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No skills? No problem. Eyeliner, while maybe not as easy-breezy to apply as say, lipstick, is quite easy to master once you get the hang of it. The great thing is, there are so many kinds nowadays. Thick. Thin. Smudgy. Precise. Gel. Kohl. Liquid. Take your pick!
The trick to applying eyeliner, especially when you’re just getting the hang of it, is: expect mistakes. Roll with it, don’t get discouraged, and always have patience and q tips on hand!
Newbies should apply eyeliner before mascara and eyeshadow, to allow for smudges and mistakes, which are harder to fix if you’ve got on other makeup that you don’t want to mess with. Don’t worry about creating a perfectly smooth, straight line—bumps and uneven lines are easily fixable with a dash of makeup remover on a q-tip.
Get close to the mirror and trace a line from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner. Always keep the line as close to the root of your lashes as possible.
For a natural look, keep the eyeliner line thin and in a subtle color, like brown eyeliner.This will define the eye without screaming “I’m wearing eyeliner!”
We’re big fans of smudgy eyeliner and precise eyeliner looks, and think everyone should be equally adept in both. Smudgy eyeliner is rocker-cool and so easy to apply, since all mistakes will get blended away into said diffused, smoky line. Softer, easily blended formulas like eyeliner pencils are perfect for this look.
Precise eyeliner can be a thick line like a cat-eye, or a subtle line that blends right into your lashes. Certain formulas lend themselves better to this look, like liquid liner. It's transfer-proof, aka less prone to smudging and melting, and will stay fresh-looking and clean-lined all day.
Lining the upper lash line simply defines your eyes, and draws attention to them. It also gives the impression of more eyelashes. Eyeliner is basically meant to mimic a lush, thick fringe of eyelashes, and that fantasy falls flat when there are tell-tale flesh colored gaps between your eyeliner and your lashes.
Lining the lower lashes is so cool—a real glamour look. The goal is to line right along the waterline. The waterline is that sliver of exposed skin between the eye and the lashes. It’s a sensitive area, so always be gentle and use only the cleanest tools here. For this look, an eyeliner pencil is the best option, the softer and more pigmented the better. Kohl formulas are fantastic here, too. It will deposit a gorgeous, saturated line of color on the lash line and not bleed into the eye like a liquid liner will. Take a clean, freshly sharpened pencil and gently glide it along the waterline, from the inner to the outer corner. Line the entire waterline, not just the outer corners. Don’t expect color to last as long as it does on the upper lash line. You’ll most likely have to re-apply eyeliner throughout the night to keep that intense, highly defined line, but such is the price of beauty!
If you have smaller eyes, you’ll want to avoid lining your entire eyes, since doing so can make them look even smaller. Instead, apply eyeliner on the outer half of your eyes, making sure to blend in the starting point.