Julia and I have discussed an eyeliner post for almost 2 years. FINALLY I’m getting around to it because it’s needed. I don’t know where I would be without my handy eyeliner skills. Eyeliner not only helps you make a statement but it can shape your eyes. You can use pencils, powders, gels, brushes, liquid, and even select a color to truly make your eyes pop. The possibilities are endless! Since you have many options to choose from, we are going to focus on the 3 main types of applications: liquid, brush with gel/powder, and pencils. Each option creates its own unique look. You may have already determined which process is best and easier for you but hopefully you will walk away with the ability to try something new.
(MAC Eye Kohl Pencil in Black)
The basics starting point of using eyeliner. Who else used an eyeliner pencil in junior high when experimenting with makeup? And who else poked themselves repeatedly in the eye trying to master that process? Consider my hand raised on all accounts. Here’s the thing with pencils…they can be challenging. Make sure it’s sharpened beforehand and opt for a kohl pencil which provides for an easier application. The softer consistency with the kohl helps the pencil to glide right on to the lashline. I use a pencil for the days when I’m creating a smudged, lighter look to my eyeliner. Pencil liners do help with precision because you tend to have more control with the pencil in your hand.
Holding the pencil almost parallel to the lashline, sweep in small strokes as close to the lashline as possible. You may even find lightly holding the eye area taught (I’m talking lightly) will help your application process.
(e.l.f Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner)
The trusty liquid liner is always best for the classic cat eye look. This is what I reach for each day. Sharp, precise tips allow for a close cuts and extreme lines. This application process can be hard to master and isn’t so forgiving when you mess up. Have you ever experienced one of these moments? One simple mess up turns into a thick line then turns into a huge hot mess and at that point you might as well become a panda. But don’t turn to being a panda just yet. The trick to mastering liquid liner involves 2 things – connecting the dots and q-tips.
Before you can draw your liner on with one swift line, try connecting the dots. Make small dots along your lash line then fill it in with your liquid liner tip. This will help you control the applicator and learn how and where to apply. This same step can be used for pencils and brushes but I find it to be the most helpful with liquid eyeliners. Use q-tips to clean up any imperfections. Just make sure your significant other isn’t near you during the process.
For the perfect cat eye, draw a triangle on the outer corner of your eye and connect the dots. Imagine you are connecting the line from the lower lashline up to the outer edge of your eyebrows. That will help you in creating the perfect angle and tip for the cat eye. This will also help when you are creating the look on the other eye and keeping the eyes even. There’s nothing worse than working for a half hour on your eyeliner only to discover one side is lopsided.
(Bare Escentuals Onyx Liner + Sephora Angled Eyeliner Brush)
I grouped gels and powders together because they share one thing in common – the eyeliner brush applicator. I love an angled eyeliner brush because there are so many looks you can create with it. Lining the lower lash and upper lash line, getting a tight line look because the brush hugs the lashline and you can even create a soft cat eye with an angled brush. It can also sub as an eyebrow brush if you’re in a pickle. It’s a great brush to have in your kit at all times.
I like to use a brush applicator for winged liner looks as well especially when I’m in the mood for a smokey eye. Use the brush and starting at the outer edge of your lash line just pat the color into place. Work inward to about halfway and then back out again layering the color for a deeper look. To create the wing, start at the outer edge and pat in small strokes upward to create the wing and tip. Just pat and lift, move to the next post and pat and lift. It’s that easy! Fill in the shape where the wing and the lashline meet and you’ve now created a simple winged look. Don’t worry about creating long strokes because it’s not about that. Simple, small easy steps can create the work of professionals.
Try out your eyeliner with some of the tips and tricks above and share them with us on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #beautybasics. I’d love to see how you recreate your liner looks each day!
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– Jamie of Hello There, Lady!