This is why you really shouldn’t wear eyeliner in your waterline

It might look cute but the effects are not

Close up of eyeliner being applied to young womans eye - stock photo
(Image credit: Getty Images / Ingolf Hatz)

Eyeliner can really transform your face and your look, whether it's winged or smudged. It can be difficult to figure out which eyeliner look suits you—but thanks to TikTok we have access to endless eyeliner hacks and there are plenty of great eyeliners for beginners. Now, however, a doctor has taken to TikTok to tell us why we shouldn’t be putting eyeliner anywhere near our waterline. 

If you’re not sure, the waterline is the rim of the upper or lower eyelid between the lashes and the eye itself. Often people use eyeliner on this part of the eye to create a smokey look or to make their eyes bolder and bigger. If you're one of those people—you may want to rethink your make-up routine.

woman applying makeup in summer outdoors. - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Carol Yepes)

Dr. Carver-Schemper, an optometrist from Fayetteville, North Carolina, has explained in a now-viral TikTok video why we should really avoid doing it. The video now has over 2.3 million views and 27 thousand comments. 

Now a little warning—if you’re a little squeamish and sensitive when it comes to eyes, you might not love this video…


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Dr. Carver-Schemper shows an eye, with eyeliner on and demonstrates the waterline being squeezed to show the oils. She explains: "The reasons eye doctors do not recommend wearing eyeliner on the waterline of your eye is because there are specialized glands there that produce and excrete oil.

“The oil should be an olive oil texture, but as you can see it looks more like toothpaste. This means the glands are obstructed and not producing healthy tears,” she continues.

Essentially, covering your lower lash line in eyeliner can block the tiny little glands, meaning your eyes aren't getting their normal amount of hydration from the oils the glands produce. Over a period of time, the glands will start to get blocked, which can lead to issues.


Why should not put eyeliner on the waterline. #makeup #makeuphacks #eyedoctor #eyeheath #eyeliner #beauty #

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Talking to Insider, the doctor explained that this can lead to dry-eye disease and cause a lot of discomfort. She said: “We see many patients that wear eyeliner on their waterline, and almost all of them have some degree of gland damage.”

So, if you’re a lover of eyeliner, make sure you remove it thoroughly before you go to bed. Don’t wear it every day—and if you can, avoid your waterline altogether.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.