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Top Eyeliner Tips and Tricks

The thought of eyeliner can evoke a lot of visual responses. There is Cleopatra with her lavish, smoky eyes drawn out in thick black ink. Then there are the images of the Hollywood starlets from the Golden era, with their thick eyelids and luscious lashes.

With such glamorous expectations to live up to, it’s no wonder so many women are intimidated by eyeliner. In fact, many women forgo using eyeliner altogether. As a result, they miss out on the transformative effect it can have on their looks.

30 Days of Beauty, Day 26, An Eye for Beauty, Your Guide to Eyeliner

Dramatic Eye Liner

Start Simple

The best approach to eyeliner is to start simple. If you aren’t comfortable using it, start with a standard black kohl pencil. After applying your foundation, line your naked eye, starting with the top lid. While the eye is closed, glide the tip of a well-sharpened pencil of the length of your lash line.

If the line isn’t perfect, feel free to smudge and blend with your fingers. Once the top is done, go ahead and slowly and delicately follow the lash lines on the bottom rim of your eyes too. For a dramatic look, extend the line all the way from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Finish the look with some subtle eye shadow and a coat of mascara and you will have achieved a clean, easy way to make your eyes attention-grabbing. One secret for making your eyes appear larger is to line the top with a thick coat of black eyeliner and then rim the inner corner of your eyes using a white pencil. Of particular importance, do both upper and lower lids. As Moxie of Moxie Reviews notes: “Don’t apply eyeliner to just your bottom lashes. Make sure you also line the top lashes, otherwise, you run the risk of your eyes looking droopy.”

Cindy Ingalls from Prime Beauty has these suggestions:

Eyeliner helps to define the eyes and make them ‘pop.’ Lining the eyes can make them appear larger. Smudging your eyeliner into the upper lash line helps to make your lashes look fuller. A thin line on the lower lash line helps to define. Experiment with colored liners. Makeup artist, Mally Roncal suggests a darker liner on top and a lighter one on the bottom.

For a trendy look Mara Moss of Makeup By Mara Moss notes:

A black winged eyeliner on the top of your eyelid is hot for spring. Start with a thin pencil or brush, begin drawing a thin line, you can always go over it and on top of it to make it thicker.

Liner also does not have to be black. Consider this tip from Kimberly Nissen or The Plastic Diaries:

White eyeliner is a tired girls best friend. Draw a little bit into the inner rim of the inner corners of your eye. BOOM, you are instantly awake.

Liquid Liner Tricks

If you consider yourself a pro when it comes to eyeliner, you can probably handle liquid eyeliner.  Liquid liner packs a much more dramatic look than standard pencil. However, it can be a bit trickier to apply. You apply it the same way, by following your upper lash line, but you must keep a very steady hand. Liquid liner is not intended for your bottom lash line, and applying it there may result in eye irritation if it comes into contact with the tender, moist area beneath your eye.

For keeping that steady hand and drawing a perfect line, Lisamarie Wilson of Beauty Crazed offers these tips:

Love the way liquid eyeliner looks but can’t for the life of you figure out how to draw a straight line without your hand shaking? There’s actually an easy fix – you just need to steady your elbow on a table or other solid surface and you will be amazed at how steady your hand becomes!

Still having a problem with achieving a non-wavy line? Rather than trying to draw the whole line in one fell swoop, play connect the dots. Place small dots along the area you want to line and then connect them is smaller lines – the effect is exactly the same but it’s a much easier application technique!

Avoiding Smudges

One common concern that often deters ladies from using eyeliner is the smudge factor. Fearing raccoon eyes at the end of the day, many women forgo lining their eyes altogether. If you have oily skin that is prone to causing eye makeup to run, one quick tip is to dab some powder over your eyelids before you apply eyeliner. This dries the skin and provides a matte foundation for the makeup to be absorbed into, which increases its lasting power and reduces the need to reapply it later in the day. This also saves you money since you will use less eyeliner in the long run.

Eye Liner Shopping and Colors

When you are shopping for eyeliner, keep in mind the difference between day looks and night looks. Day looks will probably rely on simple pencils in common colors such as black, gray, or brown. While you’re in the beauty aisle, be sure to grab a dependable pencil sharpener, since a sharp point on the tip makes for more precise application. If the idea of sharpening a pencil is unappealing to you, there is a wide variety of “gel” liners, which retract into their casing. These liners tend to have a softer texture and they protract with a simple twist. They tend to be pricier than a standard eye pencil.

For a night look, liquid eyeliner can really drive up the drama. For evening style, a healthy strip of liquid liner applied to the corner of the eye can achieve the much-coveted “cat eye” that so many Hollywood starlets use for red carpet events. Evening is also the perfect time to bring out some of the wilder colors that you might see in the beauty aisle. It isn’t necessary to splurge on expensive pencils that you will only wear every so often, so don’t buy crazy colors unless they are a good price.

Tomorrow, Day 27, All About Mascara!

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