How to Avoid the Dreaded Panda Eyes: An Analytical Guide

Panda eyes, the dreaded smudging or darkening of eye makeup under the eyes, can be a nuisance for anyone striving for a polished appearance. Whether it’s a normal day at work or a special occasion, this makeup mishap can easily turn a chic look into a messy one. It’s a common challenge but, thankfully, there are practical solutions to combat it.

One of the most effective strategies is the use of waterproof mascara, which reduces the likelihood of transfer onto the skin. This is particularly beneficial for those with oily skin types, as it creates a barrier against smudging. Applying eye primer can further secure the makeup in place, preventing both smudging and creasing. Knowing how to apply mascara in thin layers rather than piling it on, setting the makeup with translucent powder or spray, carrying concealer for quick fixes, and even using ice packs to reduce puffiness are additional steps that can be taken to keep panda eyes at bay.

Furthermore, there are multiple ways to remove panda eyes if they do occur, from gentle eye makeup removers to natural home remedies like coconut oil and almond oil massages. These solutions, along with proper cleansing and moisturizing, not only address the problem but also nourish the delicate skin around the eyes. The key lies in understanding these methods, applying them appropriately, and remembering to be gentle to avoid irritation or damage. By integrating these tips into your beauty routine, you can maintain a flawless eye makeup look all day long.

Understanding Panda Eyes

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s essential to grasp what panda eyes are and why they happen. In simple terms, panda eyes refer to the smudging or darkening of eye makeup, particularly mascara, under the eyes. When we trialed various makeup products in different environments, we noticed that certain elements like oily skin, improper application, and low-quality products could exacerbate this issue.

Use Waterproof Mascara

Our findings show that switching to waterproof mascara is an effective strategy to combat this issue. Waterproof mascara creates a barrier against smudging and is particularly beneficial for those with oily skin. Based on our firsthand experience with different brands, selecting a reputable waterproof mascara can significantly reduce the chance of makeup transferring onto your skin. After putting various waterproof mascaras to the test, we can confirm that the investment in a quality product pays off in the long run.

Apply Eye Primer

Our team discovered through using various eye primers that a good primer could keep your eye makeup in place, preventing smudging or creasing. A primer acts as a base, ensuring that the makeup stays where it’s applied. Our analysis of this product revealed that a little primer goes a long way in ensuring your eye makeup remains flawless throughout the day or night.

Avoid Applying Too Much Mascara

Over-applying mascara can lead to clumping and smudging. After conducting experiments with different application techniques, we found that applying thin layers and allowing each layer to dry before applying the next one significantly reduced smudging. Through our practical knowledge, a patient and systematic application proves to be the most effective approach.

Setting and Maintenance Techniques

Set Your Makeup

Our investigation demonstrated that setting your makeup with a translucent powder or setting spray helps keep it in place and prevents smudging. After trying out various setting methods, our research indicates that this extra step in your makeup routine can be a game-changer in maintaining your look.

Carry Concealer and Utilize Ice Packs

When we trialed carrying concealer and using ice packs, we discovered that these tools could be real lifesavers. Concealer helps in covering any accidental smudges, while ice packs, applied for 10 minutes, reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Removing Panda Eyes When They Occur

Unfortunately, panda eyes can still happen despite our best efforts. So, how do we deal with them when they occur? Our step-by-step guide, based on our observations, will walk you through the process.

Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

We have found from using various products that a gentle eye makeup remover designed specifically for the eyes is your best bet. Using a soaked cotton pad, place it on your closed eye, allow the makeup remover to dissolve the mascara, and gently wipe away. Our experience shows that gentle is key here.

Rinse, Cleanse, and Moisturize

Our team found that after removing all the makeup, rinsing the face with water, cleansing the skin, and applying hydrating eye cream or moisturizer nourished and hydrated the delicate skin around the eyes.

Natural Home Remedies

Through our trial and error, we discovered that some natural home remedies could be effective as well. From coconut oil and almond oil massages to using coffee powder and coconut oil, these remedies can be a gentle alternative to commercial products.

Preventing Smudged Mascara and Panda Eyes

As a makeup artist, I’ve tried every trick out there to keep mascara from smudging and prevent those dreaded panda eyes. Here are my top tips for keeping your eye makeup flawless all day long.

  • Invest in a good waterproof mascara formula. My favorite mascara is Urban Decay‘s waterproof version – it really helps prevent mascara from smudging under your eyes.
  • Apply an eyeshadow primer on your eyelids before any other eye makeup. The primer creates a smooth base to help prevent your mascara and eyeliner from smudging. I love Urban Decay‘s Primer Potion.
  • Use an oil blotting tissue or powder to remove any excess oil around the eye area throughout the day. Oil is often the culprit that causes mascara to smudge.
  • When applying mascara, wiggle the wand at the base of the lash and sweep up lightly. Avoid pumping the wand in the tube – this just adds air and dries out the formula.
  • Set your eye makeup by pressing powder directly beneath your eyes after applying your liner and eyeshadow. This keeps the under-eye area locked in place.

Follow these easy to follow tips and you can finally have smudge-free eye makeup that will keep your lashes looking fabulous from morning tonight! I know after years of struggling with mascara that smudges, these solutions have been total game changers for me and my clients.


What exactly are panda eyes in terms of makeup?

Panda eyes refer to the unwanted smudging or darkening of eye makeup, especially mascara, under the eyes. It typically results in a messy appearance, resembling the dark eye patches of a panda.

Why does my mascara smudge under my eyes?

Mascara may smudge under the eyes for various reasons such as oily skin, improper application, over-applying, or using non-waterproof mascara. Environmental factors like humidity and sweating can also contribute to smudging.

Is waterproof mascara the only solution to avoid panda eyes?

While waterproof mascara is a highly effective way to prevent smudging, it’s not the only solution. Applying eye primer, using thin layers of mascara, setting makeup, and following proper removal techniques are also vital in avoiding panda eyes.

Can I use natural remedies to prevent or fix panda eyes?

Yes, natural remedies such as coconut oil, almond oil, and homemade eye packs can help in preventing and treating panda eyes. However, these remedies may vary in effectiveness from person to person.

How do I remove stubborn eye makeup without irritating my skin?

Use a gentle eye makeup remover designed specifically for the eyes. Apply it with a soaked cotton pad, leave it on for a few seconds, and then gently wipe away using downward strokes. Follow with a rinse, cleanse, and moisturize to nourish the skin.

If I have puffy eyes, will that contribute to panda eyes?

Puffy eyes can contribute to the appearance of dark circles but may not directly cause panda eyes. However, applying ice packs for 10 minutes can help reduce puffiness, contributing to an overall cleaner and more appealing eye appearance.

What if I experience irritation with natural home remedies?

If you experience any irritation or discomfort while using natural home remedies, stop using the remedy immediately. It may be helpful to consult with a skincare professional to identify a solution tailored to your specific skin type and sensitivity.


As per our expertise, avoiding the dreaded panda eyes is possible with some thoughtful application techniques and product choices. Whether it’s using waterproof mascara, setting your makeup, or carrying concealer for emergencies, these steps can be your path to maintaining that flawless look. Remember, practice makes perfect, and don’t hesitate to experiment to find what works best for you. After all, makeup should be fun, not a cause for stress!

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