Eyeliner Hacks

Well Eyeliner Week seems to have landed on a rather hectic week for yours truly so I'm shoving a ton of information into one big post, so (Elton John moment) "I hope you don't mind; I hope you don't mind." And if you do mind, I'm sorry; (Bruce Hornsby moment) "but that's just the way it is."



For a perfectly straight wing: 

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Liquid Liner

If your hands are as shaky as mine, you can use a business card or scotch tape as a stencil. Also, don't do your eyeliner after you've had two cups of coffee and/or are listening to your Jacked Up playlist while getting ready. Learned that the hard way.

Here's a little visual of this from Elle Magazine:

Wing hack


To avoid eyeliner smudges:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Liquid Liner or Pencil 

Use a small shadow or concealer brush and pat a translucent powder onto the lower lash line under your liner so it doesn't bleed. It'll act as a little bit of a barrier to keep your liner in place.

If you're using waterproof liner, don't worry about it. It should stay put until you get your college loans paid off.

No smudging

By the way, that E.L.F. High Definition Translucent Powder is $3.00, and it works just as well as any other I've ever used. If you have oily skin or use liquid foundation, this helps to set it and will matte-ify your T-zone area.


To widen the appearance of your eyes:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Any (pencil, cream, or liquid) and a white eyeliner pencil 

Use your regular dark liner on the top and lower lash lines, but don't connect the two lines in the outer corners. This creates the illusion of larger eyes. Also, to make them pop even more, apply white eyeliner to the tear line—makes ya look wide awake, even if you're a walking corpse.

Another thing you can do is, instead of limiting the eyeliner to just the outer half or third of your top lash line, start all the way from the inner corner. It has an elongating effect.

And if you want to get all Zooey Deschanel'd, you can do all three of those things at once. Girl knows what's up.

Zooey Deschanel

For natural-looking liner:

Preferred Eyliner Type: Pencil or Cream Liner

Tightlining is a method of applying eyeliner where, instead of applying it above the lashes, you're trying to really get it INTO the lashes, and there's usually no wing or fanning out involved. It's the way to go if you're shooting for the "no makeup" makeup look, and it has the added benefit of making your lashes look somewhat fuller and more dense as well. 

When using a pencil, stretch the skin around your eyes by putting your finger by the outer corner of your eye and pulling it toward your temple. This helps so the liner doesn't drag, and it creates a more uniform look, allowing you to get as close to the lashes as possible. 

When you're using a cream liner, you can use the same pulling method, but also don't be afraid to kind of push the brush into the lashes.

Does any of this sound like it's making sense? I feel like I need to insert a video tutorial so you can see it's not as violent of a process as I'm making it sound.


To make your eye color pop:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Any (pencil, cream, or liquid) in a color that complements your eyes

I've talked about this before, but if you missed it or want to revisit some of the information, check out, this post I did a few months ago. This is a pretty simple trick. Just find your eye color on the color wheel and select a color of eyeliner that's directly across from your eye color. The contrast will draw attention to your eyes like no one's business. 

If you have blue eyes: try bronze-colored liner. Purple looks pretty amazing as well.

If you have green eyes: try plum- or gold-colored liner.

If you have brown eyes: try gold- or purple-colored liner. And cobalt looks pretty rad too.



Also, I was going to talk about the pros and cons of the various forms of eyeliner (when to use liquid, what to look for in creams, etc.), but I found this article on Makeup.com that says it better than I probably could so I'm gonna hand over the mic now:

Pencil Eyeliner

A basic eye pencil should be a makeup bag staple of every woman. Pencils are quick and easy to work with, and they’re the gold standard when it comes to versatility. Use pencil eyeliner to add definition to the top and bottom lash lines, line the waterline, or smudge it out to create a dramatic smoky eye. To get as close to the lash line as possible, make sure your pencil is always sharpened to a point. Look for a high-pigment pencil that is soft enough that it will not tug the skin. For the smoothest application, start by warming the tip of the pencil between your fingers and apply in short strokes across the eye. 
Product Picks: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilMaybelline Eye Studio Master Drama, NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

Cream and Gel Eyeliner

Creams and gels are a great alternative to liquid liner. They can be used to create the same precise lines, but the formulas are thicker allowing for an application that is more forgiving of shaky hands. Use potted cream and gel eyeliners with an angled brush to craft your cat eye or choose a smaller precision brush to create an ultra thin line. Cream and gel formulas are also ideal for tightlining the waterline because an eyeliner brush can really push the color into the base of the lashes. Whether you go defined and precise or smudged and smoky, choose a longwearing formula and set it by pressing eye shadow on top of the liner to ensure its staying power. 
Product Picks: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Lancôme Liner DesignYves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils Crème D’Eyeliner

Liquid Eyeliner

The coveted winged eyeliner look can be achieved using any of the options above, but for the cleanest, most precise line, liquid liner is a must. Liquids tend to be the favorite of women with hooded eyelids and oily skin because although wet when applying, once dry they won’t budge. With that in mind, keep pointed q-tips handy to clean up mistakes as you go. With liquids, you can choose a formula that dries to a matte finish or a patent leather-like gloss. Look for a product with a small, thin brush or applicator. That will give you the most control, allowing you to create subtle definition as well as bolder lines. If you want a thicker line, apply more pressure to the brush or build up the line by layering your strokes. 
Product Picks: Lancôme Artliner 24H, Sephora Collection Long-Lasting Eye Liner, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner