Eyeliner is a product that packs a lot of punch because it can not only increase drama around your eyes, but you can use it as an eye shadow and to fill in your brows. With the right color of eyeliner, you'll even be able to line your lips before applying lipstick. This product also gives you the ability to make small eyes look bigger with just a minute or two in front of the mirror, and a swift stroke of a pencil or brush. Just note that it takes lots of practice, and experimenting with the different formulas and application methods to find out what eyeliner works best for your features.
There are four main eyeliner formulas, and depending on the formula you're using, you can blend or smudge the color out to create a soft smokey makeup look, or create a bold line that defines your eye.
Here are some tips and descriptions of the four most popular types of eyeliner and short course explaining how to apply eyeliner.
There are a couple of different pencil eyeliner forms that can create distinguished, soft lines that define the shape of your eye and enhance the shape too. Going further, pencil eyeliners have either a wax or powder base that allows you to smudge the liner out, or create defined lines.
Pencil eyeliners are pretty stiff, and if not softened, can hurt while drawing on your lines and/or can cause jagged lines.
Pencil Eyeliner Application Tip: Before applying pencil eyeliner, use a blow dryer to soften the product while focusing the heat on the tip of the pencil so that the color goes on smooth and easy.
Pencils with a wax base are softer and easier to apply, and can be found in a variety of colors.
Wax pencils can sometimes be a pain to sharpen, but it's easier if you store them in the fridge or freezer to harden the pencil; this helps prevent the product from smearing, breaking or smudging.
Liquid eyeliner comes in a little bottle comparable to nail polish, with the brush on the lid. The brush is small, and allows you to build the line up to as thick or thin as you prefer. The trouble with liquid eyeliner is also what makes the product good in that it creates very bold and visible lines. It may not be ideal for everyday use, but on those nights out, it can really make your eyes pop! Just know that when you do wear liquid liner, it can be a little messy by transferring onto your crease when you open or blink your eyes!
Tip for Using Liquid Eyeliner: When you're working with liquid eyeliner, you may find it better to swipe the liner onto your hand a few times instead of putting the brush back into the bottle or tube. This will keep your brush from becoming over-packed with product, which in turn, makes it less messy and easier to apply.
With both liquid and gel eye liners, it's best to line the inner corner of your eye when you notice your brush almost out of product; this is so you create a nice fine line.
Gel eyeliner is also applied by using a brush, but is packaged in a sort of pot or jar that tends to dry out more quickly than liquid eye liner.
Gel eyeliner is nice because it dries into somewhat of a powder finish that looks soft and natural. If your hands are a little shaky when using liquid or gel eyeliners, trace over your pencil line for practice; this will also intensify your color and add staying power as well.
Felt-tip eyeliners are easier to use than liquid or gel liners because you have slightly more control over the placement of the product. The colors are more limited than liquid, pencil, kohl or gel eyeliners, and the staying power isn't as strong as the other liners.
Kohl eyeliner is found in matte finishes that are mostly dark shades. You can find kohl in loose powder, pressed powder or in pencil form, and it is worth mentioning that kohl pencil eyeliner is likely to smear or rub off easily.
Begin by holding your brush, pencil, or felt-tip in your hand as you would hold a pen to write on paper. Use your other hand to hold your upper lid taut, and then rest the heel of the hand on your chin or side of your face.
Note: If you're preparing to apply eye liner to the bottom lash line or your waterline, try holding your elbow into your body to maintain steady application.
To create a good angle and to make the application much easier for yourself, try slightly tilting your head back while holding your eyes partially open. This pose will allow you to see what you're doing while giving you more control over the product. You may also try closing the eye you're applying the eyeliner to. There isn't a wrong or right way to do this process; it's just doing what you're most comfortable with.
It may seem better to apply the liner with one fell swoop rather than fine feather-like strokes, but it's a lot easier to use fine strokes close to your lash line. You will also have more control, and get cleaner lines after application when using fine strokes, instead of a single line that goes from the inner corner to the outer corner of your eye. This is ideal since it creates thick and more defined lines while allowing you to gradually build the product up, and slightly past your lashes to create different effects with your liner.
Another method to try when applying eyeliner is to use the "two step method", which simply involves using two lines to create one.
Application Tip: Also, use a small angled brush to press black eye shadow on the liner to make it last all day long.
Pencil eyeliners or eye shadow are ideal for lining under your eye because they don't leave you with a harsh, un-smudgeable line that looks too drawn-on or fake. It's also best to line under your lash line beginning three-fourths of the way out from your inner corner, and gradually make the line thicker to enhance your eye shape.
There are plenty of colored eyeliners available to you, but they can be a little intimidating when it comes to actually using them. And most people don't walk around with bright blue winged eyeliner, so what else are you supposed to do with the colored liners sold in all formula varieties? But do keep in mind that if you're not into smokey eyes or eye shadow in general, you can create stunning looks by only using eyeliners.
There are unlimited color options for eyeliners because eye shadows can also be used to line your eyes, and contrary to popular belief, you don't have to only use purple for brown eyes, blue for blue eyes, and green for green. Experiment with different colors, techniques, and formulas and see where the line takes you!