Isn’t it amazing how much pop a little eyeliner can give your eyes? It’s a great way to fake looking well-rested after one of those rough nights when you’re up every five minutes with the baby.
But here’s the thing: eyeliner application is so much more than just running the pencil along your lid near your lash line. You need to get the line as close to your lashes as possible, and you need to make the line really even, which can be tricky.
Want to add a cat eye flick? Want to make sure it stays in place all day instead of smudging and smearing? I’ve got you covered.
I asked professional makeup artists for their favorite eyeliner application tricks and products (you’ll be surprised by the number of affordable eyeliners mentioned) and trust me, even the most eyeliner-obsessed among us can learn something from these experts.
It can definitely be intimidating to be using a pencil so close to your eye, but with practice, and these professional makeup artist tips, you’ll be lining like a pro in no time!
Tricks For Lining Your Eyes
I asked professional makeup artists for their favorite eyeliner application tricks and products!
You'll be surprised at the number of affordable eyeliners mentioned. Even the most eyeliner obsessed among us will learn something from their tips.
Image: Ashley Harrigan
A Gentle Pull
"Everyone always struggled trying to close one eye while keeping the other open to see what you are doing. Instead, if you keep both eyes open and just pull the outer corner of the eye you wish to line out to the side while lifting your eyebrows it will give you a nice smooth eye lid to draw your liner across," says Haley Kulow
This trick also makes it easier to get the liner right up against your lash line, instead of leaving a small space between liner and lashes.
Great Cat Eye
"I only ever wear eyeliner in a cat's eye shape, it's the only makeup I've consistently worn since I was allowed to wear makeup ... I've gone through every kind of liner you can imagine and finally settled on pen liners. Pencil smudges and fades, Kohl does the same and I find that it, more often than not, smudges into the crease and makes you look pretty crazy by the end of the day. The pot liners are pretty good but you need an incredibly steady hand to get just the perfect look. My favorite liner of all time is Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, and it is exactly like using a pen which you probably do every single day."
— Meg Raiano
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner $20.00
Image: Ashley Harrigan
Smudge for a Softer Look
"I like a creamy eyeliner that I can literally just run across my top lash line and smudge to make it less harsh looking. The creamier the better because you can't really make a mistake when you smudge it in. Kind of like a slept-in look. I love Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Intense. It is super blendable and with the sponge tipped blender on the other end it is really easy to blend."
— Liz Fuller
Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Intense $16.50
Skip the Lower Lashes
"I never use an eyeliner pencil on the lower lashes. I always use a shadow to give a more natural, easy look. At night I just use a bit more to create a more intense, smokier look."
— Liz Fuller
Connect the Dots
"Sometimes eyeliner can feel intimidating. If you are a eyeliner newbie, just remember that practice makes perfect. I suggest drawing dots along your lash line and then connecting them. This is one way to make the process easier!"
— Sheila, blogs at The Painted Ladies
, and she is available as a makeup artist
Make Lashes Look Fuller
"I like applying a pencil liner inside the upper rim of the lashes. Going under the lashes makes them look fuller and really opens up the eyes."
— Alejandro Falcon is the artistic director at Osmosis Skincare
More Great Things on Beauty
Read more from Christine on Babble and her blog, 15 Minute Beauty. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Image credit: Ashley Harrigan