How to Apply Bottom Eyeliner without Smudging (& 7 techniques!)

how to apply bottom eyeliner

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Do you want to know how to apply pencil eyeliner on the bottom lid like a pro?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we will answer all of your questions about bottom eyeliner makeup.

Should you wear bottom eyeliner? What are the different types of bottom eyeliners? How do you apply bottom eyeliner correctly? We will cover it all!

Plus, we’ll give you a few tips and tricks for applying pencil eyeliner on the bottom lid like a pro. So, let’s get started!

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Upper eyeliner vs. Bottom eyeliner

Upper eyeliner is worn on the upper lash line, while bottom eyeliner is worn on the lower lash line. There are several reasons why you might want to wear bottom eyeliner and/or upper eyeliner.

For example, upper eyeliner can help to make your eyes look bigger and more open. It can also give your eyes a more dramatic or Smokey appearance. Depending on the technique used upper eyeliner also can change your eye shape (at least visually)

Bottom eyeliner usually looks better if it’s accompanied by upper eyeliner, but this always relays on personal preference.

Bottom eyeliner is the type of eyeliner that you wear in your bottom lash line and/or in the bottom waterline of your eye. And it can be either brown, black, white, beige or virtually any eyeliner color in the market.

Types of bottom eyeliner

There are two main types of bottom eyeliners: pencil eyeliners and gel eyeliners. Pencil eyeliners are great for beginners because they are easy to apply and control. Gel eyeliners are perfect for creating a more dramatic look.

The most common type is pencil eyeliner.

Pencil eyeliner is easy to apply and it’s perfect for beginners. It’s also great for creating a more natural look. However, pencil eyeliners can be difficult to control, and they often smudge. (recommended pencil eyeliner that won’t smudge are below in this post)

The best way to apply bottom eyeliner is to start with a light hand and build up the color gradually. This will help you to avoid any mistakes, and it will also give you more control over the final look.

When it comes to bottom eyeliner, there are a few different techniques that you can use. The most common technique is to start at the inner corner of your eye and work your way out.

Another popular technique is to start in the middle of your eye and only apply your pencil eyeliner on the half outer corner of your eye to create a elongated/feline look.

Which one you choose is entirely up to you! If you want a natural look, go for the first technique. If you want a more dramatic look, go for the second technique.

Now that you know all about bottom eyeliner, it’s time to learn how to apply it like a pro!

Should You Wear Bottom Eyeliner?

This is a great question, and the answer is: it depends!

Bottom eyeliner can be a great way to add a little extra definition to your eyes. I personally love to wear eyeliner on my bottom lid, either white/beige to open my eyes, or in darker shades to add deepness to the look.

If you have small eyes, white or beige bottom eyeliner can help them appear bigger.

If you have hooded eyes, the bottom eyeliner can either help (if applied correctly) or make your eyes look even more hooded. And if you have deep-set eyes, the recommendation is to avoid bottom eyeliner at all.

So, as you can see, it really depends on your eye shape and what effect you’re going for.

How to apply bottom eyeliner

Bottom eyeliner is a great way to add a little extra definition and drama to your eyes. But if you’ve never worn bottom liner before, or you are not that familiar with makeup theory, it can be a bit daunting. There are different techniques you should know before you start lining those bottom lids!

Technique #1: Bottom waterline eyeliner

bottom waterline eyeliner

The bottom waterline is the innermost part of your bottom lash line.

This technique is a great place to start if you want to add a little bit of definition without going too heavy. To apply bottom waterline eyeliner, start by tightening the waterline in your bottom eyelid with an eyeliner pencil.

It’s important ALWAYS to apply your waterline bottom eyeliner with a PENCIL eyeliner and avoid applying the gel, liquid, and eyeshadow eyeliner on this sensitive area.

There are three different ways to apply this technique:

Light colors like white/beige pencil eyeliner OR dark colors, like brown, black OR color eyeliners, for example, purple, blue, green, yellow, etc.

Technique #2 White or beige eyeliner in the bottom waterline

white and beige waterline bottom eyeliner makeup

Like the theory of color for makeup that says “light enhances, and dark hides,” applying white or beige eyeliner in your waterline will make your eyes look bigger, more awake, and open.

And this is because it creates the visual illusion of having a larger white area of your eye, making them look slightly bigger.

I love to use this technique for bridal makeup, mature skin makeup, and makeup looks for the day, with vibrant shades or with a youth feeling. I usually opt for beige eyeliner instead of white because it looks more natural.

Technique #3 Dark eyeliner in the bottom waterline

dark bottom waterline eyeliner

Dark colors will give your eyes more depth and drama. Sometimes it can make the eyes look smaller, but this is a good technique for round, protruding, or big eyes.

I personally love to use either dark brown or black eyeliner in my waterline for looks that are more dramatic, like a black smokey eye, a night out makeup, and for those makeup looks inspired in the 80’s and 90’s trends.

Technique #4 Color bottom waterline eyeliner

color bottom waterline eyeliner in color blue

Color bottom eyeliner is a great way to add a fun pop of color to your look without looking too overdone. It’s a good way to make ANY simple/natural eyeshadow makeup look more interesting, vibrant, and unique.

For example, you can do a soft brown smokey eye in browns and add blue eyeliner on the bottom waterline to add a cute pop of color.

NOTE: I’m specifying the “bottom” waterline because there’s an upper waterline as well. While we usually do not apply makeup on the bottom waterline in the eyes, black eyeliner on that area is a good way to deepen the eye makeup, and add fullness to the lashes if you desire to wear it.

Technique #5: Half Outer lashline bottom eyeliner

half bottom eyeliner

This technique is good for those who want to add bottom eyeliner but don’t want the full-on smokey eye bottom liner look, and this also elongates the eye if you are doing a winged eyeliner on the upper lash line.

We’re talking about adding a little bit of bottom liner on the OUTER lashline, which would be the part of your bottom lashes that’s farthest away from the inner corner of your eye.

For this technique, take a black or dark brown pencil eyeliner and start drawing a very thin line on the outer lashline of your bottom lid. Remember to make the line as close to the lashes as possible, so it looks more natural.

And that’s it! This is a great way to add some definition without going too heavy or looking too overdone.

NOTE: For this area, I personally use either pencil eyeliner, gel eyeliner, or use powder eyeshadows with an angled small brush. It’s a less sensitive area than the waterline, so that’s why, here, I can use other types of eyeliners and a combination of those.

Technique #6 Regular Bottom lash line eyeliner

woman wearing bottom eyeliner

We have talked about the half-bottom lash line eyeliner technique and the bottom waterline eyeliner, but this is the most common and simple technique: add a simple layer of eyeliner on your bottom lash line. (this time, from the tear duct to the outer corner, not only the half)

For this technique, you can use any type of eyeliner that you’re comfortable with: pencil, gel, liquid, or powder eyeshadow with an angled brush.

However, I highly recommend wearing gel eyeliner or the RIGHT pencil eyeliner.

What does it mean the right pencil eyeliner?

Well, it means an eyeliner pencil that is creamy, pigmented and glides easily. If the pencil is too dry, it will tug on your delicate bottom lash line, and that’s something you want to avoid because it can cause irritation, redness, and watery eyes.

AND an eyeliner that WON’T SMUDGE. Because the bottom lash line is a very watery area and eyeliner tends to smudge easily on that area, so you need an eyeliner that is waterproof and/or long-wearing.

Best pencil eyeliner to wear on the bottom lid

These are some of my personal favorite pencil/gel waterproof eyeliners for the bottom eyelid.

Failing to pick the RIGHT pencil eyeliner can literally RUIN your whole eye makeup in a couple of hours of wearing it.

To combat this horrible makeup mistake, try the next technique!

Technique #7 bottom eyeliner, smudged effect

smudged bottom eyeliner makeup

This bottom eyeliner technique is good for those who want to achieve a more diffused and smudged look.

The key to this bottom liner technique is to use a pencil eyeliner, apply it on the bottom lash line and then, with a small brush (I like to use a flat shader brush), blend the eyeliner with eyeshadow.

You can even create a transition effect by using eyeshadow in a lighter shade. For example, black eyeliner and blend it out with brown eyeshadow.

I LOVE how this looks.

And also, adding a powder eyeshadow on top of creamy pencil eyeliner sets the eyeliner, and (while it looks smudgy, for the effect we are trying to achieve) it won’t move and smear throughout the day.

Technique #8 bottom eyeliner with a wing

Yes, you hear it right, a wing in the bottom eyelid.

This bottom liner technique is great for those who want to add a little bit of drama to their look.

winged bottom eyeliner

The model in the picture above is wearing a blue-winged bottom eyeliner, but you can totally wear any eyeliner color.

This bottom lash line eyeliner technique is not for the faint of heart and definitely takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that difficult.

For this bottom liner technique, you need a liquid eyeliner or an angled brush and gel or eyeshadows.

(By this time, we have avoided liquid eyeliner for this area, and next, I will tell you why) For this technique, liquid eyeliner is actually a good fit.

This bottom eyeliner technique is good for those who want to achieve a cat eye look or just want to add a bottom eyeliner with a wing to complement the upper wing eyeliner and create a two-wings eyeliner effect.

I also use this technique but with eyeshadow on my Marilyn Monroe tutorial here.

The key to this bottom liner technique is to pair it with a winged upper eyeliner, otherwise is not recommended it.

Why liquid eyeliner is not ideal for bottom eyeliner

liquid eyeliner on bottom lash line, makeup mistake

For the bottom liner, I recommend avoiding liquid eyeliner altogether if you can.

The main reason is that the bottom lash line is a very watery area, and liquid eyeliner smudges easily on that area, so you need an eyeliner that is waterproof and/or long-wearing.

And we all know liquid eyeliner is really good for definition, and I love to use it for my upper lash line, but for the bottom lash line, a more “imperfect” line looks better.

Based on the current makeup trends, liquid eyeliner (without being blended) in the bottom lash line is a makeup mistake to avoid.

The bottom liner is not necessary all the time

You can definitely go without wearing eyeliner on your bottom lash line, especially if you have bottom lashes that are prominent or you simply want to keep your makeup simple.

Combining different techniques


Now that you know all these bottom eyeliner techniques, you can mix them up and create your own bottom liner style.

For example, you can use the first technique to apply bottom liner on your whole bottom lash line with a pencil or gel eyeliner and then use the smudge effect technique to blend it out with an eyes. While you also add white or beige eyeliner on your bottom waterline.

Final tips and tricks on how to apply bottom eyeliner

– To prevent bottom liner smudging, try using a waterproof bottom liner like this one and use eyeshadow to set the bottom liner.

– Use a lighter hand when applying bottom liner. You can always go back and add more if you need to.

– When using powder bottom liner, make sure the pencil eyeliner is completely dry before applying the eyeshadow on top.

If you have hooded eyes or deep set, I don’t recommend using dark bottom eyeliner unless you are doing a very dramatic look like a dark smokey eye.

– If you have small eyes, I wouldn’t recommend bottom dark liner because it will make your eyes look even smaller.

– When using a bottom liner with a wing, always pair it with an upper wing eyeliner to create balance.

– Bottom liner is not necessary all the time. You can definitely go without bottom eyeliner for ANY look.

Conclusion on Eyeliner on the bottom lash line

I hope you enjoyed this bottom eyeliner guide and that it was helpful.

Remember that when it comes to bottom eyeliner, there is not one size fits all.

Use a light hand and build up the bottom lash line until you get the desired result.

And don’t forget that you can always go without ANY eyeliner on your bottom lid if you want for your eye makeup looks.

As always, in makeup, there are no exact rules, and you can do whatever makes you feel more comfortable wearing it.

I would love to know, do you wear bottom eyeliner? If so, what’s your favorite bottom eyeliner technique? Let me know in the comments below!

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What’s next? More Eyeliner and Makeup Articles for you:

How to Apply Bottom Eyeliner without Smudging

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