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Eyeliner tips
November 26, 2017, 2:01 pm

Eyeliner is one of the most integral parts of your makeup looks. It’s a chic way to subtly call attention to your eyes, make lashes look longer, your eye color more vibrant, and even look more awake. Knowing what color, where to put it, and how to apply it are key skills that any makeup lover should have in her beauty repertoire.

Getting even flicks, lashline hugging perfection, and catch-the-light-just-right placement are skills that take practice. Sadly, not all of us have the steady hands of a master calligrapher. If you’d rather go bare than have an awkward, wobbly line above your lid all day — don’t worry. Consider this list of tips and tricks your ultimate crash course in eyeliner.

Hold your eye for more control: You’ll find that most liners tend to get stuck or skip across your lid, so start off by creating a smooth canvas for your liner to glide across. Using your pointer and middle finger, pull the skin above your eye taut for a smoother, more precise line. Instead of free-handing it, prop your elbow up on the counter to steady your hand. Just be sure not to manhandle the delicate skin around your eye — you don’t want to tug too hard and risk stretching or damaging the skin.

Choose the right color: You don’t always have to go with classic black, especially if you are just starting out. Brown and light gray are great training colors when you’re trying a new technique as they are less stark and much more forgiving if you make a mistake. You can also make your eyes appear brighter and more vibrant by using a color-enhancing shade. For blue gazes that means picking something in the warm browns, bronze, or copper family. Green beauties should try violets and purples, while brown-eyed girls can go bold with bright blues or keep it simple with navy. Hazel eyes, with their multi-tonal colors, have the option to play up either the browns or greens in their eyes. To make them look browner, try rich earth tones, gold, and green. Bring out the green by using bronze or eggplant.

Don’t forget to blend: When using a pencil, blend it out for a more natural look. A dual-ended pencil with a sponge attachment at the end makes this process a lot easier. The pressure you apply will determine what kind of line you get. A light touch will soften without losing definition, while a heavier hand will diffuse the color and create a smokier effect.

Speaking of smoking, did you know you can use your liner to create the easiest smoky eye ever? Take your liner and place it about halfway across your lower lashline. Draw a line outwards, making sure to keep it directly against the rim of the eye. Extend the line past the edge, angling it up towards the tail end of your eyebrow. Don’t go all the way — stop when you are level with your eyelid crease. Then place the line at your crease, just above that first line, and follow the crease until you are halfway across the eyelid. Use your liner to color in the space between that V-shape you’ve made. Use your finger to smudge the color outwards and now you’ve got a high-drama, sexy look using just one product. 

Line your eyes first in pencil when using liquid liner: It’s easier to draw a precise line with pencil than with a liquid liner. So use this “training wheels” method when starting out with liquid liner: Line your eye first with a pencil, and then trace over it with your liquid liner. Brow pencils are great for this as they don’t deposit as much color but can still be seen enough for you to do your paint-by-numbers cheat.

Give your liquid liner time to dry: Avoid any smudging while your liquid liner is still wet by keeping your eyes closed for 30 seconds after applying. You can also lock it in even more by dipping a small shadow brush in translucent powder and gently dabbing it over top of the (dried) line. If you want to get really fancy, use a complimentary eyeshadow to set and amp up the color.

Use a primer: When you take pains to draw a gorgeous cat-eye, you don’t want it rubbing off after a couple hours. Use an eye primer first to create a base that will help your liner last all day.


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