Eyeliner is such a staple for almost anyone with a makeup routine. Good eyeliner can make you look more awake, and even create visual drama depending on your liner style. But for beginner makeup wearers, applying eyeliner can come with a steep learning curve. So, if that sounds familiar, these tips and tricks will have you applying eyeliner like a pro in no time!
Master the Classic Line
If this is the first time you’re staring in the mirror with eyeliner in your hands, you’ll want to focus on mastering the classic line. It’s the easiest eyeliner to attempt and simply follows the lash line — upper, lower, or both — from the inner to outer corners. You can opt for gel liners, liquids (both felt-tip and traditional liquid), or pencils. But you’ll know you’ve mastered this technique if you can line your lids without pulling them taut.
For first-timers, begin with small dashes along your lid as close to your lashes as you can get. Go back and fill in, now that you’ve created a guide. To avoid having to pull on your lids, pick eyeliners with smoother textures like gels and liquids. And make sure you keep your hand and arm steady as you apply. For best results, rest your elbow against a flat surface so you have more control, and rest your pinky against your cheek for added stability.
Create the Perfect Cat Eye
The cat-eye is another classic liner style that creates a lifted look for your eyes. And it’s a natural upgrade from the classic eyeliner thanks to the added small upward flick beyond your eye’s outer corner. If you’re struggling to get the flick just right, avoid trying to create a cat-eye in one stroke.
First, create the basic line from your inner to outer corner. Then create the flick in reverse, meaning you’ll work from outwards toward your outer corner. Next work from out to in. Draw a downward line until you’ve connected it with the liner at your outer corner. Felt tip liners can be an easy way to create the flick since they feature a tapered head. You can simply rest the applicator tip against your skin to create the desired angle and length you want.
Go Bold with a Wing
Winged liner is essentially an exaggerated cat-eye and can be created with pretty much any eyeliner product. People with hooded or monolids may find this eyeliner method the hardest to master because the natural eye shape can cause the wing to get lost in the fold of the lids.
To nail this liner style, keep your head facing forward while drawing the wing or flick. Even though the upper boundary of the wing may look a little weird because there’s an indent when your eyes are closed, it’ll look like the perfect wing with your eyes open. Typically felt tips and true liquid liners produce the best results for a winged line because of their precision tips.
Lining Your Under Eye
Not everyone opts to line their under eyes. While some makeup looks like a smoky eye requires it, in most cases, you can opt to skip it. Under-eye lines are best paired with pencils, gels, and even eyeshadows as liquid liners may run or smudge when placed that close to your waterline. Just like with the classic eyeliner technique, follow your under-eye shape and stay close to the lash line.
If you want to brighten or widen your eyes, opt for lighter colors. Meanwhile, if you choose to line your under-eye with a dark color, avoid lining your full under eye as it can make your eyes look smaller. And if you want to use an eyeshadow as an under-eye liner, use an angled liner brush like the angled liner brush in our Professional Eye Brushes Set.