ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Apply Eyeliner: A Guide for Beginners

Updated on November 23, 2017
Jayne Lancer profile image

A beauty consultant by profession, Jayne has been advising on correct skin and hair care, makeup, and other cosmetics for almost 20 years.

If you're ready to experiment with eyeliner, here's a quick tutorial to get you started. How to apply eyeliner and create stunning effects, no matter what your eye shape or size.

Source

If you've avoided eyeliner because you think it doesn't suit you—as many women do—perhaps you haven't explored all the possibilities. Depending on eye shape and size and the effect you want to create, there are various ways of applying it as well as numerous colors and product types to choose from. It's just a question of experimenting.

You'll find that it not only accentuates and defines the eyes, but also works as a corrective cosmetic. For example, it can enlarge small eyes, "open up" hooded eyes, recede convex eyes, and add sparkle to tired eyes.

Types of Eyeliner

Liquid and Gel Eyeliner

Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner creates a sharp, defined stroke. Half close the eye and gently pull at the outer corner for a perfectly even application.

Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliner is a little easier to apply if your hand is less than steady, and leaves a softer finish.

Both of these products are ideal if you want your eyeliner to stand out or if you favor dovetails. They are not suitable, however, for smudging and blending.

Kohl

Kohl is available as a loose powder or, more commonly, compressed into a compact or pencil product. If using loose or compact kohl, apply with an angled or "pencil" brush.

Because kohl leaves a matte finish and is easily smudged and blended, it's ideal for a smoky evening look.

Wax Based Eyeliner

Wax based eyeliner is the easiest to apply, and comes as a pencil product or sometimes in a compact with an applicator. Because it's water resistant, it lasts longer on the waterline than other products.

Powder Eye Shadow as Eyeliner

You can apply powder eye shadow in place of kohl eyeliner using an angled or "pencil" brush.

For a more saturated, defined finish, dampen the brush before applying. A dry brush will give a softer, more diffused look.

An angled brush and liquid eyeliner.
An angled brush and liquid eyeliner. | Source

How to Apply Eyeliner

The Classic Stroke

You can easily accentuate your eyes with a simple stroke of eyeliner along the upper lash line.

If you thicken the contour of the liner directly above the iris, small or narrow eyes will seem rounder. To elongate the eyes, extend the liner beyond the outer corners.

This is best done with liquid or gel eyeliner.

For Hooded and Downturned Eyes

Use eyeliner to correct the appearance of hooded and downturned eyes.

Begin application directly above the pupil and thicken as you progress towards the outer eye corner. To balance the look, apply mascara more generously to the upper lashes from the inner eye corner to the center.

The "Wraparound"

For a defined, dramatic look, try the "wraparound." In other words, line your top and bottom lids, joining the eyeliner at each corner.

This won't work, however, on close set or small eyes.

For Close Set Eyes

For close set eyes, don’t join the upper and lower liner at the inner corners. It's also a good idea to elongate the outer corners to pull the eyes further apart.

For Small Eyes

For small eyes, don't join the liner at the inner and outer corners.

The Waterline

There are several reasons to apply eyeliner to the inner rim of the eye, which is referred to as the "waterline."

  • Apply dark eyeliner to the lower waterline to add definition and intensity.
  • Make tired, reddened eyes seem brighter by applying a light colored eyeliner to the lower waterline. The most effective color for this is beige.
  • If your eyes are small, or if they appear smaller due to eyeglasses for nearsightedness, light colored eyeliner on the lower waterline makes them look bigger.
  • Dark eyeliner applied to the upper waterline makes lashes seem longer and thicker as well as adding discreet definition.

"Tightlining" Small Eyes

Applying dark eyeliner to the upper and lower waterline is called "tightlining" and is essential if you want a full-blown smoky look. The trouble is, it can make small eyes seem even smaller.

To counteract this, place tiny dots of kohl between the bottom lashes as close to the lash line as possible, as illustrated below. Then, using a soft eye shadow brush, go over the dots with quick, inward strokes from inner to outer eye corner until they are merged. Your eyes should appear to return to their normal size. This technique also recedes protruding eyes.

If you do this along your upper lash line, your lashes will seem significantly longer.

... place tiny dots of kohl between your bottom lashes as close as possible to your lash line
... place tiny dots of kohl between your bottom lashes as close as possible to your lash line | Source

The Lid crease

Another way of making small, narrow, or hooded eyes look larger and rounder is by placing kohl in the lid crease. Blend well with a soft eye shadow brush using upward and outward strokes.

Eye Shadow on a Kohl Base

This is the perfect base for smoky eyes or cat eyes, and will keep your eye makeup looking fresh from dusk till dawn, which is ideal for big events like galas and weddings.

Using a pencil product, apply kohl as illustrated below. With a soft eye shadow brush, blend from outer to inner eye corner in outward and upward strokes. Fix with translucent powder before applying eye shadow.

Eye shadow on a kohl base
Eye shadow on a kohl base | Source

Extra Tips You May Find Useful When Applying Eyeliner

  • Apply eyeliner first, then mascara.
  • Fix pencil eyeliner with translucent powder to prevent it printing on your upper eye area.
  • For sanitary reasons, always sharpen pencil products before use.
  • If you find black eyeliner too severe for day wear, try brown or gray.
  • For close set eyes, always apply dark colors towards the outer eye corner.
  • You don’t have to apply an eye makeup primer if you're wearing foundation, since this does the same job. If your eyes are deep set, a base of foundation or concealer two nuances lighter than your complexion works like magic to brighten and "bring out" the eyes.


© 2010 Jayne Lancer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • saesha profile image

      saesha 

      7 years ago

      i love this article, it's so helpful!

    • Jayne Lancer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jayne Lancer 

      8 years ago from West London, UK

      I'm so pleased! I keep worrying that I haven't explained properly; glad to see it worked for you.

      Be warned, the eye shadow on a kohl base is difficult, and takes practice. But when you get it right, everyone will want to know what you've done, and want to do it themselves.

      Well, you've certainly made my day!

      Thank you so much for letting me know.

    • a.l. laurice profile image

      a.l. laurice 

      8 years ago from United States

      I've been trying to figure out that dark smoldery look since high school. I followed your tip and put the little dots between the lashes, and it worked brilliantly. I can't wait to try the eyeshadow on a kohl base--after I practice a bit more with the liner lol. Thanks!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)