Master the smudged eyeliner look at any age

This timeless makeup look knows no age limits!

marie claire Contributor / February 10 2017

A smudged eyeliner look is one you’ll reach for time and time again, but if you’re hesitant to try it in your forties or older, celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has good news for you. “This smoky eyeliner looks great on everyone from Kate Moss to my mother” declares Tilbury. Here, she talks us through how to get a sultry smudged eyeliner look and how to make it work for you – at any age.



Line the eyes with black pencil, sticking as close to the lash line as possible to give the illusion of denser lashes. For a seriously sexy look, go ahead and line the inner rims, too. We like Rimmel London Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencil.

Rimmel London Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencil
Ageless tip: “Women in their 20s and 30s can stick with black; older women might find brown a little softer and less harsh – but just as flattering,” says Tilbury.



Dip a smudging brush (we recommend Zoeva Smudger 226) into a brown eyeshadow and “go backwards and forwards, like a windscreen-wiper, over the line to soften and make it more smoky”. Do this underneath, too.

Zoeva Smudger 226
Ageless tip: Eyes are usually where you will see the first signs of fine lines, so ditch the shimmering shadows (which will bring focus to the area) and stick to a matte, velvet or satin finish.



Take a blending brush, dip into the brown eyeshadow (like Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Single in Cruise) and use the same windscreen-wiper motion to apply to the socket.

Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Single in Cruise
Ageless tip: Lids tend to droop as we age, so try contouring this area first.

Want to know how to wear bright lipstick at any age? Here's our guide to getting it right.

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Main image credit: Getty

A beauty editor and vitamin C fanatic who has worked across a range of print and digital publications, including Stellar, marie claire, Gritty Pretty and Badlands Journal.