Tutorial + Photography by Amy Nadine, Graphic Design by Eunice Chun

Some of us get stuck in the mind frame that we only use liner to line. A few months ago I showed you how to use Liner As Shadow, now I want to remind you of (or teach the newbies!) the simple and oh-so pretty smudging technique. It’s actually the genesis of the smoky eye before eyeshadow came along! Anyway, there’s something very modern and soft about a smudged liner. Here’s how: 


  • Your Favorite Kohl Pencil — I used my favorite, Chantecaille Gel Liner in Jet, because it glides on with ease and with an angled brush on the other end to smudge with. I also love the Covergirl Liquiline Blast Liner in Black Fire.
  • Smudge Brush — I’m obsessed with Sephora’s Smudge #11 Brush because it really presses and works the liner into the skin.
  • Nude Eye Shadow — whenever you use a non-waterproof liner, it’s best to first powder your lid with powder or eyeshadow so the pencil doesn’t transfer onto the crease.
  • Mascara — pick one that really separates and coats each lash. I used Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara, an iconic line from London that coats each lash with fibers.
  • Nude Shimmer Shadow (Optional) — I highlighted the inner corners with the classic Stila Eyeshadow Kitten.


  1. Sweep the nude shadow all over the lid and crease.
  2. Line the upper lashline with the pencil. Don’t worry about it being perfect.
  3. Start with the smudge brush on the inner corner and sweep incrementally in short strokes as you work your way across to the outer corner.
  4. Now turn around and go back from the outer corner to the inner corner. Take a quick study and see if you need to repeat.
  5. Line the lower lashline however you choose (I did only 3/4’s from the outer corner, but you can certainly line the entire lashline).
  6. Smudge the line like you did the upper lashline with short quick strokes.

You can leave it as is, or to finish the look, continue with an inner corner highlight and a couple coats of mascara. Then if you really want extra drama, go back and rim the inner waterline with the gel liner.