After my post on my Everyday Makeup Tutorial I got some questions regarding eyeliner. It’s one of those finishing touches to eye makeup that really enhances the makeup itself, as well as the eyes. If done properly, your eyes will really pop thanks to the eyeliner. It’s also one of those steps that when done wrong, can really weigh down a look even making your eyes appear smaller, dull, or emo. And we don’t want any of that.
Eyeliner can be a bit intimidating. When you search for eyeliner ideas on Pinterest your search will yield an unending supply of step-by-step pictures. YouTube is saturated with beauty gurus and their fool-proof winged liner method. Here’s my advice. Just do what you are comfortable with. If you don’t like the feeling of anything touching or almost touching your eyeball, maybe tight-lining isn’t for you. If you don’t have a very steady hand, I’d advise you to put down the liquid liner pen. It all comes down to what you are comfortable doing. My other piece of advice…PRACTICE!!! Take a sampling of tutorials and step-by-steps and try them out until you find one that works for you. If Pinterest isn’t your thing, try the Beauty Department. Their tutorials are pretty awesome and I love that they use normal girls with normal faces and normal issues.
As for the eyeliner itself, there are a million different products out there to give you the perfect wing or tight-line. Let’s break down the three common products I use for my various liner looks.
Where to start with Pencil Liner. It’s quite possibly the easiest liner method out there. You can do a little, you can do a lot. You can do it in every color imaginable. I prefer kohl liners because the formula is very smooth and blendable. Because of the smooth texture, you don’t have to tug on your eye to apply it, and it can be smudged, soft, harsh, basically whatever you want. Pros; lots of uses for pencil liners and it’s insanely easy to apply. Cons; unless you get an “always sharp” type twist up pencil, you’ll have to have a sharpener with you pretty much at all times.
Tips for Use
To tight-line, first make sure your pencil is good and sharp. Then, take a hand mirror and angle it down so you’re looking down. Place the pencil right along that skin between your eyelashes and your eyeball and glide it back and forth from one corner to the other. Or, take your ring finger and push slightly on your eyelid to expose that skin. Then swipe the liner on.
Most gel liners come in some sort of pot form, like the one pictured. They also come in a million different colors too. With gel liners you’ll need a brush for application. I use the It Cosmetics Angeled Liner Brush, but you can really use any type of liner brush you feel comfortable using. The Real Techniques starter set for eye makeup has both types of angled liner brushes for a really good price. As for Pros and Cons on Gel Liner. In the Pro column; I feel like the application is much more forgiving than liquid liner. It’s a good gateway liner. And Cons; I don’t feel like the color is as intense with gel liners as it is with Liquid liners. Also, the staying power of gel liner isn’t as strong as liquid liner, but then again, that could go to the pro side because then the removal process won’t be as difficult. The one other downfall is that because you have to use a brush, that brush will need to be cleaned/rinsed/wiped off thoroughly after each use to keep it from crusting over like 90s hair gel.
Tips for Use
For a smokey eye look, first apply gel liner above your lash line and smudge it out with a smudging brush to really get a concentrated smudge. You could also tight-line with a gel liner. Use the ring finger method to sweep some gel liner from corner to corner. To clean the brush, just take a makeup wipe or cotton pad with eye makeup remover to clean off the brush after each use.
This is my absolute favorite type of liner…EVER. It’s also the hardest liner to master, but once you get it, you’ll have it for life. Liquid liner is the best for that crisp winged line, dramatic or minimal. It’s also great with color payoff, and more and more brands are coming out with more colors. They come in all shapes and sizes too. You can use a felt tip liner, or a liner with a teeny-tiny brush tip. I prefer the felt tip, it’s a bit easier to handle and control. Pros and Cons; the first and biggest pro is you can create the sharpest of lines in a very small area, and build from there. The color payoff is intense as well. As for the cons, it’s very unforgiving. If you make a mistake, makeup remover and starting over from scratch is usually always involved. One other con, there’s not much else that can be done with a liquid liner aside from a sharp winged look. Though, the makeup artist at my work said she actually uses some felt tip liquid liners to fill in brows.
Tips for Use
Start in the middle of the eye and work your way towards the corners. Create your wing first, then connect with the rest of the lash line. Precision tip Q-Tips are your best friend for cleaning up any oops that might happen. And remember, if they don’t match, they don’t match. You’re the only one that’s going to notice.
A Couple More Tips and Tricks
Avoid using liner on your bottom line/waterline if you have small eyes as liner on top and bottom will make your eyes appear smaller than they are.
If you don’t have gel/pencil/liquid liner handy, dip an angled brush in some water then into eye shadow in the color you want. This will give you the same effect as gel liner.
To make your eyes appear larger/more awake, swipe a white or nude color on your bottom waterline (the skin above your bottom lash line).
If you want to line your waterline but lack the confidence with a pencil or brush that close to your eyeball, after you tight-line the top, blink really tightly. This will transfer product from the top to the bottom.