

The Naked2 black seems perfect!

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