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Whether you’re working towards that punk rock aesthetic or a sultry slept-in vibe, smudged black eyeliner is the makeup trend to take you there. Here are all the answers to your questions on who can pull it off, where to sport it, and what makeup products to use to achieve this eye makeup look.
We dare you try this lived-in look! Don’t be afraid, anyone can rock smudged black eyeliner if they put their mind to it. You can smudge a little or a lot depending on your mood and the feeling you want to evoke. If you’re smudge-shy, you can work your way up to an intense black by starting with gray or brown eyeliner.
You’ve settled on giving the smudged look a shot, but where should you strut your stuff in this punk rock trend? While the sky is technically the limit when it comes to pulling off smudged black eyeliner, consider the crowd you’ll be around. At the office, it might be a better idea to wear a more defined line that’s reflective of your professional personality—you can leave wearing worn-in liner for when you’re letting loose. A smudged out black is the perfect look for a girl’s night out, a hot date, or a boozy brunch.
You don’t have to be a pro makeup artist to get this look! There are quite a few different techniques you can try, so we're sure you can find one that works for you. Of course, there's one thing that's consistent regardless of your preferred technique: Eye primer. Yes, you want to smudge things up, but you don’t want your makeup to transfer to other parts of your face. So, begin by applying a small amount of eye makeup primer to your lids to help create a smooth base and keep everything in place. No primer? No problem! Just dab on a tiny bit of foundation or concealer.
It might seem like a no-brainer to achieve a smudged eyeliner look with a pencil, but it’s a classic for a reason. Take the blackest, black pencil you can find and smudge to your heart’s content. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner in Black.
While liquid eyeliner is typically used to make sharper lines, you can repurpose your favorite cat-eye creator for smoky eyes too. Draw a smooth line that will stay all day with the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Liquid Eyeliner in Black. No need to worry about perfecting your line—it’s about to get smudged anyway. Instead of attempting to smudge a liquid liner, layer eye shadow on top—it will be much easier to smudge! Use a small brush to go over the liquid liner with the L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in Noir Cest Noir. Blend the precise line out using your shadow.
Gel eyeliner is another prime choice for creating a smudged out black look. With the coordinating brush, messily apply the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner 24H in Blackest Black. Then, wipe off the brush before using it to help blur the edges of your liner.
The work doesn’t stop there! To fully embrace this edgy makeup look, finish things off by following these two steps.
For a bolder eye and fuller-looking lashes, create an “invisible eyeliner” effect by tightlining your eyes. Tightlining requires pulling up gently (and we mean gently!) on your eyelid to expose the upper waterline, where the base of your lashes are. Use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail™ Eyeliner in Black for this step.
Carefully apply the product directly on the base of the lashes, filling in any gaps between individual hairs. Tightlining can also serve as a quick trick for easily lining your lower waterline. After applying liner on the upper waterline, firmly close your eyes right away. One blink and voila, the color will transfer to the roots of your bottom lashes for a completed look.
One last step! Round out your eye makeup with a coat of volumizing mascara. This will tie your smudged black eyeliner look together and act as the perfect finishing touch. Place the mascara wand at the base of your lashes, gently wiggling and pulling upwards to thoroughly cover every lash. Try the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise™ Mystic Black.
Want more eyeliner tips? Check out our article, The Ultimate Guide to Eyeliner