Basics of Applying Eyeliner

Tamara Warta
Go for eyes that captivate!

Applying eyeliner can be a tricky process! Read on for some tips and tricks when working with this messy makeup.

The Challenge of Applying Eyeliner

Applying eyeliner can be a difficult task even for those who are otherwise pros when it comes to most cosmetics. Eyeliner, especially the liquid version, tends to have a mind of its own, and until you have a little practice, it can be a tricky process. However, if you can learn to achieve proper application, the results can be stunning and beautiful.

When they first begin, wearing eye liner, most people start out with a pencil liner. Known to go on much more easily than liquid, the pencil liner builds confidence in a lot of people, and eventually, some do "graduate" into liquid liners.

If you are starting with a pencil liner, choose a shade of deep brown or black, as the more exuberantly colored pencils should be left to those with some experience. The first goal of learning how to apply eyeliner is to simply master a clean, straight line. Once this is achieved, you can move on to bigger cosmetic challenges.

Getting Gorgeous

Sharpen your liner to your preferred level of bluntness. A lot of people test the pencil on their hand first, to determine whether or not the tip is pliable enough to leave a thin and non-jagged eye on your lid.

  • Hold the liner pencil just as you would a regular one, using the hand you would usually write with.
  • Apply the color slowly to a portion of your eye at a time. Rushing can give you an uneven line and even stab you in the eye!
  • Slow and steady is the trick to smooth and gorgeous liner.

After you have gotten the knack for pencil liner, you can introduce yourself to the consistency of liquid liner by wetting the tip of the pencil. Your liner texture will be smoother and creamy, which makes it the perfect "training wheels" toward liquid liner.

The Look of Liquid

When you feel confident applying eyeliner and feel you want to move on to the more dramatic and stunning look of liquid, go ahead and purchase your first bottle. Stila makes great liquids for those who are novice applicators, and Victoria's Secret recently launched a fun powder liner that, while not exactly liquid, requires the same fun, yet tricky, application process.

Invest in a quality pointed liner brush if your liquid does not already come with one. Applying eyeliner with a pointed brush will help you keep the makeup under control and out of your eye!.

When you have chosen your desired shade of liquid liner:

  • Make a series of small dots across the rim of your upper lid.
  • Then, either smudge these with your finger for a smoky look, or connect the marks with more of the liner.
  • Choosing the latter technique will give you dark and sultry eyes, while the former will be a more subtle hint of drama. Both are perfect for a winning evening look, and liquid liner goes great with a myriad of eye shadow shades.

If you are going for a very thick line, be sure to start out thin and gradually increase. Liquid liner can be quite messy, and it's better to start out moderately than to gunk up your lids with an unnecessary amount of product.

Eyeliner Oops

If you do make a mistake, have some makeup remover close at hand. If you are touching up in a restroom and don't have any remover with you, you can remedy your error by applying a dab of foundation or face powder to the area of your lid where the liner is too strong.

Lower lids are also prone to error, so be sure to tread carefully while painting this area. Again, use subtle smudging and light application for lower lids, otherwise you may get raccoon eyes! If for whatever reason you botch your lower lids, again use remover to erase the mistake, or a flesh colored concealer to tone it down.

Learning how to apply eyeliner can be a fun learning experience while enhancing your own natural beauty at the same time. Take advantage of cosmetic sales at your local drugstore to try out a few different liner looks until you find the one ideal for your style and personality.

Basics of Applying Eyeliner