Ask A Makeup Artist: How Can I Get My Waterline Eyeliner To Stay On?

Updated 09/08/17

Ever have a makeup question that requires the expert guidance of a professional? Your prayers are answered. In our Ask A Makeup Artist series, celebrity makeup artist Wendy Rowe (who’s worked with Sienna Miller, Olivia Wilde, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as well as fashion brands like Burberry) will tackle the burning beauty questions we all want the answers to.


How can I get my waterline eyeliner to stay in place and last longer than its typical hour-long lifespan?  


It really comes down to choosing the right pencil. It needs to have the right texture and the right pigmentation. If the eyeliner is too creamy, it will move when you wear it. And if the pigments aren’t strong enough, the color simply doesn’t stand a chance in your waterline. The test is simple: draw a line on your hand with the eye pencil, give it a couple of seconds to set, and then give it a good rub with your finger. If you start to see the color fading away, move on because that eyeliner isn’t going to last on your waterline.


Once you’ve found the right liner, prep and set it with powder. Before you apply your eyeliner, brush translucent powder under your lash line. The powder will act as a barrier, preventing your liner from traveling south. After you’ve lined your waterline with a highly pigmented pencil that passed the test, use a small brush to apply powder of the same color over it. Setting it with matching powder is the final seal that’ll keep the liner in place for hours.


Flip through for some makeup artist-approved eye pencils for your waterline!

MAC Technakohl Liner ($16)

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes ($19)

Burberry Beauty Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencil ($29)

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner ($24)


Do you have a question for Wendy Rowe? Leave it on our Facebook page or tweet it to @byrdiebeauty with the hashtag #AskAMakeupArtist and we’ll have our makeup artist extraordinaire weigh in!

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