Sandbagging to Cure Smudged Eyeliner/Mascara!

I always assumed makeup that claimed to be waterproof was also oil-proof. So I would spend tons of money trying all the latest waterproof mascaras and eyeliners in hopes that I’d find a formula that didn’t cause smudging under my eyes. I learned the hard way that there is no such thing as oil-proof eye makeup…

Laura Mercier translucent powder

Earlier this year, I was introduced to “sandbagging.” Sandbagging is a technique that forms a barrier around an area to prevent makeup from bleeding or smudging. It’s very similar to the “baking” technique, except it’s not meant to highlight. Rather, it works to keep makeup from melting away onto other areas of your face (i.e. keeping eyeliner from smudging onto your under eyes). The name is derived from real sandbags, which people use as barriers around an area to help prevent flooding.

How to Sandbag Your Makeup

Sandbagging makeup

What you’ll need:


  1. After applying all your makeup (foundation, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, etc.), use the smaller side of the wedge to dip into your translucent powder.
  2. Using a heavy hand, pat the powder gently across your under eye region, going as close to the waterline as possible. You’ll want to see a wall of powder, as using too little powder won’t be as effective at soaking up all the oils. Also, don’t travel too far down your under eye, unless you want to make this a 2-in-1 sandbagging and baking technique! I’m not a huge fan of baking under my eyes because it tends to make that area look too dry and powdery. If you’re like me, stay close to your waterline and you won’t have anything to worry about!
  3. Another area people like to sandbag is around their mouths to prevent lipstick from bleeding. Use the thicker side of the wedge to dip into your translucent powder again and pat all around your lips after applying lipstick.
  4. Leave the powder on for at least 5-10 minutes. You really want to leave it on for a while, as this will allow the powder to lock into place. This is around the time I like to do my hair or flip through a magazine.
  5. Knock the powder off using a fluffy brush and you’re ready to go!

Now, I sandbag every time I wear eyeliner or mascara. It’s the only thing that actually helps minimize the dreaded raccoon-eye look for me. If you have oily lids and are desperate to rid yourself of smudged eyeliner and mascara, try this out! And let us know how sandbagging worked for you 🙂

The Misu Fix


  1. Reply


    May 2, 2016

    Thanks so much for the tip!!! Ima be sandbagging all day err day starting tomorrow !

  2. Reply


    February 12, 2017

    Omg I got to try this! My mascara was totally smudging today, granted it wasn’t waterproof but still. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      The Misu Fix

      February 12, 2017

      Hi Lauren! I hope it worked as well for you as it does for us 🙂