Eyeliner 101

Monday, 24 October 2016


What’s the best way to line my eyes?

The best way to line your eyes is to start by placing a finger on the outer corner of your eye and gently lift the skin up and out slightly, creating a taut surface. If you don’t have a steady hand, rest your elbow on a table. Using a soft liner, place it as close to your lashline as possible and draw soft strokes till the line looks straight. For the more dramatic cat eye look that is still big this season, apply liner from inner to outer corners, extending it upwards just beyond the outer corners. On the lower lid, apply liner only to the outer three quarters of the lower lashes, extending it upwards at the outer corners to meet the line on the upper lid. Finishing off with a liquid liner is optional. To apply liquid liner, line the eye from the inner corner outward in one big sweep or short strokes.

How do I prevent liner smudging and melting?

To prevent smudging while lining your eyes, use a good-quality liner. Water-proof liners are ideal. Sweep loose powder over your eyelids before lining and then after lining your eyes, use a fine eyeliner brush to apply a dark shadow over the liner to set it. You can also a wet an angled eye liner brush and dip it into dark shadow and apply over the pencilled line.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of liners?

* The most widely used is the pencil because it’s easy to use and the most forgiving. One of its disadvantages, however, is that pencilled lines often melt and don’t stay put for long. Another disadvantage is that it needs to be sharpened regularly to provide a crisp line.

* Kohl has a softer texture which allows it to glide on more smoothly, providing a precise and silky finish. Kohl pencils are great for smudging when creating a smoky eye.

* Retractable pencils are a great alternative to pencil or kohl as they provide a silky smooth line and do not need to be sharpened.

* Liquid liners are usually reserved for special occasions and are perfect for creating dramatic looks. They provide a precise line, but need a steady hand, practice and patience as they can be difficult to apply. If you need your liner to stay put, liquid liner is the answer. ‘Liquid liners are the undisputed king of the eyeliners,’ says David White from L’Oréal. ‘There’s nothing better for precision, that delivers a sharp and edgy gorgeousness. The fine tip allows for buildable application and allows the user to reach all nooks and crannies.’

* Like liquid liners, gel and cream liners are not simple to use, although if you can get it right, they look great. Geraldi Spurling, Bodyography National Makeup Trainer, says gel liners are great for several reasons. ‘They don’t drag down the delicate skin of the eyelid like pencils do, so it’s safe to use on wrinkled lids or sensitive skin. It also sets with intensity, so you get the same colour payoff as with liquid liner but with much longer staying power! Because gels don’t dry down immediately, it allows you a bit of time to create a soft, smudgy liner with a flattering smokey effect’.

How can I make my eyes look a little wider?

To make small eyes appear wider, avoid dark-coloured liners and opt for liquid liner or white liner. Always use a freshly sharpened pencil to create a fine line.

And if I want to make them appear smaller?

To make big eyes appear smaller (although, why would you?), stick to dark colours. Carefully line the entire eye (upper and lower lids) with a kohl liner, allowing lines to meet at the corners.

What’s the best way to make my eyes look brighter?

To make tired eyes appear brighter, use a white or light-coloured liner on the inner rim of the lower lids and also a small dab at the inner corners. Apply a very thin line of eyeliner to the inner rims of the upper lids. Use liquid liner to create a very thin line on the upper eyelids.

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  1. Khalieda Osman

    I love the advice on not having the liner smudge as mine enjoys doing that.

    1 year ago •

  1. Lauren Carlson

    This is a great article, however, I don’t agree with the first tip. Tugging at the skin to make it taught is just going to change the look of your liner when you let go of the skin resulting in adding more liner and ending up with panda eyes. What I suggest is just looking straight into the mirror and taking a look at the end of each eye. Most of the time you won’t have loose skin that will interrupt your liner so just focus on that space and also use your lower lashline as a guideline as to where you wing should flick. If you’re still practicing, use an angled brush and eyeshadow to map out your line and then follow with the liquid or gel eyeliner. Pencil liner is never a good idea for a winged liner as the nib on the liner loses its sharpness so you might just end up with a thick, smudgy line instead of a crisp one.
    NOT trying to be mean, I wear winged liner every single day so I figured out ways on how to apply it quickly and easily with little to no mishaps. Also, this is my first comment lol.

    1 year ago •

  1. Carly Andrews

    Time to practice my eyeliner skills, thanks for the tricks and tips

    2 years ago •

  1. alecia

    Thanks for this article, very informative, I learnt a lot.

    2 years ago •

  1. KJ-Artistry

    This article really help me as i too seemed to struggle with liquid eyeliner! I am going to try the powder and tape trick next time :)

    2 years ago •

  1. Raihaana Fernandez

    I love this article! I feel the same way!

    2 years ago •

  1. Kimxo Potts

    Wow this was very informative, love <3

    2 years ago •


    My favourite is the retractable liner because it’s easy to apply.

    2 years ago •

  1. justine

    I am terrible at applying eyeliner but this was a very comprehensive and helpful article. I’m sure I will be able to apply it better now. Now i can look fabulous without looking funny at the same time. hahaha Thank you.

    2 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    I enjoyed the the information explained, makes applications so easy.

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya Lawrence

    I love this look – I love wearing eyeliner and making stunning cat eyes. It is so sexy !

    2 years ago •

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