Wearing Eyeliner on the Bottom of the Eye

Crystal Schwanke
Model with bottom liner applied
Learn more eyeliner tips.

Wearing eyeliner on the bottom of the eye can do wonders for your eyes. Depending on your technique and color choice, there are several different effects eyeliner on the lower lash line can yield.

Wearing Eyeliner On the Bottom of The Eye

Wearing eyeliner on the bottom of the eye can brighten the eye, create a smoky look full of sex appeal and drama, or add light definition. However, if overdone, this same look can give the eye a heavy, sagging appearance.

To brighten the eyes: Choose a white or light peach liner and line either underneath the lashes or, if you're comfortable, the water line of the eyes to give the illusion of extended whites of the eyes, or bigger eyes. This will make you look more awake and alert. If you're lining the water line, make sure that you choose a formula that is safe for that area. Never use a liquid liner there, and regular pencil liners may be too harsh. Try a kohl or gel liner.

For sex appeal and drama: To create a smoky eye makeup look with liner, line the outer one-third or two-thirds of the lower lash line with kohl liner, then smudge the edges with the darkest shadow color you used on the upper lid. For an even more gradient, smudgy effect, use the medium shade to blend the edges of the dark shadow color out.

For light definition: Use a medium brown pencil liner to barely go over the bottom lash line, two-thirds of the way in. Make sure the line isn't too sharp by smudging with your little finger or a cotton swab. For drama without being too obvious, line the water line with black, navy, or plum and lightly smudge downward into the lashes. The dark color will contrast with the whites of your eyes for a brightening effect.

Dragging a thick band of color across the lower lash line rarely works and can close off the eye. Liner that is too thick on bottom will give the illusion of baggy bottom lids, which can be aging. Keep the lines relatively thin and apply most of the product toward the outer corners, tapering it in as you move one-third or two-thirds of the way in.

Applying Liner Below The Eye

When wearing eyeliner on the bottom of the eye, precision in application is a must. Smudging too far down could result in an aging effect, and not having the right tools for applying to the water line could result in eye irritation. It's wise to skip liquid liner on the bottom lashes altogether, since it can run into tiny lines below the eyes or look harsh as it's difficult to smudge effectively.

For gel or powder liner below the lower lashes, a thin, stiff angled brush will do the trick. Start at the outer corner with the longest bristles of the brush toward the outside edge of the eye, then drag inward.

If you wish to apply a gel product to the water line, you can use a bent eyeliner brush. The angled handle makes it easier to apply the product just where you want it. It also comes in handy along the upper lash line. Another option is to dip a regular pencil liner into the gel product and apply with that. This will give you the precision of the pencil without the tugging. Powder is not recommended for the water line.

Tips to Remember

  • Keep the thickest part of the liner toward the outer edge of the eye.
  • Experiment with different colors to see which ones make your eyes stand out most and look the brightest.
  • Skip liquid liner on the lower lid.
  • Set kohl liner with a similar shadow color to avoid smudging.
  • Lighter colors make you look more awake, but darker colors can really make your eyes sparkle.
  • Lining all the way around the eyes can make them appear smaller. Leaving the inner corner open or applying a light shadow or pencil there can alleviate that effect.

Wearing liner on the lower eye area can brighten or define. With the right application, it can make your eyes have tremendous appeal.

Wearing Eyeliner on the Bottom of the Eye