Eye Makeup

Eyes That Hypnotize: Your Handbook For Smudged Eyeliner Looks!

For eyes should speak.

Written by Rinnie George

On Aug 18, 2023 – 7 minutes read

Eyes That Hypnotize - smudged eyeliner

If eyes are the windows to the soul, why not give them the prettiness they deserve? And that’s precisely where smudged eyeliner steps onto the scene. 

The famous Cleopatra rocked the smudged style before it was even a thing! Jumping ahead to today, the look has become a true classic. Celebrities like Kate Moss, Rihanna, and Kristen Stewart have effortlessly incorporated smudged eyeliner into their glamorous red carpet-looks.

That’s the beauty of smudged eyeliner. It can give an extra oomph to your makeup. It adds depth to your eyes, making them look bigger and more captivating. Whether you’re aiming for a rockier edge or a romantic smoky effect, smudged eyeliner is your best friend.

What Is The Smudged Eyeliner Look?

Smudged eyeliner refers to a makeup technique where the harsh lines of the eyeliner are smudged to give a smoky and soft appearance. This technique is pretty versatile too.

What Is The Smudged Eyeliner Look?

How To Do Smudged Eyeliner?

The smudged eyeliner technique allows you to play with makeup artistically, expressing yourself with a gaze that’s captivating. So, make sure to save this article and return to it whenever you need a refresher on creating that captivating, smudged eyeliner look. 

How To Do Smudged Winged Eyeliner?

How To Do Smudged Winged Eyeliner

Step 1- Draw the Wing

Start by drawing a small wing at the outer corner of your eye using your preferred eyeliner – whether it’s a pencil, gel, or felt-tip liner. The wing’s angle and length are up to you, depending on the level of drama you want.

Step 2- Line the Lashes

Next, line your upper lash line, starting from the inner corner and connecting it to the wing you’ve drawn.

Step 3- Smudge the Wing 

Using a smudging brush, gently blur the wing’s edges. This softens the line and creates a more subtle and less harsh look.

Step 4- Smudge the Lash Line

Continue by applying eyeliner along your lower lash line and smudging it with the same brush or your fingertip. This brings balance to the overall smudged winged eyeliner effect.

How To Do Smudged Eyeliner With Eyeshadow?

How to do Smudged Eyeliner with Eyeshadow

Prep Your Eyes

Start with a clean eyelid. You can apply a neutral eyeshadow as a base to even out the skin tone and create a smooth canvas.

Choose Your Eyeshadow

Pick an eyeshadow color that complements your overall look. Dark shades like charcoal, deep brown, or even black works best for smudged eyeliner.

Apply and Smudge

Apply eyeshadow on both your upper and lower lash line. Then using a smudging brush or your fingers, gently smudge the lines. This blurs the edges and creates a soft look.

How To Do Smudged Eyeliner With A Felt Tip

Apply The Eyeliner

Using the felt-tip eyeliner, draw a thin line along your upper lash line. This will be the base for your smudged effect.

Smudge Away

Immediately after applying the eyeliner, start smudging the lines. You have to be really quick and do it before the eyeliner sets. 

How To Do Smudged Eyeliner Look Without A Brush?

Apply Eyeliner

Start by applying your chosen eyeliner – whether it’s a pencil, gel, or felt tip – along your upper and lower lash lines.

Use Your Fingertip/Q-tip

Immediately after applying the eyeliner, take your fingertip or Q-tip and gently tap and smudge the lines. Your body heat will help soften the eyeliner and create that smudged effect.

Blend Carefully

Be gentle while smudging to avoid smearing the eyeliner too much. You can always go back and add more eyeliner if you want to intensify the look.

How To Do A Smudged Eyeliner Look- Viral TikTok Style

There’s this TikTok video that caught fire, featuring Elise – also known as @elpltt (1). This clip went viral because so many women gave the smudged eyeliner look a shot, and guess what? They managed to nail that soft, smoky effect that can be quite challenging to achieve.

 Viral TikTok style

In the video, Elise used a soft and creamy kohl eyeliner pencil which she applied to both the upper and lower waterlines. After a gentle rub with her fingertips, the magic happened – she effortlessly rocked a smoky eyeliner. 

Tips For Smudging Eyeliner

Smudging the eyeliner is the most important step of the smudged eyeliner look. Smudge too little and you have an unfinished look; smudge too much and you end up looking like a raccoon. 

👉First things first, go for creamy and pigmented eyeliner. Pencil, gel, or even eyeshadow – pick your weapon of choice.

👉Before diving into smudging, make sure your eyelids are clean and dry. A good primer can also help the liner stay put.

👉If you’re new to smudging, start with thin lines. You can always go thicker as you get more comfortable.

👉Invest in a good smudging brush. It helps you blend and soften those lines effortlessly. 

👉Don’t rush through it. Smudging requires a bit of patience. Take your time to create that sultry effect.

👉If you’re using a pencil liner, warm it up a bit before applying. This makes it glide on smoothly for easier smudging.

👉Blend, Blend, Blend. Did I mention blending? Yes, it’s that important. Gently blend the liner using your smudging brush to create that smoky look.

👉Start with a little product and build up if needed. It’s easier to add more than to remove excess. Remember, less is more. 

👉Smudging your lower lash line can add extra drama. Just remember to keep it subtle and soft. 

👉If you want your smudged eyeliner to stay put, consider using a translucent setting powder to prevent smudging throughout the day.

Smudged Eyeliner Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Overloading Product 

Piling on too much eyeliner can lead to a messy and heavy look. To avoid this, start with a small amount and build up gradually as needed.

Skipping Primer

Forgetting to use an eyelid primer can cause your smudged eyeliner to smudge even more. Apply a primer to create a smooth base that helps the liner stay put.

Using The Wrong Tools

Using the wrong type of eyeliner or smudging tool can make the process trickier. Opt for a creamy pencil liner and a proper smudging brush for smoother results.

Ignoring Cleanliness

Applying liner on unclean eyelids can cause the liner to smear and lose its effect. Ensure your eyelids are clean and dry before you start.

Smudging Too Harshly

Being too aggressive with smudging can make you look messy. Gently blend the liner for a soft and subtle smoky effect.

Neglecting The Lower Lash Line

Overlooking the lower lash line can result in an unbalanced appearance. Apply a bit of liner and smudge it for a more cohesive look.

Not Adjusting For Eye Shape

Not every smudging technique suits all eye shapes. Tailor your smudging based on your eye shape for the best outcome.

Ignoring Skin Type

If you have oily skin, your liner might smudge more easily. Use a waterproof or long-lasting eyeliner to counteract this.

Skipping Blending With Shadow

For a more seamless look, blend your smudged liner with a matching eyeshadow shade. This helps set the liner and enhances the smoky effect.

Final Take

Have you noticed how the trend is becoming more and more popular? Well, it’s not just a passing trend – it’s here to stay for a long time! Makeup lovers have been using this technique for years, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And it’s no wonder why – the smudged eyeliner look can instantly make you appear well-groomed and polished, whether you’re grabbing a quick breakfast or heading out for a night on the town. 

So, go ahead and give the smudged eyeliner technique a try. Let your eyes do the talking, and enjoy the magic that this makeup style adds to your gaze.


How Do You Make Your Eyeliner Look Smudged? 

Gently smudge your eyeliner using a smudging brush or your fingertip to achieve that soft and smoky effect.

How To Do Smudged Eyeliner With A Pencil? 

Apply pencil eyeliner along your lash line, then use a smudging brush to softly blend and create the smudged look.

What Can I Use For Smudged Eyeliner? 

You can use a creamy eyeliner pencil, gel liner, or even eyeshadow for smudged eyeliner.

How Do You Smudge Eyeliner To A Smoky Eye? 

Apply eyeliner along your lash line, then gently smudge with a smudging brush in a back-and-forth motion for a smoky eye effect.

  1. Instagram.com. (n.d). elpltt. [Online] Available at:


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Rinnie crafts professional articles on a wide range of topics, including beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and motherhood. Her aim is to express her thoughts through words and share them with the world via social media captions, blogs and YouTube scripts.

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