The Perfectly Imperfect Smudged Liner, AKA the Ultimate Bada$$ Look

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To

Smudged Liner Look How To

Messy hair and smudged black liner is what I like to call “The Ultimate Bada$$ Look”, LOL!

If you knew me in real life, you’d know that I smile a lot and, most of the time, have a pretty friendly face.

Like, for instance, I’m one of those people who always get asked for directions in the street. I even got asked for directions in Copenhagen, even though I don’t exactly look like your typical Danish girl, right?


But if you knew me really well, then you’d also know that I’m not always that easy to approach… I mean, if I don’t want to be approached, I know how to make sure no one does it.

Like, at my old job, I was friends (or at least friendly) with most of my colleagues, but there were a couple of fake, toxic people I really couldn’t stand.

Whenever I wanted to be 100% sure they wouldn’t bother me, I’d make my “I’ll-take-no-sh*t” face, and they wouldn’t even dare come near me.

Basically, I’d never take my eyes off the computer screen, and just look like I was very, VERY pissed off. I swear it always worked.

A L W A Y S.

In case the “I’ll-take-no-sh*t” face sounds like something you may want to try, let me suggest the perfect makeup to go with it…

Smudged Liner Look How To

Well, it’s the smudged liner look! Strictly in black.

Listen to me — if you ever need a little help with your “don’t-you-dare-come-near-me” face, put your black kohl to good use, and you’ll instantly feel more bada$$, I promise! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Smudged Liner Look How To

You don’t wanna mess with me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s what I do to make sure I get a perfectly imperfect smudged linerย look.

First of all, I grab a black kohl pencil, an unscented lip balm (or Vaseline, or even clear gloss), a couple of Q-tips, and a pencil brush.

Smudged Liner Look How To

I use a black pencil from KIKO, but any will do as long as it’s not too stiff

Then, I take a tiny bit of lip balm with my finger, rub my thumb and finger together, and twist the Q-tip in between. The Q-tip doesn’t have to be super greasy, but just a little slippery. It’s a trick I learnt from an old Lisa Eldridge tutorial, and it makes smudging the liner pretty effortless.

I start by lining my lower water- and lashline and smudging the line with the Q-tip (I work on one eye at a time to make sure the pencil doesn’t set before I get to smudge it). Sometimes, I repeat the process if I feel like I need it.

Smudged Liner Look How To

Then, I line the upper waterline and, after tracing a thick line along the lashline, I smudge it with the pencil brush, making sure I drag some of the pencil up towards the crease. On my upper lashline I prefer using a pencil brush instead of a Q-tip, but it’s really up to you what you want to use.

Smudged Liner Look How To

Using a pencil brush on the upper lashline gives me more control over the gradient I want to achieve

To create even more of a gradient, I trace a thin line very close to the lashes and soften it with the brush without overblending.

Smudged Liner Look How To

When I do this look on the eyes, I like to leave the rest of my face pretty bare

And there you have it — the perfectly imperfect smudged liner look!

Smudged Liner Look How To

Are you a smudged liner kinda gal? And how do you make sure people leave you alone if for some reason you don’t want to be approached?

Carolina Braina

Hey, ladies (and gents), it’s Carolina here, reporting live from Bologna, Italy, to bring you the latest and greatest in beauty from the good olโ€™ continent! For an extra dose of that timeless Italian glam with a touch of humor and self-irony (because, you know, laughter is the best makeup), come say hi at and Instagram.


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So far, 27 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. jessica says:

    People ask me for directions CONSTANTLY. Locals. Tourists. Doesn’t matter where I am. I don’t mind though. They are fortunate that I really do know where I am, and how to get where they are going.

    See? we New Yorkers aren’t all that mean!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    jessica recently posted … Such Disappoint

  2. kwmechelle says:

    Yep, perfect bada$& look. I’ve never tried this & I’m not quite sure I can pull it off. But that won’t stop me from trying! It looks great on you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have a resting b*tch face, so no one usually comes near me unasked. Even though I am pretty friendly.
    But that look! You are very welcome in my biker gang.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Corine de Farme Radiant and anti-tiredness eye care โ€“ Planning and dedication

  4. Chris25 says:

    Even my “I hate you” face is not mean enough lol. People still try and talk to me. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Chris25 recently posted … LA Colors Color Craze Nail Polish in Wired and Dazzled


    *gasp!* You rock this look!

  6. A says:

    I, too, suffer from a life-long case of resting bitch face, but GRAZIE INFINITAMENTE for giving us the best makeup look one could ever hope to pair with it. Favorite post of yours so far!

  7. anusha says:

    Omg! I can’t believe that someone across the world thinks the same way.. i wear this exact eye look wenever i feel bold and strong.. it’s like red lipstick or high heels for other ppl.. lol! Strange but true!

  8. susan says:

    Ha, love this post! & you totally rock that look!

  9. Marcella Yakalis says:

    Working in retail for three years definitely helped me develop my RBF, lol. I go with a strong cat eye, though, smudged eyeliner never seems to work for me. I think it’s from wearing glasses :/

  10. Sakura says:

    Love!!! Awesome post as others have said (I’m late to the party)! Thanks, I’ve been feeling a bit rock and roll for some time now. I just bought a nice (non-leather) biker jacket to go with my mood. Your tutorial is so good!

  11. Tatiana says:

    I lived in NYC after college and developed a pretty good resting b-tch face. My husband on the other hand gets asked for directions constantly, even when we’re overseas on holiday. He’s been asked for directions in England, France, Germany, Japan and Korea.
    Even though this look is so different from what I’ve come to associate with you, I think you rock it well. It makes you look like an international secret agent. One who knows Krav Maga and can fell an enemy with anything.

  12. Hahaha, you know what, I’d love to know Krav Maga!
    I lived in the Bay Area for a year and then spent about 10 days in NYC before coming back to Italy. I got the impression people there were a lot less friendly than in the Bay, but maybe it was just self-defense?
    Carolina Braina recently posted … 3 Lip Products that Are Like Candy for the Eyes

  13. Love it, you really perfected the technique. You look so sexy and bad-ass ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up inspiration: the thought process behind a make-up look

  14. Mylinda says:

    This looks so good on you! It’s my favorite one of all your looks.

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