Eyeliner is the perfect way to accent your eyes. This classic makeup must-have is so perfect that sometimes, along with a good mascara or pair of false lashes, it’s all you need to make your eyes pop. But with so many different types of eyeliner out there, you might be confused as to which option is best for you. So, if you feel overwhelmed whenever you look at the eyeliner section of any beauty brand’s display, this crash course will help you pick the right product depending on your makeup goals and experience level.
Let’s Talk Formulas
If you’ve ever spent time in a makeup store or beauty aisle, you’ll know that eyeliners tend to come in a few standard formulas or textures. While some might have fancy names which can sound confusing, the three core eyeliner formulas are pencil, gel, and liquid.
A classic pencil has an ophthalmic-safe color lead center which must be sharpened if you’re trying to create precise lines. Pencils are great for beginners since you usually need nothing more than the pencil itself. But, a common drawback with traditional pencil liners is that they can be drying, drag against the skin during application, and poorer color payoff than with gel or liquid liners.
Gels tend to offer the best vibrance but may require more experience to ensure a steady hand if you’re using a pot formula with an eyeliner brush like the ones found in our Professional Eye Brushes Set. Gel eyeliners are available in pencil and pot form. Pencils can be easier and usually come with a sharpener for added precision. But sometimes cheaper gel liners tend to smudge, transfer, and fade throughout the day.
Liquid eyeliner is another great choice if you prefer vibrant color payoff, and is usually available either in a pot or in a pen form. Pens can be a goof-proof solution for people that struggle to maintain straight lines when using traditional liquid liner brushes. But some liquid liners can be drying, causing them to crack as they wear throughout the day.
Picking the Right Formula for Your Experience Level
Along with picking a color that you like, you need to consider how comfortable you are with applying makeup around your eye. As we mentioned, pencil and pen eyeliners are the best choice for beginners who might need more practice to master a steady hand. This is especially true if you’re trying to nail a wing or cat-eye effect. In contrast, makeup aficionados may be perfectly fine using gel and liquid pot liners.
Have Fun with Color
Once upon a time, conventional wisdom dictated that you could only wear select eyeliner colors that complemented your eye color. But these days, the makeup world isn’t that rigid and you can rock any color as long as you feel confident enough to pull it off. Whether you prefer the ease of pencil eyeliners or the rich inky pigments found in gel and liquid liners, there are so many options to make your eyes pop, why limit yourself to just one eyeliner? Above all else, have fun with your makeup!