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Eyeliner: Tips and Techniques

Updated on May 10, 2017

Eyeliner: Tips and Techniques

One essential step of the makeup process for a woman is eyeliner. Although it makes a big difference in your overall look, you may shy away from it for lack of confidence. Either it’s too difficult to get a straight line, or maybe you’re just uncertain of exactly how to apply it or what product to use. All of these are common and understandable concerns that many women have; however, they are all easily remedied with a little bit of education. So let’s take this opportunity to discuss eyeliner: how to apply, and the various types of eyeliner available. Before you know it, you’ll be a true cat woman, with luscious, beautifully lined eyes.

Applying Eye Makeup

Smoky Eyes


How to Apply Eyeliner

Following are a couple of tips to keep in mind when applying eyeliner:

  1. Pull the outside corner of your eye taught in order to create a straight and smooth surface to apply.
  2. Make sure the tool you are using is well maintained and that you have enough product. For a pencil, make sure that it is sharp. If using liquid liner, ensure that you have enough on the tip of the applicator. For cream eyeliner, make sure your applicator brush is clean and high quality.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use a damp Q-Tip to fix any mistakes.
  4. If you can’t get your line perfectly straight, smudge the eyeliner to create a softer, more blended look.
  5. Use eye shadow to blend and correct any mistakes.

Quick & Easy Makeup Tips : How to Apply Eyeliner: Quick Makeup Tips

Different Styles for Eyeliner

are a great tool to communicate a woman’s personal style through subtle techniques.

  1. Cat Eye: From a subtle winged liner, to a winged liner that would rival the late Amy Winehouse, cat eyes are a sexy way to add drama to your look. For easiest application, first line the top of the eye then create the wing in the corners. For ideal application, use a cream liner with an angled brush. Most importantly, focus on following the natural slant to your eye. For added drama, use eyeshadow to emphasize the shadow in the outer corner of eyes.
  2. Subtle Emphasis: To add emphasis to your eyes, without lining all the way around, add a subtle line to the eye starting at the pupil to the outer corner on the top and bottom. A pencil is the ideal tool to create this look. This adds definition to the eye in a subtle and easy to apply style.
  3. Top Liner: To create a flirty, vintage inspired look, line the top of the eye while leaving the bottom lash line bare. This is a simple way to add emphasis and drama to the eye, without committing to a fully lined look.
  4. Wrap Around Liner: This is when you line all the way around the entire eye. This look is ideal to create a dramatic and ultra sexy look. For something different, try this look with a color eyeliner that is complimentary to your eye color. (green eyes: cranberry; brown eyes: purple or green; blue eyes: copper)

Dramatic Eyeliner


Different Types of Eyeliner

  1. pencil: The pencil is the most traditional and commonly used form of eyeliner.It’s fairly user friendly as it is easy to apply and creates drama. It’s also the ideal type to apply in the water liner (pink interior part of the eye). If you’re doing the water line, make sure you grab one that is ophthalmologist tested. This is generally the most affordable, and easiest to find in stores.
  2. Liquid Eyeliner: While this creates the crispest and boldest lines, liquid liner can be the most challenging to apply. Once you have it down, liquid liner is the most ideal way to create the most impact; however I recommend using other types of liner to gain practice and confidence.
  3. Cream Eyeliner: While this eyeliner was more commonly used among makeup artists, it is becoming more main-stream. Generally the cream liner comes in a pot and is applied with a fine tip or angled brush. It’s ideal for smoky eyes and looks that are blended with eye shadow.
  4. Eye Shadow for Eyeliner: This is a great option for an every day look. Eye shadow can emphasize the eye shape, without a lot of time or skill. Keep in mind that eye shadow can’t create the crispness or drama the other types of eyeliners can, but it is a great, simple way to compliment and add emphasis to the eyes.

Beau Nelson's Essential Make-Up Tips: Easy Smokey Eyes

With so many options of eyeliner and endless ways to apply, eyeliner has become a “must have” in every woman’s makeup bag. One thing is for sure: there is a type of liner and technique for even the most elementary of makeup users. Additionally, eyeliner is a great tool to add style and emphasis to any style or look. With more knowledge about the tools and techniques available, it is possible to not only improve the look of our eyes, but to create the drama and glamour that we’ve always dreamt about.


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    • shai77 profile image

      Chen 6 years ago

      Hi Angela :-)

      Agreed that eye makeup should be applied with a lighter hand, at any age, but especially as women enter more mature years. One idea to soften makeup as one gets older is to avoid black eyeliner (which can be harsher) and opt for subtler, warmer tones like dark brown, golden brown, or even a shade of green. Thanks for the response and I look forward to sharing more helpful information about beauty!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Loved this Hub -- eyeliner is the most dramatic part of makeup for any woman if indeed "eyes are the window to the soul." I've found that after age 50 eye makeup should be handled with a lighter hand --when wrinkles enter the picture; eye makeup (talking about myself) can get pretty weird looking if applied too heavily. Super advice in your Hub and thanks! Best/Sis