They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. This is certainly true for the art of makeup.
Dressing for a summer brunch with friends?
Soft nude eye shadow with demure eyeliner flicks will give you that summery glow.
Is the event a wild night out?
Dramatic cat-eye liner in a dazzling electric blue, with rich tones of smoky grey will immediately help you stand out as a badass.
Or is it an elegant evening of a romantic dinner date?
Soft damask eye shadow tones with smudged brown liner on both your upper and lower lids will work magic for your look.
Either way, the way you choose to draw your eyes defines the occasion you’re dressing up for. It also determines the aura you want to project. The focus on your eyes can create, uplift and enhance your whole look.
And your eyeliner is an indispensable part of this.
So here’s a Handy guide to Eyeliners help you get started…
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Guide: How to Apply Eyeliner Infographic
- 2 Types of Eyeliner
- 3 How to Put on Eyeliner
- 4 Different Eyeliner Styles
- 5 Eyeliner Tips and Tricks (22 of em’)
- 6 Know Your Eyeliner Brushes
- 7 How to Use Eyeliner Brushes
- 8 How to Clean Your Eyeliner Brushes
- 9 How to Take Care of Your Brushes
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Eyeliners
- 11 Conclusion
Quick Guide: How to Apply Eyeliner Infographic
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[Text] How To Apply Eyeliner Basics
To apply eyeliner properly, you need to know the different parts of the eye where they can be put on.
Usually, eyeliners are used to paint a thin dark band that closely hugs the edge of the upper eyelid, following its contours to the corners of your eyes.
Most people add another layer on the ‘tight line’. This line is beneath the roots of the lashes on your upper lid.
This part tends to be wet and hence only gel or pencil eyeliner can be applied here, as liquid liners can smudge onto the white of the eye. Lining the tight line ties your eye makeup together.
Eyeliners can also be applied on the lower lid, either on your ‘water line’ or on your ‘lash line’.
Note: Water line is that edge of the lower lid closest to the eyeball. Like the tight line, it is wet.
Note: Your lash line, on the other hand, follows the roots of the lashes on your lower lid.
Now that you know these basics, it’s time to choose a kind of eyeliner.
Your level of expertise should be the most important consideration for this. Makeup looks best when you’re comfortable with it. So make sure you choose the eyeliner you think you’ll feel the most comfortable with.
Next, choose a brand…
Expenses play a big part in this. Do you want a drugstore brand or a luxury brand? Are you looking for a long-term investment or a short-term one?
If ethics are important for you, then cruelty-free vegan and organic brands are a great option.
Medical conditions are also important. If you wear contact lenses or suffer from dryness of eyes, you might want to consider hypoallergenic ones that won’t hurt your eyes.
Once you’ve made a choice, it’s time to think about colour.
Black is the most common eyeliner colour. It is practical and appropriate for all occasions. It is the colour to start with.
However, once you get the hang of application, why not have a little fun?
Softer shades such as browns make for great daytime looks, while brighter shades such as blues, bright greens and oranges are fun and playful for evening looks.
Dark greens, greys and bronzes, lightly smudged, make perfect sultry smoky eyes. The red eyeliner look is also in this season.
Your colour choice for application should be made largely based on the occasion you’re dressing for.
Before you start…
it’s a good idea to first clean your upper lids with soft cotton wool and a good cleanser. If you apply foundation and concealer, go ahead and apply those as well. Next, apply your eye-shadow. These create a great canvas for your eyeliner to show up brightly on.
When you start applying, there are some things you should keep handy.
Note: The first and most important of these are Q-tips! They help you fix any mistakes easily.
A bottle of cleanser or eye make-up remover will also help. If you’re using a pencil eyeliner, sharpeners are needed. If you’re using a gel or cream eyeliner, a good brush with synthetic fibres and a defined tip is essential.
Now you’re good to try your hand at applying eyeliner. There are mainly three different types of eyeliner and each of them is applied differently.
Types of Eyeliner
Did you know that the use of eyeliner was discovered by the ‘modern’ Western world only in the 1920s?
In 1922, Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the legendary pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt. There, for the first time ever, the archaeologists came across powdered pigments used to blacken the areas around the eyes by Ancient Egyptians.
They took the powders, along with paintings showing how to use it, back to Britain. This is how the eyeliner, as we know it now, first emerged.
No matter what form of eyeliner you use, they all basically contain the same ingredients: pigments, that add colour, thickeners to help the eyeliner adhere to the skin and film formers, to create a substantially thick coat of colour on your skin.
Here are the different kinds of eyeliners that you can use….
Then, in the 1960s, along came the liquid liner. It ruled the world of makeup for several decades, especially in the 1970s. Sub-cultures of the 70s, 80s and 90s, such as Goth, punk and emo, all depended heavily on liquid eyeliner to create their identities.
How cool is the fact that a 10,000 year old makeup convention can still be so relevant?
So what is liquid eyeliner?
As its name suggests, the pigment in such eyeliners coats on to the skin with the help of an opaque liquid medium.
It usually comes in small bottles which include small brushes for application. It can also come in a pen form, resembling felt pens.
Liquid eyeliners create a bright and sharp look. Since they can run unless they’re fully dry, they’re usually used only on the upper lid.
They can be manipulated to create all sorts of different styles of lining, although learning to use them can take some practice.
Essentially, they are similar in look and application: the eyeliner is in the form of a pencil in which the nib contains the pigments. Applying them is very easy, and so they’re great for beginners.
Wax-based pencils are much softer than powder-based ones, which tend to give a dry, matte look. The latter smear more easily as well. Kajal or kohl pencils are of this kind.
Wax pencils are available in a large variety of shades, while powder based ones tend to come in darker shades. Gel or cream eyeliner pencils are slightly more expensive, but give a smooth finish.
You can apply pencil eyeliners on upper lids, lower lash lines, tight lines as well as water lines of the eye.
Most gel liners are waterproof. Applying them, however, needs considerable expertise, especially as specialized brushes are used to apply them.
They are usually available in dark shades. They can be applied on the lower lash line as well.
How to Put on Eyeliner
Different techniques must be used to put on different types of eyeliner. It takes time and patience, but with practice, you can become an expert in all of them.
How to Apply Pencil Eyeliner
Make sure your pencil is well sharpened. This will help to create a more defined line, which you can soften or smudge afterwards with a Q-tip or a brush.
Start from whichever part of the eye you feel more natural and comfortable with. Many people start from the inner corner of the upper lid and make their way to the outer. Some also start from the middle point.
Use short strokes or dashes, following the edge of your lid all the way up to the outer corner. You can also leave gaps between the dashes, joining them up later, if you are not sure about attempting a long continuous line.
To begin with, create a thin line that is as close to your lash line as possible. This will look more natural and you can thicken it later, if you wish.
When you’re getting close to the outer corner, lightly hold it up to create a slight curve. This will help you to avoid a blunt line with a blurred tip at the outer edge of your eye.
Follow the contour of your lid to the inner corner. The least amount of pigment should be deposited on the inner corner, while the most should be at the outer.
Once your upper lid is done, focus on your tight line. Lightly hold the lid up to expose the white edge of the lid just under the roots of your lashes.
Gently apply the pencil there and darken the edge. Do not put too much pressure. Do not use anyone else’s eyeliner for this either, as your eyes are vulnerable to infections.
It’s time to line your lower lid. Try to avoid the rims of your eyes and start from the outer corner, gently drawing a steady line to the inner corner. Always avoid covering your tear ducts near the inner corner of your eye.
Pull down your lower lid to expose the waterline just below the rim of the eye and above the roots of your lashes. Gently and carefully draw a thin line from the outer to the inner corner, once more avoiding your tear ducts.
Join the outer edges of the two lines. You can join the inner edges as well, but be aware that this can look very harsh and leave the line vulnerable to smudging.
Use a q-tip to correct any mistakes.
You can set your eyeliner with some translucent nude eye shadow, and add a little highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes to really make the colour pop.
Et voila! Your pencil eyeliner look is complete.
How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner
Make sure you get a liquid eyeliner from a brand you trust to avoid allergies. You might have to experiment a bit to find the right fit!
Choose the kind of eyeliner you’re most comfortable with: felt tip, or dip brush.
Prepare your eyes. Clean your lids with some cleanser, then apply a light moisturizes, followed by foundation, and, if you prefer, a primer. If you’re going to use eye-shadow, it is advisable to apply this now as well.
If you’re using a dip brush liner, unscrew the bottle top and dip your brush only as far into the liquid as to cover the body of the brush. Make sure the stem is dry, as liner can drip onto your skin otherwise. Lightly dab the edge of the brush against the inside edge of the bottle’s opening to remove excess liquid.
If you’re using a felt tip, you’re good to go!
In either case, make sure your hand is resting comfortably, as a shaking hand can cause a wavy or uneven line. Rest your applying hand on your cheek, and elbow on a steady, hard surface. A table mirror, that can provide a closer image of your eye, might also be a better idea than a larger one.
Start from the inner corner of the eye and lightly and carefully paint a single thin line, hugging the contours of your lid. You can thicken this later. Use short dashes that you can connect later if you’re not comfortable with drawing the entire line at once.
Take care to apply light pressure with only the tip of the brush. If you flatten the brush onto your lid, you will have far less control over the outcome and end up with eyeliner all over your eye!
Once the basic line has been drawn, go over it once again to create a smooth, even line. Fill in any gaps or breaks.
Remember that eyeliner always looks better when it is thinner in the inner corner and thicker at the outer edges. So if you want to start thickening the lines, it is better to start the second coat from the middle of the lid, or at least three-fourths way into the lid, to create a curved, bow-bridge look.
Make sure the outer edge of the liner is tapering down. It should end where the natural curve of your lid ends. If you want, you can add a tail here. A short flick upwards, at the same angle as the upper curve of your lower lid, will create a naturalistic look.
Use a q-tip to gently remove excess liner that may have dripped down to your lashes, or correct any mistakes.
You’re set for your basic liquid eyeliner look!
How to Apply Gel Eyeliner
The first requirement for a gel eyeliner is a good brush. Once you have the brand of eyeliner you want, make sure you have the kind of brush you need for your preference.
A thick brush will create thick, dark lines that may deposit too much pigment onto your eye and make it harder to control the line. A stiff, thin, angled brush is the best option.
Prepare your eyes with a cleanser, a moisturizer and a light coat of foundation. You can use a translucent powder to help it set, as gel eyeliner (and cream eyeliners) set better on dry surfaces.
Dip the brush into the liner, gently, and wipe off the excess liner. Before you start applying, tilt your head towards the source of light. This will help you see your entire eye clearly.
Start from the inner corner, as with a gel eyeliner, it is easier to control the curve of the line from this position. Hold the brush at a slight angle instead of perpendicularly, as this will also give you more control.
A gel liner spreads smoothly, but is less so than liquids. So, as a beginner, try and make short dashes that follow the natural curve on the upper lid, right to the outer edge.
Fill the gaps in with one continuous stroke above the first coat. Make sure the edges of the line are even. Ideally, the inner corner should have a thinner line, which thickens towards the other edge of the eye.
Correct any mistakes with Q-tips immediately. Try to wet the q-tip in make-up remover or coconut oil first.
Once you’re done, always wash the brush with warm water and a very little amount of soap, then let it air dry. This will help keep your brush clean and prevent microbial growth on it.
And you’re done!
Different Eyeliner Styles
Over the years, many different styles of wearing eyeliner, and application techniques, have developed. Some of them help to elongate your eyes. Some help to make them look bigger. Some are just wacky and set you apart. All of them are great fun! Here are some of the most common ways of wearing eyeliner:
Winged eyeliner is one of the most basic kinds of styling, yet it can be quite a tricky skill to learn. However, it is one of the most versatile styles and, with a bit of practice, can become your go-to look for both day and evening wear. Here are some of the ways to do winged eyeliner:
- Once you’ve done your basic line, draw a line that extends upwards from the corner of your upper lid along the same curve and angle as your lower lid. The longer this line is, the more dramatic the look.
- Stop at the appropriate length. You now have two arms of a triangle at the corner of your eye.
- Join the upper end of this line with the basic line you had drawn to form a complete triangle. You may choose to lengthen this joining line further along the natural curve of your upper lid to form a more naturalistic look.
- You can also leave it at the much sharper angle for a more dramatic look.
- Fill in the triangle completely.
- One useful hack is to cut a bit of sticky tape and then stick it onto the corner of your eye at an upwards angle. By using the upper edge of the tape as a guide, you can create a neat wing. But this looks more like a longer flick than an actual wing, as the line becomes too stiff and the soft curve of the wing is not there.
- If you’re using pencil eyeliner, remember to use a sharpened one, as a blunt pencil will not give you the desired results. Lightly tauten the skin on the outer corner of your eyes when you draw the wings, as this will give you a smoother canvas to work with. However, drawing wings with pencil eyeliners can be tricky, as they do not spread easily.
- If you’re using liquid eyeliner, remember to dab the excess eyeliner off. Otherwise, the liner will smudge along the fold of your eyelid. Liquid eyeliner gives more control, but it also smears easily. So avoid going near or into the fold of your eye while drawing your wings..
- Gel eyeliner provides the most control for creating the perfect wings.
Cat eyes are similar to winged eyes, but the wings are much longer, more sharply angled and dramatic. A very femme fatale make-up choice, cat eyes are perfect for parties and nights out. They first appeared in the 1960s and can thus give an immediate retro upgrade to your look.
To create a cat eye look, make sure all of your eye makeup is already in place before you attempt it, as any blurring or smearing takes away from its edginess.
- Determine the angle of your flick. Cat eye wings are usually steep and long. They rise straight up towards the outer end of your eyebrow, starting from the end of your lower lash line. Use the stem of your brush to do this.
- Make sure to take off extra eyeliner from your brush before applying. Start from the lower end, applying pressure lightly to the tip of the brush. Draw a line at the determined angle. A long line will create a thin wing, which in turn will elongate your eyes. A shorter line will create a thicker wing, which will open up your eyes more. Stop at the appropriate length.
- You can also put a dot at the desired height, and then connect this dot to the outer corner of your basic line.
- Do NOT pull on the skin on the outside edge to tauten it. Once you let go, the result will look completely different and often quite unsatisfactory. Learn to trust your instincts instead.
- Put the tip of your brush near the middle of the eye lid, or at least 1/3rd way in. Draw a line that joins this point with the upper end of the angled line.
- Fill in the triangle you have created carefully, avoiding excess eyeliner that can create globules or blobs.
- Clean any mistakes with Q-tips.
- Remember that as the cat eyeliner is already such a dramatic look, using very dark shades of eyeshadow with it can be overwhelming.
- The look works best with liquid or gel eyeliner.
A flicked eyeliner style is very similar to winged eyeliner, except that here, the wings are much smaller. Flicked eyeliner is much more naturalistic than winged eyeliner, as it follows the natural curve of your eye without elongating it.
- As always, with flicked eyeliner, make sure your eye is prepared before you attempt to apply it. Clean your face, moisturize it, and apply primer and foundation as well as a light coat of eye shadow if you want to.
- As it is very demure, flicked eyeliner works the best for a daytime look. For the same reason, clear nude eye shadows work best with them. They highlight the eyeliner instead of overwhelming it.
- Make sure your brush is free of extra eyeliner, if you’re using gel or liquid liner. Start from the inner corner and slowly draw your natural basic line, hugging the contours of your upper lid.
- Once the first coat is dry, touch your brush a little past the mid-point of your upper eyelid, about 2/3rds way in towards the inner corner. This will be the starting point of your second coat of eyeliner.
- Draw a lightly curved line from this point to the outer corner of your lid.
- This line should rest slightly above the first, touching the base line while curving a little higher than it.
- If you have hooded eyes, this coat should always rest below your hood, as the eyeliner will smudge otherwise.
- From the outer corner, you can either follow the natural upward angle of your lower lash line, or the natural, slightly downward angle of your crease, if you have hooded eyes.
- If you’re following the upward angle, put a dot of liner at the outer corner of your eye, level with the highest point of the arc of your second coat. Make sure the dot is in line with the natural curve of your lower lash line.
- Join the end of your basic line to this dot. You have one arm of the triangular flick now.
- Join the dot to your second coat, just before the highest point of the arc. Make sure to leave a slight dip between this second arm of your flick and that point.
- Fill in the triangle.
- se a Q-tip to fix any mistakes.
- Adding a pop of highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes will do wonders for this look!
- This look is best created with liquid eyeliner, as it gives the most control and precision. It can also be done with gelled eyeliner if you are very adept at using it. You will need a very sharp pencil to create this with pencil eyeliner.
This look can be worn free of other eye makeup as well. Since it is quite subtle, it does not look out of place on bare eyelids.
One of the softest eyeliner looks is the smudged eyeliner. It is versatile, being perfect for daytime occasions when done with soft golds and roses, and just as suitable for night time looks when done with highly pigmented dark greys, blues, greens and browns.
It can even be worn at office, as part of a natural palette which is both formal and flattering. Best of all, it can be created by absolute novices, since all you need is an eyeliner pencil and a Q-tip (of course, you can use a brush if you want!).
Here’s how to create it:
- Make sure your eye-make up is already in place before starting on this look, especially your eye shadow, as the finished eyeliner look must more or less blend into your eye shadow.
- Draw a gentle basic line as we have shown earlier in our ‘How to Apply Pencil Eyeliner’ section, starting from the inner corner of your eye and going outwards.
- Using small dashes instead of one continuous line is especially effective for this look.
- Make sure your line is thinner at the inner corner, thicker towards the middle and then tapering off into a tail near the outer corner.
- You can add a small flick, or a slightly longer wing, if you like. Either way, make sure you follow the natural curve of you lower lash line.
- For this look, it does not matter if you happen to draw over the crease of your eyes, if you have a hooded eyelid.
- Darken the lash line of your lower lid, again using dashes, as these will be easier to smudge. Make the line thicker towards the outer corner and tapering off into the inner one.
- Now the smudging begins! Use a Q-tip to gently smudge the line on the upper lid, starting from the inner corner and making your way outwards. Make sure to smudge in only one direction: otherwise your makeup will become messy. The preferred direction is in small, sharp strokes, from the inner edge towards the outer edge.
- You need to be careful on the wings, as too much smudging can make it look untidy and smeared. Use only one side of the Q-tip, holding it at a slight angle instead of perpendicularly. This slant will create a more precise and focused surface for the smudging. Continue to smudge in gentle strokes, following the curve of the wing.
- This is easier with an angled brush; however, with practice, it can also be perfected with a Q-tip.
- On the lower lash line, follow the same method, smudging from the inner corner to the outer in gentle, firm and short strokes. Make sure that the end of the line joins up with the upper lid’s line.
- Once you have achieved the softness you wanted, remove mistakes with a makeup cleanser and a Q-tip. The line should be distinctly visible above your eye-shadow, and softly blur and merge into it near the top.
- Try to make the end result even. Smooth out the edges and get rid of harsh contrasts.
Your smudged eyeliner look is ready!
Retro eyes are all about creating that doe-eyed look that was popular in the 1960s. They are less dramatic than cat eyes, much more flared than flick eyeliner and have thicker wings than traditional winged eyeliner.
Doe-eyes go well with feminine looks, such as mid-length dresses and skirts. To look like the heroine of a Jean Luc Godard movie, here’s what you need to do:
- Your base eye make-up should be clean and free of clutter for this look to work. Try nude or pastel eye-shadow, with a light foundation and shimmery translucent powder to set it.
- Draw the basic line, closely hugging the contours of your upper lid.
- Once the first coat is dry, draw a second, thicker line above it, creating a bow-bridge shape. This line should begin from midway between the inner corner of your eye, and the middle point of your eyelid.
- Don’t be afraid to make it thick, but if you have hooded eyes, always make sure the highest point of the bow is below the crease.
- Taper the line off towards the outer edge of your eye.
- Now, poise your applicator (that is, your brush tip/ pencil tip) at the corner of your upper lid. In a single motion, draw a line that travels upwards and outwards towards the end of your eyebrow, in a concave curve.
- Slightly lift the tip near the end so that finished line is thicker near the corner of your eye and thinner towards the end. This is the first arm of your wing.
- Position the tip of your applicator at a point just below the highest point of the bow-bridge. There should be a slight dip between the two.
- From that point, again in a slight concave curving motion, draw a line, joining it to the end of the first arm. This is the second arm of your wing.
- Remember that the wing should be thicker, helping your eyes to open, rather than longer, elongating your eye.
- Fill in your triangle. Your doe-eye flick is complete!
- If you have messed up, just use a Q-tip as precisely as you can to wipe the mistake away.
- This look works best with gel eyeliner, as liquid liners can become too messy and pencil eyeliners too imprecise.
Since it’s such a striking look, white eyeliner tends to get pigeonholed as an edgy, ‘niche’ look. But believe it or not, white eyeliner is actually one of the most versatile bits of makeup you can own!
From using it as a highlighter to wearing it in different styles, white eyeliner is easy to adapt and make your own.
There are several ways in which you can use white eyeliner, which mainly comes in a pencil form. Rather than telling you how to apply the eyeliner (which we have already done in our How to Apply Eyeliner section), we’ll tell you about some of the different ways of wearing it.
- As a normal liner: You can simply replace your black eyeliner with a white one for a striking everyday daytime look. For office wear, just apply an extra thick basic line of white liner, then apply a thinner line of black on top of it to mute it a little.The double-layered look is formal and fun at the same time. For brunches and parties, you can simply wear mascara with a thin white line.
- In your water line: White eyeliner on the water line can really help to open your eyes (and make you look less sleepy on a busy week day morning!).Apply your eyeliner on your water line (the part above the lash line but below the rim of your lower eyelid) and smudge it out in the inner corner. Make sure the colour is in a uniform layer.
- As a highlighter: You can apply white eyeliner directly to the inner corners of your eyes or even below your eyebrow to act as a highlighter!Put a spot of eyeliner on the inner corner of your eye and blend it well to create a shimmery spot that will really make your eye shadow pop.For your eyebrow, put a thick line of liner just below your eyebrow, at the highest point on the arc of your brow bone, and blend it out well. Your eye shadow should blend in seamlessly with it to create the perfect sculpted look!
- As a dramatic night-time look: For a really strong night-out look, you can use your white eye pencil as a primer for your brightly coloured eye shadow.Apply the eyeliner all over your eye lid, from your lash-line to below the crease, in short, firm strokes.Then blend it out with a brush. Apply your eye shadow on top. Use a paddle brush and dab it on, before blending it out. For added shimmer, add a thin line of white liner on top of the eye shadow for a stunning finish.
- If you’re looking to get even more uses out of your white eyeliner, you can actually use it to make your lips look great!Apply a little white liner in a v-shape on your Cupid’s bow. Blend it out. Finally, line your lips and put your favourite shade of lipstick for the perfect pout!
One of the hottest party looks of this year, glitter eyeliner is a very strong make-up look that should ideally only be reserved for nights out or special occasions.
Of course, you can create a very soft glitter eyeliner look with golden or rose eyeliner and soft bronze or pastel tones, but it takes time and practice to achieve it! Here are a few ways you can wear glitter eyeliner:
- Remember that glitter eyeliner should always be paired with a thin black line, both for visibility and to not overwhelm your makeup with shininess.
- Choose the right glitter liner. To start with, you want a colour that is neutral, and can be worn with everything. Metallic colours, especially gold, is a great, versatile option.
- Glitter eyeliners are almost always liquid, so make sure you’re comfortable with handling liquid liner before starting on them.
- Choose the right brush. The glitter line needs to be very thin. So make sure you’re using a thin, angled eyeliner brush.
- For a night time look, smoky eyes look great with glitter liner. For the perfect smoky eye, moisturize and prime your eyes well (as you will be using a lot of product on them!). Use a matte foundation, and set it with translucent powder.
- Start at the outer corner of your eyes with a darker shade, such as dark grey, brown, green, blue or purple. Softly blend in with a medium tone. Finally, put on the lighter tone, which should ideally be very close to white: a soft off-white, nude or pink.
- You can apply the glitter eyeliner either before the black line, or after: whichever you find easier. After is always recommended.
- If you’re putting it earlier, use a very thin eyeliner brush. Start from the inner corner of your eye. Remember to leave space above your lash line for the black liner. Draw it out into a thin wing.
- Fill in the space between the liner and your lash line with black liner. Do not leave any skin visible between the black liner and your lash line.
- Stop at the outer corner of your eyes and slowly draw out a thicker black wing below it. You can make it into a fishtail wing, or as a normal eyeliner flick.
- If you’re putting it later, create a strong base line with your black liner. It should be thicker than our glitter line. Create a wing.
- Apply the glitter line. Start from the inner corner and reach all the way to the tip of the wing by following the contour of your baseline.
- Voila! You have a two-layered glitter liner look.
- For a daytime look, a less contrasted eye shadow look should be created. For this, use medium and light tones and avoid darker shades.
- The glitter liner should also be of a softer colour, and preferably without the black base line. The base line should be thin. Avoid wings, or, if necessary, add only short flicks.
Black is classic, but it is also safe. Nothing says ‘fun’ and ‘willing to experiment’ more than a bright pop of colour in an unexpected place!
Coloured eyeliners are a really dynamic addition to your makeup bag. They can redefine your personality if used correctly!
- Choose the right eyeliner. Eyeliner pencils are the best for beginners. They provide maximum control and quite a strong finish. Gels allow for a smooth application, but you need to be comfortable with brushes to use them. Liquid liners are the trickiest, but give the best, most pigmented finish.
- Choose the right colours. You can either opt for colours opposite to your iris colour on the colour wheel, or those complementary to you. So hazel and warm, brownish greens look great, while blue matches well with grey and brown goes beautifully with lavender or purple.
- If you want to match colours, opt for deeper shades of your eye colours.
- Keep the rest of your makeup in tune with your eyeliner. You can match your eyeliner with your lipstick for a really strong look. You can also choose to highlight your eyes by keeping the rest of your makeup simple.
- Prime your eyes with foundation and eye shadow. The rest of your eye makeup should ideally be in place before you start on your liner.
- For a strong look, apply the coloured liner directly onto the lash line. Create a thin base line, starting from the inner corner of your eye and following your lid’s contours to the outer corner. Put a double layer to make a line that tapers to the inner corner and becomes thicker towards the outer.
- You can add a flick or a wing if you like.
- For a more muted look, apply a thin black base line first. This line should be thicker towards the outer corner.
- If you’re using a pencil for the coloured liner, it’s better for the black base line to be of liquid or gel liner to avoid smearing.
- Apply the coloured liner on top, following the contours of the lower line. Get an even finish.
- If you’re using pencil liners for both the lines, you can use a Q-tip to lightly smudge the borders between the lines for a softer look.
- You can also apply pencil liners to your lower lid’s water line!
- Like with your upper lid, you can either create a double layer of black plus a coloured line, or you can directly apply the coloured eyeliner.
- For a double layer, apply the black liner first on your water line. You can either line it all the way up to the inner corner, or only half-way through.
- Apply the coloured liner just below your lash line. Follow the contours of the black line to create the line.
- For direct application, start from the inner corner of your lower lid. Create a line that is thin towards the inner end and thicker towards the outer.
- You can taper the outer end into a wing, or have it meet your upper lid’s corner.
And you’re done! For bolder looks, don’t be afraid to experiment. Makeup is all about having fun and being comfortable with how you look.
The Arabic eyeliner look is traditionally extremely bold, with a very thick upper lid line and a two-part lower lid line. It is also quite difficult to do.
Once you know how to do it, though, it will probably become your staple party look! Extremely versatile and easy to adapt, here’s how to do eyeliner in the Arabic style:
- Since a lot of product will go on your eyes for this, apply a good primer.
- Arabic eyeliner generally calls for a softer eye shadow. However, it also works well with smoky eye shadows. Prepare all your eye makeup beforehand.
- Liquid liner gives the brightest and glossiest finish with this look. Gel liner also gives an intense matte finish. Avoid using pencil liners on the upper lid, because they can smudge easily.
- You can choose different colours to do this liner look with, but always remember that this means the already bold style will become further prominent!
- If you’re not using a dip-brush liner, choosing the right brush is very important. For lining your lower lash line, use a very thin, angled eyebrow pencil. For the corners of your eyes, use a thicker brush.
- For extra prominence, you can apply white pencil liner on your eyelid to make the eyeshadow colours pop.
- Using the thicker brush, start at the inner corner of your upper lid. Create a thin base line that hugs the contours of your lash line, and becomes thicker towards the outer end.
- You can make the outer end as thick as you want, as long as the highest point stays below the crease of your lid.
- Taper the outer end off into a wing. The wing should be long and swan-like, rather than a flick or a curve. The tip should reach towards the end of your eyebrow.
- If you’re using gel eyeliner, this is what you should do now:
- Start at the inner corner of your lower lid. Position the tip of your thin brush at the spot your upper lid’s line started from.
- Draw on your water line. Make the line about the length of one-third of your lower lash line. It should be thicker towards the inner corner and thinner towards the middle of your lash line.
- The first part is done.
- For the second, start from the outer corner of your lower lid, below your water line.
- Using the thicker brush, draw a line that is thicker towards your outer end and thinner towards the middle of your lid.
- Carefully avoiding the water line, draw it till it is below the end of the shorter line you just drew.
- The two lines now look like two puzzle pieces whose ends will fit perfectly together!
- Don’t fill in the gap between the two lines. That space is the fun part of Arabic liner.
- If you used liquid liner on your top lid, you should use pencil liner now. Sharpen your pencil liner to a perfect point before you start on the above instructions.
- Follow the same step-by-step routine.
- To complete the look, you can take a white eyeliner pencil on your waterline and tightline to really open up your eyes.
Eyeliner Tips and Tricks (22 of em’)
Learning a new skill isn’t easy. This definitely applies to eyeliners! Working with liquid and gel liners can be very tough for beginners, and fixing mistakes is even more stressful.
So here’s a handy guide for everyone: those starting out as well as seasoned veterans looking for shortcuts.
When starting out, get a mid-level pencil eyeliner
Pencil eyeliners are the easiest to control, so they’re a great stepping stone. You want to get a mid-range one, because lower end liners tend to be very dry and difficult to apply. On the other hand, high-range ones can be wasted if you make mistakes and have to correct them!
Remember that liners in different colors can have different effects on your eyes.
Black can be used both subtly, and as a bold look. Brown, especially smudged, is very subtle and great for an everyday office look.
White and nude eyeliner on your lower water line can open up your eyes.
Especially to make you look more awake! They’re also very versatile and can be used as primers, concealers and correctors for your makeup.
Bright colours such as
orange, blue, green or purple, as well as glitter eyeliner, are great for bold, playful looks.
Invest in some great brushes.
Always go for the thin ones first, and as you gain confidence, start switching between thinner and thicker brushes as convenient. Angled thin brushes can create very precise lines, whereas thicker brushes and paddle brushes are great for volume and drama.
Always ensure your eyelid is dry and matte when applying eyeliner.
Greasy eyes will cause your liner to smudge or run easily, and can take much longer to dry. Preferably, do all your eye makeup before you start with your liner.
Shaking hands are a real struggle when you’re starting out!
Try to rest your elbows on a stable surface, such as a table, when you’re starting. With practice, they will become steadier.
Invest in a good, round mirror that you can rest on the table on its own stand.
These create much bigger close-up images of your face and really help with all kinds of makeup.
Do not pull on your eyelids.
Not only will this create a misleading contour of your eye, leading to a wonky mess of a line, it will also cause wrinkles on the corners of our eyes. While gals of all ages are beautiful , with their laugh lines and crow feet, we’d all like to keep our skin in prime condition, right?
Use the dots-or-dashes trick!
If you’re unsure about creating a perfect line in one continuous movement, try to start out with small dots or dashes along the contour of your lid. Then connect them.
Tightlining your eyes creates a more intense look.
Putting eyeliner on the waterline can change the size of your eye depending on the colour of the liner.
Q-tips (or cotton swabs or ear buds, whatever you call them) are your best friends.
Use them to correct mistakes, with a little bit of coconut oil, Vaseline or cleanser. You can also use them to collect extra product that can get deposited on your lashes or lids.
concealer and clear lip gloss also works really well as eyeliner corrector!
You can use eye shadow as eyeliner by activating it with a little bit of water!
The application, of course, has to be done with a brush.
You can also use black eye shadow to create a smudged eyeliner effect,
if you’re not getting the look correctly with just eyeliner. Just use a paddle brush to dab on some eye shadow on top and then gently blend it out.
Wings are great,
but only if used correctly. Different wings turn your eyes into different shapes, so choose the correct wings.
Eyes come in many shapes:
down-turned, upturned, mono lid, hooded lid, almond-shaped, round, deep-set, close-set and wide, to name only a few. Identify yours!
Each of these suits a different set of wings.
For example, small flicks go great with mono lidded eyes, while longer, swan-like wings look beautiful with upturned ones. Almond-shaped eyes are almost symmetrical and so they suit double wings very well, such as fishtail liners.
Of course, it’s impossible to create a glossary of every kind of eye,
since we are all unique with millions of variations! Ultimately, trial and error is the way to go.
Eye shadow and translucent powder are really great at setting eyeliners.
Just dab on a little with a flat brush and you’re good to go.
Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Try different styles and tricks. You can always correct them later.
Practice, practice, practice!
Only time and application can help you get better. Then you can work on creating your own unique looks!
Know Your Eyeliner Brushes
One of the most difficult parts about makeup is getting your brushes right. The right brush makes all the difference in application, especially for liquid liners.
Why You Should Use an Eyeliner Brush?
While dip-brushes are great for day-to-day application, they’re not as good for more complicated looks. They cannot be used with gel liners at all.
Eyeliner brushes can help you experiment with different kinds of styles and medium. They will give the best results for each.The winning combination of brush, liner and style is needed to look your best! Click To Tweet
If you want to make the transition from amateur to expert, you need to know your brushes.
Kinds of Brushes
There are many different kinds of brushes out there. Without any experience, choosing the correct one can be confusing.
So here’s a handy guide to eyebrow brushes to help you make the right decision:
- Firstly, brushes can have either round heads, or flat heads. Round-headed blushes are used for applications on bigger surface areas, such as foundation, blush and bronzer. Flat-headed brushes are used for thinner, more precise application on smaller areas, such as for eye shadows and lipsticks.
- The density of bristles matter too. Thin brushes are used for precise application. Mid-level brushes are used for flair, volume and drama. Extremely dense brushes are used for setting powders or blending foundations, bronzers and blush.
- For example, brushes with flat heads and angled tips are used for thicker eyeliner, lip and lipstick lines. Very dense, bushy ones with round heads are used for blending.
- Some brushes have angled tips, where the bristles are set at an angle, while some don’t. Some have point tips as well, with very fine bristles that form a point.
Now for the brushes!
Bent brushes have a somewhat L-shaped body, with a straight stem and a lightly bent neck set at an acute angle to the stem. They have a very thin point, which makes them ideal for wings.
They minimize trembling hand syndrome. However, they cannot be used for thick or voluminous lines at all.
How to Use Eyeliner Brushes
Using brushes can be intimidating. It takes time to pick up any new technique. But using brushes is a great way to expand your makeup horizons. Once you’re confident with them, they can even feel more comfortable than other forms of eyeliner.
Pick the right kind of brush.
This will depend on two things: the kind of eyeliner you’re using and the effect you want to create.
If you’re using gel or cream eyeliner, you can use pretty much any of the brushes: domed, flat, angled or basic. The style will determine the kind of brush you use.
If you’re in the mood for thick, bold lines, choose the dome shaped semi flat brush. If you’re in the mood for small flicks, choose the bent angled brush.
If you want a simple straight line, then the basic brush is good to go. For tightlining, use the flat, angled brush.If you’re using liquid eyeliner, thinner brushes are the best option. Click To Tweet
The bent angled brush is best for small flicks and wings. The basic brush, or the flat angled tip brush, can be used for thicker and bolder lines.
Note: Remember that liquid eyeliner cannot be used to tightline your eyes.
You can ever use eyeshadow or powder, mixed with a little bit of water or Vaseline, to create a soft eyeliner look. Flat angled brushes work great with these.
Make sure your brushes are clean before you start applying them. More on how to clean them later!
Dip your brush into your liner, coating both sides.
Scrape extra product onto the rim of your bottle. This is important, as extra product can create clumps or smears that can become very messy very quickly.
Too much product also makes the brushes harder to control. Plus, it’s always easier to put more liner on than it is to remove extra liner.
Rest your elbows on a flat surface to minimize trembling.
Hold the brush at a slight angle, with the end of the stem pointed towards the ground at a gentle slope. Brushes are always easier to control this way. Holding a brush perpendicularly or vertically will not work.
Begin at your inner corner, or at the point up to which you want your liner to extend inwards. Touch the point of the brush there, then gently drag the product outwards.
Try and keep the line even. If you can’t create a line in one continuous motion, as mentioned before, dashes and dots are of great help! You can join them later.
Remember that eyeliner always looks better when the line is thinner in the inner corner and thicker towards the outer.
You can taper off the liner near the end of your eye, or you can extend it into a wing.
To line your bottom lash line, always use gel or cream liner, or an eyebrow pencil.
Again, hold the brush at a slight angle. Start from the outer corner and draw the liner as far in as you want. Make the line thicker towards the outer edge.
Join the lower line with the upper one to create a more natural look.
To do your waterline, avoid the tear ducts as they can become irritated from the bristles as well as the product.
Gently expose the waterline, just below the rim of your eye, and lightly apply the product. Try not to add more than one layer, as this can dry out the eyes.
For your tightline, gently pull up your lid to expose the part below your upper lash line. Holding the brush carefully, at an angle, lightly draw a line, sticking to one coat.
And there you have it! Your eyeliner has been applied with a brush.
How to Clean Your Eyeliner Brushes
It is important to have clean brushes, especially for your eyes.
Clogged, unclean bristles can encourage the growth and spread of bacteria. They make application much harder too. Your brushes can be damaged and lose bristles as well.
How you clean your brushes depends on how dirty they are, and the kind of product you have used for them.
1. Cleaning mildly dirty eyeliner brushes
The best medium to clean brushes with is water. Hold the brush at a downward angle under lukewarm running water. This will prevent water from loosening the glue that holds the bristles together. The water flow should be gentle, to properly rinse the bristles without fraying them.
At all points, make sure that the brush handle stays clear of the water level.
Use a towel to pat the brush dry. You might need to restore the bristles to their original shape, if they have become crooked.
Don’t rest the brush on the wet towel, as this can encourage fungal growth. Instead, let it air dry in a well-ventilated area, resting on a table with the bristles out over the side.
Don’t keep them upright, as the water will trickle down into the stem, causing it to rust or rot.
To avoid musty-smelling brushes, make sure they are completely dry, preferably under sunlight if possible, before storing them away.
You usually don’t need to fluff eyeliner brushes up before use.
2. Cleaning caked product from eyeliner brushes
If liquid, gel or cream liner have been on the brushes a long time, simply holding the brushes under running water may not be enough. For this, you will need a small pot or container, around half a cup of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of baby shampoo.
Mix the shampoo with the water without frothing it. Then swirl the brush in the water until the dirt comes off.
You may need to gently massage the soap and water into the bristles. Loosen the product residue from the bristles in this manner. Then hold the brush under running water to wash it away.
Pat the brush dry. Follow all the precautions mentioned above for the drying process.
3. Very dirty eyeliner brushes
For very dirty brushes, especially with a lot of gel, cream or liquid caked in, washing takes longer. You will need some baby hair oil, light olive oil or almond oil, some baby shampoo, lukewarm water and some paper towels as well as a clean cloth towel.
Put a few drops of oil into the paper towel. Then lightly dip the brush into it, avoiding the roots of the bristles.Roll the brush onto the dry part of the paper towel, back and forth, to loosen the dirt. Click To Tweet
Hold the brush under running water at a downward angle, avoiding the handle.
Put some baby shampoo into the palm of your hand. Put a few drops of water in it to emulsify. Do not froth.
Gently swirl the brush in the shampoo puddle, rolling the bristles against your skin. Your skin will become dirtier as the products come off.
Hold the brush under running water to wash off the brush.
Pat dry, and then air dry. You may need to restore the shape of the bristles.
How to Take Care of Your Brushes
Brushes are expensive. To get optimum use out of them, you need to know how to preserve them. Here are some handy tips to help you do that:
- Know how often to wash them.
Your bristles might get damaged or fall off, or your handle might rust or rot.How often you wash your brushes depends on how often you use them, as also on the material the bristles are made out of.To avoid damage, wash natural brushes once a week, or once per seven days of usage, and synthetic brushes every other day, or once for every two days of usage.This is a good thumb rule to follow, regardless of kinds of product used.
2. Don’t store brushes upright when wet, or bristles down when dry.The first may cause your handle to rust or rot.It also encourages fungal growth on the bristles. The second can damage your bristles.
3. The best idea is to store them flat in brush holders available at most makeup stores, with each brush in an individual compartment.
4. Every few months, disinfect your brushes with a three-part water and one-part vinegar solution. Swirl the brush in it, then clean the brush with plain water and set it aside to dry.
Brushes are hard work to take care of, but worth it. They free you up to do a great many versatile kinds of looks. You can achieve a professional look with them. Using, storing and maintaining them should be easy, with this guide!
Frequently Asked Questions about Eyeliners
Use CTRL+F (Win) or CMD+F (Mac) to search for topics, we have covered all the most commonly asked questions about eyeliners in these FAQs. If we missed something out, let us know via the comments section and we will keep updating this list.
What Color Eyeliner Should I Use for Brown Eyes?
Brown and metallic bronzes will highlight the colour of your eyes and create a subtle look. Black will be dramatic and intense, as will gray, although with a slightly softer finish.
Colours on the blue-green spectrum are also good choices. Navy, teal and warm greens will look lovely. Unusual colours, such as plum, with deep brown undertones, can be experimental choices!
Tightline with colours such as ambers or midnight blue, to create a striking look.
What Color Eyeliner Should I Use for Blue Eyes?
Black is not as flattering with blue, and neither are greens. But deeper shades of blue, such as matte navy or dark blue-grey, look really great. Metallic silver will give a striking, dramatic finish, but only do this if you’re okay with bold looks!
To get best results, try dotting only the inner corners of the eyes, or, by contrast, fill your upper lid entirely with the contrasting colour in an eyeshadow. Keep the liner as close to the lash line as possible.
What Color Eyeliner Should I Use for Green Eyes?
Black can look striking with green, but brown works better, as it gives a smokier finish. Like blue, darker tones of the same colour works especially well.
Try to use a longer-staying liner with the reds, as if they fade into pink, they can make you look tired (and hungover!). Try tightlining and waterlining with black to avoid this.
You can even try wearing red eyeshadow in a halo-like look around your eyes, with dramatic mascara and subtle black liner. This look has been very popular across runways this season.
What Is Kohl Eyeliner?
The ingredients that traditional kohl is made of- specifically, a mineral called stibnite- is not allowed to be used as a cosmetic in the United States.
When it is mined, the methods used mean it almost always contains lead. The FDA will thus not allow the use of actual kohl, which means the kohl eyeliners in the US are simply high-end ingredients that ensure a smoother application.
Traditional kohl isn’t even black- it’s a dark gray shade, similar to graphite. It was the original eyeliner used by the Egyptians and is still widely used all across South Asia, North and West Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean countries and even Eastern Europe.
In India, kohl is made by mixing ghee (clarified cow’s butter) with sandalwood paste and the powdered remains of burnt herbs. However, in other parts of the world, a large variety of ingredients, from lead sulfide to charcoal, is used.
Users don’t just use it as eyeliner, they also use it to darken their eyelids, much like eye shadow, and in some places even as mascara. Also, women and girls aren’t the only people who use it: men and boys frequently wear it as well, as well as people of other genders.
So don’t let anyone take your shine away if you want to use it!
Within the United States, there is almost no traditional kohl available. There are some myths about kohl pencils, such as they give a super dark finish and are always easier to apply.
However, since here kohl pencils are made of the same ingredients as eyeliner pencils: coloured pigments, with molten wax- there is little to no variation in the quality.
So invest in a kohl liner only if you want a slightly more pigmented finish. Otherwise, both eyeliner pencils and kohl pencils are on an equal footing.
How to Wear White Eyeliner?
How Much Does Permanent Eyeliner Cost?
This is a form of tattooing, therefore it hurts quite a bit! The tattooing can be done with a tattoo or a coil machine, a rotary or a pen or even by hand.
Like any tattoos, permanent eyeliner needs to be maintained. The ink can fade or wear over time. Touch-ups are required. However, since it cannot be washed off, it is considered to be permanent.
When you’re considering the cost, you should keep three things in mind: the cost of the application, the cost of the touch-ups, the pain involved and the time spent.
Doing makeup everyday can be a hassle, but it requires, at most, half an hour a day. Makeup is expensive and the costs build up over time. There is no real pain involved in the process.
On the other hand, permanent makeup takes a long time to be implemented: around two and a half hours, generally. The sessions, however, are held once every few years or so, and touch ups take around half that time.
For the bills, the technician always includes both the cost of applying and the cost of touch-ups in their estimate. The costs vary between 250$ to 800$, depending on how extensive the work you want to get done is.
They can also vary depending on the technician’s experience. If you choose to get it done at a doctor’s clinic or in a specialized office, the procedure will cost much more than it will at a salon or a spa.
For eyeliner, you can have softer line, bolder lines or wings tattooed. Different colours can be done, and both the bottom and the upper lids can be lined. However, eyeliners are one of the most difficult kinds of cosmetic tattooing. So, always choose an experienced and preferably an expert technician.
Always ensure that post-procedure care is provided at your clinic. This includes skin care products and follow-up visits, as, just like any other tattoo, these heal and scab over time.
Cosmetic tattooing is a process that can free individuals from the necessity of applying makeup daily and allow those with allergies to work around that limitation. Experienced technicians can create a very natural look. However, you should be aware of the risks associated with it.
These are the same as any tattoos. They can include bleeding, scarring an infections. Most importantly, they really are permanent, and extremely difficult to modify or remove. The lack of choice for change is also a cost of permanent makeup.
Therefore, if you want a degree of flexibility in your look, permanent makeup may not be the right choice for you. However, if you don’t, then it might just be the perfect choice!
How to Draw Eyebrows with Eyeliner?
The main difference between brow pencils and eyeliner pencils is that eyeliners are much more pigmented than brow pencils. So, when you’re using them, unless you have very sparse hair, don’t be heavy handed with them. That will make your brows look unnatural and dark.
Following the contours of your eyebrow, define your brows with a light line just above your brow and just below it. The line should sharp towards the middle of your forehead and fade away towards the end of your brow.
If the shape you want is a straight brow with no tail, then stop here. Otherwise, draw a light V-shaped tale at the end of your brow.
The lower am of the V should follow your brow bone. The upper arm should start from the highest point of your brow and meet the lower arm. You can change this point around to adjust the length of the tail to your taste.
Now, with short, swift, vertical strokes, fill in your brow. Go from bottom to up, or top to bottom, whichever suits you, but make sure to follow the same pattern throughout, as otherwise your brow will look messy.
Use a wand brush (or a toothbrush, if you’re lacking in tools!) to soften up the look and spread the pigment evenly.
Using a white eyeliner pencil, highlight your brow bone. In soft strokes, create a smudged white area just under your newly drawn bows. Be careful not to smear the brow.
Use a paddle brush to soften and blend the strokes so it looks like a pop of white under your brows. This will really help to highlight your eyeshadow as well as your brows.
If you have it, use a clear brow gel to help set your brow, as eyeliner can smear otherwise. If not, you can use translucent powder, although this might soften the intensity of the brow.
And there you have it! This is how you can fill in your eyebrows with eyeliner.
How to Sharpen Eyeliner Pencil?
To get around this problem, invest in a good eyeliner sharpener from a high-end company. Do not use regular pencil sharpeners, as they are too harsh and can cause your eyeliner tip to disintegrate.
Before you begin, sanitize your sharpener. The pencil will be in direct contact with it, and then with your eyes, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Just dip a Q-tip into some nail polish remover, or rubbing alcohol if you have any, or even vinegar. Gently clean the blade and the insides of the pencil with it. Dip another Q-tip in some water and then wipe it to remove the residue. Don’t forget to dry your sharpener by wiping out the inside with a dry Q-tip.
To prepare your pencil for sharpening, put it in the freezer. Soft, crumbly pencils break easily and coat the inside of your sharpener. Put it there for about five minutes, so that it becomes firm. If it still feels soft, leave it there for a minute or two longer. Don’t leave t in long enough for it to become brittle, however.
Insert the pencil into the sharpener and turn it firmly but gently. Complete at least one full rotation. Check if you think the point is sharp enough. If it isn’t, repeat.
Remember that you will put the pencil on your eye, so preferably, it should not be too sharp! If it is, then gently bore the tip into the palm of your hand to make it rounded. Ideally, you want a sharp but rounded tip.
Once you’re done, sanitise your sharpener once more!
How Can I Make My Eyes Look Bigger with Eyeliner?
Firstly, don’t ring your eyes completely with dark liner, as this will make your eyes look smaller, if better defined.
Instead, cover only the outer 3/4th of your eyelid. This is applicable for the lines on both your upper and lower lids.
Always make your lines thinner towards the middle and thicker outwards, to avoid heavily ringed-in, round panda eyes.
When you’re applying eyeliner on the lower lid, put it under the lash line instead of on the waterline. You can apply white or nude eyeliner to the waterline.
You can also tightline with a similar pale colour.
Put some white eyeliner into the corner of your eyes to act as a highlighter. This will open your eyes much more.
Extend your eyeliner beyond the borders of your eyes. For your upper lid, you can create a slightly extended line that meets with your lower lid’s liner, a flick or a wing. For your lower lid, you can extend the liner so it meets with the upper lid’s line.
Smudging the eyeliner towards to outer corner to extend outwards into a smoky ring is also an option.
Remember that this trick is quite hard to pull off, as it requires your wings to be perfectly symmetrical. Practice with a good mirror and bright lights. Do not be disheartened: everyone needs time to learn!
Why Is Eyeliner Important?
Eyeliner is essential for this.
Think of your face as a canvas. You will be painting it, redefining its features. For this, there are certain main areas on your face that you will need to focus on.
Undoubtedly, your eyes are one of your most important features. To define them, you need eyeliner.
Eyeliner can be used to make your eyes bigger or smaller. It can change the shape of your eyes, giving it an upward or downward slant, or reducing both. It can be used to make your eyes look rounder, or more symmetrical and almond-shaped.
Your eyes are one of the most vibrant aspects of your physical appearance. Even when you aren’t moving, talking or smiling, your eyes are always on the move.
When people meet you, they naturally notice your eyes first. It’s one of the parts of your body that is the most alive. So, how can you overlook them during make-up?
With the help of eyeliner, you can tie in the look of your whole face and outfit.
Most importantly, it can be a source of great fun!
Above all, makeup is about being comfortable while making a statement. With makeup, you speak without speaking. So, the way you choose to draw your eyes say a great deal about you.
Your coloured eyeliner or wings will speak for you before you do. So, make sure they look great!
Where Did Winged Eyeliner Originate?
With the roles of women becoming less rigid, and the advance of feminism, the stigma against makeup also reduced.
Women during the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age began experimenting with different kinds of makeup looks. One of the most popular was the winged eyeliner and its variants, such as the cat-eye, with eye-shadow, mascara and lashes becoming staples of the times.
The women termed ‘flappers’ and ‘vamps’ led the way in the eye-liner heavy look.
With the coming of the talkies in the 1930s, the Golden Age of Hollywood was ushered in. The looks of actresses on-screen began to influence everyday makeup, fashions and styles.
Although the times favoured a more eyeshadow-focused look, actresses such as Myrna Loy, Greta Garbo and Mae West still wore the cat-eye.
The 1940s and 50s popularized the cat-eye further. Red lips, arched eyebrows and swept-up, practical yet intricate hairstyles were accompanied by the sharp flicks at the corners of the eyes. The pin-up posters that became so popular amongst soldiers of the Second World War show this look.
The cat-eye look of the 1950s is legendary, with luminaries such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly all embracing it. The makeup was all shimmer and glamour and so were the eyes.
Nowadays, we associate the cat-eye mostly with the 1960s. Models such as Twiggy were responsible for the explosion of the look, with neon powders and bright lips.
From the demure flicks of the 194s and the confident sweeps of the 1950s, eyeliner wings become bigger and more dramatic, covering nearly the entire lid below the crease.
The modern winged look is mainly a recreation of the 1960s look, but wings, clearly, have had a much longer history than we ascribe to them!
How to Do Top Eyeliner?
How to Remove Waterproof Eyeliner?
When Does Eyeliner Expire?
But there are consequences to using makeup that is past its use-by date. Bacterial growth, rashes and skin irritation is common. The usability and efficiency of makeup also reduces over time.
Expiration dates of makeup, including eyeliner, differ from brand to brand. They can range from anywhere between six months from date of manufacture to two years.
In the US, it is especially tough to spot expiration dates, simply because most products don’t list any! American laws do not mandate the publication of expiration dates for makeup products. However, there are general thumb rules to follow for them.
For face make up, you should throw out liquids after six months of manufacture and powders after two years. Experts recommend liquid eyeliners should be thrown out after three months, as they are stored in closed glass bottles that are often kept in the dark. This is an ideal breeding ground for microbes!
Cream or gel eyeliners last for an even shorter time: about two months. They are the perfect places to trap bacteria. Eyeliner pencils can last up to two years, as long as you sanitize the sharpeners with rubbing alcohol.
The takeaway from this is to never buy too many makeup items at a time, especially if you know you won’t use all of them equally! Otherwise, there can be enormous wastage of money from these.
How to Remove Eyeliner?
Make sure you choose the right kind of remover for your eyeliner. If you’re using waterproof products, invest in an oil-based remover. You can use a normal remover otherwise.
Cleansing water is a very good option for those with sensitive skin. Use these for easily removable products such as liquid liner.
For removal, you can use a flat cotton pad, a cotton ball or Q-tips, depending on coverage. Cotton balls can sometimes leave behind fibres on your lids, which can be annoying. Q-tips are best for fixing small mistakes.
Put a small amount of remover on the cotton. Press it against your eyes for ten to twenty seconds, to allow the remover to breakdown the liner.
Don’t rub hard or scrub. You may gently massage for a few seconds if needed.
Wipe away the liner with soft outward strokes. Wipe up any stray residue with Q-tips.
Petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, can also be used for makeup removal, but it leaves behind a greasy sensation that may be unpleasant.
Coconut oil is an excellent option. It is a natural oil that is safe for skin use, which means no skin irritants are present in it. It is very effective as well.
Once you’re done, remove makeup from your face with your cleanser. Do not forget to wash, pat dry and then moisturize your face!
Wet wipes and baby wipes can be used to remove makeup as well, but they can irritate the skin around your eyes and cause them to burn. Makeup removing wipes is another option.
Never choose a wipe with any kind of fragrance or alcohol in it. These can seriously irritate your eyes.
If you’re using wipes, use the corners and edges of the sheets to wipe away eyeliner. Keep changing the removal spot to avoid smearing your eyes.
How to Get Eyeliner Out of Clothing?
To remove eyeliner from fabrics, you will need a laundry stain remover, some chlorine or colour bleach and plenty of warm water.
Before submerging the cloth in water, apply the stain remover on it as you would with any other stain.
Put the fabric in water without putting other clothes with it, as the stain my transfer. You will need to launder at the hottest water temperature allowed by the fabric. Add your chlorine or colour bleach to it. This may damage other clothing items.
Ensure that the stain is gone after you have washed the clothing item. If you put it in the dryer while it’s still there, you may end up setting it!
If you want to remove eyeliner stains from upholstery, blotting the stain with a mixture of water and dish washing liquid should be enough to absorb the product. The mixture should be in a ratio of two parts dish washing liquid to one par water. Once the stain is gone, blot the area with plain water.
In case of very stubborn stains, this might not work. Try using a dry cleaning solvent in that case. Make sure to check the instructions for use, first!
How to Keep Eyeliner from Smudging?
Firstly, invest in a product that can stay on for long times, especially if you are frequently exposed to humid or hot weather. Gel and cream eyeliners are best for this. It will take you a while to learn how to use it, but it’s worth it.
Another product that could be useful is an eyeshadow primer. Greasy eyelid surfaces are a major cause of smudging. Primers help you to avoid this.
Eyeshadow itself can also be useful for setting liners, along with translucent setting powders. Use a darker shade of the eyeshadow in the same colour to get the perfect finish. These are a must for those with oily skin.
Applying a toner before you put on makeup, and softly bottling your face with a cotton pad after, will help keep your natural oils from smudging your makeup.
Finally, always use multiple coats of liner for makeup. This is an easy way to avoid smudging.
If your eyeliner does get smudged, use a Q-tip and some cleanser or petroleum jelly to fix it. Always carry eyeliner with you so you can reapply some whenever you want!
How to Do Winged Eyeliner with Tape?
To draw eyeliner with tape, prepare your eyes with foundation and primer. Draw a basic line from the inside corner of your upper lid to the outside. The line should be thinner towards the inner corner and thicker at the edges.
Take a small piece of sticky tape. Hold it out at an angle, to form one arm of a V,
Place the sticky tape at the corner of your eye, in line with your lower lash line. It should be angled towards the end of your brow.
Stick it on there.
Now, with your eyeliner, draw a line along the upper edge of the tape. Extend it as far as you want towards your brow.
From the topmost point of this line, draw another arm downwards, to meet your upper lid’s eyeliner. Thus, you should have an empty triangle.
Fill in this triangle with liner.
The triangle should now look like a naturally extended upwards flick.
Then slowly and carefully, peel off the tape.
Fix any removal of makeup that might have happened due to the adhesive, such as for eye shadow.
Your winged eyeliner is now ready!
To know more about winged liner and its application, take a look at our guide here.
How to Keep Eyeliner from Smudging Under Eyes?
To keep eyeliner from smudging on your waterline, lightly brush translucent powder on your waterline. Use a long-staying pigmented eyepencil to draw your line.
Gel eye pencils are helpful. You can set your liner with a darker eyeshadow in the same colour.
To know more about keeping your eyeliner smudge-proof, try our guide.
Over the years, eyeliner has had a lot of uses. In Ancient Egypt, it was used as protection against the sun as well as evil influences. Men and women, as well as people of other genders, used it widely in Egypt. More recently, it has been used as a tool of beauty, but also to assert power.
In the 1980s, eyeliner became a defining aspect of identity for thousands of teenagers. Go a few decades back and in the 1940s, it was the weapon of the femme fatales.
Even further back, in the 1920s, the use of eyeliner by a woman signaled that she was a modern woman embracing the openness the era had gifted to women. It showed that she was feminine, and strong in her femininity.
Now, many people wield makeup and eyeliner as a way to carve out their identity beyond gender norms.
If anyone tells you that eyeliner – or makeup, for that matter – is not important, or flimsy or shallow, show them this history. It’s not just a way to make your eyes look prettier, although that is important too: it is so much more than that.
So go ahead: paint the canvas of your face with bold strokes and confident hands.
Let your eyeliner help you stand out!