Waterline Eyeliner | What It Is + How to Keep It On

by Molly Gardner

You know the first time you hear a word or phrase and you realize it’s something that you love but didn’t know the name for?  That was “waterline eyeliner” for me. I knew I loved how a thin line of eyeliner on the inner rim of my lower eyes made them pop, but I didn’t know the proper name for it.

I loved waterline liner, but couldn’t get it to stay in place!

It would pool up at the inner corners of my eye in smeared globs (hi, boys!) or disappear completely.  I’d faithfully bring eyeliner with me to touch up mid way through the night but to be honest, if I do actually leave the comfort of sweatpants and Go Out, I want to just be out.  I don’t want to be touching up my makeup a zillion times.

I tried every liner I could get my hands on.  High end, drugstore, and everything in between.  Then I realized it came down to a mix of technique and product.

How to Make Waterline Liner Stay All Day

1 | Start by lining the inside of your eye on the bottom, your waterline.  Make sure the line reaches all the way to the inner and outer corners.

2 | Then, I take a liner brush and dip it in an eyeshadow color a shade lighter than my liner.  You can do black shadow with black liner for a more intense night time look.  Then I brush shadow on in short horizontal strokes as close to the liner as possible without it going in my eye.  (I tried putting it right on the waterline liner and that did not go great.  It stung and made my eyes water.)

3 | I do  lighter taupe shade underneath that darker liner eyeshadow to soften it and blend it out.

4 | Then, when all my eye makeup is done, mascara/lashes/etc I spray everything in place with a setting spray.  For extra hold, you can spray a bit of setting spray right into your liner brush and dab it over your shadow liner.

This keeps my liner in place 5 times longer!

Products Used


Finished Look (pin it!)


Thank you for reading and watching!  I hope this post and video were helpful.  Please leave a comment if you have any questions that the video didn’t cover.

Also, please feel free to share this post and video on your Facebook and Twitter.  You can find me on Instagram @girlgetglamorous.  I appreciate you being a part of the blog!

Go Get Glam!

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Laura Atiyeh March 27, 2015 - 4:33 am

Thanks very much, I will try this tomorrow morning!
However, for drugstore liner, I LOVE l”oreal Voluminous
Smoldering liner….it’s a fat pencil and I use it on top, below
and both upper & lower ‘waterline’…..then I brush on a same
shade or lighter (as you suggested) shadow, brown liner/brown
shadow, violet liner, violet shadow, etc. Thanks for listening!

Girl Get Glamorous March 27, 2015 - 4:51 am

Oooh, good suggestion! I keep looking at that pencil but haven’t tried it yet, I will for sure now. L’oreal def makes great eyeliners!!

Julie March 27, 2015 - 9:03 am

Love it! what shadow/liner and how did you do it on your upper lid?

Lizz Pugh Lmt May 1, 2015 - 10:30 pm

THANK YOU! I’ve been having the hardest time getting my waterline to stay! I just bought a few other liners to try that just came in the mail today. The one I bought last week from Sephora is the Smashbox always sharp waterproof and not only does it take 5-6 passes to get a good line down (even after warming it on my hands… ouch!), but it doesn’t stay! I’ll definitely try this technique.

Girl Get Glamorous May 6, 2015 - 5:12 am

Awesome, I hope it works for you!

The Most Universally Flattering Eyeshadow Shade Is... - GirlGetGlamorous September 30, 2015 - 1:12 am

[…] To make eyes sparkle:  I use brown or black eyeliner in the waterline {post} and then using a thin pencil shadow brush, I push this shadow gently right under the liner, on the […]


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