The Scoop on Using Loose Powder Eyeliner

The Scoop on Using Loose Powder Eyeliner

I’ve been apart of the thick, dark black eyeliner cult since I first started wearing makeup. My usual go-to was the “self-sharpening” eyeliner pens that wouldn’t give the sharpest corners, but would stay on all day, not smear, and pack easily.

I’m kind of wrinkle-phobic, and I’ve always worried about how to best treat my eyes so that the skin around them doesn’t look like the plastic grocery bags after I use and reuse them (because I recycle them like a good person). As age is slowly creeping up on me, I’ve become even worse about it, so I do what I can to treat my skin right.

So then, when I came up with my Charcoal Powdered Eyeliner I became very excited.

It’s Gentle

No more dragging those dirty pencils across the soft skin around my eyes! No more having to scrub to get the waterproof stuff off after a long day! Nope. The powder goes on so smooth, no tugging, pulling, dragging.

Get yourself a really nice brush that has an angle/thickness you think you’d like. I love the Ecotools Flat Eyeliner Brush (this is an Amazon affiliate link, per FTC disclosure, but it’s what I use and where I buy mine and I highly recommend it!). It’s thick, instead of pointed like most, but it makes it easy to create angles or different line thicknesses.

I had my reservations about how easy it would be to apply charcoal powder. I figured it would go on thin and I’d have to put on layer after layer until it got to the shade of black I’m accustomed to. And if it wasn’t that, I figured it would take a little bit of pressure applied to the brush to get the powder to stick to my skin. That was not the case.

With the right eyeliner brush, it takes a small dab in the eyeliner pot, then a very, very gentle brushing application to apply a very thick black that’s comparable to my usual eyeliner. Your skin won’t be tugged or pulled, which can create wrinkles.

It’s Easy to Fix

It took many tries before I got it down. The application takes a different approach than other eyeliners. With a pencil, it’s easier to be precise. The brush takes a little extra attention and precision.

What I learned quickly:

Dab a TINY amount of powder onto the brush
Tap the brush to get rid of loose powder

Without doing that, I ended up with powder falling down my cheeks when I tried applying the eyeliner. The fantastic part, though, was a dab of water got rid of it right away. Again, no scrubbing, rubbing, or special makeup remover needed. It came right off!

And when my lines were thicker in places I wanted them to be thin, I could easily run my pinky finger along it to wipe up the excess powder. It would come right off, with minimal smearing.

Right then and there, I knew I was never going back.

It’s Clean

Pencils and pens get dirty fairly quickly. You’re supposed to sharpen them fairly often to keep them clean, and I don’t even want to think of how dirty my liquid eyeliner brushes must have been.

With powdered eyeliner, the powder itself can last up to 4 years! Just keep it in a cool, dark place, without too much moisture (just keep the lid shut, and you’re good!). Wash your brush weekly for the cleanest use. That way you know you’re getting a clean application, unlike what you would get with pencils and store-bought liquid eyeliner brushes. These brushes will last you years, too!

It’s Versatile

Depending on my mood, the occasion, how much sleep I’ve had the night before, I wear my eyeliner in different thicknesses. The powder application allows for all of that in one swipe. With the pencil, I would sometimes have to add multiple lines to get it thicker, or use some magic trickery to get it thinner (it was that difficult).

With the right brush, I can get all the different thicknesses just in one swipe. The trick is:

dry brush for thick, natural lines
wet brush for thin, precise lines

When I want to do sharp corners or very precise lines, I take the brush and wet it, then squeeze the water out, flattening the bristles into a point. I then delicately dab the tip of the brush into the powder and very carefully apply it. I’ve even accomplished wingtipped eyes with this!

The beauty of this brush and the eyeliner, too, is if you get really creative, it’s super easy to create a smokey look, using nothing else.

NOTE: Never use coconut oil to thicken the powder. I’ve seen a lot of blogs saying to add coconut oil to powder to make it into a waxy/liquid eyeliner. No. Just no. I use coconut oil in my eye makeup removers. That should say enough there. I tried this trick once and I looked like a teenage emotional wreck from an 80’s high school movie. Smeared makeup everywhere. It was not pretty…


It’s Non-Toxic AND Helps Draw Out Toxins

The main ingredient is activated charcoal, which is believed to help draw out toxins. So not only are you avoiding toxic ingredients in other eyeliners by using this powder, but it actually is helping your body regulate its toxin levels. This is great for those who are prone to infections around the eyes.

Quick Lesson on How to Use It:

Remember the golden rule it is easier to add than it is to take off

Dry application:

  1. Take an eyeliner brush. Dab it delicately in the eyeliner powder, just enough to get some powder on the tip.
  2. Knock off any loose powder by tapping the brush on the side of the pot.
  3. With your eye closed, start at the inner part of the upper lid as close to the eyelash roots as possible.
  4. Draw your line across in one go or in small dots across and then join up. If you feel you must, you can go over it again to add intensity or sharpen/thicken the lines.
  5. Extend the eyeliner to just past the eye and finish in a flicked up line for a cats eye look if you want.
  6. Place your brush about a third of the way across as close to the roots of the eyelashes as possible.
  7. Apply eyeliner in one stroke to the outer corner of the eye or apply in 3 dots, joining up the dots.
  8. Extend the line to meet the upper eye line.
  9. You can add eyeliner on the outer part of the eye if you want a dramatic, thicker look for big eyes.
  10. Avoid applying on the inside of the eye as it is unhygienic and will smear quicker.

Wet application:

  1. Take an eyeliner brush. Wet it.
  2. Squeeze the water out, and if you want shape the tip of the brush. The water will help it retain this shape a little.
  3. Very, very carefully dab only the very tip of the brush into the eyeliner powder. If you go jamming the brush into the powder, you’ll end up with a huge mess on your hands.
  4. Follow the steps 3-9 for dry application.



This eyeliner is now the only thing I’ll use on my eyes. I long since have tossed all of my other pencils and liquid eyeliners. I’m done with toxins in my makeup, and I’m all about doing whatever I can to keep my skin healthy, and I’m here to help you do the same!


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