Skip to content

The Ultimate Guide to Wet Eye Liners - Water Activated Dry Liners

Fusion Body Art Hydra Color - Wet Eye Liner

Water activated eye liners also known as dry liners, wet liners, hydra or aqua liners or even as Hydra Color are the newest makeup trend and fashionistas around the world are going nuts about how bold and easy to use these makeup products are!

Fusion Body Art Hydra Color - Wet Eye Liner

Unlike most regular eye liners that come in a pen form, the hydra or aqua style liners come in a dry form with a consistency between clay and chalk depending on the brand and color, and they need to be activated with a very thin synthetic bristled brush and water.

What is a hydra or aqua liner? 

These new kind of eye liners are water activated eye liners that come in a dry cake form that can have the consistency of clay or chalk depending on brand and color.

The word hydra, hydro or aqua simply means water, and they are used to refer to these products as they are water activated products.

Fusion Body Art Hydra Color - Wet Eye Liner Set

Some brands refer to them as hydra liners, some call them wet liners, aqua liners, dry liners. They are all pretty much the same concept. A clay like makeup cake that is very pigmented and needs to be activated with water using a long tip brush.

How to use hydra or wet liners?

The best way to use an aqua style liner is to activate it with clean water and a thin long tip brush, preferably made from synthetic bristles as they work better with this kind of makeup. Just follow these steps:

how to use Hydra Color Wet Eye Liners

1 - Dip your brush in water.

2 - Rub the brush back and forward against the makeup cake until you notice that the brush is well loaded but nor drippy. It should have a thick ink consistency. 

3 - Rub off any excess makeup of the tip of your brush against the edge of the water container.

4 - Apply on the eye lid, over the lash line (not on the wet line as this is a water activated product) in a simple stroke. You can always do re touches if needed.

5 - Rinse your brush well. You can read all of our sanitization suggestions for makeup artists and face painters on the following blog posts: 

A - COVID Related Sanitation Tips for Makeup Artists

B - Top 10 Safety and Hygiene Tips for Makeup Artists - The Ultimate Guide

C - How to Sanitize and Clean your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

Fusion Body Art Hydra Color - Wet Eye Liner Set

A few things that you should NEVER do:

1 - Do not apply water, or makeup activator directly onto the makeup cake, always apply it to your brush.

2 - If you use anything other than water to activate our wet liner, then is best to scrape some qua style liner off the pot with a metal spatula, putting it on a makeup palette, and then activating that portion of the makeup with the activator, this way, you won-t be adding other ingredients to the original pot.  This is also a great sanitation tip to keep your makeup pots free from bacteria.

Here is a very good brush we recommend for applying your wet eye liner:

This Bolt Brush has a very sharp thin tip that will give you full control on application and it is easy to wash and re use as needed.

How to activate Hydra Color Wet Eye Liners

What are the most common ingredients on hydra or wet style eye liners?

That really depends on the brands, although most use a paraffin wax, glycerin and or Acacia Senegal Gum base, with cosmetic grade or special effect pigments. 

Are aqua or hydra style wet liners vegan?

This is something that you would need to check with every individual brand. Most brands of dry liners we have researched use vegan ingredients and are not tested on animals. The only non vegan ingredients you could find on some brands are normally lanolin, carmine pigment, shellac and beeswax. Read the ingredients list carefully and ask questions to make sure that you support cruelty free makeup products.

Are wet or hydro style liners water proof?

By definition water activated eye liners, also known as hydra or aqua liners are water activated which means that they are not water proof. But, if you use a makeup sealer like Ben Nye Final Seal or a Water Resistant Activator like Mehron's Mixing Liquid instead of water, you can obtain a more water and sweat resistant look. Keep in mind that both of these products contain alcohol, so you need to be very careful when working near the eye.

Although these wet liners are not water proof, they tend to be fairly smudge resistant.

Do aqua or Hydra Color style liners come in different colors and textures?

Yes, Hydra Color or wet style liners come in many different shades including matte colors, metallic or pearlescent colors and neon/UV style colors.

Matte colors tend to be vibrant, opaque and have a matte or glossy finish depending on the specific formula.

Fusion Body Art Hydra Color - Wet Eye Liner

Metallic or pearl colors have a nice shine to them, and although they give a bit less definition because of their pearlescent finish, they are beautiful and if dark enough will provide a solid coverage. 

UV or neon style hydra liners are extremely vibrant and most react to black light, making them glow under a black light and looking super bright under regular sun light. They look even more impactful when used over darker skin tones.

Can I use hydra wet style aqua liners as eye shadows or lipstick?

Yes you can! They can be used as eye shadow and the metallic colors look specially good for that, you can even combine them with some ultra fine loose powder like the Mehron Gem Powders or with Cosmetic Grade Fine or Chunky Glitters. Just make sure to use a makeup sealer afterwards to make the results last. You can also extend your makeup look and make it out of this world using glitter cremes or gels.

If used as a lipstick you will need a really good lipstick sealer, as otherwise it will come off easily.

They are not intended to be used as foundation, highlighters or blush as the consistency is not ideal for such makeup uses.

You can also use them to create more out of the box makeup looks, using shields or stencils to create more elaborate makeup looks that will stand out on a cat walk, or for editorial jobs.

How to Use Stencils with Hydra Color Wet Eye Liners

How do I store my water activated eye liners?

The most important ting about any makeup product, including Hydra Color style wet liners is that it should be stored in a clean environment, away from direct sunlight, direct sources of heat, in a cool and dry environment. Never leave them inside your car or in a basement, or kitchen.

Before you put them away make sure they are fully dry, if they are not, leave them with the lids open in a clean environment until they dry, then put the lids back on and store.

You can use a makeup case to keep them from being exposed to light.

How to remove Hydra Color style eye liners?

Hydra Color liners, just as others in the market referenced as hydra, wet, dry or aqua liners can be removed using a makeup wipe or just soap and water and a gentle makeup sponge. They are very easy to remove and they don't require the use of expensive makeup removers.

If by any chance you are left with a small faint shadow of the color, you can use lotion to hydrate the area and then remove again with soap and water.

Can I correct mistakes I made during application?

Yes you can! You can correct your application of wet liners with a Q-tip style tool. Just get the tip wet, if you can add some makeup soap like Lush Brush to your water for easier removal, and wipe off the area you want to clean, then use a dry end of the Q-tip to dry the area and leave it nice and clean.

What are Hydra Color wet Rainbow Liners?

Well, this is probably what is going to blow makeup artists minds! These are cute dry makeup cakes that can be activated with water using a 1/4" small angular brush to pick 2 or more colors and create an instant rainbow eye liner look with one stroke of your liner brush! This is insanely great looking and fast and easy to do! Just twist your brush so you start with just the tip and as you get to the center of the eye you can twist it so the full width of the brush touches the eyelid giving you the full rainbow effect.

This kit bellow is the perfect way to get you started into this totally brand new makeup trend of one stroke Rainbow Liners that can set your makeup skills apart from competitors and allow you to become the next YouTube sensation!



Legal Disclaimer: Jest Paint LLC does not claim ownership or trade mark of the terms hydra liner, aqua liner, wet liner or dry liner. Titanium Art Supplies Pty Ltd claims Trademark ownership over the term "Hydra Color" and "Rainbow Liners" when used in reference to wet or water activated style eyeliners and similar makeup style products for face and body application. 

Previous article Meet the amazing Milena Potekhina! Featured artist in the Ultimate Face Painting Guides and More!
Next article Five minutes with Leanne Courtney, Creator of Leanne’s Collection and Leanne’s Rainbow Brushes


Truoti Devlekar - September 8, 2021

Can you please provide a guide on How to make water activated neon liners with all the ingredients used in it.

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields